Hilo squad reaches state title game
Edgar Barclay hurled a five-hitter and struck out 15 to lead the Hilo All-Stars to a 4-2 win over Maui Blue in the winners’ bracket of the state PONY baseball tournament Monday.
The eight-team event for players ages 13-14 is being played at Iron Maehara Stadium in Kahului, Maui. It wraps up today with the champion advancing to the West Zone tournament later this month in Whittier, Calif.
With Monday’s win, Hilo improved to 3-0 and clinched a spot in the championship game, scheduled at 9 a.m. today against the winner of Monday night’s Maui Blue (2-1) vs. Kona (2-1) winner. They played at 7 p.m. in an elimination contest.
But in the biggest game of the tournament so far, Barclay stepped up with a dominant pitching performance as Hilo fought off the Maui squad.
Barclay went the distance to earn the win, keeping Maui Blue batters off balance.
“Edgar just had a good combination working today — a good fastball and a curve, mixed in with an occasional changeup,” Hilo coach Eric Kurosawa said.
Maui Blue starter Kawena Alo-Kaonohi went five innings and took the loss.
The hosts grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning before Hilo’s Taylor Mondina hit a solo home run in the second to tie the score at 1-1.
Maui Blue plated another solo run in the fourth before Hilo ripped four straight hits and scored three runs to take a 4-2 advantage in the fifth.
Trayden Tamiya and Kegan Miura had back-to-back singles, and Gehrig Octavio doubled to deep center field to plate the hustling Tamiya to knot the score at 2-2.
Sean Kurosawa singled in Miura to lift the Big Islanders on top 3-2. Daylen Calicdan then drove in the final Hilo run on a groundout as Octavio sprinted home to extend the lead to 4-2.
That’s all the hard-throwing Barclay needed while shutting out Maui Blue the rest of the way.
“It makes us one step closer to our goal of winning the tournament,” Kurosawa said.
“Tomorrow, no matter who we play, we’ve got to play well. This is baseball, and anything can happen.”
Barclay (two doubles) and Kurosawa each had two hits to lead Hilo, and Octavio added his clutch RBI double.
On Sunday night, Kona defeated Windward 4-2 in a losers’ bracket game to remain alive in the double-elimination tournament.
Markus Degrate amd Logan Canda each had two hits for Kona, while Tyler Kitaoka added a triple.
Degrate also earned the win on the mound. Windward’s Keoni Pangan took the loss.
Kona then beat Kauai 12-8 in another elimination contest Monday afternoon and played Maui Blue late Monday night for the right to battle Hilo in the title game.
Hilo 010 030 0 — 4 8 3
Maui 100 100 0 — 2 5 1