HILO — Maui manager Henry Inciong said he noticed from the get-go at the state PONY League tournament that Wong Stadium was going to be tough on his hitters.
With the way Kilo Brown threw Monday afternoon against Hilo, Maui’s lack of power hardly mattered.
Brown threw six shutout innings for a 12-0 victory to oust Hilo on elimination day at the ages 13-14 tournament.
Maui played Mililani in another do-or-die game Monday night.
“We’re excited to play under the lights,” Inciong said before the nightcap. “This weather is not like Maui, damp and humid. Most of my hitters, they hit hard, but it’s like the ball just sits here. On this field, you’ve got to earn it.”
Brown did that by mixing his fastball, curveball and changeup to yield only three hits — none until the fifth — with five strikeouts.
“He has a crafty ball with his off-speed pitches,” Inciong said.
Hilo starter Joshua Breitbarth was almost as stingy as Brown, though he struggled early with his command and was hurt by errors.
Neither team had a hit until the top of the fifth, when Haloa Dudoit’s double gave Maui a 3-0 lead.
After Breitbarth struck out the first two batters in the top of the first, Maui used four walks and an error to take a 2-0 lead. Hilo’s three pitchers issued nine free passes and hit a batter.
“I’d rather have them hit the crap out of the ball than all the walks,” Hilo manager Shaye Miura said.
Maui scored eight runs in the final two innings in breaking the game open to eliminate a Big Island team for the second consecutive day. On Sunday, it ousted Kona.
Michael Hooper ripped a two-run double in the seventh and finished with three RBIs, and Dudoit and catcher Lane Kashiwamura each drove in two runs.
Maui’s starting lineup consisted soley of 14-year-olds, and it looked like a veteran group in the field, turning three double plays to help Brown overcome four walks and a throwing error, Maui’s only miscue in the game. Hilo finally dented Brown with Eddie Barclay’s pinch-hit single with one out in the fifth, but after a walk he got out of the inning on a double play.
In the fourth, Kashiwamura dove to grab Makanzy Maesaka’s bunt in foul territory then doubled up a runner at second.
Hilo scored only four runs in going 1-2 at the tournament.
“Runs were hard to come by,” Miura said. “Got to tip your cap to their starter. When we needed a hit, he got a groundball. No timely hitting today.”
Breitbarth worked into the sixth, striking out five and allowing nine runs — four earned — and three hits. At the plate he had a double drew two walks.
Hilo center fielder Joey Ongais-Kahapea made two sparkling plays, diving to catch Dudoit’s sinking liner in the second, then ranging to the gap in right-center to make a running catch to rob Bronson Prieto of an extra-base hit in the fourth.
Maui 200 025 3 — 12 4 1
Hilo 000 000 0 — 0 3 4
c Mililani 7, East Oahu 1: Justice Nakagawa hit a home run, and Adam Connell (double) and Codie Paiva each had two hits to lead Mililani to a lopsided win over East Oahu.
Nainoa Tomimoto-Kim added a double for Mililani.
Wade Lono Jr. (double) and Emmett Covello each had two hits to lead East Oahu, and Joshua Souza had a double.
Kaimana Bartolome was the winning pitcher, and Keiki Kanahele-Santos was saddled with the loss.
East Oahu 000 010 0 — 1 5 4
Mililani 400 003 x — 7 7 1
c Ewa/Ewa Beach 9, East Oahu 0: Chase Wago fired a one-hitter and struck out 16 over the seven-inning distance to lead Ewa/Ewa Beach over East Oahu in Sunday’s late game.
Wago dominated the East Oahu hitters while his team’s offense banged out 10 hits.
Wago earned the victory, and Chase Hisatake took the loss.
Darren Gallano (home run), Wago, Jobe Ibana (double) and Dewayne Sprinkle each had two hits to spark Ewa/Ewa Beach. Teammates Ian Kahaloa and Garrison Gamil added doubles.
Ewa/Ewa Beach 111 501 0 — 9 10 1
East Oahu 000 000 0 — 0 1 0
c Mililani vs. Maui: No details were available at press time.