Hilo Pony All-Stars wasted little time getting on the board and were able to ride out a late scare from the host Maui squad for a 10-4 win at the state PONY League tournament on Maui.
Reese Mondina recorded the win for Hilo, pitching two scoreless innings. Nalu Kahapea pitched 1 1/3 allowing one run, and Ryan Ragual also saw time on the mound. Jaisten Cabatbat came in to finish off the game, throwing a scoreless final inning.
“Reese started us strong and that let us get our offense going,” Hilo head coach Stacey Jarneski said.
In the first inning, Hilo’s Eric Riveira sent a two-run homer over the wall. Riveira’s slam was the highlight of a five-run stanza for the Big Island squad.
Hilo tacked on three more runs in the second inning to increase the early margin. However, Hilo’s production slowed down after the early rally.
“We kind of tapered off after those early runs,” said Jarneski. “They gave us a little scare late, but our defense got us the win.”
Cabatbat and Dallas Duarte also added two hits in the contest.
With a 2-0 record in the tournament, Hilo has earned a bye until Monday. The team will play the winner of Makakilo-Kapolei (MKYBL) and Maui Area.
Despite the bye, Jarneski assured his squad will not spend too much time away from the diamond.
“We already have locked down a field for practice,” Jarneski said. “We have to make sure the kids get their reps in.”
The Kona Pony score against West Oahu was unavailable at press time.
In the Pinto division, Hilo White continued its tear through the tournament field. After beating Aiea and Kona Friday, the team followed it up with a 12-11 win against West Oahu on Saturday, setting up a matchup with undefeated Central Oahu (COYBL) with a berth to the championship on the line. Results from the game were not available at press time.
Kona Pinto rebounded from a narrow opening day loss to Hilo White by eliminating Hilo Red with a 17-11 victory. Kona will play Windward on Sunday at 8 a.m.
Hilo Mustang suffered its first loss of the tournament, losing to Windward A 7-5. Hilo now faces an uphill battle to get to the championship game, with its first obstacle being Kauai at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
Hilo Pinto White 16, Aiea 6
COYBL 7, Hilo Pinto Red 3
Hilo Pinto White 6, Kona 5
COYBL 7, Hilo 0
MKYBL 11, Kona 1
Hilo 5, West Oahu
Hilo White 12, West Oahu 11
Kona 17, Hilo Red 11 (Hilo red eliminated)
Hilo White vs. COYBL, result not available
Windward A 7, Hilo 5
Hilo 10, Maui Host 0
Kona vs. West Oahu, result not available
Kona vs. Windward, 8 a.m.
Hilo vs. Kauai, 11:30 a.m.
Hilo vs. loser COYBL/Maui Host, 4 p.m.