Planet Claire has pink air. All the trees are red. — B52s “Planet Claire”
It was an amazingly eventful morning for Saint Louis’ Caleb Lomavita on Saturday in the RIVALS WAIKIKI BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK at Central Oahu Regional Park.
That type of thing can happen when you’re called on to be the starting pitcher in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu baseball game with first place on the line.
It’s best to put Lomavita’s highlights in the Crusaders’ 3-2 victory in a first-place struggle over ‘Iolani in bullet-list form:
That last entry was to show that his day was not perfect.
Caleb Lomavita, left, struck out 13 batters. His battery mate at catcher was Evan Hu, right. (Bedrock Sports Hawaii photo by Nick Abramo).
The ‘Iolani batters had trouble picking up Lomavita’s slider, a pitch, he said afterward, that he learned yesterday. Instead of connecting with what appeared to be a fastball, the Raiders were swinging at air as the ball sailed outside.
With the win, Saint Louis (5-1) took a stronger grip on the ILH lead, and ‘Iolani (3-2-1), which had designs on taking over the top spot, fell back toward the middle of the pack.
“We were one run better and that’s all you need to be,” Crusaders coach George Gusman said.
Still, the Raiders were in it all the way, taking advantage of a Crusaders sixth-inning error to trim Saint Louis’ lead to one run — the eventual 3-2 final count. Lomavita, however, got out of that inning’s jam with a runner on second by getting pinch hitter Jaron Yoshikane to ground out.
Heading into the seventh, Lomavita stayed completely clear of further trouble by striking out ‘Iolani’s Jonah Velasco, Jayden Murata and Brock Makishima in order.
“This is a very important game for us — to beat ‘Iolani — because they’re really good,” Crusaders catcher Evan Hu said.
Hits and runs were hard to come by all day. Raiders pitcher Brayden Hiraki went six innings and allowed only two earned runs and combined with reliever Rylen Miyasaki on a four-hitter.
“Hiraki was outstanding,” Saint Lous’ Gusman said about the tough-luck loser.
Only two errors were committed in the game and both led to each team’s final run.
Early on, Aiea Arquette’s first-inning sacrifice fly gave Saint Louis a 1-0 lead.
‘Iolani tied at 1-all in the second on Velasco’s run-scoring single.
In the fourth, Arquette scored on Makmae Dupont’s RBI groundout for a 2-1 Crusaders lead.
On his way to scoring the eventual winning run in the sixth on a Raiders error, Lomavita beat out a dribbler to the first base side, moved to second on Arquette’s sacrifice bunt and stole third.
Last week, New York Mets scout Rich Morales was in town to watch Lomavita, whose primary position is catcher.
“He likes the way I play and that I play the game right and I play it hard,” Lomavita said about what Morales has told him. “They (the Mets) tell me they’re looking at me because I can run, hit and hit for power, and I can say I have a pretty strong arm to get it around the infield too — all the things I’ve been working on.”
‘Iolani junior shortstop Tate Shimao, who is committed to play for the University of Hawaii in two seasons, made a spectacular play in the sixth, sliding out to shallow center with his back to the plate to quickly get to a Texas-leaguer by Nuu Contrades that dropped in. Shimao then got up, turned and fired a strike to nab Saint Louis’ Hunter Hirayama, who was trying to slide into third all the way from first.
“Tate’s an athlete who contributes all over the field,” Raiders coach Kurt Miyahira said.
On Tuesday in regular-season finales, Saint Louis meets Punahou at Ala Wai Community Park, and ‘Iolani plays Maryknoll at Goeas Field.
Both Kamehameha and Mid-Pacific are 4-2, tied for second place. Also on Tuesday in two games at Central Oahu Regional Park, the Warriors take on Damien, and the Owls tangle with Pac-Five.
ALSO AT BedrockSportsHawaii.com:
>> ‘Iolani Shortstop Tate Shimao Makes One Of Those ‘Did He Just Do That?’ Plays
>> PAC-5 Football Program Faces Arduous Dogfight To Stay Intact
>> RIVALS WAIKIKI BASEBALL GAME OF THE WEEK: Saint Louis Jets Into First-Place Tie With Kamehameha
>> ‘Iolani Baseball Team Pulls A Fast One In A Victory Over Dunn Muramaru’s Mid-Pacific Owls
>> Freshman Tate Shimao Joins In On ‘Iolani’s Senior Day Fun
Saint Louis 3, ‘Iolani 2, at Central Oahu Regional Park
Saturday, May 1
St. Louis (5-1) 100 101 0 — 3 4 1
‘Iolani (3-2-1) 010 001 0 — 2 3 1
Caleb Lomavita and Evan Hu; Brayden Hiraki, Rylen Miyasaki (7) and Brock Makishima. W-Lomavita. L-Hiraki.
Leading hitters–Saint Louis: Hunter Hirayama 2 BBs; Nuu Contrades 1-2, run; Lomavita 2-3, run; Aiea Arquette SF, SAC, run; Xander Sielken 1-3; Makmae Dupont RBI. ‘Iolani: Kody Watanabe 1-2, 2B; Colby Ching run; Joshua Miyazawa run; Jonah Velasco 1-3, RBI.
>> Saint Louis, 5-1
>> Mid-Pacific, 4-2
>> Kamehameha, 4-2
>> ‘Iolani, 3-2-1
>> Punahou, 2-2-1
>> Maryknoll, 2-4
>> Pac-Five, 1-4
>> Damien, 1-5