The Hilo Mustang 9s dropped their opener Saturday at the PONY Baseball West regional, 8-2 to Northern California in Walnut, Calif.
Brock Malani led Hilo with two hits, but coach Shon Malani said his state champions were hurt at the plate by their inability to get the ball out of the infield.
“(Northern California) was sound defensively,” Malani said. “They made the plays.”
Keamalu Baclig and Carson Kawaguchi scored runs for Hilo, which faces a must-win game today against Spokane, Wash.
Broncos 11: Mission Viejo, Calif., beat Hilo 2-0 on Saturday to reach the title game and eliminate the Big Islanders from the West regional in Walnut Calif.
Hilo finished with a 3-2 record at the tournament, including a 21-4 trouncing of Vacaville, Calif., earlier on Saturday. Vacaville