By MATT GERHART
Tribune-Herald sports writer
Reese Mondina doesn’t have to worry about his all-star snub anymore. He’s got something better on his resume: a pitching gem that helped the Broncos continue their unbeaten march at states.
Mondina worked five strong innings Saturday as Hilo beat Kauai 11-1 in a TKO to advance at the PONY Baseball tournament for ages 11-12 at Walter Victor Stadium.
Hilo will face another unbeaten, Makakilo-Kapolei (Oahu), at 2 p.m. today for a berth, and a day off, in Tuesday’s championship game.
Following a regular season that he thought was worthy of an All-Star team selection, Mondina stepped up his game in the postseason, relying mainly on a fastball to hold Kauai to just two hits.
“He was disappointed by the (snub) and so determined to get better,” said assistant coach Bully Ahuna.
“It made me work harder,” said Mondina, who allowed just an unearned run in the third.
Hilo, which also cruised in its opener 8-1 on the back of Eric Riveira’s two-home run, one-hit pitching performance, broke the game open Saturday with six runs in the second.
Kauai elected to intentionally walk Riveira in the second to load the bases for Stone Miyao, who promptly stroked a two-run single.
“Everybody on this team can contribute,” said Miyao, who also doubled.
Riveira singled twice and scored two runs, Jacob Igawa had two hits and two RBIs and Casey Yamauchi scored three runs.
• Kona 11, Aiea 10: Kona answered Aiea’s four-run fifth inning with one of its own to remain alive.
Harvey Alani doubled twice and had three hits for Kona, which will play another elimination game at 11:30 a.m. today against Kauai.
Toby Estrella pitched five innings to get the win and added two hits, and Steven Texeira worked two scoreless innings for the save. At the plate, Tevin Canda had two hits.
• Hilo 21, Mililani (Oahu) 14: The last game of the day turned into the best game of the day.
Mililani fought back from a large defecit to force extra innings, but Hilo rallied for eight runs in the seventh to reach the semifinals.
“They just kept playing ball and were resilient in their play,” coach Chris Honda said. “They represented Hilo well today.”
That’s something that the ages 9-10 team is making a habit of. Hilo will face Kauai at 1 p.m. today for a spot in Tuesday’s championship game.
There were numerous heroes for Hilo.
Kala’I Rosario had three singles, including a double, and scored four runs, while Kalia Agustin, Hanalei Warren, Teagan Tamiya and Zakaia Michaels each had two hits and scored three runs. Safea Mauai singled and doubled and scored twice.
Blake Moniz pitched two innings to earn the victory.
• Maui 6, Kona 5: Haku Dudoit ripped two triples as Kona was eliminated from the tournament.