A quality start from Onan Masaoka backed by 15 hits from Hawaii’s lineup. With the Pacific Association baseball playoffs right around the corner, the Stars clicked like they have few times this season.
Katsuaki Furuki, Brenden Davis, Mitch Levier and Kellen Lee each had RBI doubles and Masaoka pitched 6 1/3 solid innings in his longest outing of the season, and Hawaii beat San Rafael 8-5 in San Rafael, Calif.
Masaoka (3-5) won for the first time since June 20 against the BayCal Lumberjacks, a span of eight starts. The former major league left-hander allowed five hits, two runs and four walks with three strikeouts.
Hawaii (26-37) prevailed at Albert Field for the first time in eight tries this season and it was only the Stars’ third win in 14 games overall against the first-place Pacifics. The teams will close out the three-game set at 10 a.m. HST today. Then Hawaii will stay in Northern California for the league playoffs next week and a 4 p.m. HST game Wednesday against the last-place Lumberjacks (7-26) in Vallejo.
The Stars, fourth in the standings, Lumberjacks and Vallejo Admirals (22-31) will play each other once round-robin style over three days, with the top two teams advancing to a best-of-three series starting Friday. On Tuesday, BayCal plays Vallejo, and Hawaii and Vallejo meet up Thursday. In the event that two teams finish with a 1-1 record, the tiebreaker will be highest seed, so Hawaii can advance with a win Wednesday.
Mike Jackson threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings Saturday, before Tony York came on and gave up three runs in the bottom of the ninth.
By then, Hawaii had already built an 8-2 lead behind one of its best offensive showings of the season from the middle of its lineup.
No. 2 hitter Matt Hibbert was 3 for 5 with three runs scored and collected one of Hawaii five doubles. Three came in the ninth as the Stars scored four times and Levier’s double brought in two runs and was Hawaii’s fourth successive hit in the inning of Nate King.
Furuki, Davis and Levier were each 2 for 5 with two RBIs and Lee was 3 or 5. Levier has five RBIs in the series.
San Rafael starter Christian Scholl (6-5) allowed nine hits and four runs — two earned — with two walks and four strikeouts.
Price Kendall had three hits for the Pacifics and Chase Fontaine and Maikel Jova each drove in two runs.