The inning that cost Hilo the game was ugly. But the Vikings’ response, while not good enough, still left Tony DeSa proud.
Mililani took advantage of three errors in the sixth inning to break open a tie game and went on to an 8-6 victory in the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I baseball semifinals at Iron Maehara Stadium in Wailuku, Maui.
Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion Hilo (9-4) lost in the state’s final four for the second straight year and will face Campbell at 3 p.m. today in the third-place game.
In Vikings annals, the top of the sixth inning will be one to forget. Locked in a 3-3 game, Hilo could have been out of the inning if not for a two-out throwing error. Two more miscues followed, and by the time the damage was done the Trojans had scored five unearned runs for an 8-3 lead.
“We fell apart,” DeSa said.
But Hilo fought back in its half of the sixth for three runs, getting a two-run double from junior Jodd Carter to trim the deficit to two. Carter finished 3 for 4 with two doubles. Senior Elijah Cruz was 2 for 4 for the Vikings and junior Micah Kaaukai scored two runs.
“We left it all on the field,” DeSa said.
After winning for the third straight day, Mililani (12-7), the Oahu Interscholastic Association’s No. 2 seed, will take on Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion Mid-Pacific (12-2) in the 6 p.m. title game today.
Senior Ekolu Ramos finished 2 for 4 with three RBIs, senior Jamesson Madrid went 3 for 4 and senior Kaiea Badiny was 2 for 4 with a double. Sophomore Sean Sonognini scored twice. Junior Cole Nakachi picked up the win after coming on in the fifth in relief of senior starting pitcher Presley Alcover.
Vikings senior Kody Kaniho gave up two runs in the first before settling down and taking the loss for Hilo, which led 3-2 after four innings.
“He pitched a great game,” DeSa said.
With a victory today, the Vikings can finish third in the state for the second straight year, and DeSa didn’t anticipate his team having any hangover from the semifinal when it took the field against Campbell (15-2), the OIA champion.
“Oh yeah, we’ll be ready,” he said. “Tough game.”
Mililani 200 015 0 — 8 11 1
Hilo 120 003 0 — 6 10 4
At Iron Maehara Stadium
Waiakea 14, Leilehua 3
Mililani 2, Waipahu 1
Kailua 2, Iolani 0
Maui 4, Pearl City 3
No. 4 Hilo 3, Kailua 0
No. 2 Mid-Pacific 5, Waiakea 1
No. 3 Campbell 5, Maui 1
Mililani 5, No. 1 Baldwin 1
Iolani 3, Waipahu 0
Mid-Pacific 2, Campbell 1
Mililani 8, Mililani 6
Maui 3, Waiakea 1
Baldwin 7, Kailua 5
Pearl City 2, Leilehua 2 (Pearl City wins coin toss)
Mid-Pacific vs. Mililani, 6 p.m.
Hilo vs. Campbell, 3 p.m.
Baldwin vs. Maui, noon
Iolani vs. Pearl City, 9 a.m.