Something about playing on Maui brings out the best this season in the Hawaii Stars.
Tyler Krobetzky homered, Glenn Walker drove in three runs and Matt Stropoli pitched into the seventh inning Tuesday night as the Stars bested Na Koa Ikaika 8-5 to open a six-game series.
Dustin Smith collected three hits, including an RBI single, as Hawaii (21-25) won its fourth straight game and for the fifth time in seven contests this season at Iron Maehara Stadium.
Na Koa Ikaika (31-18) looked nothing like a baseball team that’s in the upper half of the Pacific Association as it committed five errors. Four Maui pitchers combined to hit three Hawaii batters.
Stropoli (3-3) overcame a bout a wildness to win for the first time in five decisions, allowing three runs (one earned) on two hits and six walks in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out three.
Hawaii scored three runs apiece in the second and fifth innings to jump out to a 7-1 lead. Walker drove in the first run in the second with a sacrifice fly after the Stars loaded the bases on a error, hit and a walk. Felix Brown walked to reload the bases for Matt Hibbert, who was hit to plate another run.
Krobetzky clubbed a solo home run, his second blast of the season, in the third and singled in a run in the fifth and then scored on Walker’s two-run double. Krobetzky scored three times.
Jesse Smith (5-3) allowed seven runs — five earned — and five hits. He walked four and struck out four.
In the bottom of the eighth, reliever Cortney Arruda allowed an RBI single to Brandon Gregorich and Angus Roeger’s two-run double, but Reese Alnas and Michael Jackson came on to get the final five outs.
Alnas, a Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate, hasn’t allowed a run in 10 1/3 innings pitched this season.
The teams continue the series tonight at 5:30 p.m.
Hawaii 030 030 010 — 8 9 3
Maui 000 100 220 — 5 5 5