On Finals Saturday, the Ohana Motors Rebels drew the defending “B” Division Champion Honomu Rockets from Hilo. The Rockets had downed the Rebels in 2016 in Hanapepe to capture the crown in the title game, and a re-match was the first order of business in Waipio.
Gary Yates got the call to hurl for the Rebels against a power-packed, veteran line-up of professional sluggers. The Rebels hitters were ready to continue their impressive punch.
J Robertson started the game with a single up the middle and scored on Lambert Alapai’s blast into the right field corner for a two run home run. A Russ McCluskey double and Joed McCluskey single got stranded on a picture perfect second to short to first inning ending double play.
The Rocket’s lived up to their name and pasted a quick 5 runs on the board on an error and a grand slam home run. Honomu rolled up another 4 runs in the second to grab a 9 to 2 lead.
In the top of the third the Rebels battled back as Robertson lead off the inning with a double into the right center gap. Alapai once again followed with a crushing drive into deep right field to the wall for a second two-run home run. With one out, Mark Koehler shot a line drive to right and turned it into a double. Joed McCluskey found the center field gap for another RBI double. Clay Carvalho made it three for three with an RBI double over the left center fielder. Pinch runner Alapai scored the fifth run on Kit Alderete’s single up the middle. The rally brought the Rebels to within two at 9 to 7 going into the home half of the third.
From there the Rockets outscored the Rebels 8 to 2 and ran away with the game. The Rebels managed a pair of runs in the 4th on a one out single by Larry Rego. Myles Yoshida got the runners in scoring position with a double. Robertson grounded into a run scoring second out. Lambert Alapai picked up his third straight hit banging in the second – and ninth – Rebel run. Russ McCluskey put runners on the corners with his fifth multi-hit game. But the Rebels ran out of gas and went to the bottom of the fifth down by 9 runs at 18 to 9.
With the game in official innings, the 12-run rule came into effect meaning the Rockets needed 3 runs to put the game away. Yates got the lead-off hitter to ground out to third base and he grabbed a shot up the middle for a speedy two outs. An error kept the inning alive and brought up the top of the hard hitting line-up. The top four batters all delivered consecutive singles to register the 3 runs and light up the scoreboard at 21 to 9 and the insurmountable 12-run lead.
Alapai was stellar at the plate going 3 for 3 with two 2 run home runs and 5 of the 9 RBI’s. A handful of Rebels were 2 for 3 as the Kauai team pasted 17 hits in the game. Robertson, Russ and Joed, Kit Alderete and Larry Rego had the multi hit games. The loss in the single elimination tournament meant the Rebels were headed home with an early exit after squaring off with some outstanding competition.
WP – Derrik Imai
LP – Gary Yates (2-1)
Hitting – Lambert Alapai 3-3, J Robertson 2-3, Russ McCluskey 2-3, Joed McCluskey 2-3, Kit Alderete 2-3, Larry Rego 2-3
1B – Mark Koehler, Clay Carvalho, Gary Yates, Myles Yoshida
Extra Base Hits – (HR) Lambert Alapai (2), 2B) J Robertson, Russ McCluskey, Mark Koehler, Joed McCluskey, Clay Carvalho, Myles Yoshida
Runs Batted In – Lambert Alapai (5), J Robertson (1), Joed McCluskey (1), Clay Carvalho (1), Kit Alderete (1)