(Tropicana Park, Wally Sonoda Field, Kaumakani) The Rebels’ red-hot bats took control of the second game in a Saturday double header with a convincing win over Kuku’s Aces 14 to 1 at the Ace’s spectacular home field.
The Rebels error-free defense helped Larry Rego post another win in his third start of the year. The Master of the Mound notched his third victory without a loss while stopping a veteran line-up. Kuku’s went will an “all players on deck” strategy listing all 15 players in the hitting line-up. The Rebels gave up a 5-man edge fielding only 10 players. Rego was dominant, allowing one run in the first and then shutting down the opposing bats through the rest of the five inning game.
The Rebels blasted 18 hits in only 25 trips to the plate – compared to needing 34 at bats for 19 hits in the previous game. This time, every hit counted. Four Rebels had perfect games; Russ McCluskey went 3 for 3 and a tremendous home run. Joed McCluskey, Gary Yates, and Kit Alderete cashed in on a 2 for 2 day. At-bats were limited as the Rebels got to bat just 4 times in a short four and a half inning game. J Robertson, Clay Carvalho and Larry Rego were close behind hitting at a 2 for 3 pace. Kaiwa Sheldon, Gary Yates and Alderete blasted doubles to help the scoring.
Rego got two quick outs to start the game, with a ground ball to shortstop and a line drive to third. But it has been a while between starts, and the righty was touched for three straight short hits into the outfield to manufacture one run. Rego got out of the inning on a comebacker and a toss to second for a force out.
The Rebels went right to work on their first trip to the plate. Lambert Alapai put a one out pea into right field to spark the offense. Russ McCluskey went deep into the count before lifting a high fly, drone dropping, rocket into the deepest part of right center as he rounded the bags with a two-run home run. Joed McCluskey continued his hot streak by scorching a single into left center. He got taken out on a fielder’s choice, to record the second out with a runner at first. Alderete delivered a line drive hit to advance the runner and put two on. Gary Yates – pitcher turned catcher – got his hands extended on an outside slider and ripped a bases emptying double into right center. The blast chased home two runs for a five to nothing lead after one inning.
The Rebel right hander gave up a lead-off single in the second and then throttled the Aces with a line drive to short, a force out at short, and a ground ball to short. Rego and Alapai handled the inning by themselves while the rest of the team relaxed in lounge chairs playing cards and getting ready to hit in the bottom of the inning.
The Rebels came up empty-handed in the second with just four batters and leaving a Robertson single stranded on base. Still the Rebels remained on top 5 to 1 and looking to add to the score.
Rego shut down the Aces in order in the third – this time spreading the ball around with a grounder down the third base line, a bouncer to second and a shot at shortstop for three straight outs.
The Rebels came up with four runs in the third to stretch the lead. Russ McCluskey, Joed McCluskey and Clay Carvalho banged out singles to open the inning, with Carvalho picking up an RBI with his stinging single. Rego got on board for the sixth consecutive Rebel to reach base on the day (4 in the first game, and 2 so far…). Carvalho was scrubbed from the base paths for the first out. Kit Alderete jumped all over an inside fastball and slammed an RBI double into left center in front of the Primo Beer Garden. Yates collected another RBI with his second hit of the game. While the outfield chased the drive down Yates sped around the corner and beat out a long throw for a double. The four runs put the Rebels up 9 to 1 after three.
Rego continued to make short work of the Kuku’s bats. Alapai made another great grab on a shallow fly ball behind him. An out at first and a fly ball into right center that Ray Gordon ran down ended the inning.
Gordon led off the home half of the fourth and started another five run inning. The fleet-footed outfielder dropped a base hit in front of the left fielder. Robertson came up and ripped a single up the middle moving Gordon to third base. Kaiwa Sheldon, in the game for Alapai, drilled a letter-high fastball into oblivion and pulled into second base with a two-run double. Russ McCluskey completed his perfect game with his third hit scoring Sheldon. Kuku’s didn’t want any part of Joed and pitched around him eventually giving up the free pass. Joed represented the potential fifth and inning-ending run. Clay Carvalho added his second hit to score Russ. Rego had a chance to put his own game away with a clutch hit – and he delivered. The Rebel pitcher crowded the plate and socked an RBI single to put his team ahead 14 to 1.
The right-hander, three outs from his third win in three starts, had to face the heart of the Aces order. He mowed ‘em down like a John Deere on shallow grass. A sweeping curve popped up the first batter that McCluskey took care of in shallow right field. A lightning-quick fastball resulted in a line drive right at Alapai at short. And to end the game, he got the always dangerous Tommy “Pro” Baptista to fly out to straight away left field.
Rego was magnificent in the pitcher’s circle. He gave up only five hits – four of them to the first 7 batters he faced. From that point in the second inning on he allowed one hit while retiring the 9 other hitters. The defense stranded 4 of the 5 runners in giving up a single run. The Rebels also delivered back-to-back error-free games.
The Rebel hitters were up to the task in backing up the pitcher. They hammered out 18 hits for a .720 in-game batting average. They took advantage of the 25 times to the plate. They also gave up only 8 outs of the 12 allotted in their four innings at the batter’s box.
Five Rebel hitters were spotless at the plate. Russ McCluskey keyed the offense with a 3 for 3 game to go with the towering home run. Joed McCluskey, Kit Alderete and Gary Yates couldn’t be stopped going 2 for 2 each. Kaiwa Sheldon in his lone at bat came through with a double. Also coming up with two hits were J Robertson, Clay Carvalho and Larry Rego.
The Rebels now face a challenging portion of the second round with a rematch with the Keonimana Gents at the Bryan J. Baptiste Sports Complex diamond field in Kapaa. The game is slated for the middle of a triple header (rumors are swirling that there may be a fourth contest added) with a brunch time first pitch at 10:15am. This long-anticipated game is sold out, but a few standing-room-only seats are still available on SeniorSoftball.com or StubHub.
WP – Larry Rego (3-0)
LP – Stan Buduan
Hits –Russ McCluskey 3-3, Joed McCluskey 2-2, Kit Alderete 2-2, Gary Yates 2-2, J Robertson 2-3, Clay Carvalho 2-3, Larry Rego 2-3
1B) Lambert Alapai, Kaiwa Sheldon, Ray Gordon
Extra Base Hits – HR) Russ McCluskey, 2B) Kaiwa Sheldon, Kit Alderete, Gary Yates
Runs Batted In –Kaiwa Sheldon (2), Russ McCluskey (2), Joed McCluskey (2), Kit Alderete (2), Gary Yates (2), J Robertson (1), Clay Carvalho (1)
Rebels DoubleHeader Rebelicious Culinary Corner
The doubleheader banquet included sushi rolls, fried rice, fresh seafood plate, ahi poke, battered fried sea bass, beef, fried chicken, pork laulau, shrimp, grilled corn on the cob, sliced ham, Maui mochi, muffins, and cinnamon butter cake.