Warriors youth rears ugly head

by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha junior Josh Williams swings at a Century fastball in the first inning of the Warriors loss to the Jaguars on Monday.

Aloha High School squandered an opportunity for a summer ball win over Century High Monday night.

The Warriors took an early 3-0 lead, before errors sent the game into extra innings and more errors allowed the Jaguars to win 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth.

Aloha had a 3-2 lead with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. The Warriors catcher then tried to pick a runner off third base. He sent the ball into leftfield, and the game was tied.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Brock Bunnel reached base with a leadoff walk. He moved to third base when Century tried a sacrifice bunt and Aloha pitcher Lorenzo Robles overthrew second base, trying to get the lead runner.

The Jaguars then tried another bunt. The ball went to Aloha’s third baseman and Bunnel took off for the plate. The Warriors got Bunnel into a rundown before they threw the ball over the catcher’s head and Bunnel scored the winning run.

Robles came away with the loss, going five innings and allowing four runs, three TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha starting pitcher Carson Richards was effective with his breaking ball against Century and helped the Warriors build an early 3-2 lead.

“It was really frustrating,” Robles said. “We have to work together as a team more and try not to make errors.”

Aloha coach Tige McSwain said the errors were a product of Aloha’s youth, especially this early in the summer ball season.

“It’s pretty much the result of on this team, we only have three guys who will be seniors,” McSwain said. “The rest of the team is very, very young. Some of these guys played freshman ball for us in the spring, and this is the first experience at the varsity level. A couple of the freshman played JV, but still, it’s a step up. Even though the summer league isn’t Metro League varsity, it’s still varsity level. Some of these guys get nervous, and the errors come just from inexperience, misjudging balls. I chalk it up to those kinds of things.”

Aloha got on the board first in the second inning when Carson Richards hit a fielder's choice to second base to bring Ryan Schwartz across the TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Alohas Dylan Griffin slides back to first base after escaping a pickle in the fourth inning of the Warriors 4-3 loss to Century on Monday.

“It wasn’t the greatest swing, but I got the job done,” Richards said.

The Warriors scored two more runs in the top of the third inning.

Nate Christophersen reached base on a walk, moved to second on a passed ball and then scored when Century tried a pickoff move to first base and threw the ball away.

Aloha tacked on its third run when Mateo Malius singled in Dylan Griffin.

“That’s when we had our varsity guys in,” McSwain said, of Aloha scoring three early runs. “The top of our order and our main varsity guys, they were able to get on and take advantage of their mistakes. We have some team speed with our varsity guys. With our lower level guys, we don’t have as much speed. With the varsity guys, they were able to steal bases and take advantage of some of Century’s mistakes, and they were able to score.”by: TIMES PHOTO: MATT SINGLEDECKER - Aloha freshman third baseman Mateo Melius had two basehits and an RBI during the Warriors 4-3 loss to Century on Monday.

The lead held for the first four innings as Richards, who started the game for Aloha, held the Jaguars scoreless for the first four frames before being replaced with Robles.

Using a enormous breaking ball, Richards had Century’s hitters off balance throughout his outing.

“I walked a couple of guys, but I always pulled it out,” Richards said. “My curveball would go over, and I’d pull it out.”

Century scored its first run in the fifth inning when Bunnel hit an RBI single to centerfield. The Jaguars made the score 3-2 when they tried a “balk-steal” and Robles overthrew the second baseman.

Despite the errors that Aloha made Monday, McSwain said he is confident his team will grow, mature and improve over the summer.

“We’re a young team,” McSwain said. “We’re going to be okay.”

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