Hawaii presence on opening day
By Fred Guzman
The major league baseball season got into full swing on Monday and several guys with Hawaii ties were in the mix.
Not the least of them was President Barrack Obama, the left-hander from Punahou who delivered the ceremonial first pitch in Washington’s home game against the Phillies. The president’s offering was a bit high and an a bit outside.
Once the game began, it was all Phillies, who romped to an 11-1 victory over the Nationals. The Phillies — seeking to become the first National League team to three-peat since the St. Louis Cardinals in 1942, 1943 and 1944 – rode the contributions of a pair of newcomers to the lopsided win.
New ace Roy Holladay allowed one run over seven innings while striking out nine. Placido Polanco had three hits – including a grand slam homer – and drove in six runs in his Philly debut. Maui’s Shane Victorino, meantime, went 1-for-5, scoring a run and driving in another.
Things didn’t go as well for the Oakland Athletics and catcher Kurt Suzuki. Former Saint Louis School standout Brandon League pitched a scoreless eighth and was credited with the victory as Seattle scored twice in the top of the ninth for a 5-3 win.
Suzuki was 0-for-3 at the plate, and struggled on the field, committing two errors and yielding three stolen bases while throwing out a pair of runners.
PREP CAROUSEL: There have been several significant changes in the local prep landscape in recent weeks.
The latest development: Reliable sources have informed ESPN 550 that St. Anthony has made a change in athletic directors. Al Paschoal has taken over for Charlie Pico, who originally served as football coach. The Trojans no longer have a football program.
Paschoal is a teacher at St. Anthony and also serves as the school’s volleyball coach. But Pachoal’s greatest success has come as the head coach of a traveling club volleyball team.
Although the hiring has not been officially announced by the school, ESPN 550 has been reporting since last week that Kamehameha-Maui has promoted Kevin O’Brien to head coach of the football team.
O’Brien succeeds Leo Delatori, who stepped down last month after five years of the job. O’Brien formerly served as head coach at St. Anthony and Pac Three. He has been teaching at Kamehameha for several years, serving on Delatori’s staff during that span.
Earlier, PK Higa returned as head coach of the King Kekaulike football team after a 10-year hiatus. Higa, who had been serving as an assistant vice principal at the school, replaced JW Kenton, who stepped down in February after four seasons.
BASEBALL: The Maui All-Star team got a lot more than it could handle in Sunday’s championship game of the state AJA tournament. The hometown Oahu team romped to a 19-3 win.