Baseball: Hilo Broncos bust out in state opener

  • The Hilo Mustang All-Stars won their first game Saturday at the state PONY Baseball tournament for ages 9-10 on Oahu. On the team are, left to right, bottom row: Colton Terlep, Justin Nakata, Koa Marzo Jr., Iverson Ballo, JD Hironaka, Kolten Asato; middle: Zayvin Fujioka, Eli Mercado, Tehani Chinen, Seth Toledo, Austin Momohara, Cole Hatayama; top: coaches Brandon Chinen, Garrett Fujioka and Stan Ballo.
  • The Hilo Bronco All-Stars won Saturday at the state PONY Baseball tournament for ages 11-12 on on Oahu. On the team are, from, left to right, bottom row: Dillon Mizuno-Fukui, Kainoa Calles, Jaziah O’ili, Zayne Fujioka, Luke Klask, Chayden Bertelmann; middle: Haiden Kay, Edinn Kitagawa, Micah Lopes, Daycen Aurelio, Loren Iwata, Connor Gonzalez; top: coaches Lee Iwata, Brandon Gonzalez and Mark Kitagawa.

With its Bronco All-Star team making a strong opening statement, Hilo teams went 2 for 3 Saturday as state PONY Baseball tournament play opened up on Oahu.

Hilo has a dynasty going in the ages 11-12 division, and this year’s team looks up to the task, hammering Central Oahu 12-1.

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Daycen Aurelio hit two home runs and finished with five RBIs and Edinn Kitagawa pitched a complete game for Hilo, which has ruled the division four of the past five seasons.

The All-Stars will meet Kauai on Sunday morning in the double-elimination event.

While Aurelio finished with four hits, Conner Gonzalez, Dillon Mizuno-Fukui, Haiden Kay and Loren Iwata had two apiece.

Kitagawa struck out four and scattered six hits and two walks in the six-inning complete game,

At the 9-10 tournament, the Hilo Mustang All-Stars edged Central Oahu 6-5, mastering the simpler points of the game and riding three pitchers.

“We didn’t have players that stood out,” coach Brandon Chinen said, “just base hits and holding them down on defense is what put us ahead.”

Eli Mercado started and pitched 1 1/3 innings, JD Hironaka went 2 1/3 and Koa Marzo Jr. closed the win out.

Hilo gets a day off before resuming play Monday morning.

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“These kids have really come together in such a short time,” Chinen said.

In the Mustang 9s tournament, West Oahu beat Hilo 11-1. Hilo plays an elimination game Sunday.