The Maui Adult Baseball League’s Spring 2019 Championship Series will feature the West Maui Brewers and the La Perouse Pirates in a rematch of the Summer 2018 series. The Brewers are returning to the Championship Series for the third consecutive season after winning their first title over the Pirates last season with two 1-run victories. After rebounding from an opening day loss to the Makena Royals, the Brewers won out, finishing with a new franchise best 12-1 record and the 1st seed for the playoffs. After a first round bye, the Brewers defeated the Upcountry Dirtbags in the second round of the playoffs for the 2nd season in a row to advance to the Championship. The Pirates finished the regular season in 2nd place after going 10-3 this Spring, with 6 of those wins coming by way of the mercy rule. Also receiving a first round bye, the Pirates defeated the Lahaina Warriors 2 games to none to return to the Championship round.
The Brewers are trying to become the first team since the Dirtbags in 2014 to repeat for the league title. After winning their first Championship last season, the Brewers are 1-2 in Championship Series’ over their 19 seasons in the league. The Brewers’ offense was lead this season by two-time league MVP Enmanuel Yajure Peña (.429/.455/.548 AVG/OBP/SLG, 18 H, 10 R, 12 RBI), 2nd year outfielder JT Taraya (.375/.459/.469 AVG/OBP/SLG, 12 H, 7 R, 6 RBI), and on-base extraordinaire Ken Henry (.500 OBP, team high 12 R, 10 BB). The league’s second best pitching staff was lead by Yajure Peña (2-1, 3 SV, 1.36 ERA, 44 K, 33.0 IP), Andy Michaels (4-0, 2.40 ERA, .177 OBA, 45.0 IP), Ty Roberts (3-0, 4.50 ERA, 20.0 IP), and Rafael Fuentes (1-0, 1 SV, .281 ERA, 16.0 IP).
Making their 7th Championship Series appearance in their 16th season, the Pirates hope to revenge their Summer 2018 defeat and secure their 2nd title. The league’s 2nd ranked offense was lead by MVP-finalist Steve Mearriam (.463/.577/.610 AVG/OBP/SLG, 19 H, 6 2B, 16 R, 10 BB, 10 SB), Austin Beesley (.386 AVG, 17 H, 10 R, 9 SB), Joseph McFarlin (.357 AVG, .550 OBP, 10 H, 12 R, 10 BB), and shortstop Daniel Morris (.419 OBP, 15 H, 16 R, 12 RBI, 10 SB). With a team 1.85 ERA, .191 OBA, 1.15 WHIP, and better than a strike out an inning, the Pirates’ pitching staff held opponents to a paltry 2.57 runs per game during the regular season. With McFarlin (3-1, 1 SV, 1.68 ERA, 56 K, 48.1 IP) and Beesley (3-1, 2.88 ERA, 36 K, 34.1 IP) sharing the bulk of innings, the Pirates also got key contributions from Dusty Newkirk (2-1, 0.00 ERA, 16 K, 14.0 IP), Morris (1-0, 1.50 ERA, 12.0 IP), and Jay Rigsby (1-0, 2.53 ERA, 10.2 IP).
The Brewers’ 1-run victory over the Pirates on March 12 represented the 4th time in the last 5 games between these two teams that a contest was decided by 1 run. Continuing the trend of extremely close games, on May 5 the two teams played to a 15 inning 2-2 tie in a game called due to visibility concerns at Kalama Park. The Maui Adult Baseball League’s Championship Series begins on June 16 at Maehara Stadium, with the best-of-three series concluding on June 23. Don’t miss any of the action as the league’s top two teams battle it out for the title of Spring 2019 MABL Champion.