Kamehameha, Mid-Pacific gain final
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
In an all-Interscholastic League of Honolulu finale, top-seeded Kamehameha will meet Mid-Pacific Institute for a state title for the first time in 10 years tonight at Les Murakami Stadium.
The Warriors (17-4) squandered a four-run lead, but still turned back Roosevelt, 5-4, in last night's semifinal at Les Murakami Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Owls (18-5), who lost 9-8 to Kailua in last year's state championship after owning an 8-1 lead entering the top of the seventh, maintained their focus in stopping the defending champions, 10-0, in a game called in the bottom of the sixth when Ryan Leong's RBI double activated the 10-run differential mercy rule.
"We just had to concentrate and stay focused the whole game," MPI coach Dunn Muramaru said. "Last year, we lost our focus. The kids learned from last year."
This will be the fourth meeting this season between the two ILH powers. The Owls won one of the two regular season meetings, while the Warriors prevailed in the ILH championship.
The two teams last played for the state title in 1992, when Mid-Pacific won, 4-3, to become the first school to win three consecutive state titles (Iolani won three from 1996-1998.).
Each program has won three state titles, but the Warriors haven't done it since 1988 under Ed Allen. Kamehameha's Vern Ramie is looking for his first as coach. His Warriors also lost in the title game in 2000, 8-7, to Moloka'i.
Kamehameha 5, Roosevelt 4: Aaron Fuller's sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth inning snapped a 4-all tie to lift the Warriors.
It came after the Rough Riders (12-4) sent eight batters to the plate in a four-run fifth to tie the game at 4. A three-run triple by Corey Higa pulled Roosevelt to 4-3. A throwing error to home by first baseman J.P. Kennedy one of three in the inning by the Warriors allowed Higa to score the tying run.
The Rough Riders threatened again in the bottom of the fifth, when Kamehameha starter Isaac Kamai allowed consecutive two-out singles to pinch-hitter Brandon Morimoto and Derek Shigano that put runners at the corners.
But Shannon Kahale, tonight's probable starter, was pressed into relief because Kamehameha's usual closer, Ikena Dupont, pitched six innings of relief in Thursday's 8-4 quarterfinal win against Wai'anae.
After getting ahead 1-2 on Higa, Kahale threw a wild pitch that was far enough away from catcher Baba Merino to allow Shigano to take second, but not far enough for pinch-runner Katsuya Kibori to score from third.
With runners at second and third, Higa fouled off two pitches before striking out. Kahale retired the first two batters in the seventh, hit Chris Mols with a pitch, then got Blake Isobe to ground out to shortstop to end the game.
"It was kind of scary," Kahale said. "But I had to be mentally tough to get through it."
Kahale, who was credited with the save for Kamai's win, used only 18 pitches for the five batters he faced. He said he could start tonight if asked. Ramie he will wait to see today how Kahale feels. He also could use Kanekoa Texeira or Zach McAngus, who lasted nine batters in two-thirds of an inning in Thursday's game.
Even though he knew he could not use Dupont last night, Ramie said he wasn't expecting to use Kahale. That is until Roosevelt started threatening.
"I knew we had to make a stop right there," Ramie said of the sixth-inning situation when the Rough Riders put the two runners on.
After blowing the lead, the Warriors regained it quickly against reliever Mols, who started the sixth inning for starter Brandon Loo.
Nick Freitas walked and took third on a single by McAngus. Fuller then lofted a sacrifice fly to left center to easily score Freitas with the go-ahead run. He said Mols' pattern was throwing off-speed pitches when he got ahead.
"I just tried to sit back (on the pitch)," said Fuller, who was 2-for-2 with two RBIs.
Roosevelt's problems came early, when Loo allowed three runs on Kennedy's sacrifice fly, and RBI singles by McAngus and Fuller. But the three runners who scored reached by walks.
"We had a little tough time settling down," Roosevelt coach Kerry Higa said. "Some calls didn't go our way and we didn't adjust in time.
"But I can't say enough about this team, how they stuck in there and how they stayed all the way through. We're proud of the guys. of what they accomplished."
KAMEHAMEHA (17-4) 300 011 0 5 6 3
ROOSEVELT (12-4) 000 040 0 4 6 2
Isaac Kamai, Shannon Kahale (6) and Baba Merino; Brandon Loo, Chris Mols (6) and Kevin Fujii.
WKamai. LMols SvKahale.
Leading hittersKamehameha: Zach McAngus 2-3; Aaron Fuller 2-2, 2 RBIs. Roosevelt: Corey Higa triple, 3 RBIs.
Mid-Pacific 10, Kailua 0: Patrick McGuigan fired a four-hitter and benefitted from great offensive support from his Owl teammates, who pounded out 11 hits.
"They just hit," Kailua coach Corey Ishigo said. "We didn't play defense and we also didn't hit. If you don't come out to play everyday of the tournament, things happen like this."
McGuigan faced just four batters over the minimum, striking out three. He didn't allow a walk, but did hit one batter. He was backed by three double plays.
Isaac Omura led MPI's assault, batting 3-3 with a walk. Troy Hanzawa and Ryan Basco had two hits each. Hanzawa and Kevin Whalen had triples.
Meanwhile, Kailua starter Chad Kajiyama allowed six runs on seven hits and a walk in three-plus innings. Jason Moore gave up a run in two-thirds of an inning and Christopher Mahelona allowed a run in one-plus innings.
Down 9-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Kailua avoided the 10-run rule at least for one more inning. The Owls had the 10th run on third with one out, but could not score. Kailua brought its outfield in to just behind the infield line while the infielders were in to prevent the runner on third from scoring. But Mahelona pitched out of that jam.
"They don't quit," Muramaru said. "It's a credit to Corey's team."
Added Ishigo: "Every time we step on the field, we believe we can win the ball game. We felt that way tonight, even though the score wasn't the way we wanted. We didn't give up and we didn't quit."
KAILUA (12-4) 000 000 0 4 3
MID-PACIFIC (18-5) 113 31110 11 2
Chad Kajiyama, Jason Moore (4), Christopher Mahelona (4) and Cody Texeira-Vickery; Patrick McGuigan and Matthew Inouye. WMcGuigan. LKajiyama.
Leading hitters--MPI: Troy Hanzawa 2-4, triple; Isaac Omura 3-3; Ryan Basco 2-4; Kevin Whalen triple, 2 RBIs, Ryan Leong double, RBI.
Baldwin 7, Mililani 6: The Bears rallied from a four-run deficit, scoring five runs in the fifth inning to beat the Trojans and advance to the fifth-place game. Shevis Shima, Chad Nikaido and Guy Nishiyama each paired hits for Baldwin.
Two-hour time limit
MILILANI (11-5) 200 136 8 1
BALDWIN (15-7) 000 257 10 2
Craig Sato, Trey Brown, Anson Oda and Shawn Saito; Jon Honda, Shaun Saiki and Meade Tabata. WSaiki. LBrown.
Leading hitters: MiliChris Balatico 2-3, triple; Saito 2-3; Jordan Mikami double. BaldShevis Shima 2-2; Chad Nikaido 2-4, double; Guy Nishiyama 2-2; Royce Miyazono double; Ryan Racadio triple; Joey Tam Ho triple.
Wai'anae 7, Hilo 5: Cid Moses and Keone Taaca hit back-to-back doubles in the second inning for the Seariders, highlighting a four-run outburst.
Wai'anae (12-3) 043 000 07 6 0
Hilo (11-5) 101 300 05 8 1
Yohe Akai, Chad Rodriques and Dillion Guzman; Brett Kimura, Kaiana Trask and Matthew Hassenritter. WC. Rodrigues. LKimura.
Leading hitters: WaianCalvin Uyechi 2-3; Cid Moses double; Keone Taaca double. HiloLamaur Madrid 2-2; Jeremy Kaaukai 2-3.
'Aiea 4, St. Joseph 2: Ricky Takushi went 3-for-3 and James Miyashiro went 2-for-2 to lead Na Ali'i into today's consolation final.
'Aiea (10-4) 031 000 04 10 0
St. Joseph (10-6) 000 000 22 7 1
Jared Matsuoka, Brent Yonesaki (4), Ross Akimoto (6), Matt Yoshimura (7) and Aaron Asher; Che Doran, Davin Feary (6) and Ben Bautista. WYonesaki. LDoran.
Leading hitters: 'AieaJames Miyashiro 2-2; Ricky Takushi 3-3; Bryan Tucker double. St. JFeary 2-4; Doran 2-4.