Chargers' Chace Numata strong-armed OIA foes
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
Pearl City High School senior Chace Numata helped the Chargers win their fourth straight O'ahu Interscholastic Association baseball championship last weekend with his arm, glove and bat.
But especially his arm.
Numata, a shortstop/closer, wowed fans at Patsy Mink Central O'ahu Regional Park and a statewide TV audience with a stunning display of strength in his right throwing arm.
In Friday's 3-2 semifinal victory over Mililani, Numata made four assists in the first three innings, firing laser-beam throws to first base to retire each of the top four batters in the Trojans' order.
With Pearl City clinging to a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth inning, Numata came on in relief of his brother, Chevas, with one out and runners on first and second.
He promptly got a strikeout, and then a grounder to short to end the threat.
In the seventh, Chace Numata put on a spectacular show of blazing fastballs reminiscent of Vonn Feao's performance for West O'ahu in the 2005 Little League World Series. Numata needed only 11 pitches — with his fastball clocking in the low 90 mph range — to strike out all three batters and seal the victory.
Chevas Numata said he felt comfortable handing the ball over tohis older brother with the game on the line.
"I know that once he comes in, he'll take care of it," Chevas said.
On Saturday, Numata turned a key double play to end the top of the first inning after Campbell had taken a 1-0 lead, then came on in relief again in the seventh. This time, he issued a leadoff walk and then had a one-out walk and two-out walk to load the bases while holding on to a 4-3 lead.
Numata then drew a 3-2 count on No. 5 batter Koa Marquez, who fouled off an 87-mph fastball.
But Numata got Marquez swinging on an offspeed pitch to end the game and secure the four-peat.
"The adrenaline makes my arm feel fine," Numata said. "I think tonight I was a little too amped up, I had to calm myself down. I just had to throw more strikes and trust my defense instead of trying to strike everybody out."
Numata, who also had an RBI single in Thursday's 4-1 quarterfinal win over Moanalua, committed to play for Central Arizona next season, although he likely will be selected in Major League Baseball's amateur draft.