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Star-Bulletin Sports


Tuesday, May 14, 2002


[ HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS ]



Kamehameha, Kailua
favorites in state
baseball tourney


By Jason Kaneshiro
jkaneshiro@starbulletin.com

In baseball, timing is everything, and Corey Ishigo's timing has proved impeccable during this tenure as Kailua's head coach.

The Surfriders have won three consecutive Oahu Interscholastic Association championships by saving their best for the late-season wars. They claimed last year's state title with an 11th-hour comeback against Mid-Pacific.

So is there some formula the Surfriders use to prepare for their postseason tests?

"We do, but it's a secret," Ishigo said.

"Our goal every year is to win the state championship. I think that's everybody's goal, and we try to plan our season accordingly."

Kailua finished fourth in the OIA Eastern Division this season, going 7-3. But right on cue, the Surfriders won the OIA tournament last weekend and are the second seed in the Wally Yonamine Foundation State Baseball Championship, which opens tomorrow at Les Murakami Stadium.

"Kailua probably didn't play as well as they're capable of in the regular season, but they're peaking now," Kamehameha coach Vern Ramie said. "Corey has them ready for the state tournament, as he always does."

The tournament begins with four first-round games tomorrow. The winners advance to face the four seeded teams in Thursday's quarterfinals. The semifinals are set for Friday night and the tournament wraps up on Saturday.

The championship game is scheduled for 8 p.m. Saturday.

Kamehameha is the top seed in the tournament after winning the Interscholastic League of Honolulu title last week. Kailua is second, followed by Maui Interscholastic League champion Baldwin and Big Island Interscholastic Federation winner Hilo.

Kamehameha went 15-4 in the ILH thanks to a deep pitching staff. Shannon Kahale leads the Warrior rotation and is backed up by capable throwers in Ikena Dupont, Zach McAngus, Isaac Kamai and Kanekoa Texeira.

Tyler Perkins and Keoni Ruth are the catalysts of the Warrior offense. McAngus, Kahe Santos and freshman Nick Freitas also provide punch in the lineup.

"We don't have many stars, but everybody's contributed in one way or another," Ramie said. "I think that's the reason we've been consistent. A lot of guys have come up with huge hits for us."

Kailua won the OIA tournament behind the pitching of Kamaile Santos and Chad Kajiyama. Santos was sidelined most of the regular season with a wrist injury and Kajiyama labored through inconsistency. But both turned in strong performances last week to combine for three wins and two saves.

And their early struggles gave others valuable mound experience.

"With all the injuries and all the things we had to deal with throughout the year, a lot of people got a chance to play in games and we a had a chance to use a lot of pitchers," Ishigo said. "They were forced to pitch in big games."

Maui led the MIL race most of the season, but Baldwin knocked off the Sabers 5-1 in the league title game last Friday.

Hilo captured the BIIF championship and a seeded berth by defeating St. Joseph 4-2 on May 8. Kapaa claimed the Kauai Interscholastic Federation's spot with an 8-6 record by beating Waimea 11-5 on Saturday.

While the seeded teams have the advantage of a first-round bye, any of the eight unseeded squads could make a run at the title.

Mid-Pacific, last year's runner-up, survived a rough midseason stretch to return to the state tournament. Roosevelt finished second in the OIA behind an explosive offense and Mililani, Aiea and Waianae all feature talented pitching staffs.

"I don't think it matters where anybody's placed," Ishigo said. "Everybody's good in the state tournament. It just depends on which team shows up on each day."



Wally Yonamine Foundation
State Baseball Championship

All games at Les Murakami Stadium

TOMORROW

Kapaa vs. Waianae, 11:30 a.m.
Roosevelt vs. Maui, 2 p.m.
St. Joseph vs. Mililani, 4:30 p.m.
Mid-Pacific vs. Aiea, 7 p.m.

THURSDAY

Kapaa/Waianae loser vs. Roosevelt/Maui loser, 9 a.m.
Roosevelt/Maui winner vs. Hilo, 11:30 a.m.
St. Joseph/Mililani winner vs. Kailua, 2 p.m.
Mid-Pacific/Aiea winner vs. Baldwin, 4:30 p.m.
Kapaa/Waianae winner vs. Kamehameha, 7 p.m.

FRIDAY

St. Joseph/Mililani loser vs. Mid-Pacific/Aiea loser, 9:30 a.m.
Quarterfinal losers, noon and 2:30 p.m.
Quarterfinal winners, 5 and 7:30 p.m.

SATURDAY

Consolation championship, noon
Fifth-place game, 2:30 p.m.
Third-place game, 5 p.m.
Championship game, 8 p.m.

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