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Friday, May 7, 2004



[ HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL ]


Kamehameha keeps hope
of ILH title defense alive


Kanekoa Texeira is on a roll and Kamehameha is serving notice that it's finally ready to seriously defend its league and state baseball titles.

Texeira pitched a four-hitter last night with nine strikeouts and the Warriors edged Mid-Pacific 3-2 in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu tournament loser's bracket game at Aloha Stadium.

With the victory, Kamehameha (12-6) advanced to the tournament championship against Punahou tomorrow night at 7. The Warriors need to beat the Buffanblu twice to claim the tourney title. Punahou, undefeated in the tournament, needs only one more victory to win it. Another game, if necessary, is scheduled for Monday.

The regular-season champion Owls (15-5) play the eventual tournament champion Monday or Tuesday for the overall league championship and a berth in the states. The loser goes to Maui on May 15 to meet Lahainaluna for a state play-in game.

Kamehameha's win also ended Saint Louis' season. The Crusaders had hopes of making the states by finishing second, but that is impossible now.

"Kanekoa has had two really good outings in a row," Warriors coach Vern Ramie said of his senior righty, who also beat MPI in the second round of the tournament last Saturday. "We've got a long road ahead, but every win gets us a little bit closer."

Kamehameha had a disappointing regular season, finishing 9-5, but is 3-1 in the postseason.

Texeira said he's in a groove because of the importance of the games.

"I'm concentrating on getting to the states," he said. "We want to keep this winning streak going instead of losing."

Texeira also said he's fixed the timing of his release, which had been off while he struggled earlier in the year.

With the score knotted at 2, the Warriors' Dayne Ogawa came through with the winning single up the middle to score Travis Young in the sixth off of Owls reliever Jayson Kramer. An errant MPI pickoff attempt of Young at first base enabled him to reach third before the winning hit.

"I'm looking forward to playing Punahou," said Ogawa, who went 2-for-2 with a walk and two RBIs. "The pitch came right down the middle and all I was thinking was getting Travis home."

The Warriors took a 2-0 lead in the second on RBI hits by Ogawa and Nick Freitas.

Kip Masuda's two-out single to left tied it at 2 in the bottom half of the inning.

Owls right fielder Ryan Asato, who made a spectacular, backhanded running stab of a Spenser McCready smash at the warning track in the fourth, hurt his team's comeback bid.

With Nick Furumoto at third base, Texeira picked off Asato at second to end a serious threat in the fifth.

"We fell asleep," MPI coach Dunn Muramaru said. "But it was a quality game. Two teams that are very tired played well. We were able to get all of our pitchers some work and we'll have our top two pitchers (Harrison Kuroda and Conan Young) ready to go (in the overall title game)."

At Aloha Stadium
Kamehameha (12-6) 002 001 0 -- 3 6 3
Mid-Pacific (15-5) 002 000 0 -- 2 4 3

Chris Freshour, Jayson Kramer (6) and Kip Masuda; Kanekoa Texeira and Eli Chee. W--Texeira. L--Kramer.
Leading hitters--Kam: Dayne Ogawa 2-2, 2 RBIs; Nick Freitas RBI. MPI: Kip Masuda 2 RBIs.

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