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Thursday, May 19, 2005



HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL


art
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Mililani's Tony Aquino looked to turn a double play after forcing Kamehameha-Hawaii's Reece Alnas at second yesterday.




Crabbe helps Mililani
pull away

The senior breaks open the game
with a three-run double in
the sixth inning

Kamaka Crabbe was on the verge of having his high school career end in the OIA tournament, but after sneaking into states with the OIA's fifth-place berth, he's taking advantage of every last at-bat.

The senior went 4-for-4 with four RBIs, including a bases-clearing, three-run double that blew open the game in the sixth inning, to lead Mililani past Kamehameha-Hawaii 8-2 yesterday on the opening day of the Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball State Championship at Les Murakami Stadium.

Tony Aquino added two doubles and scored twice to help Robert Reid pick up the victory for the Trojans (10-2). Reid gave up just one earned run in six innings and struck out four.

"He wanted to finish the game, but his pitch count was just too high," Trojans coach Dean Sato said. "I told him from the get-go that he would start the first game of states, and he worked his butt off for it. He was exceptional."

The Trojans got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning as Justin Sagami scored on an error by the catcher. After doubling to lead off the inning, Sagami was sacrificed to third before coming home as Kolten Wong's throw to first base sailed into right field.

Mililani again took advantage of a leadoff double in the third inning as Aquino lined the first pitch he saw into right-center for a double before scoring on a one-out base hit by Crabbe.

"(Kamaka) is another one of our unsung heroes," Sato said. "He's been under the shadow of Tony and Chaz (Miyashiro), but he's really worked on his game and it has come together at the right time."

Kamehameha-Hawaii (12-4) proved it could also play the doubles game as Trysen Cosier sent the first pitch of the fourth inning to the identical spot as Aquino did for a double. Keanemana Silva singled Cosier in and advanced to third on a two-base error by the center fielder before Tyson Goo's RBI single to center tied the game at 2.

But the Trojans pulled away in the late innings. After taking a 3-2 lead on a bases-loaded walk in the fifth inning, the Trojans broke the game open with a five-run sixth, highlighted by Crabbe's three-run double.

"I was looking for something I could elevate," Crabbe said. "I waited for my pitch and got one right there in my wheel house."

Warriors starting pitcher Aaron Correa pitched a complete game in the loss.

"I still thought he had good velocity," Warriors coach Tony DeSa said about keeping Correa in the game. "We just needed a ground ball, but couldn't get it and they took advantage of one or two bad pitches."

The Warriors had chances to build a lead before Mililani broke the game open, but left a total of seven runners on base, including three in the fifth when the score was still tied at 2.

"We were looking forward to scoring some runs, but couldn't get it done," DeSa said. "The kids were really excited to play on this stage and not knowing what to expect, this will really help us in the future."

The Trojans advanced to today's quarterfinals, where they take on OIA champion Kailua at 7 p.m.

"This is what we wanted," Sato said. "When we were down 4-0 to Waianae (in the OIA tournament), I was already thinking about what I was going to say to (the media), but these kids showed their maturity, fought back, and now we get our chance to show what we can do."



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