OIA BASEBALL PLAYOFFS
D'Alessio, Kailua eliminate Campbell
It took a little while for Kailua's bats to wake up yesterday. Not that Surfrider pitcher Mike D'Alessio needed much help.
After giving up a run in the first inning, D'Alessio shut out Campbell over the next five frames, and the Surfrider offense provided some late-inning support in Kailua's 6-2 win in the first round of the Oahu Interscholastic Association playoffs.
Having survived the do-or-die opening round, the two-time defending OIA champion Surfriders (9-2) advance to face Pearl City in a quarterfinal matchup today at 4 p.m. at the Chargers' field.
"That's the main thing," Kailua coach Corey Ishigo said, "we can suit up tomorrow."
The winners of today's games move on to the semifinals and can make reservations for a trip to Maui for the state tournament. The losers will have to play their way to states through the fifth-place bracket.
Campbell ended its season at 6-5. The Sabers lost their first four games of the regular season, but ran off six straight wins to qualify for the playoffs as the sixth seed in the OIA West.
"They held their composure after going down 0-4 and worked hard and they earned being here," Campbell coach Rory Pico said. "It's just unfortunate we can't go farther than this."
Kailua, the OIA East's third seed, won its last four regular-season games by a total of 52-5, but started slowly yesterday against Campbell left-hander Shannon Coloma.
Coloma limited the Surfriders to one hit over the first four innings, working the edges of the plate with a variety of off-speed pitches.
But Kailua scratched out a run in the second to erase Campbell's early lead and went ahead in the fourth without the benefit of a hit.
The Surfriders then broke the game open with three runs in the fifth and added another in the sixth.
"(Coloma) just nibbles and changes speeds, and that's why he's effective," Pico said. "And he was very effective in the beginning of the game. But Kailua made their adjustments and they started hitting the ball."
D'Alessio settled down after Campbell catcher Kendall Hodson slammed the first of his two RBI doubles to give the Sabers the early lead in the top of the first.
Although he admittedly didn't have his best command of the fastball, D'Alessio limited Campbell to two hits over the next five innings and finished with six strikeouts.
"I wasn't able to throw my fastball as hard as I could, but I could keep it at least at a decent speed," he said. "But when it came to my off-speed, I was on it, and I got them chasing. That helped me a lot."
"He knows how to win," Ishigo said. "That's the one thing about Mike. Whatever he has, he's going to go out there with it and try to do his best for his team."
Kailua scored its first run in the second inning as Kurt Sasaoka doubled to left field and scored on a Campbell throwing error. The Surfriders manufactured the go-ahead run in the fourth as Jordan Limahai walked and moved to third on a bunt single and a hit batter.
Campbell second baseman Isaiah Ka'aihue then made a diving stop of Preston Nakata's shot up the middle. But the groundout was enough to plate Limahai and give Kailua the lead for good.
The Surfriders opened up a cushion in the fifth when Aaron Kunioka doubled to right-center to score Cody Momohara and Kelii Klobucar followed with an RBI single to center. One out later, Limahai dropped a looper into left field to score Klobucar.
Kailua added another run in the sixth on Zach Akamine's RBI double.
"Our guys were up for the game, a little too pumped up," Ishigo said. "They weren't relaxed at the plate until later in the game. It took us some time to get some quality at-bats in there."
After scoring first, Campbell left eight runners on base and didn't break through again until the seventh inning when Hodson's double to left-center brought Coloma around from first.
"My boys always scrap and they always fight to the end," Pico said. "As a coach you cannot ask for anything more than that."
At Kailua H.S. field
Shannon Coloma, Blayne Dikito (5) and Kendall Hodson. Mike D'Alessio, Pat Murphy (7) and Rayner Yokoi, D'Alessio (7).W
Leading hitters--Camp: Coloma, 2-3; Hodson, 2 2b; 2 RBIs; Cameron Howser, 2b.Kail: Zach Akamine, 2b, RBI; D'Alessio, 3b; Aaron Kunioka, 2b, RBI; Kurt Sasaoka, 2b.