HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Punahou third baseman Steven Dannaway held his ground at third to get Kamehameha's Makana Kitamura yesterday.
Kamehameha defeated Punahou 13-9 last night to claim the Interscholastic League of Honolulu overall championship at Central Oahu Regional Park. The victory was the Warriors' third in five days against the Buffanblu.
The final score made the game seem a lot closer than it actually was, as Punahou put up seven runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Trailing 13-2 in the final frame, the Buffanblu took advantage of three hit batters and two walks by Kamehameha reliever Ashkon Kuhaulua, who was in his third inning. A bases-loaded triple off the bat of catcher Zach Kometani narrowed the lead to 13-8 and electrified the Punahou bench and crowd, who minutes earlier were dead silent.
Chris Pascual came on for the Warriors in relief, and after allowing an RBI single by Daniel Cho, got Matthew Suiter to fly out to right field for the game's final out.
"The main thing is that we got the final out," said a relieved Kamehameha head coach Vern Ramie after the 3-hour-long game.
"Ashkon struggled; maybe we left him in too long. We wanted him to finish the game on a positive note, but he couldn't find it tonight.
"It's very fortunate that we got a lot of breaks to go our way, because Punahou is a quality team," Ramie added. "We're just lucky we had a big enough lead to hold them off. I think they're going to do very well in the state tournament."
Despite the shaky finish, the Warriors were in control from the start. Kamehameha pounded out 11 hits and drew nine walks off six Punahou pitchers. The offense scored in bunches, putting up four runs in both the first and fourth innings, and added three insurance runs in the seventh.
Mitchell Kauweloa led the way at the plate with four RBIs on a pair of two-run singles. Waylen Sing Chow, Ed Dun and Parker McCready contributed two RBIs apiece.
"We did a lot of things well tonight, and we got some big hits when we needed them," Ramie said.
Jordon Inafuku picked up the win after pitching 2 1/3 innings of relief for starter John Worthington, who was pulled after 1 2/3 innings. Inafuku allowed one run on two hits and struck out a batter.
Paul Snieder was saddled with the loss after allowing seven runs on five hits and four walks in 3 innings.
It has been quite a change of momentum for the Warriors, who finished fourth in the ILH regular season, but then turned things around by winning the ILH tournament on Wednesday against the same Buffanblu squad. The victory virtually guarantees Kamehameha a bye in the first round of the state tournament, which begins Wednesday on Maui. Punahou is the other ILH team that will represent the league in the tournament.
"The bye is huge because it means playing three games in the tournament instead of four (in order to win the championship)," Ramie said. "We're just happy to have the chance to represent our league and our school, and we'll go out there and give it our best shot, and see what happens."
At Central Oahu Regional Park
||3--13 9 1
||7-- 9 7 0
John Worthington, Jordon Inafuku (2), Ashkon Kuhaulua (5), Chris Pascual (7) and Stuart Kam. Paul Snieder, Carl Graves (4), Scott Hiramoto (5), Scott Martin (6), Aaron Yamamoto (7), Cheyne Okawa (7) and Zachary Kometani. W--Inafuku. L--Snieder.
Leading hitters --Kam: Mitchell Kauweloa 2-4, 4 RBIs; Ed Dun 3-4, 2 RBI; Waylen Sing Chow 3b, 2 RBIs. Pun: Kometani 3b, 3 RBIs.