HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kaiser's Joel Honma was too late to tag Kailua's Jared Iha at second base yesterday.
Surfriders smother Cougars to win OIA East
The Kailua Surfriders don't play pretty, but they are clearly the kings of clutch.
Rob DeMarsh and Jordan Limahai delivered two-out, run-scoring base hits to break a stalemate in the sixth inning as No. 5 Kailua rallied past 10th-ranked Kaiser 10-7 yesterday. The win clinched the OIA Red East title for Kailua (10-2), which has earned a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Scott Taleasea played a key role with his three-run homer in the third to tie the game, and also had a double and a single and was intentionally walked twice.
"We clinched it. I've been waiting for this for two years," said Taleasea, who transferred from Damien. "Coach (Corey Ishigo) said we needed to come here as a team and bang from the beginning."
Kaiser dropped to 8-4 and is tied with Castle for second place. The Knights, however, have a tiebreaker advantage because they swept Kaiser, and will have a first-round bye.
DeMarsh's double to left in the sixth brought home Ryan Kinoshita, who had reached base on a Kaiser error -- one of five Cougar miscues. Kinoshita's run gave Kailua the lead for good, 8-7. Limahai then reached base on an infield single, bringing Taleasea home from third for a 9-7 lead.
The visitors added an insurance run in the seventh on a two-out double to left by Kale Sumner, allowing Jared Iha to score easily for a 10-7 lead.
That was enough to support Alika Ramseyer-Ho, who got the win with 3 1/3 innings of work. The 6-foot-2 freshman, Kailua's third hurler of the afternoon, allowed just one run and struck out two.
For Kaiser, it was a virtual rerun of the first meeting at Kailua's diamond.
"We were in the same situation last time. We had a good start," assistant coach Vince Bedoya said. "You know Kailua's going to swing the bat and score runs. Some of the plays, we had a chance to make. We should've made those, but our kids battled. They didn't quit."
Kaiser missed a chance to blow the game open early. They loaded the bases with no outs, but got only one run -- a bases-loaded walk by Bryce Marcouiller -- as reliever Bryson Gauthe doused the fire.
Kaiser's Dustin Dela Pena socked a two-run homer in the second to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the frame, Taleasea parked a changeup from Pono Meyer beyond the right-center fence -- just 285 feet away -- and onto Lunalilo Home Road for a three-run shot.
In the third, a sacrifice fly to left by Landon Tamanaha brought Marcouiller home for a 4-3 Kaiser lead. A moment later, Jaymes Kawashima came home on an error by shortstop Elia Lono to give the Cougars a 5-3 lead.
A sacrifice fly by Joe Honma brought in Cal Tashiro for a 6-3 Cougars lead in the fourth.
Four runs in the bottom of the fifth gave Kailua its first lead. DeMarsh lined a double down the right-field line to drive in two runs, and Bobby Lastimosa's infield single brought home Demarsh to tie the game at 6-all.
Ramseyer-Ho then hit a slow roller to third, and a bad throw to first permitted Lastimosa to score the go-ahead run.
Kailua was just as generous in the bottom of the fifth. Iha's error at second with two outs, allowed Kawashima to score and tie the game at 7-all.
Kaiser head coach Peter Ho missed the game due to a work-related trip to California.
Rob DeMarsh, Bryson Gauthe (1), Alika Ramseyer-Ho (4) and Keenan Tanaka. Pono Meyer, Shotaro Saito (5), Zachary Wong (6) and Bryce Marcouiller. W--Ramseyer-Ho. L--Wong.
Leading hitters--Kailua: Scott Taleasea 3-3, HR, 3 RBIs; DeMarsh 2-2, 3b, 2b, 3 RBIs; Jordan Limahai 2-4, 2 2bs, RBI; Bobby Lastimosa 2-4, SB; Jared Iha 2-3, SB. Kaiser: Cal Tashiro 2-4, 2b, 2 runs; Dustin Dela Pena 3-4, HR, 2 RBIs.