Pearl City-Kailua had a little of everything
It's not every day that a championship game features 15 runs, 19 hits, eight errors and a rubber-armed sophomore ace.
That was the case, though, when Pearl City edged Kailua 8-7 on Monday in a thriller for the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red title.
For Pearl City, which had five errors, clutch hitting and the 136-pitch effort of Kahana Neal were remarkable.
"It's the adrenaline," said Neal, a 6-foot-2 right-hander. "I just wanted to finish what I started. I told myself to focus and keep my head in the game."
He settled down despite giving up a mammoth home run to Scotty Talaesea in the first inning. "I formed my tempo," said Neal, who was relieved by Bryson Nakamura in the eighth.
One of the biggest clutch hits for Pearl City came in the sixth inning, when Corey Yuh slapped an opposite-field single to left to bring in Ryan Acosta and Bully Casarez to tie the score at 5.
"I was looking for a fastball. It was outside, so I went the other way with it," said Yuh, who pitched Pearl City into the final with a four-hit shutout against Castle on Saturday.
Jared Nagai also delivered a clutch hit with an RBI double in the eighth to give the Chargers a 6-5 lead.
For Kailua, a second loss to Pearl City in the finals in as many years was frustrating.
"We had our chances and opportunities to do something," said coach Corey Ishigo, who guided Kailua to the title in 2005. "I screwed up, also."
With the game tied at 5 and no outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Surfriders had runners at second and first. "Maybe I should've had us (sacrifice) bunt, but I wanted to take our three outs instead of two. I figured we'd let our seniors have a chance to drive in a (winning) run."
Instead, Neal got out of the inning with a pair of strikeouts and a grounder for a forceout.