Wong pitches Kaiser to win over Moanalua


POSTED: Thursday, March 12, 2009

Following last Saturday's doubleheader weep at the hands of perennial Oahu Interscholastic Association power Kailua, Kaiser entered yesterday's matchup with Moanalua looking for a win to springboard its season in the right direction.

The Cougars relied on starting pitcher Zachary Wong, who allowed a run on five hits in a complete-game effort, and stifled Na Menehune 6-1 in an OIA Red Conference East Division matchup at Kaiser.

“;It takes a little pressure off of us, because if we would have lost this one after losing to Kailua, we'd be in big trouble,”; said Kaiser coach Peter Ho, whose team went through 20 minutes of conditioning immediately following the game. “;This was a big one for us. But there's no springboard for us. We're in the ocean. We're trying to keep our head above water, and get on the board.”;

Wong (1-1) scattered three hits through six innings and surrendered the lone Moanalua run with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. The senior struck out three while walking one, and located 45 of his 83 pitches for strikes.

“;I just tried to set up everything with my fastball, and come right back with a breaking ball,”; said Wong, who varied the speed and location of his fastball and mixed in a sharp curve to keep Na Menehune hitters off balance. “;I threw a lot of two-seamers (cutting fastballs) that break in on right-handers, and got a lot of ground balls.”;

After allowing two of the first three batters he faced to reach on singles in the first inning, Wong settled down and retired 15 of the next 17 batters. Wong set Na Menehune down in order in the second, third, fifth and sixth innings, and reached three-ball counts just five times.

“;His first pitch, he was getting it down and getting ground-ball outs—and not hard ground balls, but choppers,”; Ho said of Wong, who recorded 13 of his 21 outs via the ground ball. “;When he had his outing against Kailua, he was all over the place. So we told him to just concentrate on that one (first) pitch, let them hit it, and just get it in a good location.”;

The Cougars (1-2) received an offensive boost from second baseman Joe Honma, who finished with two hits and three RBIs. Honma's single off the fence in left field plated two runs, and extended Kaiser's four-run third inning—prolonged in part by two Jordan Deponte errors—that provided enough breathing room for Wong.

Wong helped his own cause with a triple to lead off the second inning. The blast into the left-center field gap led to a 1-0 lead on Shane Tsutahara's first of two RBIs on the afternoon.

The game marked Moanalua's first OIA contest of the season. Na Menehune starter Zachary Manago dropped to 0-1 after surrendering three earned runs on four hits and striking out two.

“;Offensively we didn't get into a rhythm, and couldn't string hits together,”; said Moanalua coach Scott Yamada. “;Give credit to their pitcher. He threw strikes and got out of jams when he had to.”;

The two squads meet again on Saturday for a single game at Moanalua. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.


Moanalua (0-1)0000001153
Kaiser (1-0)014001x660

Zachary Manago, Landon Yoshikawa (6), Bronson Shim (6) and Chris Liu-Saguid. Zachary Wong and Bryce Marcouiller. W—Wong. L—Manago.
Leading hittersMoanalua: Jesse Nakasone 2-3; Regan Lum 2B; Liu-Saguid RBI. Kaiser: Jaymes Kawashima 2B, 2 runs; Joe Honma 2-3, 2B, 3 RBIs; Wong 3B; Shane Tsutahara 2 RBIs; Landon Tamanaha 2-3.


Kalani 11, Kalaheo 0, 5 inn.

The Falcons lit up the Mustangs at home, collecting nine hits and six walks to earn the victory with the 10-run rule.


Kalaheo (0-3)00000 011
Kalani (3-0)32060 1190

Patrick Cruz, Richard Preza Haynes (3), Aaron Fernandez (4) and Laveaika Bater. Devin Lee and Kiel Odo. W—Lee. L—Cruz.
Leading hittersKalaheo: Fernandez 2b. Kalani: Wataru Noguchi 3-3, 3b, 2b, 3 RBIs, 3 runs; Jordan Wong 2-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs; Jake Massey RBI, 3 runs; Sean Nagaoka 2 RBIs, run.



Pac-Five 4, Punahou 2


Sheridan Mahelona and Joedee Lovell. Jasmine Ioane and Kayla Shimoda. W—Mahelona. L—Ioane.
Leading hittersPac-Five: Keline Yoshimura 2-4, 3b, 2 RBIs. Punahou: Shimoda 2-4, 2b, 2 runs; Sarah Hiramatsu 2b, RBI.