Punahou knocks off Pearl City


POSTED: Friday, May 08, 2009

No matter its record, ranking or seeding, five-time defending state champion Punahou is still the team to beat.

The Buffanblu proved it by knocking off undefeated top seed Pearl City 3-1 last night to advance to the semifinals of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Division I Baseball State Championships at Les Murakami Stadium.

Zachary Muenster faced two batters over the minimum in four innings of relief to pick up the win for Punahou.

“;Our JV coaches did a great job of getting him ready this year,”; Eric Kadooka said. “;We brought him up just to get him used to the environment, but we looked into the pen tonight and he was ready to go.”;

Muenster walked Chevas Numata with one out in the bottom of the seventh to allow Pearl City to bring the tying run to the plate.

Pinch hitter Austin Bali popped out in foul territory to the third baseman, and Royce Murai struck out looking to end the game.

“;I wasn't expecting to pitch against the No. 1 seed, but I just listened to my catcher and he gave me the guidance I needed,”; Muenster said.

After Punahou took a 2-0 lead in the first, Pearl City scored a run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double by Chace Numata. The hit would have tied the game, but Bronson Oda was called out one batter earlier after failing to touch third on a triple by Kyle Kobayashi.

Oda crossed the plate and the run was awarded, but the Buffanblu appealed the play at third and third base umpire Stephen Cramer ruled Oda didn't touch the base, taking the run away.















Punahou (13-8)2000010360



Pearl City (15-1)100000014




Marcus Yoshii, Zachary Muenster (4) and Tyler Young. Kawika Pruett, Isaac Shim (7), Royce Murai (7) and Carlton Tanabe. W—Muenster. L—Pruett.

Leading hitters—Pun: Michael Suiter 2-4, 2b; Tyler Hanzawa 2-3, 3b, RBI. PC: Kyle Kobayashi 2-3, 3b, run; Chace Numata 2b.