Punahou pitcher Jared Pate shut out Kamehameha for six innings yesterday in a Buffanblu win.

Pate deals Warriors
reality check

Romp against one foe, struggle against another.

Such is the life of the boys on the defending state champion Kamehameha baseball team.

After playing a near-perfect game Tuesday, the Warriors never got in gear last night. Instead, Punahou put everything together for a 10-0 Interscholastic League of Honolulu baseball victory at Ala Wai Field.

The win by the Buffanblu (5-3) knocked the Warriors (6-2) off their perch atop the ILH and tightened the league race considerably. Mid-Pacific (6-1), which had its game with Maryknoll rained out, took over sole possession of first place. The Owls and Warriors play a key contest tomorrow at 9 a.m. at Ala Wai.

Punahou right-hander Jared Pate flustered the usually potent Kamehameha batters through six masterful innings, before Kurt Fujitani finished up the final frame. Pate fanned six and walked just two.

"I just had an 'on' night," Pate said. "My last time out, against Pac-Five, I struggled, so this time I made sure to keep it down and throw strikes and let the defense do it for me."

Pate clung to a 1-0 lead until the Buffanblu offense scored two runs in the fifth and six more in the sixth to pull away.

"I've told Jared that no matter the outcome, you've got to go out there and feel good about your pitching," said Punahou pitching coach Matt Apana, a former UH and minor league hurler. "He can't go out there and be afraid to fail.

"What we got tonight was a lot of seniors who came through at the plate with runners in scoring position. They succeeded with clutch, timely hitting and it was the first time all year that they've been able to do it."

Senior Mark Veneri led the Punahou attack, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs. He had run-scoring base hits in the first and fifth and he drilled a two-run single in the sixth. Fellow senior Mike Lam cracked an RBI triple in the fifth as Punahou boosted its lead to 3-0. Two more seniors --Shaun Kiriu and Justin Ariki -- singled in runs in the Buffanblu's decisive sixth-inning rally.

Kamehameha's performance was a far cry from Tuesday's 15-0 victory over Saint Louis (6-2), which remained right in the thick of the ILH race with a 12-4 victory over Damien yesterday.

The Warriors committed six errors and their feared batting lineup never figured out Pate or Fujitani.

"Pate threw a good game," Kamehameha coach Vern Ramie said. "He gave us trouble last year and he's doing it again this year. Our hitters didn't make adjustments at the plate. He was coming inside with his fastball and we continued swinging at it. A lot of times, those pitches are balls, and the second time around, our batters didn't change and take the pitches, so we gave away a lot of good at-bats. I've seen that happen before after a big game. Our kids had a real good approach at the plate against Saint Louis. It was the exact opposite tonight.

"Defensively, we didn't play real well, either, making errors in key spots. We've got to tighten that up. You can't win, playing like that."

Warriors starter Kanekoa Texeira straightened out some early control problems. After giving up the first run in the opening frame, he struck out two straight batters, stranding three Punahou runners. The Warriors' ace went 5 2/3 innings and kept his team in it until the sixth. Seven of the nine runs he allowed were unearned.

At Ala Wai Field
Punahou (5-3) 100 026 1 -- 10 8 0
Kamehameha (6-2) 000 000 0 -- 0 1 6

Jared Pate, Kurt Fujitani (7) and Robert Kurisu; Kanekoa Texeira, Jacob Cockett (6) and Stuart Kam. W--Pate. L--Texeira.
Leading hitters--Pun: Mike Lam 3b, 3 runs, RBI; Mark Veneri 3-4, 4 RBIs; Noah Phillips 2b; Landon Nakata 2b; Kam: Kam 3b.

Iolani 8, Pac-Five 6
The Raiders jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings en route to a win over the Wolfpack.

Travis Nishioka drove in three runs in the win, while pitcher Wally Marciel earned his second consecutive save.

At Ala Wai Field
Iolani (3-5) 240 100 1 -- 8 8 1
Pac-Five (1-5-1) 004 000 2 -- 6 7 2

BJ Takushi, Trent Muraoka (3), Christian Johnson (5), Wally Marciel (7) and Bert Mitsunaga, Riley Yamamoto (7). Owen Simmons, Samson Aina (5), Nick Miyamoto (7) and Shane Osaki, Aaron Chilcote (5). W--Johnson. L--Simmons. S--Marciel.
Leading hitters--Iol: Travis Nishioka 2-3, 3 RBIs, 3b; Galen Komo 2-3, RBI, 3b; Jared Nakama 2 RBIs. P5: Chilcote 2-3, 3 RBIs; Jacob Mellor 2-3, RBI.

Saint Louis 12, Damien 4
Chester Wilson's grand slam ignited a five-run sixth inning to break the game open for the Crusaders.

The Monarchs got home runs from Kaimana Balanon and Nick Zieser to cut the Saint Louis lead to 6-4 after five innings before Wilson went deep. Saint Louis starter Cameron Bayne picked up the win, giving up four runs in five innings.

At DeSa field
St. Louis (6-2) 015 015 0 -- 12 13 2
Damien (2-5) 012 010 0 -- 4 6 4

Cameron Bayne, Brandon Va'a (6), Jordan Duropan (7) and Jowen Murray-Thornton. Duncan Ebert, Brandon Baguio (6), Ranson DeCosta (6), Ho'olako O'Hara (7) and Nick Zieser. W--Bayne. L--Ebert.
Leading hitters--StL: Kelii Zablan 2b, 2 RBIs; Chester Wilson 3-5, 2b, grand slam; Danny Lee 4-4, HR, 2 RBIs; Sheldon Santiago, home run, 2 RBIs; Ryan Sasaki 2b. Dam: DeCosta 2-3; Kaimana Balanon HR, 2 RBIs; Zieser HR.

Maryknoll vs. Mid-Pacific, ppd.
The game was postponed due to rain.

OIA West

Waipahu def. Waialua
For the second straight day, the Bulldogs forfeited their game because they didn't have enough players.

Junior varsity boys
Kailua 8, Castle 7


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