Aiea, Roosevelt in
OIA title game

Aiea put a dent into Kaiser's impossible-dream season yesterday with a 7-2 victory in the Oahu Interscholastic Association baseball semifinals.

Senior-oriented Na Alii (11-1) broke open a close game at the Cougars' field and took control with a five-run fifth inning. They play in the OIA title game for the second year in a row today at 4 p.m. against Roosevelt at Mililani High School. They'll also play in the state tournament May 18-21.

"Earlier in the year, our issue was errors," said Aiea coach Ryan Kato, whose team didn't make any fielding mistakes yesterday. "What I'm really glad about now is the way the kids are focusing in that area. They're playing a lot better catch."

Kato, who emphasizes strong defense and finely executed small ball, got more offensive production than he expected yesterday. Aiea drilled five hits in the fifth, including Kepa Wong's two-run homer over the center-field fence.

"I was waiting and trying to pick a pitch to hit hard, and he gave me a curveball that I got a hold of," Wong said. "We have the confidence we can beat any team they put us up against. Our intensity is very high."

Kaiser only had four hits off Na Alii starter Shawn Hao, who pitched a four-hitter with six strikeouts.

But the Cougars (10-2) were still upbeat after the game.

"We're a young team and got a taste of what it's like to be in the playoffs," Kaiser coach Peter Ho said. "This whole year, we didn't get much respect from anybody. People have been asking how we got to be 10-1 and I can only tell them how hard the boys worked for that. I think we've shown people that we're for real."

Kaiser, which earned a state berth with a quarterfinal win over Moanalua on Thursday, meets Pearl City in the third-place game today at 1 p.m.

Junior lefty Trent Hamada made his first start of the season for Kaiser and held a 1-0 lead until bases-loaded walks to Lance Powell and Jordan Shibata in the fourth gave Na Alii a 2-1 lead.

"I pitched some in relief this year, and Coach had faith in me that I could do the job," said Hamada, who threw an assortment of off-speed pitches. "I was nervous and anxious, and I did OK until my stuff started getting flat."

Ho is convinced Hamada could have continued to keep Aiea down if his pitch count wasn't so high.

"I think my lefty was doing fine," Ho said. "He was just throwing too many pitches. Offensively, we had too many strikeouts and were swinging at a lot of bad pitches."

Scott Uehara's sacrifice fly scored Neale Asato as the Cougars went up 1-0 in the third.

Aaron Asher started Aiea's big fifth with a one-out triple to left. Powell also doubled in the inning, while Shibata stroked an RBI two-bagger and Dylan Libadisos added an RBI hit to go along with Wong's homer.

By the time Cougars reliever Reyn Kimura quieted the onslaught that started against Hamada, Na Alii were in complete command, 7-1.

Mitchell Shimabukuro's sacrifice fly scored Andy Uehara with Kaiser's final run in the fifth.

Shibata made the defensive play of the game at shortstop, diving to his left to grab Asato's hard grounder in the sixth. He struggled to his knees and then his feet before firing to first for the out.

Kato said Hao's performance was "lights out" and he's happy about one aspect of his team that he believes is "a luxury."

"We have three pitchers (Hao, Blake Lamug and Blaze Moleta) that I have every bit of confidence in. It's all a matter of positioning them correctly -- deciding who's going to pitch on which day and against who."

At Kaiser H.S. field
Aiea (11-1) 000 250 0 -- 7 8 0
Kaiser (10-2) 001 001 0 -- 2 4 1

Shawn Hao and Aaron Asher; Trent Hamada, Reyn Kimura (5) and Jarryd Maeda. W--Hao. L--Hamada.
Leading hitters--Aiea: Asher 2b; Dylan Libadisos 2-4, RBI; Kepa Wong HR, 2 RBIs; Lance Powell 2b, RBI; Jordan Shibata 2-2, 2b, 2 RBIs. Kais: Scott Uehara RBI; Mitchell Shimabukuro RBI.

Roosevelt 4, Pearl City 2
Ricky Eusebio hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning to lead the Rough Riders past the Chargers.

Pearl City rallied for one run in the bottom of the seventh before the game ended with runners at first and second.

Pearl City coach Mel Seki said today's third-place game will help his team prepare for the state tournament.

"(Playing) four games in four days should make us tougher for the state tournament."

At Pearl City H.S. field
Roosevelt (10-3) 000 310 0 -- 4 7 1
Pearl City (9-4) 001 000 1 -- 2 7 1

David Chow, Justin Goo (7) and Kevin Fujii. Craig Calantoc, Austin Jo (5), Tom Yamasaki (7) and Corey Giammalvo. W--Chow. L--Calantoc. S--Goo.
Leading hitters--Roos: Ricky Eusebio 3-run HR; Fujii 2-4, 2b; Goo 2b. PC: Michael Higa 2-4; Blayne Kamahiai 2-2, 2b, RBI; Yamasaki 2b.

fifth-place bracket

Waianae 9, Moanalua 8
The Seariders dashed the state-tournament hopes of the Menehunes as they pulled off a victory.

Ransen Sylva's two-run double in the top of the sixth proved to be the difference, breaking open a 7-7 game.

Moanalua threatened to come back in the bottom of the seventh, rallying on Kawika Kaulukukui's RBI double with two outs, but Waianae finished off Moanalua with a rundown between third and home.

At Moanalua H.S. field
Waianae (8-5) 115 002 0 -- 9 7 5
Moanalua (6-6-1) 520 000 1 -- 8 9 5

Darius Fuller and Peter Carba. Markus Miyashiro, Trevor Bell (6) and Donovan Souza. W--Fuller. L--Miyashiro.
Leading hitters--Wain: Sonny Dudoit 2b, 2 RBIs; Dillon Guzman 2-4, HR, RBI; Ransen Sylva 2-4, 2b, 2 RBIs; Fuller 2-4. Moan: Glenn Taijeron 2-4, 2b; Andrew Blomberg 2-3, HR, 2 RBIs; Adam Arakawa 2b; Neal Arakawa 2b; Kawika Kaulukukui 2b.

Leilehua 7, Kalani 4
The Mules scored five runs in the third inning and closed off a late rally to beat the Falcons. Leilehua advances to this morning's fifth-place game against Waianae to determine the league's final berth in the state tournament.

At Fred Wright Park
Kalani (8-4) 000 022 0 -- 4 8 1
Leilehua (10-2) 105 010 x -- 7 15 2

Reid Matsumura, Darren Takemoto (3), Chassis Moody (3) and Preston Pires. John Olley, Andrew Ontai (6) and Jesse Matsuura. W--Olley. L--Matsumura.
Leading hitters--Kaln: Pires 2-4; Randy Kitagawa 3b; Dustin Goya 2-3, 2b. Lei: Ontai 3-4, 3b, 2-runs; Matsuura 3-4; Spencer Omalza 2b; Josh Fetters 2-3; Kelsey Yoshikami 2-3; Melvin Ferreira 2-2.


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