Punahou’s Kometani
tosses ASU for a loss

Punahou alum Kea Kometani pitched Pepperdine to a crushing, 15-5 upset victory over seventh-seeded Arizona State yesterday in an NCAA regional tournament baseball game at Fullerton, Calif.

Kometani (8-6) allowed 14 hits -- 13 singles and one double -- in eight innings. He walked four and struck out four and all five runs off him were earned.

Kometani, a junior right-hander, had runners on base against him in every inning.

"I had great defense and awesome run support," Kometani said. "That helps out pitching a lot."

Pepperdine double plays in the fourth and seventh innings helped Kometani, as did a combination of overzealous Arizona State base running and good throws by the Waves that cut off a Sun Devil rally in the second after two runs scored.

"Any time you get an extra out you've got to take advantage of it," Kometani said. "And we did a good a good job of taking advantage of any opportunity they presented."

ASU led 3-1 after two innings, but did not score again off Kometani until Pepperdine had taken an 8-3 lead with a five-run seventh inning.

The Waves scored 12 runs in their final three at-bats to take the pressure off the 2001 Punahou graduate from Kahala.

It was Kometani's 17th start of the season. He entered the game with a 3.94 ERA.

"Our basic game plan, every game we play, is throw lots of strikes, keep the ball down and try to mix pitches," he said. "The early and middle part, I had pretty good fastball location, and my split (split-finger fast ball) was all right."

Pepperdine (29-30) won its third straight West Coast Conference championship this season but was not ranked in any national poll and was seeded fourth of four teams in the regional.

Arizona State (40-17) was ranked in the top 10 most of the season and was seeded first in the Fullerton regional. The Sun Devils finished fourth in the powerful Pac-10 with a 13-11 record.

Also in Fullteron, Calif., yesterday, Jason Windsor pitched a five-hit complete game and struck out 11 to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 7-1 victory over Minnesota in game two of the regional tournament.

Windsor was dominant as he completed his ninth game of the season and improved his record to 9-4. Glen Perkins (9-3) suffered the loss.

Baldwin alumnus Kurt Suzuki went 0-for-4 for Fullerton.

The No. 2-seeded Titans advance to play Pepperdine today, after Minnesota and ASU face off in an elimination game.

Fullerton has won seven straight and 14 of their last 17 games, for a record of 37-20. The Titans have beaten Minnesota (38-22) three times this season.

Leading 2-0 after five innings, Fullerton erupted for six hits and five runs in the sixth inning to take a commanding 7-0 lead.

For Minnesota, Jake Elder broke up Windsor's shutout bid with a solo homer, his seventh of the season, in the eighth inning.

Texas South beats defending champion Rice: At Houston, Herman Coachmen hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning and Brandon Stricklen worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth to lead Texas Southern (19-33) past defending national champion Rice 4-3.

Rice starter Phil Humber (13-3) coasted through the first 7 1/3 innings, striking out 11 and allowing only one earned run while the Owls held a 3-1 lead.

Andre Nevels led off the eighth with a walk and Mario Deleon then lined an infield single off the glove of Owls' first baseman Matt Euckert before Coachmen homered.

The Owls (43-13) tried to regroup in the bottom half when Josh Rodriguez led off with a single and was moved to third by a sacrifice bunt and a fly to left field, but Corey Alexander ended the inning with a diving catch over the bullpen fence in foul territory.


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