Punahou scrapes out win


POSTED: Saturday, May 09, 2009

The six-peat is in play.

Punahou scored twice in the top of the ninth inning, with help from a hit batsman call on what could've been the third out, to pull out a nine-inning, 2-0 win over rival Kamehameha in the Division I semifinals of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA State Baseball Championships.

Jordan Honjiyo reached base with two outs on the hit-by-pitch play, and came in to score on Evan Lim's single to right to give Punahou a 1-0 lead in the top of the ninth. Tyler Young followed with a line drive to center, scoring Michael Suiter.

Reliever Jeremy Fujimoto closed out the game to record the win, striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth.

“;I don't know. Our opinion doesn't count. From our angle, we didn't see anything,”; Kamehameha coach Vern Ramie said. “;We just told them to hold their heads up. It's a tough way to lose a great ballgame, but they'll be stronger because of it.”;

Punahou (13-8) has won the last five state baseball championships, an unprecedented streak. The Buffanblu, the third-place team from the ILH, will play Kailua for the state crown tonight at Les Murakami Stadium.

“;It feels different,”; said coach Eric Kadooka, who led Punahou to all five of those titles. “;This is a team making its own history. All the credit goes to them. Kamehameha is a great team.”;

Kamehameha (17-6) missed scoring opportunities in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings. The Warriors left the bases loaded in the fifth when Punahou reliever Marcus Yoshii caught Keanu Carmichael looking at a fastball on the outside corner to end the inning.

In the sixth, Makana Ramie tripled with two outs, but Josh Wong struck out on a fastball off the plate from Yoshii to end the threat.

They also had Carmichael on second base in the eighth with one out, but couldn't bring him home when the third reliever, Jeremy Fujimoto, retired pinch hitter Kash Kalohelani on a strikeout and got Ramie to ground out.

Punahou had a golden chance in the eighth, when Alaka'i Aglipay singled and Kainoa Crowell hit a deep shot to center, but the ball hopped over the fence for a ground-rule double to negate a sure run. Pascual then got Jeremy Ioane to ground out to end the inning.

“;The most important thing,”; Fujimoto said, “;is my team backing me up. They never give up. Unreal.”;



Evan Lim, Marcus Yoshii (5), Jeremy Fujimoto (8) and Tyler Young. Chris Pascual, Alika Pruett (8) and Keanu Carmichael. W—Fujimoto. L—Pruett.