Pearl City charges back for Red title


POSTED: Sunday, April 25, 2010

The chase lives on for the state's only remaining unbeaten team.

Chace Numata closed out a frantic seventh inning, striking out Avery Marquez with the bases loaded as Pearl City rallied past Campbell 4-3 in the final of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference playoffs.

Pearl City improved to 15-0 in OIA play and 28-0-1 overall. Ranked No. 1 in the Star-Bulletin Baseball Top 10, the Chargers sealed a first-round bye for the state tournament.

Campbell (15-6, 10-5 OIA), No. 10 in the state, already secured a state berth.

Kawika Pruett, who pitched a scoreless sixth inning in relief of starter Royce Murai, picked up the victory, and Numata got the save.

“;I felt loose. I was ready,”; Pruett said. “;It was the kind of position you want to be in. I just stayed calm, worked my spots, didn't try to do too much with a tough 'D' behind me.”;

Numata kept the drama going in the wild seventh.

“;My adrenaline was pumping. I stepped back, looked at my team and calmed myself down,”; he said. “;It's about the team and Coach Gary (Nakamoto) and all our coaches.”;

A crowd of about 200 at chilly Patsy Mink Central Oahu Regional Park watched as Numata moved from shortstop to the mound in the top of the seventh. The fireballing right-hander walked the bases loaded, but came through with the key strikeout to end Campbell's upset hopes.

Chadwick Kaalekahi allowed four runs, but only one was earned.

“;He did real good and kept us off balance,”; Pearl City third baseman Kahana Neal said.

Three unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth inning turned the game around. Neal and Reid Ramos reached base with singles, and Pruett's grounder brought Neal in to cut Campbell's lead to 3-2.

With two outs, Murai's grounder to third was botched by Cole Nagamine, permitting Ramos to score the tying run.

Kale Kaalekahi then took the mound in relief of his brother, Chadwick, but misfired with three wild pitches, and Murai scored the go-ahead run for Pearl City.

The Sabers, who lost twice to the Chargers during the regular season, made their final threat in the top of the seventh as Paul Arakaki, Chadwick Kaalekahi and Kale Kaalekahi walked to load the bases.

A heater down the middle got Marquez for the final strike.

Pearl City won two regular-season games with Campbell 9-0 and 13-2, plus a preseason game, 10-2.


At Central Oahu Regional Park

CAMPBELL (10-5)1002000371
PEARL CITY (15-0)001003x471


Chadwick Kaalekahi, Kale Kaalekahi (6) and Robert Kahana, Chad. Kaalekahi (6). Royce Murai, Kawika Pruett (6), Chace Numata (7) and Isaac Shim, Murai (6). W—Pruett. L—Chad. Kaalekahi. S—Numata.
Leading hitters—Camp: Kahana 2-2; PC: Jordan Oshiro 2-3, 2B, run; Reid Ramos 2-2, run.

No. 5 Kailua 8, Mililani 7
Moanalua 7, Kaiser 4