West Teams Prep For Baseball State Championships
The final destination of choice for all in the prep baseball community is University of Hawaii’s Les Murakami Stadium, scene of both divisional state tournaments.
Aiea, Kapolei, Campbell and Pearl City are more than happy to join the party this week, as they look to close out their respective seasons.
The DI baseball championships run Wednesday- Saturday.
The DII tournament will begin Thursday with first- round games at Hans L’Orange Park in Waipahu. It then shifts to Murakami Stadium for
Friday’s semifinals and Saturday’s championship game. Pairings for both tournaments were to be revealed Sunday.
A look at state tournament prospects for Aiea, Campbell, Kapolei and Pearl City follows.
The Campbell File
Record: 13-2 overall
OIA Red Tournament Recap: defeated Kalani (8-0) in the quarterfinals; defeated Kaiser (9-0) in the semifinals; defeated Mililani (4-3) in the championship game.
Sabers History: Campbell won a state title in 1978. The Sabers also finished third twice (in 2014 and 1995).
2015 Sabers at a Glance: Campbell enters this week having won five in a row and seven of their last eight. Included in that stretch were a pair of 4-3 wins over Mililani (in a span of eight days) to secure the Sabers’ third-straight OIA Division I Title.
Division I West Player of the Year candidate Ian Kahaloa was his usual dominant self on the mound in the title game, yielding only three hits to go with 10 strikeouts.
He found offensive support in catcher Tryzen Patricio, who was superb in the OIA title game, driving in three of his team’s four runs, including a two-run double that put the Sabers over the top.
The Pearl City File
Record: 9-7 overall
OIA Red Tournament Recap: defeated Roosevelt (3-2) in the first round; lost to Kaiser (9-7 in eight innings) in the quarterfinals; defeated Kalani (5-4) in the consolation round; lost to Moanalua in the fifth-place game.
Chargers History: Pearl City won the 2011 DI State Title. The Chargers have also been runner-up twice (in 1995 and 2007).
2015 Chargers at a Glance: If playing in close games does, indeed, season a team for the post-season, then no one figures to be more ready this week than Pearl City, which has seen six of its last seven games decided by a single run.
Seniors Tyler Kushima and Matt Tsutomi have been among the Chargers’ top offensive weapons to date with 19 and 14 hits, respectively, to rank among Division I West leaders.
Fellow senior teammate Dave Kaneshiro has been the workhorse on the mound for Pearl City, with a 1.84 ERA in 26.6 innings pitched over six appearances.
The Aiea File
Record: 12-0 overall
OIA Division II Tournament Recap: defeated fourth-seeded Farrington (5-0) in the semi- finals; defeated second-seeded Kapolei (6-5) in the champi- onship game.
Na Ali‘i History: Aiea has won two state titles (in 1973 and 1976) in their history. Na Ali‘i also has been the run- ner-up twice (1974 and 1975).
2015 Na Ali’i at a Glance: Aiea enters this week as one of only two teams still unde- feated.
Remove their three close encounters with Kapolei, and Na Ali‘i have been dominant in almost every other game, as they’ve toppled the 10-run plateau on six occasions. Kobe Kato figured big for Aiea in the OIA DII title game, driving in a pair of runs and coming in to seal the deal in the seventh inning in relief of winning pitcher Jarred Uyeda.
The Kapolei File
Record: 9-3 overall
OIA Division II Tournament Recap: defeated third-seeded Kalaheo (5-2) in the semifinals; lost to top-seeded Aiea (6-5) in the championship game.
Hurricanes History: This is the first-ever appearance in the state tournament for Kapolei.
2015 Hurricanes at a Glance: If the Hurricanes can shake off the effects of their heart-breaking (6-5) defeat to Aiea in the DII title game, they appear poised to do some damage this week. In fact, Kapolei is only a handful of plays away from being undefeated through 12 games. Kapolei will look to its offense for a boost, as the Hurricanes have been able to score runs in bunches at times this spring, having toppled the 10-run plateau on seven occasions.