Central Teams Jockey For Spots In OIA Baseball Playoffs

The back end of the OIA baseball schedule finds Waialua, Mililani and Leilehua already in playoff mindset with much to be decided, based on the outcome of their respective games Wednesday and Saturday. A glance at the key matchups are below.

McKinley at Waialua at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday

Waialua’s home date with McKinley is arguably the most important game of the modern era for the Bulldogs, who find themselves in the hunt for another OIA playoff berth and possible advancement to the DII state tournament. A win here could go a long way toward that end for Waialua, who was 5-3 at press time. The only issue at present is that the OIA White’s top four teams – Nanakuli, Waianae, Radford and Waialua – all come from the West, with only three playoff berths open. Stay tuned.

Pearl City at Leilehua at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday

Any Pearl City-Leilehua matchup on the baseball diamond normally rates as prime entertainment. The stakes are high with both teams fighting for the sixth and final berth from the West for the OIA tournament.

The good news for Leilehua is that its last four games, beginning with last weekend’s game against Aiea, all come on the Mules’ home field. The not-so-good news is that Leilehua’s last two games will be against the Red West’s top two teams – Waipahu April 18 and Campbell April 22. The Chargers held a one-game lead over Leilehua in the standings at press time, but had dropped four straight games following a 3-2 start in their Red West slate. Pearl City won the first meeting between the teams, 13-3, March 14.

Mililani vs. Aiea at 6 p.m. Saturday at Central Oahu Regional Park

The Trojans come into this game well-rested, having had an eight-day layoff since their April 11 game with Kapolei. That means Mililani will have the full complement of its pitching staff when head coach Mark

Hirayama fills out his lineup card. It has been an up-and-down Red West season for the Trojans, who were the Division I state tournament runner-up last May. Mililani was 4-5, a game below the .500 mark, at press time. Aiea also found itself at 4-5 entering action late last week, but had begun to generate some momentum by winning four of its last five games. Mililani won the first meeting between the teams, 6-1, March 19.