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Moanalua captures OIA title

By Paul Honda

LAST UPDATED: 3:14 a.m. HST, Apr 26, 2011

The purple reign has ended in the Oahu Interscholastic Association, thanks to some blue-blooded Menehune. Miles Higa, the No. 9 hitter, came through with a two-run double in the bottom of the sixth to give Na Menehune the lead, and No. 5 Moanalua held on for 4-3 win over No. 9 Pearl City in the OIA Red final last night at Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park.

Moanalua (13-1) ended Pearl City's string of consecutive OIA titles at four. Higa had struggled against Pearl City ace Chevas Numata, hitting into a double play and striking out.

"They were going to pinch-hit for me, but coach Kelsey (Isa) let me hit in that position and get the job done," Higa said. "The whole game, he got me with the curveballs. I was waiting for a fastball. Good thing he threw a fastball."

It was the first OIA title for Moanalua and coach Scott Yamada, who has been at the helm of the baseball program since 1998. His players cornered him after the game near the dugout and gave him a long-deserved Gatorade shower.

"I'm just happy for them," Yamada said of his players. "These kids have been in the state tournament the last two years, so that experience paid off in big games. My staff is my backbone. The kids never give up. Since 2009, they've always been fighting and someone new always steps up."

Jordan DePonte came through with a solid night on the field, at the plate and on the mound. He retired the final two batters for a save in relief of Regan Lum and winning pitcher Kamalu Kamoku.

"I was ready to get the ball in a big-game situation," DePonte said. "We have heart, and there's no team in the OIA with as much heart as us. This is for everybody. This is for Zach (Manago)."

Manago, a former player, died in December by a hit-and-run driver. Pearl City had already clinched a state-tourney berth.

"Hat's off to Moanalua. A one-man game, anything can happen," Chargers coach Mitch Yamato said. "We'll bounce back."

The Chargers jolted Na Menehune early with a leadoff triple to the right-field corner by Kai Kealoha, who scored on Tyler Tokunaga's groundout. Numata and Lum engaged in a pitchers duel for a few more innings. Pearl City added another run in the fifth when Kealoha singled, stole second and scored on a single to center by Tokunaga for a 2-0 lead. That was enough to chase Lum after 41/3 innings. Just as it seemed Numata was on a roll with a three-hitter, Moanalua stormed back with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to seize the lead. Bronson Shim doubled and pinch hitter David Miyashiro's sacrifice bunt turned into a fielding error by Numata. James Higa's single to right scored Shim, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Kekoa Kaulukukui and an intentional walk to DePonte.

Higa then drilled a liner down the left-field line for a double, plating Miyashiro and James Higa for a 3-2 Na Menehune lead. After Michael Egami's safety squeeze bunt brought home DePonte from third, Moanalua had a 4-2 lead entering the seventh. Pearl City's first two batters in the seventh, pinch hitter Kyle Tom and Tanner Tokunaga, walked. However, Tom was caught edging too far off second base on the first pitch to Kai Kealoha. Catcher Brandon Kong's rifle throw went to shortstop Tim Arakawa, who tagged Tom out.


At Central Oahu Regional Park

PC (10-5) 100 010 1 2 4 1
Moanalua (13-1) 000 004 x 4 6 0

Chevas Numata, Sean Milan (6) and Isaac Shim. Regan Lum, Kamalu Kamoku (5), Jordan DePonte (7) and Brandon Kong. W--Kamoku. L--Numata. S--DePonte. Leading hitters--PC: Kai Kealoha 2-2, 3B, 2 runs. Moanalua: DePonte 2-2, run; Miles Higa 1-3, 2B, 2 RBIs.


Elijah Davidann tossed a two-hitter to lead the Surfriders over the Trojans in the OIA Red third-place game.

At Mililani

Kailua 300 110 0 5 11 0
Mililani 000 000 1 1 2 0

Elijah Davidann and Kea Vierra; Kanoa Hironaka, Micah Kitaoka (5), Troy Kakugawa (7) and Wade Taoka. W--Davidann. L--Hironaka.
Leading hitters--Kai: Kory Sasaoka 2-4, 2 2bs; Bryson Dymond 2-3, 2b, RBI, run; Kila Zuttermeister 2-4, 2b, RBI; Corey Louis-Soares HR. Mil: Beau Winchester 1-1, RBI.


Senior second baseman Guy Phillips hammered a pair of two-run homers as the Mules drubbed the Rough Riders in the OIA Red fifth-place game.

At Leilehua

Roosevelt 000 230 0 5 6 4
Leilehua 027 100 x 10 10 6

Mika Caris, Yuki Wada (4), Randon Mamuad (5) and Tyris Tominaga; John Baptista, Cody Academia (5), Josh Lorenzo (6) and Aaron Higa. W--Baptista. L--Caris.
Leading hitters--Roo: Drayson Ito 2b; Michael Matsuoka 2-3, 3 RBIs. Lei: Cyrus Ah-Quin 3b, RBI; Kenan Sadanaga 2-3, 2b, RBI; Aaron Higa 2-3, 2b, RBI; Larry Paas 3b, 2 RBIs; Guy Phillips 2-3, HR, 4 RBIs; John Baptista 3b; Bronson Ancheta-Maeda 2b, RBI.


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