West Base­ball Teams Bat­tle For Fa­vor­able Play­off Seed

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - West Oahu Sports - By JACK DANILEWICZ

For the teams in the OIA Red West, the com­ing weeks will be about get­ting into fa­vor­able play­off seed­ing. A look at to­day’s key base­ball games (April 2) in­volv­ing Aiea, Camp­bell, Pearl City, Kapolei and Waipahu fol­lows. All games start at 3:30 p.m. Aiea at Kapolei This game can safely be placed in the “must win” cat­e­gory for Aiea, which was tied with Kapolei for the last play­off spot in the Red West at press time. Aiea dropped the ear­lier game be­tween the two schools, 7-5, back on March 8, giv­ing Kapolei an ad­van­tage in the headto-head tie-breaker, should the two teams find them­selves still bat­tling for the fi­nal slot at sea­son’s end. Af­ter four straight losses to be­gin league play, Aiea broke through with a huge 4- 1 win over Mililani re­cently to gain some mo­men­tum.

A game with Leile­hua, also winnable, was to fol­low over the weekend for Aiea. It will have to make its play­off push on the road, as this game is the first of four straight away games.

For its part, Kapolei has been one of the Red West’s hard-luck out­fits, hav­ing dropped close en­coun­ters to Pearl City and Leile­hua by one run each. The Hur­ri­canes also played well in a 12-7 loss March 17 to one of the league’s best teams, Waipahu. Camp­bell at Pearl City Stel­lar pitch­ing has buoyed the Sabers in their 5-0 start, as three wins have come by way of shutouts. To that end, Ian Ka­haloa, Dor­rien Vil­lanueva-Hermosura, Zach Kapihe and Dirk Patrick Hi­man all have been solid on the mound for Camp­bell, whose only real close game to date was a 5-4 win over Mililani open­ing day. The Sabers were to play Waipahu in a much-an­tic­i­pated con­test over the weekend prior to this game with Pearl City, which is the third in a stretch of four road games for Camp­bell.

For Pearl City, this out­ing will be its first fol­low­ing a 10- day lay­off. The Charg­ers had won two of their last three prior to their break, hav­ing posted wins over Leile­hua and Kapolei be­fore a loss to Waipahu. Gen­er­at­ing more of­fen­sive out­put fig­ures to be the theme the rest of the way for Pearl City, which is 3-0 in Red West play when scor­ing at least three runs. Con­versely, Pearl City has mus­tered just one run to­tal in its three league losses. Charger lead- off man Tan­ner Toku­naga is batting .529 to date with five ex­tra base hits to his credit. Mililani at Waipahu With a loss to these same Tro­jans the only blem­ish on its record as of late last week, Waipahu may have re­venge on its mind when it takes the field this time. The Ma­raud­ers will be com­ing into this con­test af­ter hav­ing met Camp­bell in a much- an­tic­i­pated game over the weekend, the out­come of which could go a long way in de­ter­min­ing the Red West cham­pion.

Af­ter this Satur­day’s home date with Aiea, Waipahu will turn its at­ten­tion to a stretch of three straight road games (Pearl City, Camp­bell and Kapolei) to fin­ish out its Red West slate. Pitch­ing has largely car­ried Waipahu to date, as it won its Leile­hua and Pearl City games by shutout and the Aiea game 6-1. Only Kapolei has scored more than a sin­gle run against Waipahu, putting up seven in a los­ing ef­fort. Mililani en­tered last weekend only a cou­ple of plays from be­ing 4-1 rather than 2-3, with tough losses to Leile­hua (5-3) and league leader Camp­bell (5-4).

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