Camp­bell Sabers Team To Catch In OIA Base­ball Red West

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

There cur­rently are seven teams in the OIA Red West base­ball con­fer­ence, and six of them have had the same mind­set through­out the spring: Catch Camp­bell.

The de­fend­ing OIA Di­vi­sion I cham­pion Sabers re­mains the team to beat en­ter­ing its fi­nal week of the sea­son. A look at Camp­bell’s matchup with Aiea fol­lows, as well as pre­views of the other games in­volv­ing West Oahu teams. All games start at 3:30 p.m. Wed­nes­day. Waipahu at Kapolei Af­ter suf­fer­ing three heart­break­ing losses amid a 1-5 start, Kapolei re­cently broke through in a big way with a pair of sea­son-chang­ing vic­to­ries over both Aiea ( 9- 6) and Leile­hua (8-1) to bet­ter po­si­tion it­self for a post­sea­son berth. Given their near- misses, the Hur­ri­canes are prob­a­bly the best 3-5 team in the state, as a 10-0 loss to Red West-leader Camp­bell at mid-sea­son re­mains the only game where Kapolei didn’t get within strik­ing dis­tance.

The team was to play Camp­bell and Mililani late last week be­fore fac­ing Waipahu. A game Satur­day against Pearl City fol­lows at CORP, the out­come of which should loom large for both pro­grams’ play­off seed­ings.

Waipahu en­tered the end of last week in sole pos­ses­sion of sec­ond place, giv­ing it the in­side track on a first-round bye for the post-sea­son, should it win its last four games. It will have to do it on the road, how­ever. Games at Camp­bell and Pearl City were on the slate late last week (af­ter press time) for the Ma­raud­ers, with their sea­son fi­nale at Leile­hua Fri­day. Waipahu won the first Kapolei game 12-7 last month.

Aiea at Camp­bell

Hav­ing yielded a mere eight runs in its first eight games, Camp­bell has es­tab­lished it­self as the state’s top de­fen­sive team. Since giv­ing up four in its sea­son-open­ing 5-4 win over Mililani March 5, the Sabers have grown stronger, post­ing four shutouts and re­lin­quish­ing no more than a sin­gle run in one out­ing — an 8-2 win over Pearl City.

Zach Kapihe (two wins, one save), Dor­rien Vil­lanueva-He­mo­sura (two wins, one save), Ian Ka­haloa (three wins) and Dirk Patrick Hin­man (one win) ac­counted for Camp- bell’s eight wins on the mound as of late last Thurs­day. Of­fen­sively, the team also has been stel­lar with a league-best 59 runs.

Aiea is play­ing some of its best base­ball lately, with wins in four of its last five games head­ing into last weekend’s Leile­hua game. A full week off from ac­tion pre­ceded that game, leav­ing Aiea with a well-rested pitch­ing staff.

Camp­bell won the first game be­tween the teams 10-1 March 15. Pearl City at Leile­hua A four-game skid left Pearl City in ‘must win’ mode as it en­tered a game with Waipahu late last week. This one against Leile­hua is equally im­por­tant for play­off hopes, as Pearl City en­tered the weekend hold­ing just a one-game edge over the Mules in the standings (and the race for the sixth and fi­nal play­off spot from the Red West).

Pearl City owns the head-to-head tie-breaker over Leile­hua at present, since it de­feated the Mules in the first game last month. The Charg­ers’ three wins left them tied with Kapolei, whom they will meet Satur­day for the sixth spot.

Leile­hua can get back in the mix for that spot with a win here and an­other on Fri­day, when it hosts Waipahu in an­other huge game. A road trip to Camp­bell closes out Leile­hua’s slate next Mon­day. The Mules will look for more of­fen­sive out­put this week in their quest to qual­ify for the play­offs, as their 19 runs in seven games was the low­est in the league as of press time.

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