Four battlers instead of one ace resulted in an eerily similar pitching line for Campbell in Thursday night’s 7-0 victory over Waipahu.
When OIA West teams see the Sabers coming on the schedule, it sure must seem like a pleasant surprise when they find out that Ian Kahaloa is not pitching.
Such was the case for the Marauders on Thursday, but it didn’t matter. No Kahaloa on the mound. No difference.
Four Campbell hurlers — left-handed starter Dorrien Hermosura, Chad Samante, Keola Himan and Markus Ramos — mowed down Waipahu just like Kahaloa probably would have done.
They combined to give up just three hits with 14 strikeouts (two per inning) — very Kahaloa-like.
You get the sense that coach Rory Pico is building up his staff slowly and not overworking them, getting ready for the playoffs and a push toward a possible state tournament appearance.
To make it that far — and possibly beyond (the team’s goal is to get to the state-title game after falling short of it by one game two years in a row) — the Sabers are going to need more than just Kahaloa, the right-hander who is a University of Hawaii commit and who is being scouted by all 30 major league teams.
Hermosura, a left-hander, is one pitcher being brought into the rotation slowly. He hurt his shoulder in the summer and was used as a closer earlier in the season. He said that the coaches have told him that he’s going to be installed as the third starter behind Kahaloa and Zachary Kapihe.
Hermosura was throwing heat and used an effective curveball for four innings to earn the win against Waipahu. Pico said Hermosura was getting close to his pitch count and that he used the three other hurlers because they’ve looked good in the bullpen and didn’t get to pitch in games last week.
Ramos has also started this season, and Samante, a burly righty, kept Waipahu off balance with a wicked curveball.
So, if this kind of pitching holds up against the competition that will get better and better as the OIA schedule gets tougher, then the Sabers (6-0) will be in good shape in crunch time.
Actually, crunch time is not far away. Campbell plays OIA West rival Mililani (6-0) twice — on Saturday and then in the regular-season finale April 18.
Pico was happy to see his Sabers break out on offense with 12 hits Thursday, including big-bash triples by Kahaloa (as a designated hitter) and Dewayne Sprinkel.
Kahaloa clouted one that one-hopped the fence 400 feet away in center field at Hans L’Orange Park.
But Pico is looking for more from his lineup at the plate.
“More quality at-bats,” Pico said. “We had a bunch of first-pitch swings. Certain players we need more consistency from. What we want is quality at-bats 1 through 9.”
As for the Sabers and their quest to get to the big game in May, Pico said, “We have a long way to go.”