Concepcion: ‘2 innings’ from a purple reign

Darley Trenton scored for Pearl City against Mililani. Bryan Berkowitz / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Darley Trenton scored for Pearl City against Mililani. Bryan Berkowitz / Special to the Star-Advertiser

If two bad innings make for a 17-2 season and, really, it wasn’t far from perfection, it wasn’t a bad season by any definition.

The Pearl City Chargers are in that bubble between what could’ve been and the reality of an amazing run to the state championship baseball game. Coach Gavin Concepcion’s team drew raves at Iron Maehara Stadium from long-time observers and media for their consistent defense and all-around play. It was fully earned. Going into the title game, Pearl City, which had been among the top 3 teams in the Star-Advertiser Baseball Top 10 for practically the entire season, had won three games in three days, including a 10-inning instant classic against Maui and an 11-inning battle against Mililani.

Clutch city, to say the least.

By the championship game against Baldwin on Saturday, the Chargers seemed quite possibly to be a team of destiny, even with the fatigue and the long stretch of games — and the impact on the pitching staff. In the end, a 5-1 loss to Baldwin, which had an opening-round bye thanks to its MIL crown, ended what was a borderline spectacular season.

Errors, though, will be part of the history of the 2016 squad. There was an onslaught of miscues in the OIA semifinal game against Kailua, a torrent of errors late in the game that broke open a close game. On Saturday, there were two errors that helped Baldwin score four runs in the second inning.

“We got better from the Kailua game,” Concepcion said. “The season came down to two innings on defense.”

Concepcion’s team will also be remembered for that resilience that brought them back from the doldrums of that loss to Kailua.

“Are we disappointed we lost the (state) title game? Of course, but not at any point in this game did anyone put a head down or give up,” he said. “We knew whoever (Baldwin) was going to throw today, they didn’t get a lot of work in.”

Baldwin started freshman Kaipo Haole, who had pitched in just two games due to a foot injury, but he was highly effective at spotting his curveball and fastball. Haole permitted just one run in 4 innings, and reliever Nigel Mayfield threw three shutout innings.

“They competed in that zone. The balls we hit were hard. They made great plays,” Conception added. “We could not put the swings together tonight.”

The misery of defeat tends to linger. But of all the teams that made their presence known this spring, from powerful Mid-Pacific of the ILH, to late bloomer Punahou, to OIA champion Kailua to a pair of late-season peaking teams in Campbell and Mililani, Pearl City climbed to the title-game summit when all these contenders did not.

The numbers from top to bottom of the Chargers lineup:
Colby Hirano, 2B
vs. Maui 1-5, RBI
vs. Waiakea 1-3, 3B, 2 BB
vs. Mililani 1-6, run
vs. Baldwin 0-3
total 3-17, RBI, run, 3B, 2 BB

Sam Prentice, RF
vs. Maui 1-3, HBP
vs. Waiakea 0-3, HBP
vs. Mililani 1-3, RBI, run, 3 HBP
vs. Baldwin 0-3
total 2-12, RBI, run, 5 HBP

Davin Kapuras, 3B
vs. Maui 1-3, BB
vs. Waiakea 0-4
vs. Mililani 1-6, run
vs. Baldwin 2-3, run, SB
total 4-16, 2 runs, BB, SB

Matt Yokota, CF
vs. Maui 1-2, BB, SB
vs. Waiakea 1-4, 2 runs, 2 SB
vs. Mililani 1-4, 3 RBIs, run, SF, HBP
vs. Baldwin 0-3
total 3-12, 3 RBIs, 3 runs, BB, SB, SF, HBP

Christian Onomura, 1B
vs. Maui 0-4
vs. Waiakea 2-3, 2 runs, 2B, BB, SB
vs. Mililani 1-5, run, HBP
vs. Baldwin 0-3
total 3-15, 3 runs, BB, SB, HBP

Trenton Darley, P/CR/PH
vs. Maui 0-3; 8 IP, 0 runs, 5 hits, 5 SO, 1 BB, 104 pitches
vs. Waiakea 1-1, RBI
vs. Mililani 0-0
vs. Baldwin 0-0
total 1-4, RBI

Trestan Nakamura, LF/P
vs. Maui 1-4, BB, run; 2 IP, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 SO, 0 BB, 1 HBP, 27 pitches
vs. Waiakea 0-2, RBI, HBP
vs. Mililani 0-0, SB
vs. Baldwin 1-1, RBI, SB, HBP
total 2-7, 2 RBIs, BB, SB, 2 HBP

Kaleb Nishijo, C
vs. Maui 0-3, BB
vs. Waiakea 0-2, BB
vs. Mililani 2-5
vs. Baldwin 0-3
total 2-13, 2 BB

Matt Aribal, SS
vs. Maui 0-3, BB
vs. Waiakea 1-3, SB, HBP
vs. Mililani 1-4, run, HBP
vs. Baldwin 1-2, SB
total 3-12, run, BB, 2 SB, 2 HBP

Carson Okada, P
vs. Waiakea 7 IP, 2 runs, 4 hits, 1 SO, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 72 pitches
vs. Baldwin 5 IP, 0 runs, 6 hits, 3 SO, 0 BB, 62 pitches
total 12 IP, 1.17 ERA, 2 runs, 10 hits, 4 SO, 1 BB, HBP, 134 pitches

Chase Yoshida, DH
vs. Waiakea 0-3

Torey Chun, P
vs. Mililani 8 IP, 1 run, 6 hits, 2 SO, 3 BB, 1 WP, 1 HBP, 89 pitches

Dillin Hasegawa, P
vs. Mililani 3 IP, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 SO, 2 BB, 48 pitches

Ansin Mostoles, DH
vs. Mililani 2-5, RBI, run

Keanu Nicholson, P
vs. Baldwin 2 IP, 5 runs, 3 ER, 5 hits, 1 SO, 2 BB, 1 HBP


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