The Owls are looking for their second state title in three years while the Sabers haven’t been to the final since winning it all in 1978.
No. 1 Campbell (15-2) vs. No. 2 Mid-Pacific (14-3)
FINAL: Campbell 3, Mid-Pacific 2
Campbell will start 5-8 senior Dorrien Villanueva-Hermosura against Mid-Pacific’s 5-9 junior Alexander Oley.
MPI lineup: Maekawa 2B; Oley P; Shackles C; Yamaguchi SS; Wago DH; Kinel RF; Yamashiro 1B; Infante LF; Tengan 3B.
Camp lineup: Sprinkel CF; Ibana SS; Kahaloa DH; Villanueva-Hermosura P; Arcano-Llacuna LF; Kapihe 3B; Himan RF; Gallano 1B; Patricio C.
TOP 1: Villanueva-Hermosura is a little wild to start falling behind 2-0 to the first two batters. He hits Oley with a pitch and a single by Noah Shackles puts a runner in scoring position. Yamaguchi, who is 6-for-7 coming into the game, JUST misses extra bases down the right-field line and then swings at a ball in the dirt for a big strikeout by Villanueva-Hermosura. Grounder ends it. 20-pitch inning for Villanueva-Hermosura.
BOT 1: Kahaloa with a two-out double but Oley gets Villanueva-Hermosura to foul out to the catcher. 14 of 18 strikes in first inning for Oley.
TOP 2: Mid-Pacific catches a break as Kinel reaches on a throwing error but the TV replay shows the tag was applied before Kinel touched the bag. Should have been an out. MPI bunts Kinel over to second and then Kinel takes off on the first pitch and steals third. Infante taps one back to the pitcher and Kinel has to hold as Campbell gets the second out. Villanueva-Hermosura gets his second strikeout to end the inning.
BOT 2: Arcano-Llacuna hits an 0-2 mistake from Oley into center for a leadoff single. Kapihe with the bunt to move him over and Oley goes to second and it’s dropped by the shortstop for an error. Himan executes the bunt and Campbell has second and third with one out but Oley gets a huge strikeout. Patricio with a slow grounder to short. Maekawa has to charge and he double clutches but fires off the throw JUST IN TIME. Mid-Pacific escapes.
TOP 3: Maekawa is ahead 2-0 again and this time pulls a ball into the left-field corner for a leadoff double. Got his pitch and drilled it. Oley bunts Maekawa to third and Shackles delivers the base hit to center to drive in the first run. Owls swinging aggressively at the first pitch.
TOP 4: Ryne Yamashiro with a one-out singles but he’s stranded at second.
BOT 4: Arcano-Llacuna does it again, just throwing his hands at a close 0-2 pitch and slinging it into center for a one-out single. That stops a streak of seven in a row retired by Oley. Arcano-Llacuna steals second but is left there.
TOP 5: Shackles is swinging 3-0 and singles with two outs for his third hit but that’s all as Villanueva-Hermosura ends it with a strikeout.
BOT 5: Gallano leads off with a single back up the middle on a 0-2 pitch. One out for Sprinkel, who CRUSHES a ball over the right-field fence. A two-run homer gives the Sabers the lead. That is the first HR hit in a state championship game at Les Murakami Stadium since Keahi Rawlins of Molokai in 1999. Oley finishes off the fifth winning a nine-pitch battle with Kahaloa, who grounds out to the pitcher.
TOP 6: Chase Wago hits a grounder to first and beats a sliding Gallano to the bag for a leadoff single. Third Owls sacrifice bunt moves him to second. Throw nearly pulls Gallano off the bag but TV replay shows he was clearly out. MPI coach Dunn Muramaru chats with two different umps before getting back to the third-base box and Villanueva-Hermosura immediately plunks Yamashiro with a pitch. Villanueva-Hermosura gets a huge strikeout for the second out and a ground out ends it.
BOT 6: Villanueva-Hermosura leads off with a single to left and Oley is done after five solid innings. Maekawa in to pitch from second as Oley goes to center. Maekawa quickly goes 1-2-3 and we go to the seventh.
TOP 7: Maekawa pops to third for the first out. Oley with a one-out single to bring up Shackles, who has three hits, but he flies out to left on the first pitch. Two outs for Yamaguchi, who is hitting .600 in the state tournament. A balk moves Oley into scoring position. Yamaguchi is down to his last strike and hits a slow grounder to third. He beats it out at first and Oley comes flying around third and scores on the infield hit. We’re tied 2-2. MPI was down to its last strike. TV guys are saying he was out after watching the replay. Yamaguchi steals second to get into scoring position. Wago fouls out to third and we go to the bottom of the seventh.
BOT 7: Patricio with a one-out single. Ibana with a two-out grounder to third but they try and get Shane Shimizu, the pinch runner, in a rundown. MPI throws it away and it’s runners on second and third. Kahaloa is intentionally walked to bring up Villanueva-Hermosura, who hits into a fielder’s choice at second.
TOP 8: Keola Himan in to pitch for Villanueva-Hermosura, whose final line is 7 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Himan with a 1-2-3 inning.
BOT 8: Arcano-Llacuna reaches on an infield single for his third hit. Campbell botches a bunt as Kapihe misses it and Arcano-Llacuna is then thrown out at second. Kapihe then singles into left. Errant pickoff throw to first moves the winning run to third. Himan is intentionally walked. Ground ball to short. Kapihe heads for the plate and MPI gets him out easily for the second out. Patricio with a chance to be the hero. Patricio singles through the right side and it’s over. Sabers win first state title since 1978.