Wednesday afternoon’s OIA East baseball matchup between Kaiser and Moanalua produced a total of 30 hits, nine errors and two disappointed coaches.
Na Menehune’s 14-13 walk-off victory over the Cougars on senior night never failed to entertain, with each team taking advantage of the other’s mistakes. Despite trailing 13-10 entering the home half of the seventh, Moanalua (6-4) rallied to top Kaiser (5-4) after Andrew Oasay was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
“We can fight back. We’re not just gonna roll over to anybody,” said Oasay, who had a team-high three hits and two doubles with two RBIs. “It feels good. I was a four year vars guy and I was trying to play for (other seniors) before, and I’m glad these guys are trying to play for us too.”
Third baseman Bryson Sato led off the inning with a solo home run. Kaiser had a chance to end the game when Na Menehune’s Tyler Nakata hit a grounder to Cougars shortstop Christian Reasoner with the bases loaded and one out, but Jesse Streode’s throw from second bounced to first and was bobbled by Jace Okamoto, allowing Mathis Yamamoto to score from third. Christian Cadina’s single scored McCade Ho, tying the game at 13 before Oasay was hit by a pitch.
Na Menehune trailed 4-0 heading into the home half of the third before cutting the deficit to 4-3 heading into the fourth. Moanalua scored six more runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend its lead to 9-4.
Both starters had shorter outings than expected due to the offensive outbursts. Kaiser’s Pono Lyman lasted 3 2/3 innings, threw 87 pitches and gave up nine runs, although only three of those were earned. Branden Chung-Ming allowed three runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings of relief, but was in line for the win when he yielded to Jake Nam in the bottom of the seventh, who was only able to record two outs and was tagged with the loss.
Moanalua starter Austyn Kometani was pulled after allowing five hits and four runs in 2 1/3 innings. Christian Capinia picked up the win, allowing two runs in 1 1/3 innings with one strikeout.
Facing a 10-6 deficit in the top of the sixth, Kaiser erupted for six runs of its own, highlighted by Reasoner’s three-run homer that barely cleared Moanalua’s right field wall 286 feet away.
The Cougars scored their last run in the top of the seventh when Kennedy Chun drove in Antonio Omphroy on a fielder’s choice.
“That moment, I was just trying to get a base hit. I just went (the opposite way), that just happened,” Reasoner said. “We put up a lot of runs but we also gave up a lot of runs on defense. That’s the main thing we gotta work on, we gotta toughen that up.”
Reasoner’s four hits and five RBIs were both game highs, but Kaiser’s defense committed three errors and allowed nine walks on the mound, helping the Cougars claw their way back into the game.
“Unfortunately our pitching and our defense let us down,” Kaiser coach Kila Kaaihue said. “We gave them the game, I mean, we beat ourself. Moanalua kept fighting, they stayed in there.”
Besides getting the win, Moanalua coach Scott Yamada wasn’t pleased with his team either. Na Menehune committed four errors in the sixth inning alone and finished with six total for the game.
“Just happy with the “W,” but not pleased with our defense,” he said. “I don’t think we can play like that and give up that many runs. It just killed us and it let them back in the game.
“They swung the bat and I have to give them credit and we just hung in there. That’s a positive thing.”