More questions in baseball than softball

Kamehameha's Kawai Takemura eyed the plate as he tried to beat the tag of Punahou catcher Ryan Nishi in a game last week. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Kamehameha’s Kawai Takemura eyed the plate as he tried to beat the tag of Punahou catcher Ryan Nishi in a game last week. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

We’re closing in on a full month into the softball and baseball regular seasons and the two sports seem to be shaping out very differently.

In softball, there’s no doubt who everyone is chasing. The defending state champion Campbell Sabers were a unanimous No. 1 pick in the first Honolulu Star-Advertiser Softball Top 10 rankings and nothing has changed since. Despite playing in a tough OIA West, the Sabers have rolled to a 3-0 start outscoring quality opponents by a combined score of 22-6.

Today, the Sabers face the only other undefeated team in the West in Pearl City in our second No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown of the young season.

The challengers to the Sabers’ state championship repeat have a loaded group of quality teams in the hunt. ‘Iolani, Kamehameha, Punahou and Maryknoll have all shown flashes of brilliance at some point already this season and all four rank in the top seven in the latest HSA rankings.

Watch out for Lahainaluna in the MIL, which broke in to the rankings at No. 9 this week. Moanalua, which cracked the rankings at No. 10, figures to find its biggest challenge in the East from Kaiser, which tied Na Menehune 6-6 in a game the Cougars held a four-run lead in the ninth inning before it was called due to lights.

As for baseball, as many as 17 different teams have received votes in a given week. Defending state champion Baldwin has remained at the top for the entire season, but is nowhere near the unanimous status the Sabers hold in softball.

Kamehameha and Saint Louis have separated themselves from the pack in the ILH with the Warriors gunning for an incredible sixth win in nine days today against Maryknoll. Punahou is the only team that can keep it from being a two-horse race, but would need a big win against the Crusaders today at Goeas Field.

Kailua, with senior Joey Cantillo putting on a show on Saturday against Kalani with 18 strikeouts in seven innings, looks to have another strong team as do the 2015 state champion Campbell Sabers. No. 3 Campbell can run away with the West with a victory over Aiea on Saturday to build a three-game lead halfway through the regular season.

The Neighbor Island teams are always intriguing heading into the state tournament and voters are starting to think there could be a large presence in the Division I and Division II state tournaments with Waiakea, KS-Hawaii and Hilo cracking the Star-Advertiser Top 10.

Here are the two polls for the week of March 13.

Updated: May 1
3.Saint Louis73

Marquee games
No. 6 Punahou vs. No. 4 Saint Louis, Tuesday, 3:30 p.m., Goeas Field
No. 5 Kailua at Moanalua, Wednesday, 3 p.m.
No. 4 Saint Louis vs. No. 2 Kamehameha, Saturday, 3 p.m., Ala Wai Field
No. 9 KS-Hawaii at No. 10 Hilo, Monday, 3 p.m.

Updated: May 8
3.Pearl City73
t9.St. Francis17

Marquee games
No. 1 Campbell at No. 2 Pearl City, Tuesday, 3 p.m.
No. 1 Campbell vs. No. 8 Mililani, Saturday, 5 p.m., McKinley
No. 9 Lahainaluna vs. Baldwin, Saturday, 10 a.m.


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