May 8—DJ Akiyama went 3-for-3 with three RBIs as Aiea rallied to edge Campbell 8-6 on Friday afternoon at the Sabers’ field.
Aiea’s young team improved to 4-1 in the OIA West.
“We just say, you know what, stay humble and we just play baseball, ” Aiea assistant coach Wes Yoshida said. “Basically, that’s what it is, heart from start to finish.”
Aiea entered the top of the seventh inning trailing 6-5 when Akiyama led off with a single to right field. Pinch hitter Cody Kamihara followed with an opposite-field single to left. Akiyama and pinch runner Edison Zakahi advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Jonah Takeda. Haku Asing then grounded out to second, scoring Akiyama from third to tie the game.
Jordan Cezar then reached base on an infield single, bringing in Zakahi for a 7-6 Na Alii lead. Cezar stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Reef Rentiquiano. After Reigen Komugata walked, another wild pitch allowed Cezar to score. Komugata was thrown out trying to reach third base on the same play.
Center fielder Raine Yoshida took over on the mound to begin the bottom of the seventh. He retired the side in order as Aiea’s youth brigade rode to victory.
“It’s been an interesting season since we only have three seniors, but I love this team and I love all the teammates, and we all get along very well, ” said Akiyama, one of those three seniors for Aiea.
It was another heartbreaker for the Sabers, who rallied from an 11-1 deficit Tuesday to tie the score with Kaiser, only to lose 12-11.
“We’ve just got to play better, ” Campbell coach Wayne Nagamine said. “We’re good in spots.”
The back-and-forth battle on a sunny afternoon had action from the start. The visiting team in green and white scored twice in the top of the first. Yoshida led off with an infield single and Ryson Ujimori was hit by a La ‘akea Anders pitch. After a wild pitch advanced the runners, Akiyama sent a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Yoshida. A throwing error allowed Ujimori, attempting to advance to third base, to score.
Aiea southpaw Haku Asing went three innings and struck out six with an elite curveball. However, his issue with balks began in the bottom of the second inning after a single by Jayden Flores, who was left stranded at second base.
Na Alii extended their lead to 3-0 when Ujimori drew a two-out walk and scored on a triple to right by Akiyama, who was thrown out at home plate trying for an inside-the-park home run.
Kenzen Kong led off the bottom of the third for Campbell with a walk, then stole second base. After Diego Tabata’s infield single, the Sabers had runners at the corners. Asing was then called for his second balk, scoring Kong from third.
Aiea coach Ryan Kato asked the home plate umpire for a chance to explain to Asing what a balk is. On his way back to the dugout after the chat, he was informed that he had used his second timeout. The debate lasted a couple of minutes before Anders stepped into the batter’s box. With two outs, Anders delivered a single to right, plating Tabata to bring the Sabers within 3-2. Asing then whiffed Sy Stephens to end the inning.
Aiea stranded two runners in the fourth frame, but added a run in the top of the fifth. Ryen Abe led off with a single to right, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Yoshida and went to third base on a wild pitch by Campbell’s second pitcher, Dallas Alapai. With one out, Akiyama came through again with a single to left, scoring Abe for a 4-2 Aiea lead.
The Sabers responded with four runs off Aidan Yoshida in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead. Tabata walked and stole second base. After Kamanui Saito walked, Tabata promptly stole third. Tabata came home on a wild pitch, cutting the lead to 4-3.
Alapai then walked and Anders smacked a double to deep left-center, scoring Saito to tie the game.
With courtesy runner Cason Eliptico-Quinata at third base and Anders at second, Stephens’ sacrifice fly to left scored Eliptico-Quinata for a 5-4 Campbell lead. Anders was thrown out trying to advance to third base on the same play, but the rally wasn’t over.
Flores and Bresen Chang singled, and Ty Stephens singled to center, brining courtesy runner Julius Guano home for a 6-4 Sabers lead.
The visitors cut the margin to one run in the top of the sixth. Cezar, who finished 3-for-4, tripled to left with one out and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Komugata. Abe reached base on an infield error and Raine Yoshida singled, but Aiea stranded them in scoring position.
At Campbell Aiea (4-1 ) 201 011 3—8 11 0 Campbell (1-4-1 ) 002 040 0—6 8 2 Haku Asing, Dane Valenciano (4 ), Aidan Yoshida (5 ), Raine Yoshida (7 ) and Reigen Komugata. La ‘akea Anders, Dallas Alapai (5 ), Reef Rentiquiano (6 ) and Jayden Flores. W—R. Yoshida. L—Rentiquiano.
Leading hitters—Aiea : R. Yoshida 2-3, RBI, run ; DJ Akiyama 3-3, triple, 3 RBIs, run, SF ; Jordan Cezar 3-4, triple, 2 runs, SB. Campbell : Anders 2-4, double, 2 RBIs ; Jayden Flores 2-4, run ; Bresen Chang 2-3, double ; Ty Stephens 1-3, RBI ; Diego Tabata 1-2, 2 runs, SB, walk.—For more Hawaii high school sports, visit the.