OIA Baseball
Mililani buckles No. 9 Campbell


  



Thu, Apr 18, 2019 @ [ 3:00 pm ]


FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Campbell 0 000010140
Mililani 0 2 0020X480

W: Jason Shiigi    L: Dayton Robinson    SV: Charles Winchester

MIL: Ethan Thomas 1-3 run rbi dbl; Jason Shiigi 5.0 IP 1 ER 5 K
CAMP: Varen Sabino 1-2 dbl; Dayton Robinson 4.6 ER 4 ER


MILILANI — The Trojans secured a first round bye for next week's Oahu Interscholastic Association Playoffs and potentially the top seed out of the West after buckling No. 9 Campbell, 4-1, Thursday afternoon for their Senior Game on their home field in central Oahu.

Mililani senior Jason Shiigi pitched nearly five flawless innings before being lifted in the top of the sixth inning for Kaiwi Winchester after beaning the first two Campbell batters. The Sabers scored on consecutive singles to shrink the lead to three runs with the bases still loaded, but Winchester settled in and induced back-to-back grounders to third baseman Vance Oshiro to close the inning out on a 5-2-3 double play.

An inning later, Winchester retired the Sabers in order to seal the game up with both squads' records now standing at 9-2.

Recent games between these two OIA West foes have tended to be fast-paced, high-intensity battles with narrow margins of victory, and their earlier meeting this season was no exception. Winchester had gotten the start in that March 23 matchup at Les Murakami Stadium and gave up four runs in the loss.

"It made me think about how baseball is more mental than physical. It's easy to get in your head. Just the cheering and all the pressure that's being put onto your back," Winchester said. "You just got to ignore that and play ball. I just take a couple deep breaths. Not overthink but like think about what I'm doing wrong, adjust to my expectations and just pitch the ball."

Thursday's game — which had been postponed from its originally scheduled date of a day before — marked the sixth mound appearance for the junior and was his first save of the season.

"Coach was saying about having each others' backs and playing for the person next to you. Especially since it's Senior Night, I just really wanted to back my teammates up and just provide," Winchester said.

The Trojans were able to back each other at the plate and did their damage in the second the fifth innings by bunching together hits off Campbell starter Dayton Robinson.

Hunter Faildo, Oshiro and Jayton Pang each singled to load the bases with one out, but Robinson induced a grounder to get the second out at home. Micah Kaohu then drew a walk to get Mililani's first run across and JR Suehisa singled to center field for an RBI, but Tyrus Stephens gunned down Cole Akamu at the plate to end the inning.

In the fifth, Suehisa again got on with a single to the outfield and came home on Ethan Thomas' double to the left-center gap. Designated hitter Taylor Inouye then slapped one back to the outfield to plate the Trojans' fourth run.

Shiigi recorded his third win on the mound with a season-high five strikeouts while Robinson was tagged with his first loss of the year.

Trojans stater Jason Shiigi pitched a near-flawless five innings with a season-high five strikeouts. Spencer Honda | SL    Purchase image

"Today it came down to good pitching. When we can throw strikes and get ahead, it gives us a chance to do some things," Mililani coach Mark Hirayama said.

"I don't think we hit the ball very well today. I think first three innings was a perfect game [Shiigi] threw," Campbell interim coach Glenn Flores said. "We didn't square up on the ball very well. Can't hit the ball, can't score runs."

Both teams finish their regular season schedules Saturday with Mililani going to Pearl City (1-10) and Campbell traveling to Waianae (2-9). If both end with the same record, the tiebreaker goes to the defending league champion Trojans since they defeated the third OIA West team, Aiea, twice while the Sabers split their head-to-head series with Na Alii. Either way, both Mililani and Campbell will have first round byes in next week's 12-team OIA Playoffs.

"One or two, you get the bye. That's huge. One less game that you got to play," Hirayama said. "But again, you're going to have to beat the best anyway. It's just a matter of seeing them second game or third game. But the big thing is the bye. One less game to get to states."



Reach Spencer Honda at [email protected].


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