OIA Baseball
Pearl City rallies past Campbell for first win in over 2 years


Sat, May 1, 2021 @ [ 11:00 am ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Campbell 2 013000651
Pearl City 3 0 0400X754

W: Eli Oshiro    L: Kamanui Saito

PC: Dacoda Agoto 1-2 2 runs 3 rbi HR; Joshua Aribal 3.0 IP 3 ER 6 K
CAMP: Laakea Anders 3-4 run rbi; Diego Tabada 2.0 IP 0 ER 2 K

PEARL CITY — Power-hitting Pearl City.

Dacoda Agoto and Joshua Aribal each slugged a three-run home run — the latter to put his team ahead for good — to lead Pearl City to a 7-6 win over visiting Campbell in an Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I baseball game Saturday.  

It was the first win for the Chargers in more than two years, since a 7-3 win over Waianae on March 30, 2019 — their only win in an 1-11 season that saw them miss the 12-team OIA playoffs. The only two games they played last year both resulted in losses.

"It feels great," said Aribal, one of four seniors for Pearl City (1-2).  "It's a good feeling. We haven't felt that in a while and just working hard really paid off at the end."

It was the Chargers' first win over Campbell (1-2) since March 7, 2018.

"It feels great. We took one different approach today," Agoto added.

In last Saturday's season opener, Pearl City was limited to two hits in a 10-2 loss at Mililani. It posted seven hits against Aiea on Wednesday, but came up short in an 8-5 defeat.

"Today we calmed ourselves down, were more disciplined at the plate and played more as a team instead of ourselves and just dialing it in, making sure that we back up our pitchers and stay focused throughout the whole game," said Aribal, who started the game on the mound, but finished it out in centerfield.

While the Chargers were held to five hits by the Sabers — who staffed the game with five different pitchers — the two home runs proved to be pivotal.

After the visitors recycled a pair of walks issued by Aribal to Kekoa Ganancial and Sy Stephens into a couple of runs in the top of the first inning, Agoto erased the Campbell lead with one swing of his bat in the bottom half of the frame.

Sabers' starting pitcher Jayden Flores walked the first two batters he faced — Tyson Murakami and Micah Zeller — before the right-handed Agoto turned on a 1-1 offering from Flores and sent it just beyond the left field fence.

Rather than taking a pitch or two, Agoto said he was encouraged to "go after it" by the coaching staff. He took one anyway — for ball one — before Flores evened the count with a strike.

"Because I never seen this pitcher before, different approach so I was like, ‘OK, you know, we been down, we haven't been winning, so gotta get in some runners,' so I was just thinking in the gap — anywhere — but fortunately it went over," said Agoto, a junior left fielder.

Aribal, who bats two spots behind Agoto in the five-hole, praised his teammate for staying back on the ball on his home-run swing.

"It was a nice piece; He sat back more than usual. He's usually pulling off, (but) he was more disciplined at the plate," Aribal said.

Campbell tied it in the top of the third inning, when Laakea Anders got on with a one-out, bloop single and eventually scored on Ty Stephens' RBI-sacrifice fly. It reclaimed the lead in the fourth, when it sent seven batters to the plate and scored three runs on three hits, including a two-out, RBI-single off the bat of Anders to score Kamanui Saito from second.

But the Chargers mounted an immediate response in the bottom of the inning. Zeller started the rally with a one-out, infield single off of an 0-2 pitch from Saito — the fourth Sabers' pitcher of the game. Zeller advanced to second base on a wild pitch, stole third then scored on another wild pitch by Saito. The two batters that followed Zeller — Agoto and Dylan Soto — drew back-to-back walks off Saito to set the table for Aribal, who bats fifth in the lineup.

On the second pitch of the at-bat, Aribal pummelled an 0-1 pitch from Saito deep over the left field fence to put Pearl City back ahead by a run, 7-6.

 "I seen a fastball, high inside," Aribal detailed. "For me, I had a huge slump. I was about 0 for 6 maybe before that one, so my approach was just get it in the field, move the runner over."

Agoto, who was on third base at the time of Aribal's dinger, was happy to see his teammate bust out of his slump.

"Today he showed different. We stick to the game plan and it happened," Agoto said of Aribal, who also singled in his first at-bat and was the only Charger to pair hits (2 for 4).

Aribal passed the praise to sophomore Eli Oshiro, who got the win in relief of the former. Oshiro allowed one (unearned) run in four innings pitched after he replaced Aribal with two runners aboard and no outs in the top of the fourth.

"He did great. I mean, especially for him relieving me," said Aribal, who recorded the final two outs of the game on deep fly balls to center.

"I told him before he went up that I had his back and he can just keep throwing and if they hit, then they hit, but just whatever," he added.

After surrendering a couple of hits in his first inning of work, Oshiro gave up just one hit the rest of the way. He issued two walks, but twice benefitted from the right arm of his battery-mate in Zeller, who erased both base runners caught stealing.

Zeller made a strong throw from behind the plate to second baseman Asher Kwon to nab Dallas Alapai for the second out of the fifth inning. An inning later, with the left-handed Ganancial at bat, Zeller teamed with Murakami, the shortstop, to wipe Saito off the base paths for out No. 2 of the Saber sixth.

"It was huge for us because this is his first game starting as a catcher for us, so him just working hard at practice and everything shows in the game and he's helping out our pitchers a lot more," Aribal said.

Campbell got the tying run aboard in the top of the seventh, when Anders recorded his third single in as many at-bats. The lefty worked the count full against Oshiro before he sent a ground ball back up the middle and into center field. However, Oshiro closed the door on the Sabers' chances by getting the next two batters to fly out to Aribal in center to end the game.

Anders batted 3 for 4, while Saito (1 for 2, two walks) and Isaiah Nagamine (1 for 3, run) were the only other Campbell players to record a hit.

Aribal recorded six strikeouts and allowed just two hits in his three-plus innings of work. He walked three batters and was charged with five runs allowed, although two of them were unearned.

Pearl City committed four errors, which led to three of Campbell's runs being unearned.

The Sabers' five pitchers combined to walked nine batters. Saito was saddled with the loss; He walked two, struck out one and allowed four runs on two hits in one inning of work.

Campbell suffered its second one-run loss in a span of four days; it lost to Mililani, 5-4, Wednesday night at Hans L'Orange Park.

The Sabers will look to get back in the win column Wednesday at Kaiser, while the Chargers will try to make it two straight when they host Leilehua at the same time. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 3 p.m.

Fan attendance is not permitted at any games this season.

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].

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