Takahashi homers in game honoring Chace Numata's memory


KALIHI - The baseball gods were definitely at Joey DeSa Field on Saturday.

In a "chicken skin" moment, Pearl City's Zechariah Takahashi's two-run home run capped a four-run fifth inning that proved to be the difference in the Hawaiian Stars' 7-5 win against the Aloha Stars in the third Chace Numata Senior All-Star Game.

As a kid, Takahashi worked out with Chace Numata, who died in 2019 in a skateboarding accident in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he played Double-A baseball. After the accident, Takahashi sent Chace's family a condolence post designed with a picture of Chace with angel wings and the words "Live Like Numi," a motto that Detroit Tigers prospects followed after their teammate's death. For Takahashi's performance - batting 2 for 2 with the only homer of the game - he was named the game's most outstanding player. The glass trophy was presented to him after the game by Chace's father, Nathan Numata.

"Honestly, it's an honor," Takahashi said. "Chace came from Pearl City and it felt good to be able to do that for him."

Chace Numata was an all-state catcher for Pearl City before turning pro.

Just as impressed was Nathan Numata.

"I said, ‘Eh, maybe the boy watching over him,'" the elder Numata said.

Takahashi's connection with Chace Numata started before high school.

"I got the honor of meeting him at a catcher's camp," Takahashi said. "He's just a super cool guy, easy to talk to and I asked for his number to work out with him. I was able to work out with him once and then he went back up (pro ball). Unfortunately, he passed away. In the short time that I got to know him, he's the coolest guy I ever met."

Moanalua's Shayde Koga also had nice game for the Hawaiian Stars, batting 2 for 2 with two RBIs and three stolen bases in the four-run fifth. Kuhio Aloy led off the fifth with a triple and scored on Koga's single to shortstop. Koga stole second when Bryden Takayama struck out; stole third before Calvin Hawes walked and stole home on a delayed double steal. An out later, Takahashi homered over the right-center field fence.

Aloha took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Jacob Villacorte's RBI single and an error. But Hawaiian got three in the bottom of the first on an error and RBI singles from Koga and Hawes, the second baseman who also made a nice backhanded stop of the middle to rob Saint Louis' Ezekiel Ribuca of a hit in the third.

After the four-run inning opened Hawaiian's lead to 7-2, Aloha got a two-run triple by Waipahu's Kadence Barcenilla in the seventh to pull to 7-4. Aloha got a run in the eighth when Villacorte singled, took second on a wild pitch and two out later while at third base, scored on a wild pitch.

Before the game, catchers participated in a pop-time contest. Each contestant were times on throws from home to second with each having three tries. Iolani's Brock Makishima won with a time of 1.9 seconds. He won a catcher's mitt courtesy of SportsStan. Makishima and Punahou's Trent Nagamine left the game early so they could prepare for their respective graduations later in the day.

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at [email protected].

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