OIA Baseball
Radford wins on walk-off wild pitch to turn back Kalaheo


Wed, Mar 27, 2024 @ [ 3:00 pm ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Kalaheo 0 000222674
Radford 0 0 211037102

W: Jacob Barner    L: Benjamin Taylor

RAD: Mataio Tauanuu 4-4 3 runs 2 rbi trp; Xavi De Alba 6.3 IP 3 ER 4 K
KHEO: Benjamin Taylor 2-4 run rbi trp; Eric Hufstetler 3.0 IP 1 ER 6 K

ALIAMANU — This one had all the drama.

Host Radford built an early lead before needing a rally in the bottom of the seventh as a wild pitch gave the home team a 7-6 win over Kalaheo Wednesday in an OIA Division II contest at Donald M. Kimura Field.

Designated hitter Mataio Tauanuu scored the game-winning run to help the Rams improve to 3-2 in league play. He also batted 4-for-4 and had two RBIs and three runs scored.

Radford starting pitcher Xavi De Alba gave the Rams 6 and 1/3 solid innings in the win. He was tagged for three earned runs while scattering seven hits on 104 pitches. De Alba also threw four strikeouts against three walks.

"That was nice to get that wild pitch there, but the big thing I think was Xavi, our pitcher, threw really really well today," said first-year Radford coach Tom Tereschuk. "Really happy for him and really proud of him because you know, I got to say, that's probably the best pitched game that I've ever seen him do. That's what we needed right there, and we had couple of innings there where we gave them some runs, but he kept making some good pitches and didn't let it get out of control, so that put us in a position at the end of the game where we were able to come back and get those runs."

De Alba is also unique in the fact that he ran for himself, even though he was the pitcher. He scored the third run of the game for the Rams and even stole two bases.

Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

"He's a leader for us and he's a good athlete," Tereschuk said of De Alba. "He kind of does it all for us, he plays third, he plays shortstop, he pitches. He's a good base runner. We're not going to pinch run for him because I don't know what he is, but he's 100 percent at stealing bases. He does a lot for us, but today was big for him. That's got to be a big boost for him to come out and pitch like that."

Jacob Barner recorded the final two outs in relief of De Alba to notch the pitching win for the Rams.

The Rams built a 3-0 lead after four innings before before the Mustangs (3-2) scored two runs each in the final three innings. Three of the first four runs were unearned before Isaiah Tucker's base clearing double in the top of the seventh gave Kalaheo a 6-4 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Tereschuk's message to the team was clear before the do-or-die situation for the Rams.

"Just games not over. We're only down by two. We can battle up there. We got good guys coming up, we just got to work hard to get on bases and put us in a situation where we can do something to win the game and fortunately we were able to to do that. They got their four runs, we shot ourselves in the foot to give them those runs, but it was real nice that we were able to overcome that in the end."

Radford needed just two hits while benefitting from three walks and a HBP to score three runs in the bottom of the seventh before a wild pitch saw Tauanuu score from third with Luke Barner at the plate.

Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

Tauanuu was the most consistent guy all game for the Rams with a hit in every plate appearance after entering the game hitting just 2-for-7. He hit a triple in the third to bring in Radford's run and also had another RBI in the seventh for the Rams' fifth run of the game.

"Mataio is a guy that we're definitely counting on for maturity and leadership," Tereschuk said of Tauanuu. "He swings the bat well and he probably hasn't been as productive as he'd like to be so far so it's good to see him come out and have a good day today. He's a leader for us. He is more more mature than the other guys so he sets a good example for guys so it's nice to see him out there be able to see the winning run like that."

Benjamin Taylor was charged with the loss on the mound coming in relief in the seventh. He also hit a triple and was one of two Kalaheo players with multiple hits as the Mustangs saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.

Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].

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