OIA Baseball
Panis pitches, homers in Aiea's 6-4 win over Campbell


Wed, Apr 10, 2024 @ [ 3:00 pm ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Aiea 2 310000672
Campbell 0 0 000314100

W: Brennen Panis    L: Hunter Lindsey    SV: Kylan Kono

CAMP: Shaveh Sarono 1-2 2 runs; Slade Sarono 4.0 IP 0 ER 3 K
AIEA: Brennen Panis 1-3 2 runs 3 rbi HR / 5.0 IP 0 ER 2 K

EWA BEACH - The double play was Aiea's best friend Wednesday afternoon.

Na Alii escaped two early jams and another in the bottom of the seventh with the tying and winning runs on base with double plays to hold off host Campbell, 6-4, and increase their Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I West lead by two games over second-place Mililani, which lost 4-3 to Leilehua.

Na Alii (9-1), who clinched at least a tie for the West title, have two games remaining, including one with the Trojans (6-3) on Saturday.

At the outset, it looked like Aiea was going to cruise behind the five scoreless innings of pitching from Brennan Panis, who boosted the offense with his second-inning, three-run home run to left. He scattered six hits and two walks with two strikeouts and departed with a 6-0 lead.

"It's an every day thing," Aiea coach Brennen Alejo said of Panis' performance. "It's becoming a fun thing to watch as a coach. You can trust him in every aspect. I just love his leadership. What he's doing out there is good for our team."

But ithis win didn't come easy.

Staked with a 6-0 lead after five innings, Alejo pulled Panis after 74 pitches. Ryen Abe came in from left field to start the sixth, but he could not finish the inning, leaving with two outs and three runs in. Dylan Wong was summoned from the bullpen and was greeted with a single, but got the final out to keep Aiea's lead.

Wong started the seventh by retiring the first batter, but Shaveh Sarono reached on an infield single and Hunter Lindsey walked. It looked like Aiea was going to deny the Sabers when Wong fielded a grounder and threw to second for the force, but the second baseman's throw to first was wild to load the bases with one out. Wong walked Ismael Diaz to force home a run. Alejo pulled Wong for Kylan Kono, who started at shortstop. Kono saved the game by getting Tainoa Lave to into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

Aiea's only loss was to the Sabers on March 16 at Aiea. In that game, Na Alii took a 4-1 lead into the top of the seventh, when the Sabers scored three to tie before winning it in the 10th, 6-5.

"It was a group effort today on the mound," Alejo said. "Sometimes when the pressures on, we'll see the true character of our team. I'm glad we went through something like that during this point of the season and carry it into the playoffs."

Panis wiggled out of two jams early in the game. In the first, he allowed a lead-off single to Kayne Carlos, who was caught stealing second before walking Lanzon Nagum and Shaveh Sarono. But Lindsey grounded to second for an inning-ending twin killing.

In the second, with runners at first and second, Nagum lined out to second baseman 

Zion Ishikawa, who fired to second to double-off the runner to end that threat.

Panis credited his defense for his strong out.

"I'm pretty confidence with our defense," said Panis, who improved to 5-0 and lowered his already microscopic earned run average to 0.42. "They're working hard at practice. I really trust them."

The third-place Sabers (6-4) fell behind early. Starting pitcher Lindsey was tagged for five runs and five hits with two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Aiea took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on Shayden Muraoka's two-run single. Na Alii added three in the second on Panis' home run over the left-field fence. Aiea padded its lead on Cody Kamihara's sacrifice fly to left to make it 6-0.

Although the Sabers made it a game in the late innings, Panis believed his team would not suffer the same fate as it did in March.

"We just love each other," Panis said of the team's success. "We just play to have fun and just balling out."

Campbell will host Waipahu next Wednesday and close the regular season April 20 against Leilehua at CORP.

Aiea plays Mililani Saturday and ends the regular season against Leilehua next Wednesday.

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at [email protected].

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