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Campbell rallies past Mililani, 5-2, to stay unbeaten

By: Wes Nakama

MILILANI — Down 2-1 and to its final three outs, Campbell erupted for four runs in the top of the seventh inning Wednesday afternoon to rally past Mililani, 5-2, and remain unbeaten at 8-0 in the OIA Western Division.

The Sabers now own a three-game lead over second-place Trojans (5-3) and can clinch the West’s No. 1 seed in the OIA tournament if they defeat Pearl City on Saturday.

“We’ve been fortunate, but don’t take away anything from the boys — they work hard, they practice hard, and they work hard to execute plays and do what we have to do,” Campbell coach Wayne Nagamine said. “They don’t give up. They make mistakes, we make mistakes here and there, but they back each other up. Today we got fortunate where (the Trojans) had a bad inning, and we took advantage of it and closed the door in the end.”

The Sabers took a 1-0 lead when Ridge Choy led off the top of the fourth inning with a towering home run over the fence in left-center field, but Mililani went ahead 2-1 in the sixth. Braydon Suehisa led off with a double to the left field corner and courtesy runner Brady Oga scored when Ethan Murakoshi slashed a gound single to center, after the Campbell infielders shifted on a wheel play anticipating a sacrifice bunt. 

That sac bunt came next, from Aukai Araujo-Waiau who advanced Murakoshi to second base. Murakoshi then scored on Calvin Hawes’ single to center to put the Trojans ahead, 2-1.

But that lead would not hold. 

Pinch-hitter Shaun-Lee Saito led off the seventh with a walk, then advanced to second on a fielder’s choice/late throw. That was followed by another walk, loading the bases with no outs. Pinch-hitter Slade Sarono then hit a run-scoring grounder that led to an infield error, pushing another runner across and putting the Sabers back in front, 3-2. 

Xavier Streadbeck then hit a run-scoring groundout to second, and Choy hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring home Sarono and make it 5-2.

“It’s those little things — you gotta play seven innings, play one out at a time and not give them opportunities,” Trojans coach Mark Hirayama said. “If you give them opportunities, they’re gonna take advantage of it. We just didn’t do our part.”

In the bottom of the seventh, Mililani got two walks and Murakoshi’s single to center to load the bases with two outs, but reliever Streadbeck got a strikeout to end the game.

“This team, they (the Trojans) are a good hitting team, so we just tried to stay low (with pitches), keep it down and not keep it elevated because these guys can hit,” said Campbell starter Hunter Lindsey, a right-hander who tossed six innings allowing two runs on seven hits. “Just keep them off-balanced, and mix up the speeds.”

Mililani starter Skye Hyun scattered six hits and two walks in six innings, allowing just the one run in taking a no-decision.

Photos: Jonathan Salvador