Aiea routs Leilehua to clinch top seed in OIA West baseball

Apr. 18—Aidan Yoshida scattered five hits, struck out four and walked just one as No. 8-ranked Aiea stifled Leilehua,

Aidan Yoshida scattered five hits, struck out four and walked just one as No. 8-ranked Aiea stifled Leilehua, 7-1, on an overcast afternoon at Aiea District Park field.

Aiea improved to 10-2, sealing the top seed in the OIA West. The Mules were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position against Yoshida, a senior right-hander.

"My job was to go in and throw some strikes, let my defense work. I trust them, " Yoshida said. "We went into this game knowing if we won this game, we would have a banner, so that's nice. We play with high pressure. Pressure makes diamonds, as we say. We embrace everything, every moment this season."

An Aiea loss would have opened the door for second-place Mililani, but the Trojans fell to Nanakuli, 6-5, and dropped to 7-4.

Leilehua slipped to 3-8 with one game remaining in the regular season.

Yoshida's command of the strike zone was efficient against Leilehua's launch-angle style hitters. He is now 5-0 with a 1.63 ERA in OIA play.

"We've seen him for a few years. Yoshida is tough. He mixes it up well, " Leilehua coach Brandon Kon said. "He's throwing a little harder now."

Aiea's penchant for consistent contact hitting through the lineup worked well again.

"The biggest thing is our guys are being selfless hitters. They're not being selfish with the bat, wanting to hit home runs, " Alejo said. "Yeah, they're trying find the gap, but when there's two strikes, they're cutting it the other way. That get the next man up mentality has been serving us pretty well."

Aiea took advantage of Leilehua's generosity in the bottom of the second. Bostan Ujimori walked with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Dennison Zakahi singled. Dylan Dumas' ground ball dipped under the glove of Leilehua shortstop Jacob Sablan, allowing Ujimori to score the game's first run.

In the bottom of the third frame, Kylan Kono led off with a walk, raced to second base on a wild pitch, then stole third. Ryen Abe's single to left brought Kono home. Brennen Panis then smoked a ground-rule double to deep center. After Ujimori was intentionally walked, Zakahi's sacrifice fly scored Abe for a 3-0 Na Alii lead.

The Mules scored their run in the top of the fourth. Kai Freitas doubled down the left-field line with one out. With two outs, Freitas scored on a double to left by Adrian Dykes, who finished the game 3-for-3.

Na Alii scored four times in the bottom of the fourth, capped by Zakahi's two-run single.