Hilo Finishes Strong in 9-2 Win Over Kea’au
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by Josh Pacheco
Jodd Carter colIlected three hits and three RBI’s, while Kian Kurokawa smacked three hits of his own with a pair of runs batted in as Hilo High defeated Kea’au 9-2 at Wong Stadium on Tuesday.
The Vikings plated runs in each of the first three innings off of Kea’au starter Cody Silva. Chayce Kaaua got the scoring started for the Vikings with an RBI single that scored Tyler Higa-Gonsalves, who reached base on a walk, then got into scoring position by stealing second base. In the second inning, Carter reached base with a single to right field. Two batters later, Carter scored on a wild pitch. The sophomore Carter later drove in Higa-Gonsalves with a single, helping Hilo go up 3-0.
During that span, Vikings starter Nick Fukunaga held his end of the bargain on the mound, retiring the first six he faced, including four on strikeouts. Rylan Martines reached base by getting hit by a pitch in the third to end the run, but Kea’au couldn’t bring him home. The Cougars eventually hit the scoreboard in the next inning, when Keha Wong, a transfer from Roosevelt High School on Oahu, hit a two-run single to right field, scoring Jonathan Segovia and Rason Martines, cutting the deficit to one.
Kea’au (3-5) watched the game slip away from them in the sixth inning. Koa Matson started the inning by reaching base on a walk. Two batters later, after courtest runner Anson Arruda stole second, Micah Kaaukai grounded to Wong at shortstop, who bobbled the ball off of the ground, allowing runners at the corners with one out. Carter got back up to the plate and dropped a perfect squeeze sacrifice bunt, scoring Arruda to push Hilo’s lead to two runs. Kurokawa followed with a line drive single to left field, scoring Kaaukai. Kurokawa’s courtesy runner, Austin Menke, would score two batters later on a fielding error by Kea’au second baseman Traysyn Waltjen, padding the Hilo lead to 6-2.
Hilo (6-2) padded their lead in the next inning. With runners at first and third base and two out in the inning, Kaaukai attempted to steal second base. Kaaukai appeared to be tagged out by Kea’au’s Waltjen, but the Cougar second baseman couldn’t hold on to the ball, allowing Anson Arruda to score from third base. Carter calmly slapped a double to the right center field gap, scoring Kaaukai. Kurokawa was the next batter up, and he promptly singled to right field to bring Carter home, giving Hilo the commanding 9-2 lead.
Fukunaga picked up the win for Hilo, pitching five and two-third innings, allowing two runs, one of them earned, on two hits, striking out six and walking three batters. Conrad Kaufmann came on in relief in the sixth inning, setting down four in a row with two strikeouts.
Cody Silva took the loss for Kea’au. Silva pitched five innings, allowing six runs, four of them unearned, on seven hits, while walking four and hitting a batter. Adrian Huff pitched an inning of relief, allowing three more runs, none of them earned, on three hits, with one batter hit by a pitch.
Both teams get back on the diamond on Saturday at their home sites. Hilo faces Pahoa at Wong Stadium while Kea’au gets back on campus to face Kamehameha-Hawaii. The latter game will have an earlier start time, beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Kea’au 000 200 0 – 2 2 6
Hilo 111 033 x – 9 10 1
Battle of Warriors Postponed
The game between Waiakea and Kamehameha-Hawaii that was scheduled to be played on the campus of Kamehameha-Hawaii was postponed Tuesday because of poor field conditions. The game has been rescheduled for Thursday at 3:00 p.m. However, the game may be moved to Waiakea High School’s field, depending on field conditions at the original home site. That determination is expected to be made later today.