Andres’ Walk-Off Hit Keeps Waiakea Perfect in BIIF
Waiakea High School sophomore Makoa Andres blew a save in the top of seventh inning in an attempt to close out a 1-0 game. He made up for it at the plate, however, driving in Nathan Minami with a game-winning single to defeat Kamehameha-Hawai’i 2-1 in eight innings Friday night.
The game was the last of two played at Wong Stadium. Earlier, Hilo handed Kea’au its first loss of the season with a come-from-behind 7-5 victory.
Andres (2-0) was summoned to the pitcher’s mound to replace Caleb Freitas-Fields, who had given up a lead-off walk to Kamehameha-Hawai’i left fielder Kegan Miura in the seventh inning. Three batters later, Kobi Candaroma lined a single into center field, tying the game at 1-1. An error by catcher Mackanzy Maesaka allowed Candaroma to advance all the way to third, putting the go-ahead run in scoring position. Andres would recover, though, striking out Daylen Calicdan to keep the game tied.
In extra innings, Andres would have his chance for redemption. Minami led off the eighth inning with a triple to right-center field against Candaroma, who had come in to relieve Kamehameha-Hawai’i starter Malu Peralta. After intentional walks to Freitas-Fields and Taylor Mondina, Andres slapped an 0-1 pitch into right field, bringing Minami home to end the nearly three-hour contest.
Waiakea (7-2 overall, 4-0 Big Island Interscholastic Federation) had a chance to end the game in regulation. Pinch hitter David Nakamura was walked by Peralta on four pitches to open the home half of the seventh inning. He would be bunted over to second by another pinch hitter, Shaun Kurosawa.
Two batters later, Gehrig Octavio lined a base hit into shallow left field. Waiakea first-year coach Rory Inouye initially waved pinch runner Devin Iwahashi around third, but Miura quickly brought the ball back in, and Iwahashi reversed course to third base.
Peralta would settle down when it mattered. The senior struck out Trevor Shimokusu on a 3-2 shoulder-high fastball to end the inning and push the game to extras.
In seven innings of work, Peralta allowed a run on four hits, striking out four and walking three in 104 pitches. Candaroma, however, threw just three pitches in the eighth and failed to get an out, falling to 0-1.
Waiakea scored early on Peralta with a run in the opening inning. Mondina drove in Minami with a sacrifice fly to left field. Minami reached base on a walk, moved to second on Freitas-Fields’ single to right field, advanced to third on an error, and scored on Mondina’s fly ball.
Freitas-Fields kept Kamehameha-Hawai’i off of the scoreboard for six innings with a workhorse effort. He struck out seven and walked five over 111 pitches, allowing just three hits. It wasn’t a breeze, however, as he had to fight through situational jams in several innings.
Take, for example, the fourth inning, where Freitas-Fields allowed a pair of two-out hits to Jaisten Cabatbat and Brandyn Lee-Lahano. He forced his way out of the threat by striking out pinch-hitter Hinalea Cortez.
Freitas-Fields batted 2-for-3 for Waiakea with a walk. Octavio also hit 2-for-3.
Kamehameha-Hawai’i (6-2, 3-1) was held to just four hits. Candaroma had two of them, batting 2-for-4 with a stolen base and a walk.
The game was delayed for just over 20 minutes in the bottom half of the fifth inning when the stadium lights went dark just before 7:35 p.m. An eyewitness who listened to the radio broadcast of the game told Big Island Now that at the time the lights went out, a power surge caused street lights to briefly flicker off along Airport Road.
Kamehameha-Hawai’i 000 000 10 – 1 4 2
Waiakea 100 000 01 – 2 6 3
Friday’s BIIF baseball scoreboard
Hilo 7, Kea’au 5
Waiakea 2, Kamehameha-Hawai’i 1 (8 innings)
Kealakehe 10, Konawaena 9 (8 innings)