Kamehameha-Hawai’i Survives for Senior Day Win
It is an unfamiliar sight to see Hilo at the bottom of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I baseball standings.
Thanks to four errors in Wednesday’s 8-6 loss at Kamehameha-Hawai’i, however, the Vikings can’t finish any better.
Hilo (6-9 overall, 4-4 BIIF) committed three errors in its last game, an 8-6 loss to Waiakea at Wong Stadium Friday night. Vikings head coach Tony DeSa highlighted the need for improved defense before Wednesday’s game, but saw it falter in key spots.
In the second inning, Kamehameha-Hawai’i shortstop Jai Cabatbat reached base on an error by Hilo third baseman RJ Ragual, who misplayed a hard chopper hit to him. Cabatbat would later score on an infield single by Hinalea Cortez to give the Warriors a 2-1 lead, moments after Makana Aiona scored on a wild pitch by Hilo pitcher Joey Jarneski.
A key defensive sequence set Hilo back in the fifth inning. Cabatbat had already driven a run in with a base hit, and Kobie Kinzie followed by dropping a bunt down the right side of the infield. Hilo first baseman Nick Antony charged at the ball to throw home and get Daylen Calicdan out at home, but he couldn’t cleanly field the baseball. He picked up the ball and fired it to Noah Higa-Gonsalves, who was covering first base, but the veteran infielder dropped the baseball, allowing Cabatbat to score, pushing Kamehameha-Hawai’i’s lead to 6-2.
Kamehameha-Hawai’i (10-2, 7-1) did what it could to try to put away the game. An RBI groundout by Dallas Duarte scored pinch runner David Kalili and extended the Warriors’ lead to 7-2 in the same inning. Calicdan got back up to the plate in the sixth and crushed a ball over the left field fence to push the lead to 8-2.
Hilo didn’t concede the game, putting up a massive rally in the final inning. Higa-Gonsalves singled to start the seventh inning against Duarte and scored on Ragual’s RBI single to cut the Vikings’ deficit to 8-3. Two outs later, Micah Bello grounded a full count pitch to Cabatbat at shortstop, whose game-ending throw to Calicdan at second sailed by him and into right field, scoring Josiah Factora and Noah Serrao, making the score 8-5.
Josh Breitbarth would come to the plate next and face a full-count from Duarte. He would respond with his first hit of the season, scoring Antony to make the score 8-6. That brought up the ninth man to hit in the inning, Austin Aina, who grounded out to second base to end the game.
Lost in the shuffle on senior day was starting pitcher Malu Peralta, who improved to 4-0 with the win. In four innings, he allowed two runs on seven hits with one walk. He was kept to a lower pitch count, throwing just 63 pitches, to preserve his arm for the BIIF and state tournaments.
Kamehameha-Hawai’i coach Andy Correa wanted to give some innings on the mound to some of his youngsters. Calicdan pitched an inning in the fifth, picking up a strikeout, a walk, and a hit. Cabatbat threw for the first time this season in the sixth inning with a walk and a strikeout. Duarte finished things up in the seventh for just his second inning of work this season.
Duarte didn’t make things easy, throwing 32 pitches in the seventh, allowing four runs on five hits with a walk.
Offensively, almost everyone came through at the plate for Kamehameha-Hawai’i. Candaroma batted 2-for-3 with a stolen base, Calicdan was a double shy of the cycle, hitting 3-for-4, Cabatbat was 2-for-4 with a stolen base, and Cortez singled all three times at the plate with an RBI.
Jarneski took the loss, falling to 1-2. He allowed seven runs, five of them earned, in five innings. He didn’t allow a walk, but gave up 12 of Kamehameha-Hawai’i’s 13 hits in the game. It was the first time he had given up an earned run all season. Ryan Ragual gave up the home run in the sixth inning.
At the plate, Jarneski was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. Higa-Gonsalves was 2-for-3 with a triple and three runs scored. RJ Ragual had a nice day at the plate, batting 3-for-4, including a bizarre bunt single that popped over the head of Warriors’ third baseman Aiona, scoring a run in the third inning to tie the game at 2-2.
Factora also paired hits, batting 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Hilo’s loss, coupled with Kealakehe’s come-from-behind win at Kohala, secured all four seeds in next week’s BIIF Division I semifinals. The Waveriders, regardless of what happens Saturday against Hilo, will pick up the second seed and host third-seeded Kea’au next Friday. Hilo is locked into the fourth seed and will face Waiakea in the semifinals.
Hilo 101 000 4 – 6 13 4
Kamehameha-Hawai’i 020 141 x – 8 13 1
Wednesday’s BIIF scoreboard
Kamehameha-Hawai’i 8, Hilo 6
Kealakehe 11, Kohala 9
Hawai’i Preparatory Academy 6, Honoka’a 3
Waiakea at Pahoa, postponed (will be played Thursday at 3 p.m.)
BIIF baseball standings
Hawai’i Prep 2-6