Opportunistic KS-Hawai’i Opens DII Championship Series With Win
Baseball is a game of opportunities, and Kamehameha-Hawai’i made the most of its key moments on Friday afternoon.
Scoring nine of its 10 runs with two outs, Kamehameha-Hawai’i pulled away from Konawaena by the score of 10-1 to take game one of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation’s Division II Championship Series at Wong Stadium.
Kamehameha-Hawai’i (16-1) was out-hit by Konawaena 9-8, but struck big when Logan Canda, the Wildcats’ starting pitcher, started to run out of steam. Leading 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, Kamehameha-Hawai’i put two on base with one out on a walk, followed by a fielder’s choice off the bat of Kyran Kai that didn’t produce an out. After Dan “Bula” Aiona struck out, Kobie Kinzie singled home Jaisten Cabatbat to extend the lead to 3-1. Two batters later, Kegan Miura singled home Kai, chasing Canda out of the game.
Kinzie and Miura each picked up two hits and drove in a run.
Reliever Stevie Teixeira didn’t fare much better in trying to keep the game in reach. He walked DallasJ Duarte with the bases loaded and gave up a two-run single to Daylen Calicdan, ballooning the Kamehameha-Hawai’i lead to 7-1 after five innings.
Canda took the loss, throwing 117 pitches in 4 2/3 innings. He was on the hook for all seven earned runs on just five hits with seven strikeouts. He tallied seven walks, however, and was charged with a balk in the second inning that scored Kinzie.
Kamehameha-Hawai’i kept the pressure on in the sixth. Baron Victorino ripped a two-run double to right field with two out, scoring Kalai Klask-Hoopii and Kekona Naipo-Arsiga. Teixeira’s wild pitch to Miura would chase Victorino home moments later, giving the Warriors a 10-1 lead.
Don’t let the lopsided score fool you. Konawaena had its opportunities early and often against Kamehameha-Hawai’i starter Brandyn Lee-Lehano. In the very first inning, a hit-by-pitch and single put two runners on with no one out, but three straight outs stranded both runners on base.
After Kai’s RBI single gave Kamehameha-Hawai’i a 1-0 lead after one inning, Konawaena came back and loaded the bases, thanks in-part to an error by Warrior third baseman Makana Aiona and a pair of hits. Lee-Lehano recovered quickly, forcing an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play to quiet the Wildcats’ threat.
In the next inning, Tyler Kitaoka and Tevin Canda each picked up hits with one out, but Konawaena attempted a double-steal with Phillip Grace at the plate. Kitaoka’s courtesy runner, Tristan DeAguiar, was gunned down at third base, and Lee-Lehano struck out Grace to end the inning.
Konawaena (11-6) would plate a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Vohn Yamaguchi, but left two more on base in the fifth when Lee-Lehano picked up two straight strikeouts to Kolu Alani and AJ Allred.
Konawaena paired hits in the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings, but stranded a total of 10 base runners for the game.
Lee-Lehano (7-1) may not have had his best stuff on the mound Friday afternoon, but he had enough with offensive support. He struck out five in his complete game performance without surrendering a walk. The right-handed hurler threw 109 pitches to earn the win.
Miura and Kinzie each had two hits and a RBI for Kamehameha-Hawai’i, the BIIF regular season champion.
Tevin Canda batted 2-for-4 for Konawaena. All but one starter managed to get a hit in the Wildcats’ lineup.
Game two of the series is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Wong Stadium. The start time was moved up because of Kamehameha-Hawai’i’s prom, scheduled for later that evening. If game three is necessary, it will be played on Monday.
Konawaena 000 100 0 – 1 9 1
Kamehameha-Hawai’i 110 053 x – 10 8 2