Big Inning Sparks Kamehameha-Hawai’i in State Opener
One close play that didn’t go Kalaheo’s way opened the flood gates for an 11-run Kamehameha-Hawai’i barrage in the first inning of Thursday night’s Wally Yonamine Foundation/Hawai’i High School Athletic Association Division II State Baseball Tournament quarterfinal matchup.
Kalaheo (9-6) couldn’t recover, falling 14-2 to Kamehameha-Hawai’i in a game that was shortened to five innings because of the sport’s 10-run mercy rule.
Thomas Capllonch (5-3), Kalaheo’s ace, was close to working out of trouble in the opening frame with two out and a runner at second base. He walked Makana Aiona and Jaisten Cabatbat to load the bases and bring up Kyran Kai, who hit a ground ball to the left side of the infield. The throw to get Kai at first base was called safe on a close play, frustrating the Mustang infielders who were already on their way to heading back into their dugout down the first base line.
Capllonch wouldn’t be able to get another out after that. He hit Kaylen Cabatu-Gapusan and Kobie Kinzie with the bases loaded to bring in two more runs, and was taken out of the game.
Reliever Kekai Smith didn’t fare much better. He allowed a two-run single to Baron Victorino, and two batters later, DallasJ Duarte cleared the bases with a three-run double to left field. Daylen Calicdan came back up and scored a double to dead-center field, scoring Duarte, and after another Walk to Aiona, Cabatbat scored them both on a base hit to center field.
Another reliever, Curtis Chung Jr., issued a walk, but got a strikeout to finally end the inning, which saw 16 batters reach the plate with 11 runs scoring on just five hits.
The first inning proved to be more than enough for Brandyn Lee-Lehano (8-1), who was perfect through the first three innings. He allowed an RBI triple by Capllonch and a run-scoring groundout to Kekai Smith in the fourth inning, but mostly cruised in his five innings. Throwing just 59 pitches, he allowed two runs and two hits while striking out five.
Capllonch, on the other hand, allowed six runs on just one hit in his two-thirds of an inning, walking three batters and hitting two more. Smith followed by allowing five runs on four hits with two walks without getting an out.
Kamehameha-Hawai’i (18-1) kept the pressure on throughout the game with more key two-out hits. Duarte drilled a ball past a diving Abel Kanehe in right field, scoring Victorino on a triple. Calicdan followed that with an RBI single to increase the lead to 13-0 after two innings. In the next inning, a throwing error by shortstop Gabriel Guebara brought home Cabatbat, who led the inning off with a double.
Victorino, hitting ninth in the Kamehameha-Hawai’i lineup, batted 3-for-3 with two RBI. Cabatbat, Calicdan, and Duarte each picked up two hits.
Kalaheo 000 20 – 2 2 2
Kamehameha-Hawai’i (11)21 0x – 14 10 2
Phillips Powers St. Francis Over Moloka’i
La’akea Phillips was strong in more ways than one for the Saint Francis Saints in their 3-0 victory over fourth-seeded Moloka’i in the quarterfinals of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Division II State Baseball Championships.
Phillips (9-1), a senior, allowed just three hits while striking out 12 in a complete game victory over Moloka’i. He helped his own cause with a solo home run to left field in the sixth inning, his third of the season.
On the other side, Moloka’i starter Kairos Torres-Umi allowed just one hit, the Phillips home run. but a pair of errors in the fifth inning, one by third baseman Kaena Victorino and another Torres-Umi’s throwing error after that, allowed Zach Alcos and Isaac Crichton to score.
Torres-Umi struck out five and walked two in his seven-inning effort.
St. Francis and Kamehameha-Hawai’i will meet in Friday’s 7 p.m. semifinal at Wong Stadium. The game can be heard on ESPN Radio’s AM 850 in Hilo, AM 790 in Kona, and at ESPNHawaii.com.
Moloka’i will face Kalaheo at 1:45 p.m. in a consolation round matchup.
St. Francis 000 021 0 – 3 1 2
Moloka’i 000 000 0 – 0 3 3