Face must-win situation against Kapa`a on Wednesday
Special to The Garden Island
Hanapepe — The Kaua’i Red
Raiders bounced back from a double-header loss the past weekend to the
league-leading Kapa’a Warriors (4-1) by taking two from the Waimea Menehunes
Saturday at the Hanapepe Ball Park by scores of 2-0 and 13-2.
Menehunes entered weekend play with a corrected 1-3 first round record after
reporting the inadvertent use of an ineligible player in the season’s opening
weekend split with the Warriors (thus forfeiting the second game to Kapa’a.
The Raiders, with high expectations this season, hoped to improve on their
1-2 start and jump back into mathematical contention for the KIF league first
Game 1: Kaua’i 2 Waimea 0
Menehune starter Ashley
Vidinha and Raider hurler Scott Oshima both came into the opening contest
looking for their first wins of the young season, and the approximately 150
fans in attendance were treated to the KIF’s premiere pitching duel of the
Lead-off man Tyler Kobayashi started the Raider offensive show in
the top of the first inning by drawing a walk and taking second on Scott
Serizawa’s swinging strikeout.
Vidinha nailed down the second out by
throwing strike three past Jason Koga.
After drawing two initial
strikes, Kainoa Santos battled back to take three straight balls, then fouled
away two tough pitches before stroking a single to center field driving
Kobayashi home with the contest’s first run.
With Oshima mixing pitches
and spots to perfection, the Menehunes were kept hitless until the bottom of
the third as Joshua Maeda slapped a one-out single to right field. Maeda stole
second but Oshima retired the next two Waimea batters on consecutive strikeouts
to get out of the inning.
Another walk came back to haunt the Menehunes in
the top of the fifth as Kendrick Melchor got aboard with one out. After
Kobayashi went down swinging, Melchor, who appeared to be caught stealing,
instead slid safely under the Menehune shortstop’s tag.
bad hop single over Menehune first baseman B.J. Hardy brought in Melchor for a
2-0 Raider lead.
It would prove to be more than enough for Oshima, but not
without some dramatics that could easily have gone the other way.
bottom half of the inning, Rocky Aviguetero’s line smash to third was knocked
down by Santos and relayed to Mark Rodrigues at first to nip Aviguetero by half
a step. Vidinha lined an 0-2 pitch into left for a single and an infield error
on Clarence Aki’s ground chance put two runners on.
Oshima induced Maeda
to hit a harmless fly out to Melchor in center field and got a called strike
three on the next Menehune pinch hitter to end the threat.
went down in order to close out the sixth inning as did the Raiders to start
Three key defensive plays in the final inning’s bottom half
helped seal the shutout for the Raiders.
William Rita’s smash down the
line was snagged by a diving Kobayashi in right field for the first out.
Aviguetero then drew the Menehune’s first and only free pass of the
ballgame on four straight tosses. Vidinha lashed a first-pitch opposite field
single to the gap in right center to put runners on the corners.
quickly got ahead of Aki with two quick strikes, then threw twice to first in
an effort to keep Vidinha (the potential tying run) close to the bag.
fouled off three consecutive pitches to stay alive and Raider catcher Kwinton
Estacio saved a run by expertly blocking a breaking pitch in the dirt.
Menehune freshman drew two more balls to run the count full, then fought off
another difficult pitch. On the next offering from Oshima, Aki lined a shot to
Koga for the second out, but his one-bounce relay to first was dropped in an
effort to double off Vidinha.
The Menehunes left the tying runs stranded
as a charging Melchor snagged the next fly ball in center field to end the
Vidinha limited the Raiders to 2 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks,
while striking out 3; Kaua’i committed 3 errors and left 6 runners on base.In
throwing 115 pitches over 7 innings, Oshima picked up his inaugural win of the
season and shut out the Menehunes on 3 hits and 1 walk, while recording 5
Waimea additionally left 6 runners on the bags. Waimea’s
Vidinha was the only player on either squad to have two hits (singles) in the
Game 2: Kaua’i 13 Waimea 2
The Raiders scored three
runs in the top of the first against Waimea starter Aki as Serizawa blooped a
one-out single to left.
Koga lofted a deep fly ball to left that was
dropped to put runners on first and second. Santos hit a first-pitch single to
center to load the bags. and Rodrigues (hitless in the opener) lined a single
into left to score Serizawa and Koga, and move Santos to third.
sacrifice fly to right scored Santos for Kaua’i’s third run.
fisted his second single of the contest into center field to start the fourth,
and Regis Canales entered to run for the Raider hurler.
Canales to second and Oshima’s one-hop single the other way put Raiders on
first and third.
Aaron Fernandez was unintentionally hit to fill the bags
and Melchor’s Texas-Leaguer into left center just beyond the reach of the
far-ranging Aviguetero knocked in Canales for a 4-0 lead and reloaded the
Kobayashi followed with a one-hop single to right that brought
Oshima and Fernandez home to put the Raiders up by six.
Serizawa dropped a
bunt softly down the third base line that was fielded by Aki who had no play.
With the bases loaded, Koga’s ground ball fielders choice scored Melchor for a
Rodrigues led off the fifth with his third single (the eighth
hit off Aki) and Canales again entered to run at first.
Following a pop
out to Ruiz, Oshima hit a short fly that bounced off the glove of hustling
Menehune shortstop Kanea Kinimaka-Aranio and charging left fielder Rita’s
Rita recovered to throw out Canales (who had to stay near first
base in the event of a catch) at second.
Aaron Fernandez rocketed a
first-pitch triple past Maeda in right to drive in Oshima with Kaua’i’s eighth
run, and drive Aki from the hill.
Waimea’s Mark Wideman entered in relief
and induced a first pitch lineout to Aki (playing at third) to strand
Kaua’i starter Rodrigues cruised through the first four
innings, limiting the Menehunes to two base-runners (Kinimaka-Aranio’s first
inning walk and Aki’s single through the box in the bottom of the third).
Aviguetero got things going for the Menehunes in the bottom of the fifth
with a first-pitch single up the middle.
Matsumoto’s fielders choice
grounder was knocked down by Santos and thrown to second for the force out on
Aviguetero, but not relayed to first in time for the double play.
got his first hit of the season, lining a sinking single to left to put two
Aki hit a ground ball shot fielded by Koga and flipped to
third to force Matsumoto, and a two-out walk to Maeda loaded the bases.
Kinimaka-Aranio’s clutch single to left scored Wideman and Aki with
Waimea’s only runs of the contest, cutting the lead to 8-2.
drove in Serizawa (who singled and moved to second when Santos was hit by a
pitch) with his fourth single for the Raiders’ ninth run in the top of the
Oshima singled to start the seventh, and a one-out walk to Melchor
put two runners on.
Kobayashi laced a single to center to load the bases
and a wild pitch to Serizawa scored Oshima, and moved the other Raider runners
into scoring position.
Serizawa stung a 2-1 pitch into left center driving
in Melchor and Kobayashi for a 12-2 score.
Matsumoto was moved to the
mound to stem the tide but an infield error on Koga’s bouncer up the middle and
an intentional walk to Santos once again filled the bags.
Rodrigues to the plate looking to put the game away. Matsumoto, however, got
the big left-hander swinging on a 3-2 strike down in the zone for the inning’s
Estacio forced home Serizawa with Kaua’i’s 13th (and final)
run by drawing a four-pitch walk.
Rodrigues capped his pitching gem by
limiting the Menehunes to a one-out single by a hustling Aki before getting two
fly ball outs to close out the bottom of the seventh and his second win of the
The Raiders scored their 13 runs on 15 hits, 3 walks and 2 batters
hit-by-pitches; Kaua’i left 10 men on base. Rodrigues (who struck out 5)
limited the Menehunes to 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks; Waimea made 2 errors and
left 6 men on.
Rodrigues was the hitting standout for the Raiders (4-5
with 3 RBIs) while Aki paired singles for the Menehunes.
With the two
victories, the Raiders improved to 3-2 and will host the Kapa’a Warriors on
Wednesday, April 12 in a 2:45 p.m. contest at Vidinha Stadium in Lihue.
Raider win would force a first round play-off for the KIF baseball first round
High tailing…Kaua`i’s Tyler Kobayashi rushes to
get back to first as Menehune B.J. Hardy takes the backdoor pickoff attempt
from catcher Vance Matsumoto. Kobayashi ended up stealing second in the first
inning, and scored on a 2-out single by Kainoa Santos for the first of two runs
scored in the 2-0 win.
(Photo by Dennis Fujimoto)