Raiders bounce back

Face must-win situation against Kapa`a on Wednesday

By MANNY

HENRIQUES

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.

The

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

round title.

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

year.

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.

Scott Serizawa’s

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.

In the

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.

The Menehunes

went down in order to close out the sixth inning as did the Raiders to start

the seventh.

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.

Oshima

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.

Aki

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.

The

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

contest.

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

strikeouts;

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

opener.

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.

Estacio’s

sacrifice fly to right scored Santos for Kaua’i’s third run.

Rodrigues

fisted his second single of the contest into center field to start the fourth,

and Regis Canales entered to run for the Raider hurler.

Estacio sacrificed

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

bases.

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

7-0 score.

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

chest.

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

Fernandez.

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.

Wideman

got his first hit of the season, lining a sinking single to left to put two

runners on.

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.

Rodrigues

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

sixth.

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.

That brought

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

second out.

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

season.

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.

A

Raider win would force a first round play-off for the KIF baseball first round

title.

cutline:

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)

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.