Kaua`i, Kapa`a split

KAPA`A— Like two great heavyweights, the league-leading Kapa’a Warriors and

defending champion Kaua’i Red Raiders battled for respect and second round

supremacy throughout Saturday’s baseball doubleheader at the Ron Martin

Field.

The exciting split of games (Kaua’i 5-4 in the 10-inning opener and

Kapa’a 9-3 in the finale) left fans and participants salivating over the

potential importance of the regular season-ending clash on Wednesday, May 3

between these two teams.

Kaua’i 5 Kapa’a 4

(10 Innings)

The

pitching matchup that fans had eagerly anticipated since the start of the

season was finally realized as Kapa’a’s Kaleo Lopez took the hill against

Raiders’ Mark Rodrigues.

It would, however, be another Kaua’i hurler that

would later control the outcome of Saturday’s opener.

Kaua’i quickly

struck for the contest’s initial run as Scott Serizawa beat out a chopper over

the mound to start the game.

Tyler Kobayashi’s bunt was fielded and

relayed to second in an attempt to eliminate the lead-off runner, but the throw

went into center field.

Jason Koga’s grounder was fielded at third to force

Serizawa for the inning’s first out. KIF batting leader Mark Rodrigues singled

up the box to load the bags, and Kainoa Santos lined a sharp single to score

Kobayashi for a 1-0 lead.

A well-timed Furtado-Matsukawa-Rapozo double play

ended the Raider threat.

Kapa’a responded in the bottom half as Ikaika

Pezario stroked a single to right, moved to second on Justin Matsukawa’s

sacrifice bunt, and took third on Micah Furtado’s single to left.

Rodrigues

blazed a third strike past the next Warrior hitter and Furtado stole second on

the first offering to Lopez.

Battling an 0-2 count, Lopez deposited a

single into center to score Pezario and Furtado to put the Warriors ahead

2-1.

Chris Lary entered to run for the pitcher and took third as an

attempted pickoff throw went awry. Sean Tamura chopped a high infield single to

score Lary with Kapa’a’s third run.

Both teams were held in check until

Koga singled to start the Raider sixth. Rodrigues doubled to the gap in left

center to drive in Koga from first and cut the lead to 3-2.

Santos’ fly out

to right allowed Rodrigues to tag up to third and Kwinton Estacio’s sacrifice

fly brought in the big left-hander with the tying run.

Both teams failed

to score in their respective halves of the seventh and the nail-biter went into

extra innings.

In the bottom of the eighth, Rodrigues struck out the first

two batters he faced. He was then moved defensively to first base as he reached

the maximum allowable innings a pitcher may throw each week (30 outs or 10

innings).

Rodrigues had also pitched 2-1/3 innings of relief in Wednesday’s

victory against the Waimea Menehunes. Levi Rapozo was moved to the hill in

relief and finished the inning unscathed.

Estacio led off the Raider ninth

with a four-pitch walk and was moved to second on Casey Oketani’s

sacrifice.

Estacio tagged and moved to third on Kamanu Grace’s fly out to

right and scored on a subsequent Kapa’a throwing error to push the Raiders back

in front 4-3.

Kapa’a rallied again to tie the game as Robert Merkel was

unintentionally plunked and Kaili Panui replaced him on the bases.

Panui

moved to second on a Pezario sac bunt and scored on Justin Matsukawa’s hard

single to left.

Rodrigues rapped a one-out triple in the top of the tenth

and scored the winning run as the relay to the bag was thrown away.

Rapozo

pitched a 1-2-3 bottom half to end the contest and pick up his second victory

of the season.

Rodrigues led the Raider offensive attack with 4 hits

(triple, double, 2 singles) and scored twice. Teammates Santos and Estacio also

paired singles in the game.

Lopez had 2 singles (2 RBI’s) and Miyashiro

doubled to spearhead the Warrior offense.

Lopez went the full 10 innings

for Kapa’a and gave up 5 runs (3 earned) on 12 hits, 3 walks, and 2 HBP. He

also struck out 4 Raider batters.

Rodrigues gave up 3 runs in 7-2/3

innings worked on 7 hits and 2 walks (striking out 7). Rapozo went the final

2-1/3 innings, giving up a lone unearned run on a hit, a walk and a hit batter.

Both teams committed 2 errors; the Raiders also left 10 men on base

while Kapa’a stranded 9.

Kapa’a 9 Kaua’i 3

The second game proved

to be no contest as the Warriors got off to another hot start while keeping the

Raider offense under control.

The Raiders managed 2 hits off Warrior

starter Allen Mundon to begin the contest but failed to cash in.

The

Warriors, however, were not so charitable. Lead-off batter Pezario blasted

Raider hurler Jeremy Yeats’ second offering over the right field fence to

quickly put Kapa’a up 1-0.

Mundon led off the home half of the second by

lining a single past Koga at short. Tamura, showing bunt, slapped a single past

third and both runners advanced on a passed ball.

Miyashiro’s sac fly

brought in Mundon from third for a 2-0 Warrior lead.

Koga took to the

mound in relief of Yeats in the bottom of the third. The Warriors failed to

score despite getting 2 walks in the inning.

Kapa’a broke open the contest

in the fifth as Pezario doubled just inside the left field line. Matsukawa

followed with a sharp single to left, but the relay from Grace and Santos to

Estacio nabbed the sliding Pezario at the plate.

Furtado doubled past a

diving Kobayashi in right to score Matsukawa from first. Consecutive walks to

Lopez and Mundon loaded the bases prompting a visit from Raider Pitching Coach

Tommy Cox.

Tamura blooped a single over a drawn-in Raider infield to score

Furtado and put the Warriors in front 4-0.

A walk to Miyashiro forced in

Tyler Wakuta (running for Lopez) and Yeats and Koga again exchanged positions

in the infield. Mundon sprinted home easily on Branden Bonilla’s surprise sac

squeeze bunt for Kapa’a’s sixth run and Merkel ripped a double to left to drive

in Tamura and Miyashiro.

Pezario’s twisting ground-rule double to right

(his second two-bagger of the frame) scored Merkel with the Warrior’s ninth and

final run.

Mundon, in control from the start, showed signs of fatigue in

the seventh but refused to buckle under Raider pressure.

Koga and Santos

rapped singles into left and Estacio walked on 4 pitches to load the

bags.

After a brief visit by Kapa’a Head Coach Shannon Masada, Mundon

induced a Yeats ground ball back to the mound to force Koga at the

plate.

RBI singles by Grace and Melchor drove home Santos and Estacio to

put the Raiders on the scoreboard. Bonilla caught up to a fly ball in short

right field for the second out, but Kobayashi’s soft bounder up the middle

scored Regis Canales (running for Yeats) to cut the lead to 9-3.

With the

bags still full, Rodrigues (with 2 home runs on the season) grounded a

full-count delivery wide of the first base bag. As Warrior fans collectively

held their breaths, Lopez fielded the tough chance and dove to the bag just

ahead of the runner to end the contest and stifle the Raider comeback bid.

Pezario led Kapa’a with 3 hits (home run, double, single), a walk and 2

RBI’s. Furtado (2 doubles), Tamura (2 singles) and Merkel (double, 2 RBI’s)

were additional major contributors to the Warrior offensive display. Miyashiro

also drove in 2 runs with a sac fly and a bases-loaded walk.

Kobayashi had

three hits (triple, 2 singles) and Koga a pair (2 singles) for the Raiders.

Kobayashi, Grace and Kendrick Melchor each knocked in a run.

Mundon, in

picking up his second victory, scattered 10 hits over 7 innings and issued 1

walk, while striking out 2.

The first round champion Warriors rapped out

11 hits and walked 5 times to run their overall record to 8-2 (3-1 in the

second round) and maintain a slim half-game lead over the Raiders. The Raiders

(5-4 overall), by virtue of their comeback victory in the day’s first ball

game, jumped back into the second round fray with a 2-1 record.

Kapa’a

will travel to the Hanapepe Ball Park on Wednesday, April 26 to take on the

Waimea Menehunes (1-8, 0-3) in a 2:45 p.m. contest.

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