Just when it appeared as if the Kaua’i baseball team would cruise to its third KIF win of the season, Kapa’a made it interesting.
Then Jake Oketani saved the day for the Red Raiders.
After Kaua’i built a 10-4 lead with six unanswered runs to break a fourth-inning 4-4 tie, the Warriors mounted their biggest threat of Game 2 on Saturday at Vidinha Stadium.
Kapa’a sent nine batters to the plate in the top of the seventh inning. After Tyson Cremer and Kalen Loranio singled in runs to bring the Warriors to within 10-7, Kapa’a loaded the bases with two outs.
But after yielding the run-scoring single to Loranio, Oketani struckout Frank Rivera on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat and preserve the three-run victory.
In Game 1 earlier in the day, Kaua’i bested the Warriors 5-1.
After Kapa’a tied the game at four in the top of the fourth inning in Game 2, Oketani and Kirby Yates blasted RBI hits in the bottom of the frame to help the Red Raiders open a 7-4 edge.
Kaua’i added two more runs in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly and then a balk with runners on the corners.
Cremer finished 3-3 for Kapa’a (0-3 in the KIF) with a double and triple while teammate Dustin Mundon added an RBI double in the first inning.
For the Red Raiders (3-0 in the KIF), Yates came on in relief of starter Shawn Ogata in the second inning and allowed just a run before Kapa’a’s rally in the seventh inning.
In Game 1, Alec Reichle earned his second win of the KIF season after pitching the Red Raiders to a 5-1 win over the Warriors.
Reichle yielded his only run in the first inning before taking command of the Kapa’a hitters. The Kaua’i hurler gave up five hits with seven strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
After Bryan Merkle singled in a run for the Warriors in the first inning, Loranio seemed to be in control for Kapa’a on the mound. Loranio did not allow a run in the first three innings for the Warriors.
However, in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Red Raiders got to Loranio for all five of their runs.
Ten batters hit in the frame for Kaua’i. For the game, Loranio struckout two batters and gave up eight hits.
Oketani and Kekoa Crowell combined for four hits in six at bats. Yates added a double with two walks for the Red Raiders.