Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 |
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Going into Monday’s game, the Kapa’a High School Warriors needed to win the game to stay in the chase for the KIF baseball title, but the Waimea Menehune snuffed out that dream by jumping all over the Warriors in the top of the seventh inning to take the contest 9-3 at the Ron Martin Field.
The victory gives the Waimea Menehune the second round title with a 4-2 record, and will await the completition of the final KIF game on Wednesday afternoon to find out where they will play the first round champion Kaua’i High School Red Raiders.
The Warriors outhit the Menehune 6-4, but committed four of their game total five errors in the top of the seventh inning to open the door for the Menehune scoring.
The errors coupled with two batters being hit by pitches, and Waimea picking up three of their four hits in the frame accounted for the scoring as Clarence Aki got on board after being hit.
Leonard Zalopany doubled to move runners into scoring position, and Michael Ishibashi filled the bases after being hit by another pitch.
Robbie Correa hit one down to thirdbase, but the errant toss by the Frank Rivera to the Kapa’a catcher Tyson Cremer broke a 3-3 stalemate as Aki and Zalopany crossed home.
With just one out, Kapa’a reloaded the bases with an intentional walk of Oliver Moniz, but the Kapa’a pitching faltered as a walk by Shawn Yadao scored Michael Ishibashi.
An RBI single by Rayson Cacal scored the fourth Waimea run, and Quintin Natividad, pinch hitting for Isaac Castillo, smacked one to the Kapa’a shortstop Karl Kimura who tossed it to the secondbaseman Matt Isoda. The resulting bobble scored Moniz, and a walk of Aki notched the final Menehune run as Yadao stepped home.
Kapa’a, hobbled by the shakeup, and the loss of their coach who was ejected in the top of the frame on a strike zone dispute, battled back, but the Menehune defense sealed the Warriors’ fate with a diving one-handed catch in deep rightfield.
Correa picked up the win for Waimea on the mound, allowing three runs on six hits, but striking out five Warrior batters with just two walks allowed, and one hit batter hit by pitch.
Neuberger, going in relief of Dustin Mundon, suffered the loss with six runs coming across in the seventh. Neuberger also hit two batters, walked three, and struck out one.
Kapa’a will travel to Vidinha Stadium on Wednesday for the final KIF scheduled game starting at 2:45 p.m.
The playoff game between Kaua’i and Waimea is scheduled for Friday with a site to be determined by a coin toss following the KIF finale.
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