It’s been a long time since Waimea captured a KIF baseball title, but a sweep of Kaua’i yesterday (9-7, 12-8), leaves the Menehune one win away from making it to the top.
“I told them that we have to treat this like a championship series and that it’s going to be smooth sailing after this,” Waimea coach Kelly Robinson said.
But it wasn’t an easy task to take two from the three-time defending KIF champions, who fought back in both games, only to be ousted in the end by the men in blue.
“They fight back when they’re down. I think we prepared well for the games and I think our whole thing was to just hit the ball. We went away from our bunting game,” Robinson said.
Waimea, the first round champs, improved to 9-1 over-all and 4-0 in the second round and the Red Raiders dropped to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in round two.
“We think our hitting came a long way. Our pitching took a back seat. I guess we just have to work on pitching. We’ve got a solid defense behind them,” Robinson said.
And there was more good news for the Menehune, who will finally see the likes of speedster Troy Yamase, who sat out the doubleheader.
“Troy’s coming back on Wednesday. Him at 90 percent is faster than most. He’s hitting the ball well too,” Robinson said.
The balanced Menehune attack, which utilizes almost everyone on their bench, was in the limelight thanks to “Bully” Pancho and Max Agor.
“Even the guys off the bench stepped up. Max (Agor) and ‘Bully’ (Pancho) played well. I think ‘Bully’ had two hits, filling in for Quinton (Natividad),” Robinson said.
Mason Lorenzo picked the win for the Menehune in the first game and Jordan Buster suffered the loss.
Two costly Red Raider errors played a huge part in the final outcome, as the Menehune prevailed, 9-7.
In the second contest, it was Waimea’s Reggie Vigilia vs. Kaua’i’s Stanton Yoshimori on the mound.
However, both pitchers were in trouble from the start, as both teams lit up the score-board for a total of 20 runs.
Leading the way at the plate for the Menehune were Isaac Castillo, Natividad, Agor, Keith Nonaka, Lorenzo, and Broc Santiago.
Johnathan Gebauer, Ryson Sakamoto, Yoshimori, and Andrew Renaud paced the Red Raiders.
KIF baseball heads to the Ron Martin Athletic Field on Wednesday, with the Menehune battling the Warriors at 2:45 p.m.
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or email@example.com.