Warriors win KIF finale with fresh and familiar faces

LIHU‘E — On the mound was Kapa‘a’s future; hitting was their past. It was in between the two Wednesday afternoon at Vidinha Stadium that Warriors head coach Bryan Aiwohi realized the present was pretty darn good.

Sophomore starter Turtle Kuhaulua pitched a complete game, and seniors Bronson Aiwohi and Mick Voigt combined for seven of the Warriors’ 14 hits, in a 10-4 win over the Kaua‘i Red Raiders in the KIF baseball regular season finale.

The win improved the Warriors’ record to 4-8 overall and 3-3 in the second round of the season. Following a one-win season a year ago, the Warriors’ offensive show Wednesday was the cherry on top of a competitive season.

“After practice yesterday I told the boys to go out there and finish with a bang and send our seniors off,” coach Aiwohi said. “It’s important to send the seniors off and important to show for the kids coming up in our program that we’re capable of doing that.”

The Warriors won with a mixture of old and new talent. Bronson Aiwohi, the senior shortstop who routinely made defensive plays look easy this season, slashed four singles and drove in a run. Fellow senior Voigt added three of his own hits and two RBIs.

The  younger players got in the mix, as well. Sophomore Grant Mitchell had two hits including a two RBI triple to the right field wall, while on the mound Kuhaulua picked up right where he left off after a complete game one-hitter on Saturday against Waimea. Wednesday against Kaua‘i, Kuhaulua gave up six hits and struck out two while only giving up one earned run.

The Warriors got it done at the plate and on the field. In the fifth inning, protecting a 9-5 lead, the Warriors thwarted a Kaua‘i rally with stellar defense. Center- fielder AJ Cummings robbed Jensen Koga of extra bases with a sliding catch in the gap and the Warriors followed a Kal Koga single with a inning ending double play. The Warriors also ended the game with a double play in the seventh inning.

“It’s a work in progress,” coach Aiwohi said.

“We’ve been gearing up for this and we’re getting there. We’ve got to keep working in the offseason and come back strong next year.”

The loss dropped the Red Raiders record to 7-5 overall and 2-4 in Round 2.

The Red Raiders had nothing riding on the game, as the Waimea Menehune had locked up Round 2 last week to set up a one-game playoff against the Round 1 winning Red Raiders on Saturday.

The game will be held at 1 p.m. at Hanapepe Stadium with the winner advancing to the state playoffs.

For a more in-depth preview of the KIF Baseball Championship Game see Saturday’s edition of The Garden Island.

• Tyson Alger, sports writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or by emailing talger@ thegardenisland.com. Follow him on twitter.com/tysonalger.

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