Saturday, June 25, 2022 |
Share this story
LIHUE — Rain started to drizzle on the diamond before the Red Raiders got the final out to make for a climactic ending for the team’s first game of the season.
Kauai High School defeated Kapaa 3-2 on Wednesday afternoon in baseball at Vidinha Stadium.
“They worked hard. It paid off in practice and it paid off in the game,” said Red Raider head coach Tom Vallatini. “Kapaa’s a tough team and they’re defending champs. You can’t take anything for granted.”
A call at third base during the top of the sixth inning cost Kapaa a potential game-tying run.
Warriors head coach Bryan Aiwohi said the umpire originally called the play safe, but changed his mind.
Aiwohi also questioned the umpire’s call at first base for the last out of the game.
“Especially on big calls … I would expect an umpire to at least oblige us and let the other umpire give his opinion,” Aiwohi said. “It’s not a pride thing. We’re not questioning his ability, but there were too many close calls that were questionable.
“It is what it is. We got to live with it. We’ll come back from it,” he added.
Kapaa scored two runs in the top of the third to take a 2-1 lead, then Kauai answered in the latter half of the inning with two runs to take back the lead.
With its lead in tact, Kauai junior starting pitcher Cal Koga said he was determined to finish the game and pitched all seven innings.
“I felt like I wanted to keep throwing and help out my team because my arm was feeling good,” Koga said. “I’m not going to take myself out of the game if my arm was feeling good.”
Koga also had an RBI during the third inning.
“I felt pretty good today. Just tried to stay relaxed in the box and I got one,” he said.
Kapaa made two pitching changes during the game
Aiwohi said he didn’t want to put too much strain on his pitchers after last Saturday’s doubleheader against Waimea.
“Both pitchers threw a lot on Saturday, so we kept them on a short leash,” he said. “We told them if they started to feel anything to let us know. It’s not worth getting hurt.
“Our pitchers did a pretty good job. Just once in a while you make a mistake and they took advantage of it,” he added.
Kapaa junior Keola Lutz started the game at shortstop but came in as a relief pitcher during the fourth inning. He, too, would be relieved after the sixth.
Lutz said he felt solid on the mound and could have finished the game.
He added the team needed to execute on offense when given the opportunity, but couldn’t during the later innings.
“We just had to settle down, execute and score those runners in scoring position,” Lutz said. “We left too many runners … We just need to get those base hits.”
Kauai will play a doubleheader against Waimea on Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium. First game will start at 10 a.m.
Kapaa will also play Waimea at Hanapepe Stadium at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
By participating in online discussions you
acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful
discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments
are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines,
send us an email.