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Red Raiders win home opener

LIHUE — Kauai High School’s varsity baseball baseball team defeated Waimea, 4-3, in its season-opening game Wednesday afternoon at Vidinha Stadium.

“It was OK. We left a lot of guys on base, so we’ll work on that,” said Kauai head coach Hank Ibia.

The Red Raiders (1-0 KIF) scored 2 runs in the bottom of the third inning to earn an early 4-2 advantage.

Senior outfielder Johnny Dumlao crossed home plate off a Menehune error for the team’s third run, and sophomore first baseman Aaron Renaud hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in junior right fielder Gunner Vallatini from third base for the fourth run.

Renaud also hit a double in the first inning to bring in the Red Raiders’ first two runs, but was tagged out going to third base. Dumlao and junior infielder Micah Layosa scored those two runs.

“We couldn’t have done it without good pitching and good defense. That’s first of all,” Renaud said. “The bats came in handy. Coach Ibia, he knows what he’s talking about. He knows the game so well.”

Waimea (0-3 KIF) had a chance at a go-ahead score with runners on first and second bases and one out in the top of the seventh inning.

But senior first baseman Patrick Keamoai-Strickland grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.

“It was (a tough loss). But like I said earlier, we expect these kinds of games all season long,” said Waimea head coach Larry Ephan. “Our bunt coverages broke down today and allowed them to get runners on. They capitalized. They’re a good hitting team.”

Ibia added that the final inning could have went either way and they’re fortunate the game ended in their favor.

“There’s always luck in this game. It’s all about inches,” he said. “Our second baseman (junior Brayden Abreu) made a good play on the toss. Sometimes, it works that way. If not, the ball could’ve gone through and they would have tied the game.”

Senior infielders Brayden Silva and Theron Shigematsu scored Waimea’s first two runs in the first inning. Silva also scored the Menehune’s third run in the fifth inning.

“I’m proud of my boys. We kept ourselves in the game and jumped out to an early lead,” Ephan said.

Kauai will play at Kapaa (2-0 KIF) on Saturday in a doubleheader. The first game is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Waimea will play at Kapaa at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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