HANAPEPE — Kauai High School’s varsity baseball team opened its second round with an 8-2 win over Waimea Wednesday afternoon at Hanapepe Stadium.
“That’s what we needed. We haven’t hit at all in two-and-a-half games. Finally, this thing came through,” said Red Raiders head coach Hank Ibia. “I hope this thing can continue now, since we finally got the hits. We’ll see if we can ride this thing through Saturday.”
Waimea senior starting pitcher Patrick Keamoai-Strickland did not allow a hit through the first five innings and went into the sixth with a 1-0 lead.
Red Raiders senior outfielder Johnny Dumlao broke the no-hitter with a single to left-center field to start the sixth inning. Soon after with three runners on, Kauai (5-2 KIF, 1-0 second round) took the lead when sophomore first baseman Aaron Renaud hit a ground rule double to right field to bring home two runners.
Following Renaud’s at-bat, starting pitcher Cal Koga brought home two more runs with a single to right-center field. The Red Raiders scored four more runs in the seventh inning.
“He’s a good pitcher. We’re not going to take anything away from him,” Ibia said of Keamoai-Strickland. “We finally got one hit, and the thing snowballed and it put us in a good situation when Aaron came up.”
Keamoai-Strickland scored Waimea’s first run in the second inning. He crossed home plate from third base as Kauai junior catcher Pat Esteban threw to second base in an attempt to pick off a Menehune baserunner.
Senior third baseman Shandon SanAgustine-Nordmeier scored Waimea’s second run in the seventh inning off a wild pitch.
“We were just hitting our spots. We knew Kauai High School’s weakness. We exploited it and it was working,” said Waimea head coach Larry Ephan. “Then at the top of the sixth, they got the leadoff hitter on with a mistake pitch. Then the floodgates opened up after that.”
“Realistically, if you watch all of our games that he played, he’s hands down the best pitcher in the KIF. Spots well, throws good and has four pitches to deal,” he added about his starting pitcher. “I might have stayed with Patrick a little too long. Maybe, they got his timing down. They had better swings those last two innings.”
Kauai will host Kapaa (4-4 KIF, 1-1 second round) for two games on Saturday at Vidinha Stadium. The first game will begin at 10 a.m.
Waimea (3-6 KIF, 1-2 second round) will host Kapaa at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hanapepe Stadium.