LIHUE — Kauai High School’s varsity baseball team won both games of Saturday’s twin bill against Waimea at Vidinha Stadium.
“Two good wins. Our pitchers threw well today and we got timely hitting,” said Kauai head coach Hank Ibia. “Scored early and worked from there, and our pitchers held them down. Everything worked out fine for us today.”
The Red Raiders (8-3 KIF, 4-1 second round) won the first game, 4-1.
Senior starting pitcher Cal Koga and sophomore first baseman Aaron Renaud each drove in a run in the first inning for an early 2-0 advantage. Renaud and junior third baseman Micah Layosa scored those runs.
Renaud hit a sacrifice bunt in the second inning to bring home Layosa from third base for Kauai’s third run. The pair did the exact same thing in the sixth inning for the team’s fourth run.
“That’s all we tried to do. We wanted to come out and have fun, and that’s what we did,” Koga said. “We wanted to swing the bats well and bring some momentum into Wednesday’s game. We swung it well today. Hopefully, we can do it better next time.”
Menehune senior third baseman Shandon SanAgustine-Nordmeier hit a single to right field to drive in a run in the seventh inning. Sophomore first baseman Caleb Ephan crossed home plate for the score.
“I got a bunch of resilient kids. They’ve come a long way. They played their hearts out in every game,” said Waimea head coach Larry Ephan. “We wanted to win these last two games, get to 3-3 (record) and see how it goes. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”
Kauai totaled 12 hits and left 10 runners on base. Layosa was 4-4 with three singles and a double.
Waimea had seven hits and left seven runners on. Senior center fielder Patrick Keamoai-Strickland was 2-3 with two singles.
In the second game, the Red Raiders jumped out to an early lead en route winning, 5-1. Layosa scored two of those early runs for Kauai. Junior second baseman Kobey Diaz hit an RBI single to right field in the fifth inning for Kauai’s last score.
Caleb Ephan scored Waimea’s run in the second inning.
Five Red Raider seniors played their final regular season home games: Koga, Jestyn Largusa, Johnny Dumlao, Tyler Toyofuku and Shane Ogata.
“That’s the (bad) part, but our season is not over yet,” Koga said following the home games.
Kauai will play at Kapaa (6-5 KIF, 3-2 second round) at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
If Kauai wins, the Red Raiders will win this year’s Kauai Interscholastic Federation title. If Kapaa wins, a second round playoff will be played at a date and location to be determined.
“These two wins were good. Hopefully, it will carry over to Wednesday,” Ibia said.
Waimea finished its season with a 3-9 KIF record and was 1-5 in the second round.
“We didn’t win as much games as we wanted to. We didn’t win the KIF, but we went out there and battled hard every game,” said Menehune senior catcher Theron Shigematsu. “We gave a good fight this year.”