KAPAA — Kauai High School’s varsity baseball team defeated Kapaa, 1-0, to win its second-consecutive Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship Wednesday afternoon at Kapaa High School.
“There’s no words to describe it actually. If there was a word, I’d say just ‘happiness,’” said Red Raiders junior starting pitcher Micah Layosa. “I’m stoked that we won. We worked so hard to get this KIF title. It was a great experience to do this again — two years in a row.”
Kauai (9-3 KIF, 5-1 second round) scored the game’s only run in the first inning.
Senior catcher Cal Koga laid down a sacrifice bunt to bring home junior courtesy runner Doug Miyasato from third. Koga reached first on an error on the play.
“Today, our pitching and their pitching did well. (Kapaa senior starting pitcher Keoki Planas) is the best pitcher in the league right now,” said Kauai head coach Hank Ibia. “If you asked me if that (lead) was going to hold, I didn’t think so. But it did, so it’s good for us.”
“It feels pretty good. When I decided to come back, that was one of the goals — not only to win the KIF but to win the state tournament,” he added.
Kapaa (6-6 KIF, 3-3 second round) had a chance to score in the third inning with runners at first and second with no outs.
Warriors senior shortstop Keola Lutz hit a liner to Red Raiders sophomore third baseman Aaron Renaud, who then made the throw to second base for the double play.
In the following at bat, senior third baseman DJ Lacaden then grounded out to second base to end the inning.
“We got guys in scoring position. We just couldn’t get that one hit we needed. In several innings, that happened,” said Warriors head coach Bryan Aiwohi. “Hats off to those guys. We made some errors and they scored on us.”
Kauai scored its one run off two hits and left four runners on base in the season finale. Kapaa totaled four hits and left seven runners stranded.
Kauai will participate in the Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball Championships — Division II state tournament next month.
“We’re expecting to do well. We went there last year, so we know what to expect,” Layosa said about going to states. “We’re coming out firing.”
After the game, seven Warriors seniors were honored: Lutz, Lacaden, Planas, Chaz Pacleb, Nainoa Soto, Bradley Villanueva and Paul Oyama.
“Just wanted to have fun and enjoy it,” Planas said, who pitched a complete game. “I’m going to miss it. I means a lot to me — balling with all these guys.”
“These boys are special to me because they were with me since my first year as a head coach,” Aiwohi added about his senior class. “Me and my coaching staff brought them up. I’m proud of them.”