LIHUE — The defending Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion started its 2016 campaign with a win at home.
Kauai High School’s varsity baseball team defeated Kapaa, 7-0, in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Vidinha Stadium.
The Red Raiders scored four runs in the first inning, highlighted by a triple to left field by junior infielder Sam Nakata to bring in the game’s first two runs. Nakata would score the third run as well.
In the top of the second inning, Kapaa had two runners in scoring positions. But the runner on third, sophomore infielder Ekolu Rivera, was tagged out in between third base and home plate. The runner on second, designated hitter Maka Rivera, advanced to third on the play.
The Warriors freshman infielder then struck out and sophomore infielder Kaenan Lacaden grounded to first base to end the inning.
Kauai High scored a run in each of the third, fourth and sixth innings to round out the win.
Kapaa had several runners on, but struggled with base running. The Warriors were picked off three times and once were caught stealing.
Kauai High totaled nine hits, six earned runs, and had four runners left on base. Senior starting pitcher Micah Layosa was 3-4 at the plate with two RBIs. Nakata was 2-4, including the triple for two RBIs.
Layosa pitched all seven innings for Kauai High and got three strikeouts en route to winning the KIF season opening game.
Kapaa had 10 hits and had five runners left on base. Rivera and sophomore outfielder Kalena Harder each had three hits.
The Warriors starting pitcher, sophomore Chayse Basuel, pitched five-plus innings and had one strikeout.
Kauai High also won Saturday’s second contest, 8-6.
The Red Raiders had eight hits, seven earned runs and had five runners left on. Sophomore catcher Skyler Sadora was 2-3 at the plate, including a double.
The winning pitcher was freshman reliever Ricky Rego, who pitched 3 1/3 innings.
The Warriors had 10 hits, six earned runs and had eight runners left on base in the second contest. Maka Rivera was 3-4 and had one RBI.
Maka was the starting pitcher for Kapaa and went through 4 2/3 innings on the mound.
Kauai High (2-0 KIF) will play Waimea (0-0 KIF) in the Menehunes’ season opener at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hanapepe Stadium. Kapaa (0-2 KIF) will host Waimea for a doubleheader on Saturday. The first game will begin at 10 a.m.