KAPAA — Kauai High School’s varsity baseball team defeated Kapaa, 4-0, Wednesday afternoon at Kapaa High School.
With the win, the Red Raiders clinched the first round.
“Today was our first day we got everybody healthy. Our first nine started today,” said Kauai head coach Hank Ibia. “As we grow, we just got to get stronger. It’s not over yet. It’s only the first round. We’ll still work hard.”
Kauai (4-0 KIF) took a 2-0 lead in the opening inning. Red Raiders junior infielder Sam Nakata doubled to left-center field to drive in senior infielder Doug Miyasato and senior designated hitter Pat Esteban.
The Red Raiders scored twice in the fifth inning. Senior infielder Kobey Dias bunted for a sacrifice RBI, and senior starting pitcher Brayden Abreu hit a double for another RBI. Senior infielder Micah Layosa and Nakata scored on the plays, respectively.
“For Kapaa, if you keep them in the game, they’re going to sneak by,” Ibia said. “For us, if we keep somebody close, sometimes it’s going to bite us. Today, our defense was OK. We did well. We’ll just work with that.”
In the fourth inning, Abreu started with two outs but then gave up a hit and two walks to allow Kapaa to load the bases. But Warriors sophomore infielder Ekolu Rivera popped up and Layosa made the catch to end the inning.
“I couldn’t feel anything. It was the adrenaline that was keeping me going. Just focused,” Abreu said of getting out of the fourth. “Almost caught a heart attack, but it was all good. It was just great playing.”
Kapaa (2-3 KIF) left nine runners on base.
“Abreu did a heck of a job on the mound. He shut us down. He kept us handcuffed,” said Kapaa head coach Bryan Aiwohi. “We had our opportunities. Again, we left a lot of runners in scoring position. We got to work on that.
“Our pitching struggled in the beginning. That hurt us, too. But that’s the first round,” he continued. “We know what we got to work on. Hopefully, we can fix it and come back.”
In the fourth inning, Warriors sophomore catcher Chayse Basuel was ejected for talking back to the home plate umpire. Per league rules, he will sit out the team’s next game.
“What happened was our coach asked what was that pitch. What our catcher told the coach was, ‘He’s not hitting it.’ Which means our pitcher is not hitting his spots. But the umpire thought he was talking about him and kicked him out,” Aiwohi said. “I told the umpire that he can’t get into this kind of stuff with the players. … It is what it is.”
Kauai totaled seven hits, left seven runners on base and had two errors. Nakata was 3-4 with two doubles and two RBIs. Abreu was the winning pitcher, tossing five scoreless innings and striking out four.
“I had my points here and there, but overall it was good. Without my defense, I wouldn’t get nowhere,” Abreu said of the win.
Kapaa recorded five hits and two errors. Warriors sophomore Maka Rivera was the losing pitcher, going 6 2/3 innings with one strikeout.
Kauai High will host Waimea (0-3 KIF) for a doubleheader on Saturday at Vidinha Stadium. The first game will begin 10 a.m. Kapaa will play Waimea at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hanapepe Stadium.