Red Raiders advance in consolation bracket

Kauai High School’s varsity baseball team defeated Konawaena of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation in a consolation game of the Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball Championships — Division II state tournament.

Kauai’s Red Raiders defeated the Wildcats, 6-3, Friday afternoon at Francis Wong Stadium in Hilo. The contest ended during the seventh inning because the Drop Dead rule was in effect, meaning the game was under a 2-hour time limit and the final score would be from the last complete inning.

“I guess we were a little more relaxed,” Kauai head coach Hank Ibia said in a phone interview Friday. “We hit the ball pretty well today, at the right times. And we pitched well also. Everything came together.”

Konawaena’s scored all its three runs in the top of the first inning. Wildcats third baseman Tevin Canda and first baseman Kolu Alani each hit RBI singles in the inning.

“They hit the ball well in the first inning. It wasn’t mistakes. We threw strikes, but they hit them,” Ibia said. “We didn’t panic. It was just the first inning.”

Kauai chipped away at the Wildcats’ lead and scored a run in each the first and second innings. Lead off hitter, shortstop Kobey Dias, hit a triple to left centerfield and catcher Pat Esteban hit a single to left field in the following at bat to plate the Red Raiders’ first run in the opening frame.

The Red Raiders then scored three runs in the third inning, highlighted by a 2-RBI single to centerfield by first baseman Sam Nakata. The team scored once more in the fourth off an RBI single to left field by center fielder Gunner Vallatini.

Kauai High got six runs off six hits, left seven runners on base and recorded one error. Red Raiders senior Brayden Abreu was the winning pitcher, giving up three earned runs off four hits, struck out five and walked three batters in all six innings.

“He (Abreu) was OK. Just selection of pitches, that’s the only thing. He wasn’t hitting his spots,” Ibia said of his pitcher going five scoreless innings after giving up three runs in the first.

“Then I think he went 18 straight. Nobody touched him for, I think, 18 batters in a row. He threw well,” he continued.

Konawaena got three runs off four hits, left two runners on and had two errors. Wildcats starter, sophomore Stevie Texeria, was the losing pitcher — accounting for four runs off three hits and walked four batters in two-plus innings.

Kauai High plays in the fifth place game at 1:30 p.m. today against Molokai of the Maui Interscholastic League. Molokai defeated Kalaheo of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, 7-1, Friday.

“We’ll try to get everybody in the game — all the underclassmen,” Ibia said of the team’s last game of the season today. “We’ll see who will hit first, then we’ll make some changes as the game goes on until I get everybody in the game.”

Statistics from Hawaii High School Athletic Association.

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