LIHUE — Waimea High School’s varsity baseball team lost to Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation in a preseason contest Saturday at Vidinha Stadium.
The Menehune lost to the Big Island’s Warriors, 10-5, in six innings of play. The game was cut short because of a three-hour limit.
“Kind of happy with my guys with where we’re at right now,” said Waimea head coach Larry Ephan. “Had a lot of guys come out last week with minimal days of practice. Just trying to see where we can fit people and build our puzzle. Kind of liked what I saw.”
KS-Hawaii, defending Division II state champions, scored in bunches throughout.
The Warriors first got on the board with two runs scored in the second inning. Warriors infielder Kobie Kinzie hit one to centerfield, and Menehune outfielder Tinoa Albina couldn’t make the catch — committing an error on the play to allow the two baserunners to cross home plate.
Later on with an 8-2 lead in the sixth inning, KS-Hawaii’s Kekona Naipo-Arsiga knocked a two-run triple to centerfield.
“We were just lucky to hit with men on base. That was the main thing,” said KS-Hawaii head coach Andy Correa.
Ephan said of the Warriors’ offensive production: “Got to look at it like this — Kam-Big Island is last year’s D2 champs. Great-looking team. We just got to take care of the ball. If we took care of the ball, we would have been alright.”
Facing a seven-run deficit, Waimea scored two runs in the fifth inning off a couple of Warrior miscues. Menehune outfielder Tayedyn Francisco crossed home plate off a fielding error, and starting pitcher Reydan Rull scored off a wild pitch.
Waimea got three more runs in the sixth inning before the game was called.
“It is what it is. You just got to keep on battling,” Ephan said. “One thing I’m proud of my team, with this whole preseason, was we never gave up. The last two or three games we played, I finally started to see our guys scrapping. It looked like they wanted to be here. So, it’s good to end the preseason this way. Got a week to prepare for KIF.”
Correa added: “We were just trying to get everybody in. It was a well-played game on both sides. Both sides had a few errors, but they played hard. And we got a lot of experience.”
The baseball preseason concludes today. A junior varsity contest between Kapaa and Kauai high schools will begin 4 p.m. at Vidinha Stadium. Following the JV game will be a non-league game between Kauai High at Farrington High School of the Oahu Interscholastic Association.
The Kauai Interscholastic Federation regular season begins Feb. 25. Kapaa will host Kauai High for a doubleheader. The first game will begin at 10 a.m.
Saturday’s preseason results
Kauai JV 12, Waimea JV 2
Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii 10, Waimea 5
Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii 8, Kauai 4
Result of the game between Kapaa and Farrington was unavailable by press time.