KAPAA — Baseball season is in full swing.
Kapaa and Kauai high schools kicked off the Kauai Interscholastic Federation regular season by splitting Saturday’s twin bill at the Ron Martin Field in Kapaa.
“It was a battle both games, and we figured it would be like that between us and Kauai High because they’re really tough,” said Kapaa head coach Bryan Aiwohi.
Kauai High (1-1 KIF) won the first of Saturday’s games, 2-1, in a pitchers duel. Red Raiders senior Keanu Camalliri and Warriors freshman Nainoa Cardinez both pitched complete games.
In the full seven innings, Camalliri gave up one run off five hits, including one triple for the RBI, five walks and had one strikeout.
Cardinez gave up the two runs off two hits, three walks, hit one batsman and had five strikeouts.
“We learned that we’re going to be in the KIF all season,” said Kauai head coach Hank Ibia. “Only two other teams, yeah? We’re going to be OK.”
Red Raiders sophomore infielder Tyler Oshima hit an RBI single to third base in the third inning to score the season’s first run.
In the top of the sixth, freshman courtesy runner Jaistin Medeiros scored off a Warriors error to extend Kauai’s lead.
“At the times when we got men on base, we got to cash them in,” Ibia said.
Kapaa got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning. Warriors junior outfielder Kalena Harder hit an RBI triple to right field.
With two outs and no runners on base in the bottom of the seventh, Warriors junior infielder Chayse Basuel ducked a high pitch and the ball made contact with his bat to pop up. Red Raiders junior catcher Skyler Sadora made the catch to end the first game.
“Rule of thumb is if you’re going to duck down, pull your bat down. They teach you that in Little League,” Aiwohi said. “He knows it. We needed a big hit out of him, and he wanted to do it. It just so happened that happened. That stuff happens. That’s all I can say.”
Kapaa then won the second game in extra innings, 9-8, in a game riddled with hit batsmen, walks and errors.
Both teams totaled seven hit by pitches, 12 walks and 11 errors.
Kapaa hit six batsmen, gave up four walks and had four errors. Kauai High totaled seven errors, gave up six walks — two of which were intentional — and had one hit by pitch.
Kauai had a 6-1 lead after two innings. In the top of the second, the Red Raiders scored five — getting two off a Warriors error, one off a passed ball, one off a sacrifice fly and one off an RBI double from Sadora.
“It was tough, but I’m glad our boys kept fighting,” Aiwohi said. “Because it happened early, I just told them, ‘It ain’t over. Just keep fighting. Fight your way back in.’ And we did.”
Kapaa then scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning to cut into the deficit, all from Red Raiders errors.
“At least we were there, but we got to finish,” Ibia said. “We were up five, and then we were up four. We got to finish. Like I’ve said, our youth sometimes takes control of that. Need more experience, but other than that we should be OK.”
Later on down four runs, Kapaa evened the score in the fifth inning to tie the score at 8-8, getting two of those four runs off a 2 RBI triple by Harder and a Red Raiders fielding error in the same play.
In the bottom of the eighth, a hit by pitch, an intentional walk and an error filled the bases for the Warriors. In the last at bat, Cardinez drew a walk to score the winning run for Kapaa.
“I’ve seen it happen before. It happened to us before,” Aiwohi said. “I’m glad it’s not us on the losing side this time.”
Kapaa (1-1 KIF) will play Waimea (0-0 KIF) at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hanapepe Stadium.
Kauai High will next host Waimea for a doubleheader on Saturday. The first game will begin 10 a.m. at Vidinha Stadium.