LIHUE — The Red Raiders have locked up the first leg of the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season.
Kauai High School’s varsity baseball team defeated Waimea, 12-0, in the first game of Saturday afternoon’s doubleheader at Vidinha Stadium to win the season’s first round.
The game ended in the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us,” said Kauai varsity head coach Hank Ibia. “The first round is OK, but the thing is that we still got to work harder.”
Red Raiders senior starting pitcher Keanu Camalliri threw all five innings without allowing a hit. In those five innings on the mound, Camalliri tallied nine strikeouts and five walks.
After the game, Camalliri wasn’t even aware he threw a no-hitter.
“I’ve never pitched a no-hitter in my life,” he said. “It feels good. I really didn’t know until now, so this feels good.”
The pitcher added about winning the first round: “This win was big. We know if we win the first round, it sets the tempo for us, and we can just use that to keep going through the season.”
Kauai High (4-1 KIF) scored 10 runs in the first two innings.
In the second, the Red Raiders scored six runs. En route, Kauai recorded a hit in five consecutive at bats to notch five RBIs.
“We swung the bat well, but we’re young and the pitching is young,” Ibia said. “If we can capitalize on that, we’ll be fine.”
Kauai High totaled 12 runs on 11 hits and left nine runners on base.
“These past days, the coaches have really been making us hit to get our hitting better,” Camalliri said. “We know that we need hits to score runs, and we need runs in order to win. We just kept hitting the ball good, and just capitalized on it.”
In the top of the fifth down 12 runs, Waimea (1-4 KIF) needed three runs to extend the game.
The Menehune got the bases loaded. The first batter was safe at first after striking out swinging on a wild pitch, and the next two batters drew walks.
Two strikeouts and a groundout, however, would end the game.
“We got to find a way to get a spark in our game,” said Waimea varsity head coach Larry Ephan. “If you as a hitter come up in that situation, you have a chance to do something. We didn’t do it. We just didn’t do it. We just need to find a way — to do whatever to help ourselves out and win a game.”
Ephan added the team just came out flat in this game, but is hopeful for a turnaround in the second round.
“I got guys that don’t quit. They’re not going to quit. They’re going to keep giving me their hearts,” he said. “Like I said, we just got to find a way to revive it and get these guys going.”
Ephan added about Camalliri’s no-hitter: “Obviously, Camalliri was hitting his spots. He threw good enough to get the win. Yeah, he threw a good game.”
Waimea left six runners on base and recorded three errors. The losing pitcher was Menehune sophomore Reyden Rull, who went 1-plus innings, allowed four runs on four hits, one walk and one hit-by-pitch.
The second game of Saturday’s doubleheader was not available by press time.
The season’s second round will begin Saturday when Kauai High will host Kapaa (3-3 KIF) for a twin bill at Vidinha Stadium. The first game will begin 4 p.m.