KAPAA — Kapaa High School’s varsity baseball team plated six runs in the first inning en route to an 8-2 win over Waimea at the Ron Martin Field in Kapaa on Wednesday.
Kapaa (5-4 KIF, 2-1 2nd round) totaled four hits in the opening frame to score the six runs. Warriors freshman starting pitcher Nainoa Cardinez and sophomore catcher Kaimi Malina hit RBI singles in the inning.
“That helps the pitcher, when you get the pitcher a lead like that,” said Kapaa head coach Bryan Aiwohi. “Anytime you get a pitcher that kind of lead, it relaxes him. So, yeah.”
The Warriors then scored two more in the fourth inning. Senior infielder Leighton Moniz hit an RBI sacrifice bunt to score the runner from third base, and Cardinez knocked an RBI double in the next at bat.
Cardinez was the winning pitcher for Kapaa. He threw all seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits — throwing four hitless innings — struck out three, walked one and gave up two hit-by-pitches.
“We wanted to give Noa a full game,” Aiwohi said. “Told the boys that we got to get Noa a win, and we got him a win. He did good out there on the mound. And the defense did good.”
Waimea (1-6 KIF, 0-1 2nd round) chipped away at Kapaa’s early six-run lead.
Menehune junior designated hitter Brennan Perreira knocked an RBI double in the second inning.
In the third, Menehune junior infielder Keaka Wisneski scored from third base as senior infielder Waika Corr ran toward second for a stolen base and the Warriors attempted to pick Corr off.
“We hit the ball a lot better. I take my hat off to Noa. He threw a great game,” said Waimea head coach Larry Ephan. “He moved the ball in and out. Changed speed on us a lot. He had command of almost every pitch he threw. The boys battled. We hit the balls hard all day right at guys. That’s the game of baseball.”
Kapaa totaled eight runs on eight hits and left seven runners on base. Cardinez led the Warriors offensively, going 3-3 with a double, two RBIs, one run and one sacrifice bunt.
Waimea got its two runs on four hits, left four runners on base and recorded one error. Wisneski was 1-2 at the plate with double, a run and a hit-by-pitch.
Menehune starting pitcher, freshman Tysson Unciano, took the loss. He went four innings and gave up all of Kapaa’s eight runs on seven hits, had two strikeouts, three walks and one hit-by-pitch.
“They put the bat on the ball. We didn’t make a couple of plays that would have helped us out and maybe change the momentum of the game,” Ephan said. “Like I said, that’s how it goes. They found the holes in the first. They put the ball in play had and made contact a lot. Just had to find a way to get out of that one inning.”
Waimea will host Kauai High (6-2 KIF, 1-1 2nd round) for a doubleheader Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium. The first game is set for 10 a.m.
Kapaa will next host Kauai at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.