There’s nothing like postseason play

No matter what sport, at any level, the excitement level kicks up when it’s the postseason.

On a side note, I wore my San Jose Sharks shirt supporting my favorite NHL hockey team during Wednesday’s KIF baseball game between Kauai High and Waimea.

Damn, I missed the game. But I thoroughly enjoyed watching the highlights of the Sharks 3-2 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of the NHL playoffs first round. I can’t wait for Friday’s Game 2. #WreckTheRig

I know. It’s weird — perhaps even sacrilege — to wear a hockey shirt to a baseball game. But it’s the playoffs and it’s my hometown team, so please give me a pass.

And on the side of this side note, I was pleasantly surprised to learn there are some hockey fans here on Kauai.

To one colleague who also covers KIF sports, but not for The Garden Island, who I’ve learned is an Anaheim Ducks fan — boo.

To the another who happens to be a Colorado Avalanche fan — I like your story, and it’s better than the Ducks.

And while talking with the Avalanche fan, I overheard a Kauai High supporter at the game proclaim he’s a Chicago Blackhawks fan.

Pardon my ignorance, but I never thought locals here — even a few but now I hope there’s more — appealed to ice hockey.

Last year, I was fortunate enough to have been visiting home during the NHL Western Conference Finals between the Sharks and the St. Louis Blues.

By some stroke of luck, I snagged some tickets for Game 6 and was in the house to see firsthand the Sharks win their first conference title and a berth to the Stanley Cup finals.

It was by far, and by country miles, the most exhilarating game experience I’ve been a part of.

At any level, from youth to pro, playoff games are that much more exciting when teams you support are part of it. For KIF baseball, it’s that time again.

The second round playoff game between Kauai and Kapaa high schools varsity baseball teams are set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Vidinha Stadium.

Kauai (9-3 KIF) and Kapaa (7-5 KIF) are both 4-2 in the season’s second round.

A Red Raiders win would lock up a fourth-consecutive KIF championship and a berth at states after already winning the first round.

A Warriors win forces a championship game at a time and location to be determined. If Kapaa wins the KIF title this year, it would be the school’s first since 2013.

During an interview with Kauai High varsity baseball coach Hank Ibia when asked about the upcoming playoff matchup after Wednesday’s game, he said, “That’s why baseball is the most beautiful game — the best game on Earth.”

No doubt, he’s looking forward to Saturday.

In the regular season series between the two teams, Kauai High has four wins to Kapaa’s two.

In four of those six games, though, the winner won by just one run. Kauai won three of those. Kapaa got one in extra innings early in the season.

So, I don’t envision either team winning by a blowout whether the KIF championship is determined in one or two games.

Either way, it should be fun to watch. And to the supporters who will be cheering in the stands, enjoy the ride.

•••

Nick Celario can be reached at ncelario@thegardenisland.com.

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