In a bizarre finish, the unseeded Red Raiders clinched the D2 state championship.
Kauai High School’s varsity baseball team defeated No. 3 Damien Memorial in the championship game of the Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball Championships – Division II state tournament.
The Red Raiders (13-3) defeated the Monarchs from the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, 5-4, Saturday at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu to win the school’s third D2 baseball state title.
Facing a 4-3 deficit in the top of the seventh inning, Red Raiders sophomore starting pitcher Jacob Borrero hit an RBI single to plate the tying run from third. Borrero was then ejected for throwing his helmet to the ground, reacting right after the play.
Red Raiders senior Royce Uemura ran for Borrero in the inning.
Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Red Raiders senior infielder Sam Nakata scored the go-ahead run on an error by Monarchs senior infielder Jayden Cabbab.
Damien hit into three consecutive grounders in the bottom half of the inning to end the D2 title match.
Kauai High got an early 3-0 lead. In the top of the second, senior infielder Matthew Panit hit a grounder to second base to plate the runner from third for an RBI.
In the third, Red Raiders junior catcher Skyler Sadora knocked a 2-RBI double left-center field.
Damien (17-6) chipped away at the 3-run deficit in the bottom of the fourth. A walk by Monarchs junior designated hitter Shiloh Kaeo started a two-out rally.
Then Monarchs junior outfielders Mason Kim and Paul Mezurashi hit back-to-back RBI doubles for two runs in the inning.
Damien leveled the score in the bottom of the sixth of a RBI sacrifice fly Monarchs junior infielder Kaimana Cameron.
In the bottom of the sixth, an RBI triple by Mezurashi scored Damien the go-ahead run.
Kauai High’s defense kept Damien scoreless early on with a double play in each of the first three innings.
In the bottom of the first with the bases loaded for the Monarchs and one out, a 1-2-3 double play with put outs at home plate and at first got the Red Raiders out of the jam.
Damien had a double play of its own in the top of the sixth. With a runner at first, Red Raiders junior outfielder Christian Manera hit into a line out to third. Then the ensuing 5-3 putout at first base ended the inning.
Kauai High clinches its third Division II state baseball title with five runs on seven hits, left eight runners on base and recorded one error. Sadora was 2-3 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run.
Red Raiders sophomore relief pitcher Keoua Sibayan got the win. He went two innings and tallied one strikeout. Borrero threw the first five-plus innings, striking out one and walking two.
Damien Memorial got its four runs on 10 hits, left five runners on and committed two errors. Mezurashi held the hot stick for the Monarchs, going 3-3 with a double, a triple and two RBIs.
Monarchs senior starting pitcher Javin Cortez took the loss. He went all seven innings, striking out four and walking four, two of which were intentional.
Kauai High defeated three seeded teams en route to the championship — beating No. 4 Molokai in the opening round Thursday, and then beating No. 1 Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii in the semifinals Friday.
Red Raiders head coach Hank Ibia could not be reached for comment Saturday after the game.
Other Division II result from Saturday are:
Fifth place: Molokai (MIL) 10, Farrington (OIA) 4
Third place: KS-Hawaii (BIIF) 11, Hawaii Prep (BIIF) 1, six innings
Information from Hawaii High School Athletic Association and ScoringLive contributed to this story.