Waimea rallies past Kamehameha-Hawaii, 11-10, for Division II title
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
WAIPAHU — Kalani Fernandez singled to center to plate Mike Rita with the go-ahead run in the sixth as Waimea rallied from a nine-run deficit to beat Kamehameha-Hawai'i, 11-10, in the final of the Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball State Division II Championships tonight.
Rita led off the inning with a single to shortstop and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a strikeout and groundout, Fernandez lined a 1-1 pitch to center to make it 11-10 in favor of Waimea, the Kaua'i Interscholastic Federation champion and No. 3 seed.
Lost in the offensive shootout at Hans L'Orange Park was a gutty relief effort by Waimea's Fernandez, who worked the final 3 1/3 innings for the victory.
Fernandez, a senior right-hander who started in center field in the title game, picked up three-inning saves the previous two days for Waimea.
Fernandez retired the side in order in the seventh to set off a huge Menehune celebration.
Rita drove in four runs last night and Fernandez had three RBIs for Waimea, which scored eight runs in the fourth to get within one.
Kamehameha-Hawai'i, the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion, took charge early, taking a 9-0 lead with a five-run bottom of the second and four-run third.
Waimea (13-2) stormed back with the eight-run fourth. The Menehunes sent 13 batters to the plate, had eight hits and drew two walks in the inning.
Fernandez had a two-single to center off the shortstop's glove with one out to make it 9-3. Gavin Jardin followed with a single to left and Paul Correa had a run-scoring single to center. No. 5 hitter Micah Rita then belted a pitch over the center fielder's head for a two-run triple, which made it 9-6.
Mikeo Rita added a two-out RBI single and Chyson Soares' second RBI single of the inning drew Waimea within 9-8.
In the fifth, the Menehunes battled all the way back to take the lead at 10-9 on Micah Rita's two-run single up the middle with one out.
Kamehameha-Hawai'i (12-4) tied it in the bottom half when pinch runner Cody Walker scored from third when the Menehunes shorstop let Gideon's Kalili grounder get past him.
In the Warriors' second, Kaimana Moike led off with a walk and went to third on Gideon Kalili's single to left. After a lineout to second, Nainoa Hart singled in Moike with Kalili advancing to second.
Pinch hitter Maverick Kang made it 2-0 with an RBI double off the left-field fence. A walk to No. 9 hitter Thomas Kackley loaded the bases and marked the end of the night for Keuma.
Hart scored on a wild pitch, Jayce Carvalho had an RBI single and Kupono Correa had a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0. Kamehameha-Hawai'i had five hits and drew two walks in the inning.
The Warriors added four runs in the third, all scoring with two outs.
Kang had an RBI double to left-center, another scored when the Waimea right fielder dropped Carvalho's fly ball, Taylor Allen Goo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Moike had a run-scoring infield single.