Konawaena survives Kealakehe comeback

KAILUA-KONA — It took the Kealakehe softball team nine innings to take down west side rival Konawaena on Friday and on Saturday the Wildcats baseball team returned the favor, beating the Waveriders at Kealakehe High School 5-3 in extra innings.

Konawaena looked as though they had the game locked up early, only to watch the Waveriders tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning.

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“The sixth inning came down to the inexperience of our team,” said Konawaena head coach Adam Tabieros. “We had several mental errors but once the damage had been done we were able to regroup and settle down.”

Neither team scored in the seventh or the eighth innings.

In the top of the ninth, the Wildcats got a little help when Drew Basque reached on an error by the Kealakehe third baseman. James Kapela laid down a bunt to sacrifice Basque over to second and Bronson Rivera singled to bring home the runner. Rivera then scored the insurance run on a double by Andrew Udac on a line drive down the right field line.

The Waveriders could not put a runner on in the bottom of the ninth, going down quietly off a flyout and a pair of groundouts.

Kolu Alani closed the game, throwing the final three innings to pick up the victory. He allowed no runs and only one hit, while walking two.

“Kolu battled with that bulldog mentality that he has had all season,” Tabieros said. “He loves the big moment and isn’t phased by it.”

Stevie Texeira got the start for Konawaena. In six innings of work, he allowed three runs off five hits, while striking out six and walking five.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Kanai Rivera was hit by a pitch to lead the inning off and was moved to second on a sac bunt by AJ Allred. Boaz Ayers singled to right to knock in the runner and then scored the second run of the inning off an error on a Basque bunt. A dropped third strike later in the inning led Basque crossing the plate on a passed ball for a 3-0 advantage.

Kealakehe cut the deficit to two runs in the bottom of the third when Makana Kaluau walked, moved to third on a single by Toby Estrella, and scored on a passed ball.

The game remained 3-1 until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Waveriders tied the game. With two outs, Dennison Joaquin singled on a line drive to left and Kalani Piltz waked. Tupu Toafuli reached on an error by the second baseman, allowing Joaquin to score. After a walk to Kaluau loaded the bases, Estrella walked to bring in the tying run.

Andrew Udac led the offense for the Wildcats. He went 2-for-5 with an RBI. His double was the only extra base hit of the game for either team.

“It was nice to get Andrew’s bat back in the lineup and his defense as well,” Tabieros said. “He was a big presence we missed the last few games. He is hungry and ready to battle”

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Estrella had the only other multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk for the Waveriders.

This was the last game of the regular season for both squads. The BIIF playoffs will start later this week.

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