JV baseball loses to Lahainaluna in epic game

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Photo by Landon Ballesteros

Freshman Rylie Velez pitches against Lahainaluna High School on February 2, 2013, at Eddie Tam Field. The Maui Warriors lost, 15-19, in an epic seven-inning game that ran more than three hours.

By Landon Ballesteros, news writer

The Kamehameha Maui junior varsity  baseball team played their second-to-last game against Lahainaluna High School on February 2, 2013 at Eddie Tam Field. The Warriors lost to the Lunas 15-19 after 3 hours and 20 minutes of play.

After the Lunas failed to score against the Warriors’ first pitcher, Brennan Aloy, Kamehameha opened up the game scoring three runs in the first inning; however, the Lunas quickly took a lead in the second inning after several Warrior catching errors.

“We came up on them [the Lunas] early on, but they came back,” Warriors’ Head Coach Jason Kane said.

With the Lunas ahead 4-3, the Warriors opened up a big lead in the third inning with runs by sophomores Aloy, Cody Fushikoshi-Wago, Shae Johnson Eugenio, and freshmen Rylie Velez and Kamuela Kaniaupio. The Warriors’ run was ended when sophomore Joshua Hiwatashi got the team’s third out after an unsuccessful attempt to steal second. The Warriors were leading 9-4.

Kamehameha switched pitchers in the fourth inning after two runs by the Lunas. The subbed in freshman pitcher, Velez, delivered powerful throws, but some went astray, and the Lunas managed six runs, several walked in. Aloy came back with one run at the bottom of the fourth inning on a sacrifice bunt by Cody, putting the score at 10-12, with the Lunas in the lead.

The fifth inning saw the bases constantly loaded in both halves. Velez continued to struggle with accuracy, hitting three Luna batters. As a result, there were more runs being walked in, but Velez was strong on fielding, responsible for throwing out at least two Lunas between the fourth and fifth innings. Both teams scored four more points in the fifth, pushing the score to 14-16.

At the top of the sixth inning, the Lunas increased their lead to 14-19, but they were shut out after freshman Jordan Marciel took the pitcher’s mound. The bottom of the inning for the Warriors was quick, with no points scored once the Lunas also changed pitchers.

With the end of the game approaching, the rapid seventh inning saw no more runs from the Lunas, but the Warriors earned one more point when Velez was walked in with the bases loaded. Hopes were high when sophomore Ryland Santos-Adrian hit the ball high and to the left after two strikes, but the Lunas caught it, stranding three, and ending the game with the win, 19-15.

“We did pretty good today,” Lahainaluna head coach Manu Kenolio said. “We cut down on our errors, that’s our biggest thing. We put the ball in play and gave ourselves a chance.”

Though the Warriors have only one more game left in their season, this isn’t the end of baseball for a few of the players. With most of the team comprised of sophomores, several of them will be showing up on the upcoming varsity roster.

“We have plenty of sophomores going to varsity,” Coach Kane said. “Hopefully we can carry everyone.”

These future varsity players may face off against familiar faces from the Lunas, too.

“We get 18 JV players, and we’re looking forward to bringing them up and getting them ready for the varsity,” Coach Kenolio said.

The last chance to see this year’s junior varsity Warriors’ play together is at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 6, when they challenge King Kekaulike High School at Eddie Tam Field #8.