By JOE FERRARO
WAIMEA — Having last pitched on Saturday, Honokaa’s Dylan Shiraki said he felt “fresh” before Friday’s Big Island Interscholastic Federation baseball game at Hawaii Prep.
The more than adequate rest translated into a lively fastball and a sharp-breaking curveball that again made life difficult for Ka Makani hitters.
Shiraki pitched his second straight two-hit shutout against HPA, striking out 10 batters as the Dragons beat the Ka Makani 3-0.
Shiraki threw 111 pitches as Honokaa (6-3) defeated HPA (4-5) for the second time in three weeks after going winless against its rival in four seasons.
“It shows we’re all getting better,’’ Shiraki said of his team’s recent success against HPA. “We’re all working harder.’’
With their victory, the Dragons moved closer to clinching No. 2 seed in the West Division at the BIIF Division II tournament, which begins April 24.
Shiraki outdueled Holden Pattengill, who also went the distance. The Ka Makani’s senior pitcher gave up seven hits and walked none while throwing just 82 pitches. Shiraki’s high pitch count stemmed from three walks and a handful of long at-bats in which HPA batters fouled off several tough pitches on the outside corner. However, Shiraki won most of the long battles, often leaning on mid-80s high fastball as a strikeout pitch.
“He battled through some good at-bats,’’ HPA manager Jordan Hayslip said. “I was impressed by his performance.’’
Ka Makani put just three runners in scoring position against Shiraki. HPA’s only legitimate threat came in the fifth inning, when two Honokaa errors put runners on first and third with one out and the Dragons staked to a 3-0 lead. However, Shiraki extinguished the threat by picking off Ka Makani’s Koa Ellis on a stolen base attempt and retiring Zane Gray on a flyout to right.
“We gave them some life, and thankfully, Dylan pitched through it,’’ Honokaa manager Matt Charbonneau said.
The Dragons gave Shiraki all the run support he needed by being aggressive on the bases.
After Pattengill hit him with a pitch in the first inning, leadoff batter Damien Kaluhimoku stole second and scored on Ikena Juan’s RBI single.
Then Charbonneau put on a hit-and-run with two outs in the fourth inning after Lloyd Edwards reached on an infield single. On a 1-2 pitch, Haku Daniels laced a triple to the right-center-field gap, easily plating Edwards.
“I didn’t feel like I had much to lose with two outs,’’ Charbonneau said of the hit-and-run.
Kazu Tolentino followed Daniels’ triple with an RBI single that capped the scoring.
Pattengill didn’t allow much after that, retiring nine of the last 10 batters he faced. The senior struck out two batters and recorded 15 ground-ball outs.
“Other than (the fourth inning), he was very efficient,’’ Hayslip said of Pattengill. “He really pitched a great game. Both pitchers did.’’
Honokaa 100 200 0 — 3 7 2
Hawaii Prep 000 000 0 — 0 2 0