Their offense came up with some timely hits and their defense prevented a late rally, adding up to a win over a quality opponent Wednesday in Waimea.
But the Konawaena Wildcats will likely need a repeat performance against Hawaii Prep next week in a game that means much more.
Evyn Yamaguchi drove in the go-ahead run in a three-run fifth inning, and Ona Manzano had three hits and three RBIs as Konawaena beat HPA 7-5 in a Big Island Interscholastic Federation baseball game.
With the victory, the Wildcats (6-2 BIIF, 10-2 overall) earned the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the BIIF Division II tournament
The Ka Makani (6-3, 9-4), the No. 3 seed in the tournament, will host sixth-seeded Pahoa (0-8, 0-12) at 3 p.m. Tuesday, with the winner taking on Konawaena on May 3 at Wong Stadium in a game that will determine a Hawaii High School Athletic Association berth.
“We expect to meet them next week,” Konawaena manager Dave Distel said. “Next week is when the games count. It’s going to be a dogfight because both our teams are pretty even.”
Trailing 4-2 in the top of the fifth, the top of the Wildcats’ order produced the game-winning rally. Ryan Torres-Torioka doubled home leadoff batter Domonic Morris, and Manzano followed with an RBI single to tie the game.
Manzano later scored the go-ahead run on Yamaguchi’s single to left.
Torres-Torioka finished 3 for 3, and Yamaguchi was 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
“We came back in our usual style, with our top hitters getting hits, and that was the difference,” Distel said.
Torres-Torioka, who also pitched the first four innings, got the win. He allowed four runs on four hits, striking out three and walking three.
Jordan Miyahira-Young pitched the final three innings, surrendering a run on five hits. In the seventh inning, Konawaena’s defense gave him some help, turning a double play before Morris made a diving catch to take away a hit from Ryan Fujioka and end the game.
“His defense and range made a big difference in the game,” Distel said of Morris.
HPA starter D.J. Sekiya also pitched four innings in taking the loss. He allowed five runs on six hits, striking out five and walking none.
At the plate, Sekiya went 3 for 3 with two RBIs. His RBI single in the fourth gave HPA its 4-2 lead.
Koa Ellis also went 3-for-3 for Ka Makani.
Konawaena 200 032 0 — 7 10 1
Hawaii Prep 102 101 0 — 5 9 1