Ultimately, Kean Wong had the big hit that helped make Waiakea go.
But for a sign that the Warriors are starting to see real progress with their bats, coach Kevin Yee said, look no further than Andrew Filoteo’s four plate appearances Thursday night during a 9-5 victory against Kamehameha at Wong Stadium.
The senior reached base all four times, with two hits and two walks. But it’s how Filoteo got there that impressed his coach so much.
“Both of the hits were two-strike at-bats. He fell behind (in the count) and came through,” Yee said. “They were great, great at-bats. He had a great game.
“We had lot of great two-strike at-bats tonight.”
Wong tripled with the bases loaded to fuel a five-run second inning and Kodi Medeiros was 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI as Waiakea won under the lights.
“That was kind of our spark,” Yee said of Wong’s hit.
Chase Komatsu hit five batters but didn’t walk anybody in five innings and got plenty of support to pick up the victory as Waiakea (2-1 Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division I, 5-1 overall) notched 12 hits.
Taylor Mondina was 2 for 3 from the No. 9 spot in the order, Wong was 2 for 4 and scored two runs and Filoteo had two RBIs.
The defending Hawaii High School Athletic Association champions have won three straight since they were held in check in a 3-2 home loss to Hawaii Prep on March 16.
Part of the reason for recent success is because Waiakea’s new-look lineup is starting to take a better approach at the plate.
“We’re taking a lot more pitches, seeing a lot more pitches and getting deeper in at-bats,” Yee said. “We’re using the whole field. Guys are understanding when they need to cut their swing down and hit the ball hard.”
Bronson Pulgados was 2 for 4 with a double and scored two runs for Kamehameha (4-0 Division II, 5-2). Chay Toson took the loss, yielding seven hits, five runs — three earned — and four walks without a strikeout in two innings of work.
Komatsu struck out four and allowed five hits and four runs. Bryce Felipe pitched a scoreless sixth and Alika Guillermo allowed an unearned run in the seventh.
Pulgados reached on an error and scored on another Waiakea miscue in the seventh. But after Micah Carter singled, Guillermo got Kupono Decker to pop out before Kamehameha could bring the tying run to the plate.
Kamehameha 002 020 1 — 5 7 3
Waiakea 050 103 x — 9 12 2
Hilo 13, Keaau 2: Hilo’s Drew Kell was 3 for 3, including a three-run triple during a six-run first inning at Wong Stadium.
Makana Josue-Maa was 2 for 3 and also drove in three runs as the Vikings (3-1 Division I, 6-1) won their fifth straight game.
Kody Kaniho struck out six in a five-inning complete game — the contest was shortened because of the mercy rule —and scattered seven hits and a walk to get the win.
Justin Quesada only got one out in the bottom of the first for the Cougars (1-2 Division I, 1-4), who have lost four in a row.
Quesada walked the first two batters he faced, and after Jodd Carter singled to load the bases, Josue-Maa’s hit put Hilo ahead 1-0. A walk and a hit batter brought in two more runs, then Kell cleared the bases with a triple to right to put Hilo ahead 6-0.
Erik Arnold and Maleko Remlinger had run-scoring singles for Keaau in the top of second inning, but the Vikings quickly got those runs back in the bottom half of the second, courtesy of Josue-Maa’s RBI double and a run-scoring triple by Jalen Carvalho.
Tyler Higa-Gonsalves’ RBI double highlighted Hilo’s five-run third inning.
Carter finished 2 for 3, including a run-scoring single in the third, Elijah Cruz drove in a pair of runs and Chayce Kaaua drew three walks and scored each time.
Remlinger and Keian Kanetani were both 2 for 3 for Keaau.
Quesada allowed three hits, six runs and three walks with a strikeout. Arnold worked 2 2/3 innings and Kanetani pitched a scoreless fourth.
Keaau 020 00 — 2 7 2
Hilo 625 0x — 13 9 2
Konawaena 9, Kealakehe 0: Konawaena coach Dave Distel wants pitcher Jarrett Kitaoka to embrace a theme for the 2013 baseball season: back to the future.
The senior certainly turned back the clock Thursday.
Kitaoka pitched five shutout innings, and Kileona Manzano drove in four runs as the Wildcats defeated Kealakehe.
As a sophomore, Kitaoka earned West Hawaii Player of the Year honors, going 5-0 with five complete games. Distel said Kitaoka wasn’t “as effective” last season, but the Konawaena coach liked what he saw on Thursday.
“He came out of the time machine and pitched very well like he did before,” Distel said of Kitaoka. “He was throwing his fastball and changing people up with his curveball, and he had (Kealakehe) off-balance.”
Kitaoka gave up just one hit — a two-out double by the Waveriders’ Shayden Lewi in the third inning. He struck out five batters and walked two.
Ryan Torres-Torioka followed with two scoreless innings for Konawaena (2-1 Division II, 4-1 overall), striking out the side in the seventh.
Teao Buehler pitched well for Kealakehe (0-3 Division I, 1-4) through four innings before the Wildcats exploded for five runs in the fifth.
Manzano had given Konawaena a 1-0 lead in the third inning with a two-out RBI single to left that plated Torres-Torioka, who highlighted the Wildcats’ five-run fourth with a two-run double down the left-field line that scored Domonic Morris and Jordan Miyahira-Young. Manzano chased home another run in the inning with an RBI triple, and he later added a sacrifice fly.
Buehler lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and three walks. He struck out four.
Distel tells his hitters to go deep into counts and elevate the opposing pitcher’s pitch count, figuring the pitcher will tire and offer more hitable pitches late in the game. That’s exactly what happened against the Waveriders, the Konawaena coach said.
“That’s our whole strategy,” Distel said. “We feel that down the stretch and late in innings, we’re going to be in better shape.”
Kealakehe 000 000 0 — 0 2 4
Konawaena 001 053 x — 9 7 2
Hawaii Prep 10, Kohala 0: Cyrus Inglis pitched four shutout innings in Waimea in a game that ended after four and a half innings because of the league’s 10-run mercy rule.
Inglis gave up just two hits, striking out six and walking none as HPA improved to 4-0 in the BIIF and 7-0 overall.
At the plate, Kama DeSilva went 2 for 3 with three RBIs, coming through with a two-run single in the second inning and giving the Ka Makani a 5-0 lead.
Ian Rice was 3 for 3 with two RBIs whle Inglis and Lii Purdy both went 2 for 3.
Chance Pang, who pitched 3 1/3 innings for the Cowboys (0-3, 0-5), took the loss.
Kohala 000 00 — 0 2 0
HPA 320 41 — 10 12 0
Stephens Media contributed to this report