Kamehameha’s pitching brilliance and timely hitting proved to be unbeatable for the third consecutive season.
Chay Toson batted 2 for 4 with two RBIs, but he was even better on the mound in Game 1 of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II baseball championship series on Tuesday at Wong Stadium.
The senior left-hander fired a one-hitter as Kamehameha thumped Hawaii Prep 10-0 in a five-inning TKO win in the best-of-three set, capitalizing on several Ka Makani miscues in a seven-run fifth inning.
In the second game, Kobi Candaroma and Jordan Hirae combined on a seven-hitter, and the Warriors defeated HPA 5-1 in Game 2 in the nightcap, bringing home the BIIF title for the third year in a row.
It’s Toson’s second consecutive shutout in the playoffs. In the BIIF semifinals, he threw a two-hitter as the Warriors defeated Honokaa 10-0 in another five-inning TKO victory.
The last time Kamehameha and HPA met was for the BIIF regular season title, which includes an accompanying berth to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state tournament, on April 19 at Waimea.
Back then, Toson threw a two-hitter and the Warriors pounded HPA 12-2 in five innings. DJ Sekiya took the TKO loss.
In Game 1, Toson’s biggest obstacle was battling leg cramps. Other than that, there was little resistance. He allowed a clean opposite field single to Mike Nakahara in the second inning, and two walks, and struck out five.
“All the credit goes to the defense,” Toson said. “They backed me up with everything, and they got me through innings even when I couldn’t throw strikes.
“My game plan has been to stay up the middle. If I get pitched inside, pull it or outside go with the pitch, but mostly stay up the middle.”
Nakahara’s single followed a walk by Cyrus Inglis, setting the table for HPA’s last three hitters in the lineup. However, after a failed bunt attempt, small-ball was scrapped. That didn’t matter much because Toson recorded three consecutive strikeouts.
HPA’s only other scoring opportunity came in the fifth when Ryan Jarvill reached on a fielder’s choice. He took second on a wild pitch, but was stranded when Toson finished the inning with his fifth strikeout.
Meanwhile, a relatively close game turned into a double-digit TKO win, after HPA committed three errors for three unearned runs in a seven-run fifth.
The fielding-and-throwing misadventure started when Makoa Rosario singled and took second on Sekiya’s errant pickoff throw. Jordan Hirae walked and Kobi Candaroma reached on a fielding error, which scored Rosario.
After Sekiya threw a pitch to Daylen Calicdan, catcher Mike Nakahara saw the runner at third way off the base. He gunned it third baseman Ian Rice, who couldn’t snag the ball and it rolled into left field, allowing two unearned runs.
Sekiya took the loss in four innings. The junior left-hander gave up five runs (three unearned) on seven hits and four walks, and struck out one.
Jarvill tossed the last inning, and surrendered a two-run single to Rosario that concluded the TKO victory.
Rosario batted 2 for 4 with two RBIs, and Candaroma 2 for 2 with an RBI for the Warriors, the two-time defending BIIF champion.
“We played good defense, and pitched good enough,” Kamehameha coach Andy Correa said. “Chay looked a little drained, but he managed the (cramping) situation as a senior should, and we had timely hits.”
Kamehameha 5, HPA 2: Candaroma went four innings for the win, and allowed an unearned run on two hits and one walk, and whiffed two.
In the first inning, Sekiya singled and took third when Cyrus Inglis reached on an error. Nakahara had an RBI single, the only scratch off Candaroma.
The Warriors created a little two-out noise in the fourth. Despite 0 for 2 on steals with Nakahara nailing runners at second base, Candaroma stole second after he singled. Then Calicdan followed with an RBI single to center for a 2-1 lead.
Kamehameha added three runs in the sixth with four well-placed singles, and aggressive base running. It started in familiar fashion when Candaroma singled, stole second and scored on another Calicdan clutch run-scoring hit.
Then it was Ka Makani’s turn for seeing-eye singles in the bottom of the inning. They got four consecutive hits, but didn’t score. Rice, the No. 3 hitter, lofted a ball in back of third base. But he was picked off by reliever Hirae.
HPA still loaded the bases with one out, and had a chance to cut into Kamehameha’s 5-1 cushion. But Hirae didn’t seem the least bit bothered. The senior right-hander posted two strikeouts to erase the threat.
Candaroma batted 3 for 4, Calicdan 3 for 4 with two RBIs, and Toson 2 for 4 with an RBI to lead the Warriors, who finished 3 for 5 on steal attempts.
Nakahara went 3 for 4 with two RBIs for HPA. He came up in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded and two outs and had a run-scoring single.
Hirae got Kanai Gaughen to ground out to end the game. In three innings, Hirae allowed an unearned run on four hits and a walk, and struck out three.
HPA ` 000 00 — 0 1 4
Kamehameha 200 17 — 10 7 0
Kamehameha 100 103 0 — 5 11 4
HPA 100 000 1 — 2 7 3