Kamehameha senior Chay Toson was sharp on the mound and his teammates played fundamentally sound ball to set an early tone in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II baseball semifinal series.
The left-handed ace fired a two-hitter as the hot-hitting and flawless fielding Warriors defeated Honokaa 10-0 in a five-inning TKO win in Game 1 on Tuesday at Walter Victor Stadium in the best-of-three set.
In Game 2, Kamehameha eliminated the Dragons 12-2 in five innings, giving Hawaii Prep the league’s other berth to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II state tournament.
Kamehameha (10-1-1), the two-time defending league champion, and HPA (10-3) will meet in the BIIF championship series, starting on Tuesday, May 6 at Wong Stadium.
The season is over for Honokaa (5-7), whose lose three starting seniors in pitcher Ikena Juan, catcher Austin Jardine and first baseman Robert Abran.
In Game 1, Toson dominated the Dragons, retiring 11 of 12 hitters to finish strong. He allowed only two hits, two walks, and whiffed eight without the benefit of his off-speed pitch.
“I felt pretty good throwing except my palmball. It kept running away,” he said. “But everything else was working. I just wanted to pound the strike zone. If they hit it, they hit it. That was my approach today and make my defense work.”
Toson was only in mild trouble twice. In the first with runners on the corners, he got a soft lineout to third base to end the inning. Then in the fourth, he stranded a runner on third with no outs, with a flyout and two strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Kamehameha had a two-way approach at the plate against Honokaa starter Juan, who went the distance in the loss and pitched better than his final stats. The senior right-hander gave up 10 runs (five unearned) on 13 hits and three walks with one strikeout.
In the first inning, Kamehameha’s first two hitters — Toson and Matt Chun — stayed patient and poked basehits to the opposite field to spark a three-run rally.
Later when Juan got a few pitches up, the Warriors pulled the ball and pelted rockets to the outfield.
In the third, Micah Carter yanked a single to left field, and Baron Victorino pulled another single to fashion a hit-and-run that sent runners to the corners. Toson helped himself with an RBI single, and an error brought home two other runs.
Kamehameha’s hitting was contagious, especially with four hits in the first and third innings. Except for No. 9 hitter Alika Young, everyone had at least one hit.
Makoa Rosario batted 2 for 2 with three RBIs, knocking home two runs in the fifth to end the game. Carter went 2 for 3 with two RBIs, while Toson and Paka Davis each batted 2 for 3.
The Warriors were also flawless on defense, making Toson’s day a breeze. The Dragons committed four errors, which led to five unearned runs and overtime on the mound for Juan. He never had an easy inning, not once retiring the side.
“Usually Ikena throws hard and has a sharp breaking ball,” Toson said. “We noticed he wasn’t throwing that hard. We went to the plate waiting on his curveball and adjusted to his fastball. We stayed up the middle, a lot of our basehits were up the middle.
“I really liked that we hit the ball really well, and had good at-bats and drove in runs when we were supposed to.”
Kamehameha 12, Honokaa 2: Rosario doubled among his two hits and drove in three runs, and Kobi Candaroma pitched three innings top pick up the victory.
Young was 2 for 2 and drove in two runs, and Kevin Davis also finished with two RBIs.
Candaroma struck out two and allowed a run on two hits.
Jardine was 2 for 2 and scored twice for the Dragons. Caden Perreira-Lau was the losing pitcher, yielding seven hits and 11 runs (seven earned), with four walks and a strikeout in three innings.
Honokaa 000 00 — 0 2 4
Kamehameha 303 22 — 10 13 0
Kamehameha (10)01 10 — 12 9 1
Honokaa 010 10 — 2 5 1