Surfriders A Good Prospect At State Baseball Tourney

Kailua set the tone early this spring for another stellar season on the baseball diamond, winning its first six games to start 2015.

Not much has undermined the momentum since, as the Surfriders placed third in the recent OIA Division I Tour- nament behind West powers Campbell and Mililani.

Kailua will next attempt to bring home Hawaii high school baseball’s biggest prize, when it plays in the DI state tournament this weekend at Les Murakami Stadium in Manoa. (Pairings for the tournament, which will run Wednesday through Saturday, were to be announced after press time.)

Windward Oahu Voice takes a look at the Surfriders’ post-season prospects below.

Surfriders at a glance

2015 Record: 12-3 overall. Kailua went 10-2 during its OIA DI season to earn East’s top seed for the conference tournament.

Key wins: over Kalani 13- 9 March 18; over Moanalua 7-3 March 21; over Kaiser 9- 4 March 28; over Castle 7-3 April 18; over Kaiser 3-2 April 25

How they got here — OIA DI tournament recap: Defeated West No. 4 seed Leilehua 5-2 in the quarterfinals; lost to West No. 2 seed Mililani 7-0 in the semifinals; defeated East No. 2 seed Kaiser 3-2 in the third-place game.

The History — Kailua at the state tournament: The Surfriders have won four state titles in their proud history, in 1965, 1967, 1969 and 2001 under Corey Ishigo. Since the Hawaii High School Athletic Association created two divi- sions in 2008, Kailua has qualified for the DI state tourna- ment every year and has a 15- 9-1 overall record in seven appearances. The team went 2-2 last year at states, finishing fourth.

What to watch: Kailua comes into this week’s state tournament having won seven of its last nine games, dating back to its East regular season. If you remove from the mix its 7-0 loss to Mililani in the OIA tournament semifinals, Kailua has been in position to win every game this spring, as its only other two setbacks were in close games with Castle 3- 2 and Kalani 6-3.

Solid pitching and defense often have been the strength of Surfrider teams, but Kailua also will need to bring its “A” game, offensively, to go deep into the tournament.

In Dalton Kalama, Brendan Odo, Matt Hanano and Noah Auld, Kailua appears to have the firepower to win a high-scoring game. The four all rank among the state’s RBI leaders in D I, having combined for 54 among them.

As a team, Kailua has averaged 4.3 runs per game over its last five outings.

Three is the magic number for Kailua. It owns a 12-1 record when scoring three runs or more.

Ishigo has gone mainly with Joey Cantillo, Stone Parker, Keiki Kanahele-Santos, Isaiah Kaeo-Cash and Matt Hanano on the mound of late.

Cantillo has won his last four starts after receiving no decision in two other outings. Ishigo went with Cantillo to begin the OIA tournament recently, so he’s a likely choice to take to the mound for Kailua’s state tournament opener.