Who’s Heading Into Baseball Playoffs?
For Castle, Kailua and Kalaheo high schools, the Second Season has arrived. With the OIA baseball playoffs set to begin this week, MidWeek Islander takes a look at the post-season resume of all three teams.
Head coach Rocky Fraticelli
Season record: 7-5
Signature wins: At Moanalua (8-5) April 7; at Kalani (2-1) April 16
Next up: Castle will host Aiea at 3 p.m. Wednesday in a first-round game. The winner advances to a second-round road date with Moanalua Thursday.
Did you know? The Knights went 4-2 in road games during the regular season.
Players to watch: Eric Akamine, Dustin Nakayama, Froy Smith, Zephan Mukai, Manoah Medrano and Chaz Kobayashi.
Knights at a glance: The Knights enter the post-season with as much momentum as perhaps any team in the state, having won seven of their last eight, a stretch that also included a five-game win streak. Given that the Knights finished just 1-11 a year ago, they are plainly the most improved team as well.
Castle was also only a few plays away from securing an even better mark, as its resume also includes one-run setbacks to the Kailua Surfriders (in both meetings) and the Kaiser Cougars.
Head coach Corey Ishigo
Season record: 11-1
Signature wins: Castle (7-6) at home; at Castle (2-1); Kaiser (13-3) at home; at Kaiser (12-5).
Did you know? Dating back to the 2011 season, the Surfriders are 26-3-1 in their last 30 games.
Next up: Kailua will host a second-round game at 3:30 p.m. Thursday against the winner of Wednesday’s first-round game between Kalani Falcons and Mililani Trojans.
Players to watch: Eli Davidann, Jacob Cobb-Adams, Kea Vierra, Tyler Takata Kahaku Iaea, Wyatt D’Alessio and Kila Zuttermeister.
Surfriders at a glance: Kailua’s mastery in close games has become one of the trademarks of the program through the years, and no Surfrider team has been better perhaps than Ishigo’s current team in that regard, as it is currently 6-1 in games decided by one run.
Kailua’s lone loss of the season to date came against Moanalua at home back on March 12 by a 2-1 count. The Surfriders followed up that encounter by going on to win eight straight.
On the road, Kailua was also flawless this regular season, going 6-0.
Head coach Stephen Lee
Season record: 8-2
Signature wins: At Waialua (6-2); at Kaimuki (9-2); at McKinley (14-2).
Did you know? Kalaheo’s pitching staff enters the post-season having already produced four shutouts.
Next up: The Mustangs will host a second round playoff game at 3:30 p.m.
Friday at Kailua District Park against the winner of Thursday’s first-round matchup between the Radford Rams and the McKinley Tigers.
Players to watch: Chris Palmer, Alika Andres, Nate Milca, Matthew Anderson-Lee, Joe Whiting, Luke Pauli, Ben Schofield and Chris Sieple.
Mustangs at a glance: First-year head coach Lee made it a point to load up the Mustangs’ preseason schedule with heavyweights in hopes it would pay off down the road.
With an 8-2 regular season, the Mustangs appear on schedule to make some noise this week as well as at the Division II state baseball tournament in early May. Kalaheo’s only two losses so far have come to West powers Radford (7-6) and still-undefeated Waipahu (11-6).
Pitching and defense have been the Mustangs’ forte to date, as they’ve given up just 27 runs, second only to the Waipahu Marauders in Division II, as they enter this week.