KEAAU – It’s the younger brothers’ time to shine for Waiakea, which beat Kamehameha 7-3 in a high school baseball game Wednesday, powered by the siblings of former BIIF standouts in various sports.
Junior shortstop Mason Hirata batted 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI to lead a Waiakea club team at the plate. He’s the brother of Trevor Hirata, a 2016 Waiakea graduate and UH-Manoa graduate, and a three-time BIIF golf champion.
Left-hander Dylan Honda, who picked up the win with two scoreless innings, is the brother of Ty Honda, a 2019 Waiakea graduate and a UH-Hilo freshman pitcher.
Junior third baseman Kedren Kinzie, who scored two runs and had an RBI, is the brother of Kolbie Kinzie, a 2017 Kamehameha graduate, who played ball at College of the Siskiyous, a California community college.
Dallas Kaili, who went 0 for 1, is the brother of Jeyci Kaili, a 2015 Kamehameha graduate, who played volleyball at San Diego Christian College, an NAIA school.
Junior catcher Elijah Igawa, who went 0 for 1 but scored a run, is the brother of Jacob Igawa, a 2018 Waiakea graduate and sophomore utility at UH-Manoa.
Eli Yamanaka batted 1 for 3 with two RBIs, Carson Kawaguchi scored a run and had an RBI, Yukon Yomoto went 1 for 2, and Kyson Wada went 1 for 4 with an RBI for Waiakea.
“We took some good approaches at the late,” Waiakea second-year coach Chris Honda said. “One thing we really worked on is situational hitting, and I’m happy to see us put the ball in play when we needed to, and we were able to pick up runs, get guys on, move them over. And we saw some good pitching. Kamehameha has a lot of talent on their team.”
Wada followed Honda and gave up two runs in an inning, and Kawaguchi pitched two innings and surrendered a run.
Kamehameha also has a brother connection, too. Shortstop and leadoff hitter Kaohu Kawelu is the brother of senior volleyball setter Kaiana Kawelu. Their older brother is Kamahao Kawelu, a 2019 Kamehameha graduate and former All-BIIF libero.
The youngest Kawelu went his own way and landed on Kamehameha’s Kameeiamoku Field, which was the stage for the pitching staff’s struggles and a display of good genetics.
Makana Carbonel-Mangus pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up five runs in the loss. Jonah Reich followed and allowed two runs in two innings, but Sal Martino was the most effective. He threw strikes and fired 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball with three strikeouts.
Carbonel-Mangus and Reich combined for nine walks, but youth and potential are on their side, especially the 6-foot-2 right-handed Reich, whose fastball was clocked at 88 mph on Oahu, according to coach Andy Correa.
Hanalei Warren, the only senior, batted 1 for 2 with a run scored. Martino went 1 for 2 with an RBI. Dylan Hansen batted 2 for 3 with two RBIs, and Boston Matsu was 2 for 3.
Kamehameha finished with four errors and 10 runners left on base, one more than Waiakea, which committed just one miscue during the five-inning, two-hour time limit game.
“Every game is a learning experience, just a way for us to coach them to get better,” Correa said. “We have a lot of learning to do, but that’s the best way to learn. It’s on the field.”
Like Kamehameha, Waiakea’s roster is relatively young. The only seniors are Kawaguchi, Kaili, and Braxton Cagampang, whose cousin is 2019 Honokaa graduate, Sophia Cash, the BIIF’s only four-time female cross country champion.