When the winless Campbell baseball team put it together, someone was going to pay.
On Wednesday, Kapolei was that unfortunate team.
Campbell batted around in the third inning and beat Kapolei 11-2 at Campbell. The Sabers earned their first win of the year after opening with three losses. Kapolei dropped to 2-3, but hosts the Sabers on Friday.
“When you’ve got a wounded animal, that’s when they are most dangerous,” Kapolei coach Thomas Ebanez said. “They lost to some good teams. We didn’t expect anything less from them. They made the plays and we didn’t. There’s always Friday.”
The Hurricanes can probably avoid Campbell pitcher Justin Smeigh on Friday, but they are going to have to figure out a way to slow catcher Rayven Kahana.
Kahana, hitting in the No. 8 spot, struck out in his first at-bat, but followed with a double, single and double the rest of the way. Each of the pokes drove in runs and the last double flirted with leaving Campbell’s spacious park for a home run to left field but bounced off the chain-link fence 330 feet from home plate.
“We haven’t been playing good baseball,” Campbell coach Rory Pico said. “We have been hitting the ball well, but today we just got lucky. Kapolei is a tough team. They are going to bounce back on Friday.”
Every Campbell starter had at least one hit except for Smeigh, who was 0-for-3. The pitcher certainly did his part, though, holding the Hurricanes to four hits and retiring 11 batters in a row before being lifted.
“He settled down after the first inning. That was a gutty performance,” Ebanez said. “Most kids at this age, they give up a big inning like that, they pack it in. But he stayed strong, a lot of kudos are due to him. He pitched a great game.”
Smeigh gave up Kapolei’s only runs of the game in the first when Robbie Depp launched a double off him and William Leskovec followed with a sacrifice fly.
“I don’t know if it was nerves, he made a couple of bad pitches (in the first inning),” Pico said. “He kept them off-balance enough it was hard for them to put a good bat on the ball and the defense started making plays after that.”
The Sabers responded with three runs in the bottom of the first and added five more in the third and two in the fourth.
“That’s what they are known for, they hit the ball well,” Ebanez said. “We tried our best defensively but they just hit the ball where we weren’t. That’s baseball.”
Campbell was just happy it wasn’t close. The Sabers lost by one run to Pearl City and Mililani and by two runs at Mililani. But there is still plenty of baseball to be played in the OIA.
“I could kinda sense some pressing a little bit at the last game,” Pico said. “They felt a little pressure, we still got eight of these (games). As a program we try to keep them calm and keep them confident, that’s what we focused on in practice.”
Chase Domogsac, Dylan White (3) and Robbie Oliveros (6); Justin Smeigh, Donato Gallano (7) and Rayven Kahana. W—Smeigh. L—Domogsac.
Leading hitters-Kap: Robbie Depp 2-3, RBI. Camp: Rayven Kahana 3-4, 4 RBI, 2 2B; Paul Arakaki 2-4, 2 runs; Dylan Ramie 1-1, 2B, RBI, 2 runs.
OIA RED EAST
Roosevelt 9, Kahuku 0
Roosevelt 5, Kahuku 3
Mikaele Caris, Reece Okura (6) and Tyris Tominaga. M. Sabido, J. Vaness (7) and K. Saniaton, E. Ramirez (7).
Leading hitters—Roos: Leighton Kahooilihala 2-4, 2B; Leland Kahooilihala 2 runs, 2 RBIs; Caris 2 runs.. Kahu: K. Hughes 2b.
M. Sabido, S. Nagy (4) and E. Ramirez. Riki Kobayashi, Reece Okura (5) and Tominaga Tominaga.
Leading hitters—Kahu: S. Ching 2-3; S. Nagy 2B. Roos: Tominaga 2-3, 2B; Donnevon Ito 2-4, 2 SBs.
OIA RED WEST
Aiea 7, No. 6 Pearl City 5
Kaulana Wong homered as Na Alii scored three runs in the top half of the seventh for the come-from-behind win over the Chargers.
Wong and Brett Tanonaka. Reid Akau, Tyler Tokunaga (7), Sean Milan (7) and Kamalu Neal.
W—Wong. L—Ty. Tokunaga.
Leading hitters—Aiea: Wong 2-3, HR. PC: Tanner Tokunaga 2-4; Ty. Tokunaga 2B.