Bottom’s up for ‘Iolani in 6-0 win over Kamehameha

‘Iolani junior Zachary Tenn looks in at catcher Brock Makishima during Tuesday’s game against Kamehameha. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser (Apr. 27, 2021).

Fastball, curve, slider.

Zachary Tenn has good stuff. What makes his arsenal possibly great is his change-up. It tantalizes. It mesmerizes. It comes out of nowhere during a series of pitches A, B and C. Sits there in front of home plate so innocently.

Then it breaks in on the nub of a right-handed batter’s bat. It is the zig to all of Tenn’s zags.

“The change-up is probably my best pitch,” Tenn said after firing a four-hit shutout against Kamehameha.

Tenn struck out four and walked one for the complete-game win. His counterpart, Kaena Kiakona, went six innings, allowing four earned runs and seven hits. He fanned five and walked two.

‘Iolani is on fire, 3-1-1 after a 6-0 win over the talented Warriors on Wednesday at Ala Wai Field. With no fans in the bleachers, it still feels somewhat surreal. All the noise was generated by the two dugouts — and the Raiders’ unheralded run producers.

“It feels great. Our bottom of the lineup really contributed today. They drove in most of our runs, which is good,” Tenn noted.

True enough, the first four hitters in the Raiders’ lineup was 1-for-15, with an RBI groundout by Jadon Arakaki. No. 5 hitter Joshua Miyazawa went 2-for-3, driving in a run in the first inning and scoring a run in the sixth.

No. 6 hitter Brayden Hiraki was 2-for-3 with a run scored. No. 7 hitter Makani Tanaka was key again with a 2-for-3 day, including an RBI and walk.

No. 8 hitter Jonah Velasco was 2-for-3 with a double, RBI and run scored.

Kiakona basically stifled ‘Iolani’s 1-through-4 hitters, and still lost.

“The top three hitters, they’ll have their time. I’m happy it was a great team win today,” ‘Iolani coach Kurt Miyahira said. “Kaena’s a legitimate Division I pitcher, you know. He’s going to be problem in this league for awhile. Kamehameha’s a really good team with a lot of really good players. They’re going to play at a high level after high school.”

In the continuing lab test of lefties-versus-lefties, ‘Iolani started seven left-handed batters on Wednesday. An opponent again lined up a southpaw pitcher, but for a second game in a row, the Raiders prevailed. It’s a matter of familiarity and repetition.

“The first lefty we faced, Pac-Five, he gave us some trouble,” Miyazawa said. “But I think we swung well today. We took a lot more reps in the cage. I think the bottom of the lineup swung it well.”

Iolani is now edging toward a potential top seed in the upcoming ILH single-elimination playoff tournament.

“We do have our eye on the playoffs, but we’re kind of taking it one game at a time. We have to cherish these games because there’s not that many this season, so every game has more importance to it,” Tenn said. “Especially for the seniors with this being their last season.”

ILH D-I baseball standings:
Saint Louis 4-1
‘Iolani 3-1-1
Kamehameha 3-2
Mid-Pacific 3-2
Punahou 2-2-1
Maryknoll 2-3
Pac-Five 1-4

Division II Damien (1-4) will also compete in the tournament.


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