Kailua lefty Cantillo off to a good start

Joey Cantillo struck out seven in his regular-season debut for Kailua, a 2-1 win over Kaiser on Wednesday. Dennis Oda / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Joey Cantillo struck out seven in his regular-season debut for Kailua, a 2-1 win over Kaiser on Wednesday. Dennis Oda / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Kailua left-hander Joey Cantillo is off to a good start in the Oahu Interscholastic Association regular season.

Cantillo pitched five innings, gave up two hits and struck out seven in a 2-1 victory over Kaiser in the OIA East opener on Wednesday.

There were at least a handful of major league scouts there to watch him. The scouts have also come to watch him at practice.


The 6-foot-4 Cantillo, who has more than 10 college scholarship offers, too, downplays all the attention he’s getting.

“Scouts will come and go,” he said after Wednesday’s win. “That stuff doesn’t really matter. We’re nowhere near out peak this year. We’re a really young team. … We’re going to get better and better. It was a good first game overall. Still a lot of stuff we have to work on, like capitalizing (when we have men on base), but we’ll be working on that.”

Surfriders head coach Corey Ishigo was asked if the scouts have been causing a distraction.


“They’re not bugging me,” he said. “It’s a fun time for Joey and his family to have all these scouts around every day he’s out there. He’s more than a good pitcher. Joey is a great person and the more you hang around with him and get to know him, you’ll see that from him.”

Cantillo was asked what the scouts have been advising him to work on.


“Just the same thing, I gotta throw strikes,” he said. “Locate everything.”

And, as is his custom, he brought the subject back to the Surfriders: “But the biggest thing is the team and winning.”

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