The rain fell at 2:40 p.m. on Wednesday and would not stop.
Not for game time, 3 p.m., and certainly not for the rest of the afternoon on the bucolic slope of Kailua’s baseball field. The game was made up by Thursday afternoon under a sunny sky. The lush foliage in view from home plate is the best of both worlds for all baseball and nature lovers.
The base paths, though, didn’t heal themselves from the downpour. When the ponding created mini lakes, particularly at third base, the entire Kailua Surfriders team went into action mode. Pushing the rainwater out took a village, almost. Coach Corey Ishigo, veteran of many a season as a coach and player, showed efficient form as he used the equipment, a rake, to begin the process.
The game was postponed by game time Wednesday.
“We don’t have enough sand to cover everything,” Ishigo said.
That’s the Catch-22 of coaching and playing baseball in Windward Oahu. Mother Nature has no schedule. So the Surfriders, in their all-white uniforms, rolled up their sleeves — and pants — and went to work. Diligently. Not a single complaint, just quiet young men and coaches saving their world, hoping that they would be allowed to play a makeup game.
That was no guarantee. After all, in the private-school ILH, a softball game between Punahou and ‘Iolani was rained out on the same day, Wednesday, but no makeup game is being played, according to coaches.
At Kailua, Kalani jumped to a 2-0 lead in the second inning and never trailed. The visitors opened the margin to seven runs by the fifth inning and won 10-4. Kailua used six pitchers, including two position players who had never thrown a pitch in a varsity game. The Surfriders play Moanalua on Friday, saving some of their arms for the battle at Hans L’Orange Park.
Kalani got a strong performance from senior pitcher Tyrus Viela, who threw five scoreless, one-hit innings. He walked two and got out of every jam.
The only thing Viela did wrong was lose his hat out the bus window on the way to the game.
“Kailua did a really good job,” Kalani coach Reyn Nagamine said. “That’s an A-plus.”
In the top of the second, Davis Sato, Jace Tsutomi and Christian Chinen walked to load the bases with one out. With two outs, Tanner Sera singled to center, scoring Sato and Tsunami to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth, they plated three more runs. Cayge Agena-Shirai led off with a double to center and Sera came through again with a double to left, scoring Agena-Shirai for a three-run cushion.
Sera stole third base and with one out, Spencer Kim singled to left, scoring Sera. A sacrifice fly by Brandon Ting brought courtesy runner Noa Uchida home for a 5-0 Kalani lead.
In the fifth frame, Tsutomi led off with a single and with one out, Agena-Shirai was hit by pitch. With two outs, Kaden Stremick was also hit by pitch to load the bases. Kim’s single brought two runs in for a 7-0 lead.
The home team got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth with four runs. Makai Miyamoto and Taylor Takata walked, and with one out, Kayleb Mahuka-Lono was hit by pitch to load the bases. Miyamoto scored on Aiea Poole’s sac fly to right.
Mikey Hanano’s single to right brought home Takata for the second run. Orion Medeiros then sent a check-swing single over first base to score two more runs and Kailua was suddenly within 7-4.
Kalani doused the threat. Sera led off the top of the seventh with a double to right and scored on a double to center by Kim. After Darian Kamibayashi and pinch hitter Jase Fujikawa walked, Mahuka-Lono struck out the pinch hitter, Uchida, for the second out. Tsutomi then doubled to center, scoring Kim and Kamibayashi for a 10-4 Falcons lead.
Kalani, which defeated Moanalua, 13-3, in an OIA season opener last Saturday, is now 2-0. The Falcons will host Mililani on Saturday at Kahala Park, 11 a.m. Spectators are not allowed, per COVID-19 restrictions.
Kalani (2-0) 020 320 3 — 10 12 2
Kailua (0-2) 000 004 0 — 4 4 0
Tyrus Viela, Dylan Weddle (6), Brandon Ting (7) and Spencer Kim. Isaac Auld, Kaimana Burgo (2), Steven Inouye (4), Kai Sanehira (5), Tidan Galdeira-Hugo (6), Kayleb Mahuka-Lono (7) and Kaelan Kauahi. W—Viela. L—Auld.
Leading hitters—Kalani: Kim 3-5, 4 RBI, 2 runs, double; Jace Tsutomi 2-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs, walk; Tanner Sera 2-3, double, RBI, run. Kailua: Mikey Hanano 1-2, run, walk; Orion Medeiros 1-3, RBI.
I think it was only a scrimmage.
^^^ Yes, the original scheduled game was officially cancelled, and this “make-up” was actually a scrimmage that does not count for records. There are not supposed to be any make-up games for OIA this year.
No matter. There are no playoffs in OIA this year so this is for bragging rights. I can’t even remember the last time Kalani beat Kailua in baseball.