The first two games of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA State Baseball Championships have been dominated by pitching.
Kailua’s Bryson Ballesteros threw the second shutout in as many games on Tuesday, allowing just two hits in a 3-0 win over Leilehua to give the Surfriders (13-3) their first win to open the state tournament in four years.
Campbell’s Ayzek Silva tossed a three-hit shutout in a 3-0 win over Kamehameha-Maui in the opener.
Kailua, the OIA runner-up after losing to Mililani in the final, is playing in its 14th consecutive state tournament — the longest active streak.
Ballesteros, who threw 99 pitches and can’t pitch the rest of the tournament due to pitch-count rules, made the most of his one outing.
The right-hander walked three and struck out six and allowed only two runners to reach scoring position.
“We did what we had to do and Bryson threw a good game,” Kailua coach Corey Ishigo said. “I thought we could have hit the ball better. We left some runners out there.”
A leadoff walk and an error opened the door for Kailua to score all three of its runs in the fourth inning.
Dakota Kadooka ripped a sold single to left to drive in courtesy runner Brandon Sarae for Kailua’s first run. Stone Parker singled to load the bases and with two outs, then purposely took a lead halfway toward second base to try to get Leilehua to go after him in a rundown.
Jerin Po‘opa‘a-Adaro, who replaced starter Ty Yukumoto on the mound with two outs, stepped off the mound with a 2-2 count to Matthew Kaleiohi and chased after Parker. Nicholas Faulkner, another courtesy runner used by Kailua in the inning, took off from third and scored, as did Kadooka from second. Parker stayed in the rundown long enough for both runners to score before he was tagged out for a 3-0 lead.
Kailua finished with six hits in the game and left six runners on base.
“We knew that we would struggle early with timing,” Ishigo said.
The Surfriders used the 17-day layoff between the OIA and state tournament to refocus after the loss to Mililani. They only played amongst themselves and didn’t bother to schedule any scrimmages as other teams did.
“The break was something that was good for us,” Ishigo said. “(The loss) made us realize we were not a pretty good team at that point and so we worked on a lot of things during that time. Two weeks in baseball is an eternity.”
Kailua will face No. 2 seed and ILH champion Mid-Pacific in the final game on Wednesday at Les Murakami Stadium at 7 p.m.