Kailua’s Ishigo talks about voters’ snub

Ryan Inouye threw a sidearm pitch during his three innings of one-hit ball Friday in an 11-0 road win over Castle. Photo by Dennis Oda / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Kailua has been a force in baseball for quite some time and a good part of that is due to the wizardry of coach Corey Ishigo.

The former steady second baseman for the University of Hawaii gives his team that same kind of steady hand year in and year out.

It’s no surprise that the Surfriders are off to a 3-0 start in the OIA. Ishigo has brought them to eight league titles in his 20 years and he also led the team to the 2001 state title.

Maybe this is the year the team puts its foot on the pedal and doesn’t take it off. In many of the past seasons, Ishigo’s Surfriders were built to peak at the right time, which sometimes meant slow starts.

One key cog to last year’s team, left-handed pitcher Joey Cantillo is in the minor leagues in the San Diego Padres organization now. He, for sure, is the biggest loss to graduation.

But just about the whole lineup is back from the team that won the OIA last year before getting knocked off by eventual state D-I runner-up Waiakea 3-1 in the quarterfinals.

The batting order is mostly the same — Matthew Kaleohi, Cody Riturban, Jalen Ah Yat, Dylan Kurahashi-Choy Foo, Bryson Ballesteros, Dakota Kadooka, Kalua Neves, Stone Parker, Dayne Ishigo.

Parker and Ballesteros can pitch, and Ryan Inouye, a sidearm reliever from a year ago, got the start in an 11-0 win over Castle on Friday.

So, with so many players back, maybe that’s why Ishigo was a bit miffed when Kailua was not in the Top 10 in a recent poll.

“You have just about everybody in your lineup back, that must feel pretty good,” Ishigo was told.

“It must be pretty bad,” he said. “We weren’t ranked in the first preseason poll. We take offense to that. We’re continuing to work as best as we can.”

Ishigo is going with the flow, however.

After being reminded about a few overthrows and another defensive miscue Friday, he said, “Hits, errors. It doesn’t matter. We’ll continue to work to get better.”

On one of the overthrows, Inouye backed up third base and pegged out Castle’s Cade Rapozo trying to go home after hitting a triple.

“The pitcher was where he was supposed to be so we got the guy out coming home,” Ishigo said.

Inouye’s versatility is one of his strengths.

“In our first two outings (wins of 13-0 and 1-0 over Moanalua and Kalani), we didn’t have a chance to get him in as a reliever,” Ishigo said. “Today, we started him. We needed to get him on the mound and get him some work.”

Inouye gave up one hit in three innings and Kurahashi-Choy Foo finished up the final two frames of hitless ball.

As it is for any competitive coach, the finished product is always out of reach.

“We can hit better, we can play better defense and we can throw more strikes,” Ishigo said.


  1. Bumbuchas March 10, 2018 5:07 am

    suprised to hear Coach Ishigo is concerned and miffed at not being ranked in a subjective poll of ranked teams. Most Coaches don’t give a S_ _ t about being ranked and know it’s not how you start the season but how you finish it thats important. The teams at that point have proven themselves. It’s like players who are concerned about Stats, Coaches concerned about polls is all about ego’s.

  2. Opinion March 10, 2018 5:37 am

    Bumbuchas, all Ishigo pointed out was disrespect. Returning basically the entire lineup that won the OIA and dropped a close game to waiakea, its understandable. Iolani, based on a bunch of returnees was ranked #2 and they didnt even make states last year. Its the same old song. OIA teams have to prove themselves while other leagues, ILH and MIL, get ranked based on name. Ishigo is using the snub as fuel for his team. Last year the ILH had one team in the state semis as did the OIA. In 2016 there was no ILH team in the semis while the OIA had 3 teams.

  3. Lowtone123 March 10, 2018 6:54 am

    It’s still early in the season. You put your head down and keep working hard and moving forward. In the end you will be where your supposed to be. Where you are now has no bearing on where you will be or even where you want to be. Nobody is disrespecting Kailua. Respect is earned, not given.

  4. Hmmm? March 10, 2018 7:07 am

    Ishigo just using being Unranked to motivate his players. They will probably win the OIA East and make States and then we’ll see what happens… Mid-Pac may be ranked #1 next week and may not even make States..

  5. Cry me a river March 10, 2018 9:11 am

    Like mentioned before play for Championship not rankings.

  6. Austin Ballesteros March 10, 2018 2:28 pm

    Kailua is under rated 😤 we coming in extra hot this year time to prove these fools wrong!!

  7. Tiki March 11, 2018 8:16 am

    I played for Ishigo. class of 2000. Kailua baseball smashed everybody. He’s a great coach. Anybody got anything to say negative about him or kailua baseball, it’s probly cuz you sucked at it.

  8. Old School March 12, 2018 10:29 am

    Pre season polls, In season polls, and post season polls all don’t mean squat! Anything short of holding up that Koa Trophy means sh@#.

    Who ever is playing well going into and in the states whether it be the #1 or even an unranked team is all that matters.

    Mostly year in and year out Kailua is playing in the states. Coach Corey has done an amazing job these past 20 years. So who is ever hiding behind the name “Bumbucha” and saying it’s an ego thing. Do your homework and shorten your name to the first three letters for that is what you sound like.

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