There is nothing but pride on the West side once again, but this time, it’s the baseball team at Kapolei beaming.
One year after Campbell’s HHSAA Division I state championship, it’s the Hurricanes making inroads at the D-II level. With a come-from-behind 9-4 win over Kalaheo on Saturday at Hans L’Orange Park, the ‘Canes captured their first league title in D-II.
Kamea Wong was resilient on the mound for coach Thomas Ebanez’s squad with nine strikeouts in 6 innings. He struggled early on — six walks in all — but finished strong.
“I wanted to finish. I had to tell them,” the left-hander said. “I appreciate that they let me (pitch longer). I had to push through it.”
Catcher Mykah Kuratani (2-for-4, double, two runs scored) called the pitches.
“In the pen (before the game), he was really hitting his spots with the fastball and curve. In the game, I think was kind of nervous until he started finding it,” Kuratani said.
“There were a couple of instances where we thought about pulling him,” Coach Ebanez said. “But he’s such a competitor. He begged to stay in. When a dog wants a bone, you give it to him.”
Kalaheo, like Kapolei, is heading to Hilo next week for the D-II state championships.
“The past few games, they’re jelling, practices are better and they’re playing with more passion and emotion,” Mustangs coach Jerry Bush said of his team.
Kapolei (13-0) may still have its best baseball ahead.
“We just focus,” Kuratani said. “Keep working hard and stick to the game plan, and trust our coaching.”