Molokai High School’s sweep through its preseason home baseball tournament puts the rest of the Maui Interscholastic League on notice — this team’s for real.
Pac-Five, Kaimuki and Damien high school teams stayed on Molokai Thursday through Saturday and all three teams fell to the Farmers. The Farmers beat Damien High School 4-1 in the final game on Saturday behind five scoreless innings from pitcher Nohi Meyer.
The Wolfpack of Pac-Five was the first victim on Thursday, losing 12-2 to Molokai. The Farmers scored three runs in the first inning and eight more in the third inning. Brayden McCutcheon, David Rapanot and Ena Victorino had two hits apiece in the win.
The next day, Molokai dominated Kaimuki 11-0. The Farmers broke it open with an eight-run second inning sparked by hits from Rapanot, Hana Dudoit-Enos, Kahanu Alcon, Koal Kaulia-Makaiwi and Meyer.
Damien, which had already defeated Pac-Five and Kaimuki, played Molokai in the championship game Saturday. The solid defense of Molokai set the tone. In the first inning, second baseman Codi Kamakana made a diving catch to his right for the second out. The next Damien batter, Dylan Flores, hit a ball to short right field that required another diving catch, this one by Kaulia-Makaiwi. With the defensive support, Meyer made it through five innings giving up no runs on three hits.
Damien’s only run came in the seventh inning after Rapanot came in to pitch for Molokai. Kamakana also had a strong offensive game with a single in the first and a double in the third to contribute to the victory.
“This team has worked very hard and I think we are exactly where we want to be,” said Head Coach Mike McCutcheon after the tournament. “We’re only getting better, we’re in good shape.”
Heading into the MIL regular season, McCutcheon believes the strength of the team is its teamwork. “The camaraderie, that in itself can overcome anything,” said McCutcheon. “These guys are a close-knit bunch. With that being said, I think any adversity they may face they will all come together and pull for each other.”
“Our team is pretty solid going into the season,” said catcher Trevor Takata. Dudoit-Enos agreed: “We got a good team this year, we can go far.”
The team travels to Maui this coming weekend to play in the Baldwin High School tournament against Maryknoll, Waianae and Lahainaluna.