Ka Makani edge Na Alii
WAILUKU – In his first two appearances at Maehara Stadium this season, King Ke-kaulike High School left-hander Ryley Widell has shown the Maui Interscholastic League he will be a force on the mound.
For the second time in two weeks, Widell was impressive, going five no-hit innings, striking out 13 batters and walking three before moving to first base Thursday night in an eventual 4-3 loss to Hawaii Preparatory Academy in the 16th annual King Kekaulike High School Preseason Baseball Tournament.
“I felt good, there’s a couple things I need to work on – get first-pitch strikes, be a little bit more consistent – that’s pretty much it,” Widell said.
In 10 innings this season, Widell has allowed one hit and no runs, struck out 22 and walked six. He went the first five innings in a 2-0 win over Big Island power Waiakea in the Maui High tournament to start the season.
“I have just been working this whole summer, also with coach Mark (Makimoto), we have just been working a lot on my pitching,” said Widell, who mixed his fastball with a sharp slider and changeup. “He has been giving me a lot of nice tips and it’s been working out.”
Jay Texeira took over on the mound for Na Alii to start the sixth, and Ka Makani’s D.J. Sekiya broke up the no-hitter when his double to deep right field scored Mike Nakahara with two outs. Lii Purdy walked as Sekiya stole third before Bobby Lum walked to load the bases. Gowen Kanai’s flyout to center ended the threat.
In the top of the seventh, Devin Cabos Santiago took over on the mound for King Kekaulike. Braden Kojima singled and Koa Ellis walked to start the inning. That brought on Stone Hashizaki to pitch and the first batter he faced, Cyrus Inglis, put down a bunt that loaded the bases when Widell’s throw to third was dropped. Ian Rice then smacked a line-drive double to left to clear the bases.
Na Alii put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Eliis induced two popouts to end the game.
King Kekaulike took a 2-0 lead in the third. Joshua Ogata led off with an opposite-field triple to the wall in right field and scored on Widell’s sharp single to right. An error then put runners on first and second with one out, and Reid Yonamine hit an RBI single up the middle.
Sekiya got out of further trouble by striking out Ryder Souza looking and getting Jerami Rother to pop out to the catcher.
In the fourth, King Ke-kaulike’s Jacob Ramos beat out an infield single to deep shortstop, Texeira sacrificed him to second and after Ogata struck out, Brandon Haupu hit an RBI double to deep right.
With the MIL season still a month away, Makimoto was not about to push Widell too far on Friday.
“He was not on a definitive pitch count, but we are certainly not going to overwork him,” Makimoto said of the 6-foot-3, 180-pound junior, who already has a full scholarship offer from Hawaii-Hilo and is also being recruited by Oregon, Washington State and Southern California. “We want to make sure he gets enough work, but yet not push him too much. He felt fine so we let him go a little bit more than we wanted to.”
HPA coach Jordan Hayslip was impressed with Widell.
“He was great, very tough, very tough,” Hayslip said. “He struck us out I don’t know how many times. I was happy with the way we battled back, but I thought it was a great pitching performance by him and I don’t want to take anything away from that.”
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Callen Beeson, Kyle Oshiro (4), Kaipo Paschoal (7) and Jacob Tiu, Waylon Golis-Bacos (3). Marc Tejada, Kevin Klein (2) and Dylan Cox. W-Beeson. L-Tejada. 2B-Maui High: Tiu, Chazz Ishikawa, Beeson, Kao Mindoro, Chastin Valdez, Golis-Bacos; Radford, Gavin Watabayashi, Makato Gamblin.
Leading hitters-Maui High: Tiu 2-2, 2 runs, RBI; Ishikawa 2-2, 2 runs; Beeson 2-3, run, RBI; Mindoro 2-2; Golis-Bacos 2-3.