HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
Waianae slides to ninth
A slide down the Star-Bulletin Baseball Top 10 is the least of Kekoa Kaluhiokalani's concerns.
The Waianae coach has been immersed in preparation for his team's opening-round playoff game against Kalani, which begins at 4 p.m. today at Kahala Community Park.
The ninth-ranked Seariders were the hottest team in the Oahu Interscholastic Association West until hitting the skids with a pair of losses as the regular season closed. Now Kaluhiokalani is hoping the Seariders, who were ranked as high as No. 3, can regain momentum.
"We ran into good pitching the last two games, so you gotta give credit where credit is due," Kaluhiokalani said.
Kalani has been under the radar most of the season, but a 6-5 mark in the tough East is noteworthy.
"I hardly know anything about them. We haven't played them at all. They have an ace who's coming back from an injury," Kaluhiokalani said.
BIIF ahead of its time
The Big Island Interscholastic Federation has always had creative formats for postseason play. The current baseball setup is no exception.
The league's tourney, which begins Thursday, pits the third, fourth, fifth and sixth seeds. Regular-season champion Kamehameha-Hawaii, which has sealed a state-tournament berth, also has another benefit: No matter who wins and loses on Thursday, the Warriors' foe on Friday will be the lowest remaining seed.
Unlike most leagues, which have set brackets, the BIIF has rewarded its top team in regular-season play with all the advantages, including a first-round bye.
Compare that to the MIL and ILH, which already reward regular-season champs with state berths, or the OIA, where a regular-season title is simply worth a first-round bye.