RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kapolei's Kalani Omoto limited powerful Mililani to just two hits over seven innings yesterday at Mililani.
Kapolei’s Omoto blanks Trojans
Five years of frustration finally came to an end for the Kapolei Hurricanes.
Kalani Omoto fired a two-hitter as the Hurricanes stunned No. 3 Mililani 8-0 yesterday at the Trojans' field. It was Kapolei's first win ever over Mililani in baseball. The 'Canes improved to 1-1 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red West.
"I was involved in a lot of lopsided losses (to Mililani)," Kapolei coach Tom Ebanez said. "To come here and win on Mililani's field makes this special."
The 'Canes did it with Omoto's two-pitch repertoire and a huge boost from the bottom of their lineup. Lyle Santiago delivered two key hits, including a triple to spark a two-run third inning.
"He's our No. 9 hitter, but that has nothing to do with him being a terrible hitter or anything," Ebanez said. "He's just comfortable there. In fact, during the game, he asked me if I plan on moving him because of what he did, and I told him, 'No.' He doesn't want to move."
Omoto, a 6-foot-3 senior, had never pitched against the Trojans. His fastball wasn't overpowering, but it was enough to keep Mililani's bats honest.
"I'm not surprised. We expect him to have a great season," Ebanez said. "This is what we've expected of him for awhile."
With sophomore catcher Brandon Damas calling the game behind the plate, Omoto threw 109 pitches over seven innings.
"I only have a fastball and a curveball," said Omoto, who fanned four and walked three. "I came out here not thinking about anything."
The gangly right-hander gave Mililani a lot to think about. He was efficient most of the way.
"He's 6-3, gets on the mound and now he's 7 feet, plus another two feet with his arm," Mililani coach Dean Sato said. "It's a hard angle to pick up, but you gotta give 'em credit. Everything went Kapolei's way. We were trying too hard."
Mililani fell to 1-1 in league play (18-4 overall) as Joey Aquino took the loss. The junior permitted three earned runs and four hits in four innings. He struck out four and walked two.
The 'Canes are road warriors this season because their field is under renovation, but showed no signs of hesitation against the favorites in the Red West.
Curtis Donald, who went 3-for-4, led off the bottom of the first with a single and scored on Trenton Nakata's groundout to give Kapolei a 1-0 lead.
In the second, Santiago tapped a two-out triple down the right-field line to bring home Michael Sanchez, who had walked. After Donald's grounder to third was misplayed by Jordan Queja, the Hurricanes had a 3-0 lead.
A brilliant diving stop and throw by Mililani shortstop Micah Yabes on a grounder by Damas silenced Kapolei in the third frame. However, it was the only scoreless inning for the 'Canes.
With two outs in the fourth, Santiago drilled a 3-2 pitch up the middle for a single, scoring Oliver Taoy for a 4-0 lead.
Ray Sugihara took the mound for Mililani in the fifth, but Taoy delivered a ground-ball single to center, scoring Kalani Brackenridge. Pinch-hitter Michael Filio followed with a chopper to first, allowing Nakata to score Kapolei's sixth run of the game.
Kapolei added two runs in the sixth. Donald, who had singled on a 0-2 pitch, came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Nakata. The throw home by center fielder Dustin Antolin got away, and Kyle Dela Cruz raced home with the 'Canes' final run.
"It's our first win of the season," said Donald, who also had a diving catch of a line drive in the sixth inning. "We still got a lot more to go. A lot more wins to go."
At Mililani H.S.
Kalani Omoto and Brandon Damas. Joey Aquino, Ray Sugihara (5), Preston Pacolba (5) and Travis Inouye. W--Omoto. L--Aquino.
Leading hitters--Mililani: Jay Yoshizawa 1-3; Dustin Antolin 1-3. Kapolei: Curtis Donald 3-4, 2 runs; Lyle Santiago 2-3, 3b, 2 RBIs.