Change in strategy helps baseball team rack up the runs


Na Hoku Staff photo

Rayden Migueal kicks up some dirt as he breaks hard into third base.

Na Hoku Staff

The bats finally fired up last week during spring break, as the Moanalua baseball team captured its first two wins this season, last Saturday’s game coming in a hail of runs.

Na Menehune (2-2) shook off two losses to Kailua and Farrington earlier in March to overpower the Kalani Falcons 8-1 last Monday and the Kaiser Cougars 20-8 on Saturday. The Kaiser game was halted after six innings.

Connor Dempsey led the team with two of its eight runs when it hosted Kalani (0-4) on Monday.

Three days later, Jake Ferreira and Rayden Miguel each scored three runs in the Kaiser (1-2) game. Connor Dempsey, Kaiden Sonoda-Fukumoto, Dawson Sugawa, Colby Casinas, Shayde Koga and Nate Alvaro each accounted for two runs. 

The team’s performance over spring break was a contrast to the sluggish start of the season. The coaches and players took a different approach after game two.

“What Coach Peter (Arakawa) emphasized lately is to play ‘team baseball,’” senior designated hitter Colby Casinas said. This means players need to “get it to the next guy and let him do his job, then give it to the next guy.” 

In addition to allowing each person to focus on his role on defense, the coaches told the players to be more strategic on offense.

“We changed our approach [to offense] a lot [since the first two games],” senior Rayden Miguel said. “[The earlier defeats] made us think outside the box. We simplified our approach.”

For example, instead of trying to hit the balls to a certain part of the field, the coaches instructed the players to “just try to touch the ball,” Miguel said. This sometimes meant swinging at the first pitch, if it was a fastball and in the strike zone.

The change in strategy has helped the Menes improve from scoring only one run over two games to scoring 28 runs over the past two games. 

Their next games are Wednesday March 22 against Castle and March 29 against Roosevelt.