WAIMEA — Between the first and second innings, Cyrus Inglis found the right spot for his plant leg on the rubber at Hawaii Prep’s field.
He had found a groove.
“Once I find it, I feel untouchable,’’ Inglis said on Tuesday after throwing a complete-game three-hitter in Ka Makani’s 12-1 win over Honokaa.
The baseball game ended after four and a half innings because of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation’s 10-run mercy rule.
Inglis’ only mistake came in the top of the fifth, when Robert Abran hit a towering solo home run to left to account for Honokaa’s lone run.
At that point, HPA’s offense had given Inglis all the support he needed, collecting 13 hits off junior Austin Jardine, who like Inglis made his first start on the mound.
Ryan Rice continued his torrid hitting, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs. Lii Purdy, who also went 3-for-3, and DJ Sekiya each had two RBIs while Koa Ellis and Mike Nakahara added two hits apiece for HPA (1-0 BIIF, 2-0 overall).
All the while, Inglis thrived with a sharp curveball that the Dragons (0-1, 0-2) had trouble squaring up.
“It had a nice 12-to-6 break,’’ said Inglis, who struck out six and walked one in an efficient 66-pitch performance.
Inglis got into trouble just once in the game, giving up back-to-back singles to Abran and Jon Charbonneau with two outs in the top of the second. He then leaned on his curveball against Keahi Esquerra, inducing a pop-up to third base.
“I think we have to go back to the drawing board and start working on (hitting) curveballs,’’ Honokaa coach Matt Charbonneau said.
Most everything HPA hit against Jardine found an open patch of grass. The Dragon junior struck out two batters, walked none and hit one.
Ka Makani batters fared particularly well hitting behind in the count, getting three of their five hits in a five-run second inning with two strikes. They didn’t try to do too much, content with lining the ball up the middle or taking pitches to the opposite field.
Purdy’s first two hits came with two strikes, and both plated Rice. The first gave Ka Makani a 3-0 lead in the first, and the second gave HPA an 8-0 lead in the second.
“They were shortening up with two strikes and just trying to make contact,’’ HPA coach Jordan Hayslip said.
Rice hasn’t spent much time shortening up on the bat this season. In two games, he has gone 6-for-6 with two home runs, a triple and eight RBIs.
“He’s just hitting line drives and getting his weight behind the ball,’’ Inglis said. “I hope it keeps up.’’
Inglis’ complete game came on the heels of Sekiya’s three-hit shutout against Hilo on Saturday.
Last season, Ka Makani relied on the senior trio of Jayse Bannister, Holden Pattengill and Kai Fink. Now a group of sophomores that includes Ellis has finally received an opportunity to make its mark.
“It’s young guys that are stepping up and deciding it’s their turn,’’ Hayslip said.
Honokaa 000 00 — 1 3 5
Hawaii Prep 350 4x — 12 13 0
c Waiakea 10, Pahoa 0: Aaron Nishimura pitched 3 2/3 innings as homestanding Waiakea won in a game shortened to five innings because of the league’s mercy rule.
Taylor Mondina led the Warriors (0-0, 1-0), going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Chase Komatsu added a hit and two RBIs, Kean Wong had one RBI, and Trevor Shimokusu went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Mark Gouveia suffered the loss for Pahoa (0-0, 0-2).
c Kealakehe 6, Kohala 1: Teao Buehler pitched three shutout innings to earn the win while Bricen Ferreira and Zaynan Sanchez each had two-run singles in a five-run second inning as the Waveriders won their season opener in Kapaau.
Buehler gave up two hits, striking out two and walking two.
Ferreira pitched the next two innings, giving up a run on two hits. He struck out two and walked one.
Ferreira and Sanchez both went 2-for-4, while Louie Garcia was 3-for-4 with an RBI for Kealakehe (0-0 BIIF, 1-0 overall).
Freshman Austin Salvador-Racoma suffered the loss for the Cowboys (0-1, 0-2). In three innings, he surrendered five runs on six hits, striking out five and walking four.
Casey Stevens gave up just one run on six hits over the next four innings. He walked none and struck out two.
Offensively, freshman Kainalu Emeliano-Solomon went 2-for-3, driving in Kohala’s lone run in the fifth with an RBI single.
Kealakehe 050 100 0 — 6 12 0
Kohala 000 010 0 — 1 5 2
c Hilo 2, Kamehameha-Hawaii 0: Kian Kurokawa, Jordan Tagawa, Conrad Kauffman and Kody Kaniho combined on an eight-hit shutout at Wong Stadium for the Vikings (0-1 BIIF, 1-1 overall).
Kurokawa, a senior, scattered seven hits through five innings, walking none. Tagawa then pitched a scoreless inning, and Kauffman followed with 2/3 innings before Kaniho recorded the final out.
Jodd Carter, who scored on a wild pitch to make it 2-0 in the fourth inning, had two hits, and Tyler Higa had an RBI single in the third inning.
Warriors junior Chay Toson pitched five innings and suffered the loss.
Bronson Pulgados led Kamehameha (1-0, 1-1) at the plate with two hits.
Hilo 001 100 0 — 2 4 0
KS-Hawaii 000 000 0 — 0 8 2