Mission accomplished for Honokaa baseball and its new regime.
Ikena Juan fueled a rally in the second inning Friday and Caden Perreira-Lau struck out nine in five stellar innings as the Dragons beat Ka‘u 7-3 at Honokaa Park to clinch the final spot in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation Division II playoffs.
Honokaa (5-5) carries a three-game winning streak into the postseason and will face either Kamehameha or Hawaii Preparatory Academy in the best-of-three semifinals, which start April 26 with a doubleheader.
“Our kids set a goal to get to the playoffs, and they reached their goal,” first-year coach Gayne Kobayashi said. “They’re starting to understand the program we’re trying to grow. They’re learning that to come together as a team everybody has to contribute, and we did that today.”
Honokaa went ahead for good when it scored four runs in the second inning. Jeremy Charbonneau and Kelvin Faulk walked and scored on RBI singles by Johnathan Charbonneau and Perreira-Lau, and Juan’s hit gave the Dragons a 4-0 lead.
Johnathan Charbonneau, Juan and Austin Jardine each finished with two hits.
Perreira-Lau, a freshman, didn’t walk a batter and allowed only one run and three hits. Halana Birch got two outs and Johnathan Charbonneau finished with 1 2/3 innings pitched.
Kihei Serrao collected two hits and pitched five innings in taking the loss for the Trojans (1-9), yielding seven runs on nine hits and five walks with six strikeouts.
The Warriors and Ka Makani play at 1 p.m. today in Waimea, with the winner grabbing the top seed in Division II and an automatic berth to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association tournament.
Ka‘u 000 102 0 — 343
Honokaa 041 200 x — 7102