Posted: May 11, 2012 - 10:37pm
Waiakea no-hits Baldwin, 5-2, to capture 1st state crown
Quintin Torres-Costa, post-game interview. Video: Scott Nishi | SL
Left-handers Quintin Torres-Costa pitched six innings for the win and Kodi Medeiros pitched a scoreless seventh for the save for the third-seeded Warriors, whose closest finish was runner-up in 1996, when they lost to Iolani, 4-1.
"I think it means a lot not only for the school, but the kids, the families and the entire Big island because we're such a close-knit community," Waiakea first-year coach Kevin Yee said. "Everybody's pulling for each other. We came out to root for Hilo and Hilo came out to root for us. We were hoping for an all-BIIF final, but we're happy to bring the hardwood back to Hilo."
The Vikings, who won a play-in game against Campbell to get into the tournament, finished third and were a win away from making it an all-Big Island Interscholastic Federation finale.
The fourth-seeded Bears ended the season at 15-2.
At 20-0, the Warriors are the first undefeated state champion since Hilo finished 14-0 in 1985. Their championship was accented with the first no-hitter in a title game since 1972, when Glenn Goya pitched a perfect game for Punahou in a 5-0 win against Saint Louis. (It was a nine-inning game.) Torres-Costa pitched the 14th no-hitter in the 54 years of the state tournament and the first in Division I since Castle's Royce Diaz beat Maui, 1-0, in an opening-round game in 2006 at Maui High. Kauai's David Jordan Buster and Braden Balocan combined on a no-hitter against Kohala in the Division II state tournament in 2008.
"It's unreal," Yee said of winning the school's first title. "It's one rnof those dreams you don't want to wake up from. It's kind of everything rnwe put down on paper and planned for and prepared the team for. It's rngoing to be tough to top. I don't know if you can top it."
Torres-Costa was denied a chance at a complete game because he reached rnthe tournament limit of pitching 39 outs over a three-day stretch after rnsix innings. He tossed a complete game win in Wednesday's quarterfinal rnwin against Castle, 5-0. So his performance was much more impressive, given that is was on one day's rest.
"'Q' can come back pretty quick," Yee said. "He's one of those guys when given the opportunity, he will always step forward when call upon. He was the one who was one pushing us to get him on the bump tonight."
And Torres-Costa, who is signed to play at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, wasn't aware of his gem.
"I didn't know until after this game," Torres-Costa said. "Nobody said anything. I was on the bench looking at the scoreboard just looking at the score. I didn't look at the hits. I was just going inning by inning. The main thing is we had more points than them. That's all I was worried about."
The senior left-hander was simply dominating, striking out 13, including nine of 10 in on stretch. The runs he allowed were unearned after an inauspicious start.
"He was just on tonight," said junior catcher Kean Wong, brother of former Kamehameha-Hawaii and UH baseball standout Kolten Wong, now of the St. Louis Cardinals organization. "If I called a cutter, he would throw it for a strike. If I called a change up, he would throw it for a strike. He was on tonight. He was amazing."
Visiting Waiakea staked its ace to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. But the Warriors lost the lead in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Torres-Costa walked Daulton Cabacungan and hit Branden Kaupe with a pitch. The runners advanced on a passed ball, but Isaiah Maddela grounded out to the pitcher, freezing the runners. But Rahni Pantorilla reached on shortstop Davy Camacho's fielding error that allowed a run to score and put runners at the corners. The Bears then executed a double steal, scoring Kaupe before Anoai Mo'e-Keahi struck out to end the inning.
"We were all jitters from the cameras, so we got all the guys together and told them 'Don't' worry. Just play it like a regular game,'" Wong said.
But the Bears were never heard from again. Including the inning-ending strikeout in the first, Torres-Costa retired the next 16 batters in a row before giving way to Medeiros in the seventh.
But mistakes did in the Bears in the top of the fourth, when three errors led to three unearned runs for the Warriors.
Camacho led off with a walk and took second on a sacrifice by Reyn Kihara, who reached on pitcher Cabacungan's throwing error on the play. The runners advanced when Kylen Uyeda grounded out to the pitcher. It appeared Cabacungan was on his way from escaping harm when Robbey Meguro popped out to the pitcher. But Alika Guillermo reached on a two-base throwing error by shortstop Kaupe. Guillermo scored when Torres-Costa reached on Cabacungan's second throwing error in the inning. Torres-Costa was thrown out trying for third base on the play to end the inning, but the damage had been done.
The Bears' woes continued in the fifth. Kean Wong led off with a walk. Korin Medeiros lined out to third, but third baseman Pantorilla's throw to try to double-off Wong was wild, allowing the runner to take third. Wong scored when Kodi Medeiros grounded out to first before Camacho tripled (making the run earned). Cabacungan was pulled for Mo'e-Keahi, who walked Kihara, but retired Uyeda on a liner to third, but the Warriors cushioned their lead.
In all, the Bears were charged with five errors.
"That team, they put the pressure on us," Baldwin coach Jon Viela said. "We didn't take care of the ball. Making errors and facing a tough pitcher like is equivalent to a loss."
The title is only the second for a BIIF team.
"Our coaches were telling us we were going to make history," said Torres-Costa, the tournament's most outstanding player. "It was all up to us."
Division I All-Tournament Team (compiled by HHSAA)
INF - Chayce Ka'aua, Hilo
INF - Branden Kaupe, Baldwin
INF - Korin Medeiros, Waiakea
INF - Tyler Tokunaga, Pearl City
OF - Eric Akamine, Castle
OF - Tanner Tokunaga, Pearl City
OF - Kea Vierra, Kailua
C - Kean Wong, Waiakea
P - Quintin Torres-Costa, Waiakea
U - Sumi Pruett, Pearl City
U - Kodi Medeiros, Waiakea
Most Outstanding Player - Quintin Torres-Costa, Waiakea
May 11, 2012
Waiakea players celebrate after winning the Division I state title game over Baldwin. Scott Nishi | SL
Waiakea's Quintin Torres-Costa struck out 13 batters in six innings of work against Baldwin. Sean Nakamura | Special to SL
Waiakea's Kean Wong slides home safely ahead of the throw to the plate against Baldwin. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Waiakea's Korin Medeiros gets set to make a throw to first against Baldwin. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Baldwin's Rahni Pantorilla attempts to make a play on a foul ball against Waimea. Scott Nishi | SL
Waiakea poses for a team picture after winning the Division I state title. Scott Nishi | SL