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Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Brandon Ching | ScoringLiveMay 10, 2018, 9:14pm
Thu, May 10, 2018 @ [ 4:00 pm ]
W: Cody Hirata L: Ryan Inouye
WKEA: Kalai Rosario 1-2 run 2 rbi; Cody Hirata 7.0 IP 0 ER 5 KKAIL: Matthew Kaleiohi 1-3; Jalen Ah Yat 4.6 ER 1 ER
MANOA — Cody Hirata threw a complete-game one-hitter and the Warriors followed up with eight hits to stifle Kailua, 5-0, in the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Division I Baseball State Championships semifinals at Les Murakami Stadium on Thursday.
Waiakea improves to 17-0 overall and makes back-to-back title game appearances, seeking their first state title since 2012.
"It feels amazing with all the hard work we put in the off season and last year's loss. We had to work twice as hard to get back here and make changes," Hirata said.
"After last year's finish. The returnees were hungry to get back and I'm happy for them because they put in a lot of work in the offseason. Tomorrow's a new day, you never know what will happen, but I'm happy for these boys to get back this far," Waiakea coach Rory Inouye said.
Hirata tossed five strikes and one walk and gave up Kailua's only hit on 82 pitches. He has 25 strikes and has a 1.97 ERA on the season.
"My fastball was working today and curve and change up were working. I couldn't have done it without my teammates," Hirata said.
"Cody threw well all season. For him to do it on this stage, hat's off to him. He works hard and puts his head down. He's a quiet guy, I'm happy for him to get the success tonight," coach Inouye said.
The defense stepped up to back up Hirata to smother a Surfrider team that pounded out nine hits and scored six runs against second-seeded Mid-Pacific.
"My defense gives me the confidence and also helped me today. I threw it in for a strike and I knew wherever the ball is hit, they would make a play for me," Hirata said.
"That's the thing about baseball. One day you hit great and one day you might not. Defense and pitching is what you have control over and that's what we believe in," Inouye said.
Matthew Kaleiohi led off with a single that sailed to left field, but was later caught stealing. The Surfriders ended the first inning with back-to-back flyouts to right field. Kaleiohi went 1 for 3 to lead Kailua.
Casey Yamauchi led off the first inning with a walk, moved over on Trayden Tamiya's sacrifice bunt and took third on David Nakamura's single. Kalai Rosario brought Yamauchi in on a fielder's choice.
Safea Villaruz-Mauai led off with a deep double to right field and one batter later scored on Reece Mondina's single to center for a 2-0 lead.
"It helped me a lot and it pumped me up. Every hit they got it increased my productivity and I was grateful we came together," Hirata said of the Warriors grabbing an early lead.
The Warriors scored three runs in the third and never looked back. Tamiya was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on Ryan Inouye's balk. Inouye struck out Nakamura, but Rosario singled up the middle and scored off Dakota Kadooka's three-base error. Stone Miyao reached on error as the throw to first went awry. One batter later, Jacob Igawa's single drove in another run for a 5-0 lead.
"Kailua is a great team that builds off momentum. For us to capitalize on their errors, that helped our momentum and keep things in check for us," Inouye said. Kailua made a pitching change bringing Jalen Ah Yat from first to replace Ryan Inouye who was tagged with three hits and two runs in the loss. Ah Yat pitched 4 2/3 to scatter five hits, three runs, two earned.
The Warriors have accumulated 17 hits for the first two tournament games.
"They hit well yesterday and hit well today. Tomorrow is a new day," Inouye said.
The Surfriders were seeking their first title game appearance since 2009 and play Iolani in the third-place game at 1:30 at Les Murakami Stadium.
The top-seeded Lunas advance and will try for a third consecutive Division II state title.
Kapaa prevented Kaimuki's comeback in the final minute to reach the title game.
Crusaders dominate Red Raiders to return to the title game for the third-straight year.
No. 3 Mililani records five interceptions to down No. 5 Campbell in state the semifinals.
The Bulldogs look to continue its winning ways on the road against Kapaa.
Trojans are not letting their early-season victory cloud their focus against Campbell.