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Game of the Week
Stacy Kaneshiro | ScoringLiveMay 10, 2018, 11:34pm
Thu, May 10, 2018 @ [ 7:00 pm ]
W: Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa L: Jonah Miyazawa
BAL: Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa 4-4 run 4 rbi trp / 5.0 IP 4 ER 2 KIOL: Micah Yonamine 1-2 rbi dbl; Jacob Hinderleider 3.0 ER 4 ER 3 K
MANOA — It was Anthony "Bubba" Hoopii-Tuionetoa night at Les Murakami Stadium.
The senior starting pitcher/center fielder did it all to lift No. 1 Baldwin over No. 4 Iolani, 9-4, to advance to the Wally Yonamine Foundation Division I state baseball championship against No. 3 Waiakea 7 p.m. Friday.
The Bears (15-1), the top seed of the tournament, will try to reclam the state crown they won in 2016 on Maui. They also will try to give the Maui Interscholastic League its third consecutive crown. Maui beat Waiakea in last year's tourney. No Neighbor Island league has done that. The Bears also are looking for their sixth overall title, the most of any other Neighbor Island team.
But Thursday belonged to Hoopii-Tuionetoa. He pitched the Bears to victory, batted 4 for 4 with four RBIs with a triple that drove home the go-ahead run in the fifth and made an incredible catch in center field to rob Matthew Inaba of an extra-base hit with runners at first and second with two outs.
"He does (do everything)," Baldwin coach Shane Dudoit said. "He means a lot to the team, as far as leadership goes. I think the kids respect him as much as he respects the kids. He knows it's not all about him and it's a team game. He came through big time tonight."
Hoopii-Tuionetoa admittedly did not have his best stuff on the mound. His team gave him a 4-0 lead after three innings, only to give it back when the Raiders scored three in the fourth and one in the fifth to tie the game at 5.
"Pitching, I don't know," Hoopii-Tuionetoa said. "I did not my best; wasn't at the best of my ability, but that didn't matter. Everybody over here, from the top of the lineup to the bottom, came in big with clutch hits and that's what paid off right there."
Hoopii-Tuionetoa ptiched five innings, allowing four runs, six hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
After the Raiders tied the game at 4 in the top of the fifth, the Bears responded quickly in the bottom of the frame. Nainoa Keahi - who also batted 4 for 4 with three RBIs - led off with a single and his courtesy runner Dawson Tokishi took second on Kevin Varner Jr.'s sacrifice. After Kaipo Haole flied out to right, Hoopii-Tuionetoa drilled a full-count pitch by Jonah Miyazawa to the right-center alley to plate Tokishi to give the Bears a 5-4 lead. Bobby Drayer followed with an RBI double to make it 6-4. Jacob Chong singled, but Drayer held up at third before Chayce Akaka struck out to end the inning.
"We felt we just had to bounce back fast just as (iolani) bounced back from going down 4-0. We just had to play the game of baseball and all of us kept our heads up. We never put our heads down. The team right here is strong."
The Bears cushioned their lead with a three-run sixth on Keahi's RBI double and Hoopii-Tuionetoa's two-run single.
When the Bears took the lead in the fifth, Dudoit brought in Akaka from third base to hold on to the then two-run lead. After getting the first two batters, Jordan Hara singled to first and Shayden Kubo walked. Inaba then drilled a 3-1 pitch to dead center, where Hoopii-Tuionetoa turned his back to the infield and hauled in the ball like a wide receiver to kill the threat.
"I had to make the play somehow, someway," Hoopii-Tuionetoa. "And it ended up in my glove. I just had to come up big for the team."
Akaka, who pitched two scoreless innings for the save, appreciated the help.
"That's my boy," Akaka said of his teammate. "He helped me out big time. He's been making big plays this whole state tournament. If anything, big up to him."
Hoopii-Tuionetoa could say the same of Akaka. In the top of the first, Akaka made a backhanded stab of a grounder by Kubo just inside the foul line. Akaka then gunned down the batter to start the game.
Iolani starting pitcher Jacob Hinderleider lasted three innings, allowing four runs, six hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Miyazawa, who took the loss, was charged with five runs, five hits and two walks in two innings. Aaron Ujimori pitched the last inning.
Baldwin sent nine batters to the plate in a four-run third. Keahi had a two-run single and Haole and Hoopii-Tuionetoa added RBI singles in the inning.
The Raiders pulled to 4-3 in the top of the fouth on RBI singles by Micah Miyahira and Ujimori. The other run scored on an error.
Iolani tied the game at 4 in the fifth on Micah Yonamine's runs-scoring double.
"It's a blessing to be back here, to the state championship," said Akaka, a member of the 2016 Bears title team. "What we learned from them was the leadership them had, so we learned it from them and moved on."
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.