HHSAA Baseball
Bears roar to second koa in three years


Fri, May 11, 2018 @ [ 7:00 pm ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Baldwin 0 04371491
Waiakea 2 0 101455

W: Roy Meinen    L: Ty Honda

WKEA: Kalai Rosario 2-3 2 rbi; Reese Mondina 2.0 IP 1 ER
BAL: Haku Dudoit 2-3 3 runs 2 rbi; Roy Meinen 4.3 IP 3 ER 3 K

MANOA — Maybe Oahu should be on the three-year rotation for the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Division I Baseball State Championships tournament.

No. 1 and top-seeded Baldwin proved its worthiness of its USA TODAY national ranking (24th) with a decisive 14-4 win against No. 3 and third-seeded Waiakea to win its second title in three years and sixth overall Friday night. The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run differential mercy rule.

It was the third mercy-rule finish in the title game since 2010. It was the second-most runs scored by the winning team. Mid-Pacific beat Waianae, 16-3, in 1990 in the first season games were seven innings. Ironically, the 10-run rule was not executed in that game.

"Unbelievable," said Baldwin center fielder Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa, the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. "Best feeling in the world. Now I'm a senior, I can go out with a state title under my belt thanks to all 23 of these guys over here."

The Bears have been ranked No. 1 in the Hawaiian Electric/ScoringLive Baseball Power Rankings since the first week of the season.

Roy Meinen pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned), three walks and three strikeouts to get the win. When Waiakea scored a run in the fifth and had two runners on, Chayce Akaka moved from third base to the mound and got Stone Miyao to ground into a game-ending double play.

It is the third consecutive year the Maui Interscholastic League has taken the crown; Maui was last year's champion. It is the first time a Neighbor Island league has won three titles in a row. Next year's tournament shifts to Maui's Iron Maehara Stadium, where Baldwin won in 2016

Despite the MIL's prominence the past three years, playing at Les Murakami Stadium is special for the Bears.

"We love coming to play at the Les," Baldwin coach Shane Dudoit said. "It's such a privilege. This is such a beautiful facility. We love coming here. We love playing on Maui, too, but coming here is a bonus and it's a reward about hard work."

The Warriors (17-1) had its perfect season spoiled after taking a 2-0 first-inning lead. They just ran into jaws of the Bears.

"There a great a team," Waiakea coach Rory Inouye said of the Bears. "We knew coming in they were a tough team to beat. They're great offensively, defensively sound and great coaching so we knew it was going to be a battle. We just didn't make a few plays. I'm proud of these boys. We worked our tail off to get here. We just fell one game short."

The Bears piled up nine hits but also were beneficiaries of seven walks and a hit batsman, as well as five errors that accounted for four unearned runs.

The top two batters in the Bears lineup — Akaka and Haku Dudoit — each scored three runs. Nainoa Keahi drove in three runs while Dudoit and Kevin Varner, Jr. each added two RBIs. Each batting slot in the order scored at least one run.

Ty Honda was charged with the loss after allowing six runs in 3 2/3 innings of relief of starter Reese Mondina.

Waiakea took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Casey Yamauchi beat out a chopper to third for a single, was balked to second and scored when Trayden Tamiya reached safely on catcher Cade Kalehuawehe's throwing error to first. After a walk to David Nakamura, Kalai Rosario singled to left to score Tamiya.

"We started off slow, but during the third inning, when we started the rally, coach Shane (Dudoit) gave us a speech and told us we need that confident team that was had in the past two games. My train of mind was we can't take them lightly anymore. It's business and we did it."

Nainoa Keahi went 1 for 3 but drove in three runs on a two-RBI single and a sacrifice fly. CJ Caraang | SL    Purchase image

The Bears began their comeback in the third. Akaka led off the winning and got ahead 2-0 on Mondina, who was then pulled for Honda. The Bears were beneficiaries of three errors in the four-run inning.

Waiakea kept the game close by scoring a run in the bottom of the third on a two-out RBI double by Stone Miyao.

But Baldwin padded its lead with a three-run fourth on RBI singles from Kalehuawehe and Varner and a sacrifice fly by Keahi.

The Bears then sent 11 batters to the plate in a seven-run fifth. Dudoit and Keahi each had two-run singles, while Akaka and Varner each added RBI singles.

"Feels great," Akaka said of his second title in three years. "It's my last year as a Golden Bear and going out as a state champion."

Ironically, the title game was the easiest for the Bears. They beat two Interscholastic League of Honolulu teams en route to the crown. Baldwin edged Punahou, 8-7, in the quarterfinals and knocked off Iolani, 9-4. The Bears registered 10 and 13 hits, respectively, in those games. They had nine against the Warriors but only played five innings.

Coach Dudoit credited the senior leaders for the successes of the 2016 and this year's team.

"The leadership is the reason why we were able to win these games," coach Dudoit said. "Back then we had good seniors. This year we had great seniors that embraced everybody as a family, pulled everybody in and knew what had to be done, especially at practice. Practices can get boring, keeping the kids to get their school work done. The grades. It's always been that. They have chores at home, but the senior leadership made sure those guys took care of business outside so we could focus and do what we needed to."

Catcher Kalehuawehe, second baseman Jacob Chong, third baseman Akaka, left fielder Bobby Drayer, DH Varner, pitcher Meinen, shortstop Kaipo Haole, first baseman Keahi and Hoopii-Tuionetoa were members of the 2016 title team coached by Jon Viela.

It was another heartbreaker for the Warriors, who lost to Maui, 6-1, in last year's tournament title game. Waiakea was the only team to enter the D1 tournament with an unbeaten record.

"We're going to take a step back after tonight and we're gong to realize how great of a season it was," Inouye said. "They're heartbroken about tonight's outcome, definitely, but when we can put things in perspective, I'm sure these boys will be proud."

Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Division I Baseball All-Tournament Team
as selected by the media and the HHSAA

  C – Micah Yonamine, Iolani
 IF – Kaipo Haole, Baldwin
 IF – Nainoa Keahi, Baldwin
 IF – Asa Kurasaki, Punahou
 IF – Casey Yamauchi, Waiakea
OF – Kalai Rosario, Waiakea
OF – Shane Sasaki, Iolani
OF – Kirk Terada-Herzer, Punahou
UT – Chayce Akaka, Baldwin
  P – Stone Parker, Kailua
  P – Cody Hirata, Waiakea

Most Outstanding Player: Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa, Baldwin

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at [email protected].




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