Top Performers
Dela Cuesta Sato rose to the occasion on state's brightest stage for Warriors




Kaleb dela Cuesta Sato

Waiakea baseball  •   #11  P  Junior

Kaleb dela Cuesta Sato was ready when called upon for the state champion Waiakea baseball team.

At last week's Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Division I State Championships on Maui, dela Cuesta Sato – a junior left-handed pitcher – appeared in two of three games for the Warriors (11-0). He logged 4 1/3 combined innings, allowed one run on four hits and registered a 1.63 earned run average.

"At the state tournament this past week, he really stepped up and he came into some tough situations and he really did the job," Waiakea coach Chris Honda said of the 5-foot-8, 140-pound southpaw.

As champions of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, the Warriors were seeded third and had a bye on Wednesday's opening day of the 12-team tournament. After they defeated Kalani, the third-place team from the Oahu Interscholastic Association, the Warriors faced off against Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion and tournament No. 2 seed Saint Louis in Friday's semifinal round.

Dela Cuesta Sato was the second of three Waiakea used in the 5-4 win over the Crusaders. He came in for starter Loren Iwata with one out in the fifth with runners at first and second and three runs already in. Aiva Arquette greeted him with an RBI single, but he got the next two batters to fly out to end the inning and strand a pair of baserunners.

In Saturday night's championship game against top-seeded Baldwin, dela Cuesta Sato got the nod as the Warriors' starting pitcher. He found out about two hours before first pitch.

"The coaches were strategizing as to what we were going to do," Honda said. "He knew that he was an option and we opted to go with him because we saw Baldwin kind of struggle with a left-handed pitcher a couple nights ago against Hilo; He kind of kept them off balance, so that's why we opted to go to (dela Cuesta Sato)."

Given that dela Cuesta Sato threw just 23 pitches in appearance against Saint Louis, he was eligible to pitch again the next day.

"That's also part of the reason we wanted to start him, because he had some experience out there on that mound against a pretty good team in Saint Louis and so that's why we had so much confidence in him as well," said Honda, who added that the news was well-received by dela Cuesta Sato.

"When I talked to him and I told him that he was getting the ball, he was confident and he was excited. He said, ‘Coach, I'm ready,' and I said, ‘Alright, let's go do this.' It was great to see that confidence from him and he was ready and mentally focused for that," Honda recalled.

In the title game, dela Cuesta Sato went 3 1/3 innings as the starter. He beaned the first batter of the game with a pitch, but retired the next three Baldwin batters and then worked a 1-2-3 second inning. The Bears registered a two-out single in the top of the third, but dela Cuesta Sato induced a fly ball for the third out.

After dela Cuesta Sato gave up a lead-off triple to Wehiwa Aloy, he was lifted for Justice Dorser, who got one out before giving up an RBI single. Dela Cuesta Sato allowed three hits with three strikeouts and a couple of walks. He faced 14 batters and threw 53 pitches in the outing.

"He commanded the zone and on the big stage of the state championship game we started him and he did a great job. We had confidence in him, but he did a lot better than we expected," Honda said. "We were just very proud of him and happy with his performance in the biggest game of the season. He went out there with poise and a calm presence and he was effective on the mound, so we were very happy with how he performed and we're excited to have him back next year."

Although dela Cuesta Sato did not lack for confidence, Honda noted that it does not come across as arrogance.

"It's a quiet confidence that he brings to the team and with his approach on the mound; He's not a rah-rah type of guy. He was really focused and he did a great job and I was just really proud of him," Honda said.

Dela Cuesta Sato throws four primary pitches: a fastball, curveball, slider and a change-up. His fastball sits at about 78 to 79 miles per hour, Honda said.

"He's a crafty pitcher with good command and he keeps batters off-balance," Honda explained. "He's more of a pitch-to-contact guy and he creates a lot of fly balls and ground balls. His curveball is his out pitch, so we kind of pitch backwards with him."

Honda added that with only eight games in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation season, dela Cuesta Sato primarily pitched out of the bullpen, mostly as a middle- or long-reliever."

"I think we really worked on him commanding his secondary pitches, because our plan with him – projecting states down the line – that we would have to pitch guys backward with him, so if he could command his pitches, especially if he could throw his curveball for a strike, so we really worked on that," Honda said.

While Honda was certainly proud of dela Cuesta Sato's efforts last week, he was also keen to point out the contributions of a trio of seniors in shortstop Mason Hirata, third baseman Kedren Kinzie and right fielder/pitcher Dylan Honda, the son of the coach.

"They were definitely the leaders on our team and they were good team leaders not only on the field, but also off the field. They were kind of the nucleus of our team. They really brought the team together to play as one," Chris Honda said. "I think that's really the main reason for our success this season is it was like a big family. This group is special; I'm happy for them and I'm proud of their performance."

It is Waiakea's second state championship in program history and first since 2012, when it also defeated Baldwin in the title game.

Honda said that the team was greeted by more than a hundred people upon arrival at Hilo International Airport, including a "water lei" from the on-site fire trucks.

"Waiakea had a pep rally for us at the airport with the band and the principal and school administration all there. There were a lot of people waiting for us with lei and banners and it was just a special moment," Honda said.

The Warriors are the fourth state champion from a neighbor island since 2016.

ScoringLive reporter Stacy Kaneshiro contributed to this report.

BASEBALL

Bruin Agbayani, Iolani — Batted 2 for 3 with a double, stolen base and three runs scored in a loss to Kailua and batted 2 for 3 with a triple, sacrifice fly, three RBI, a stolen base and a run scored in a win over Maui

Dacoda Agoto, Pearl City — Allowed one unearned runs on no hits with 12 strikeouts and four walks in six innings pitched in a win over Moanalua

Keahi Ah Sui, Nanakuli — Allowed three runs on three hits with four strikeouts and three walks in 6 2/3 innings pitched in a loss to Waimea

Rustyn Ah Yat, Damien — Batted 3 for 4 with two RBI and a run scored in a win over Waimea

Isaac Ahokovi, Iolani — Batted 2 for 3 with three RBI in a win over Kamehameha

Wehiwa Aloy, Baldwin — Batted 4 for 4 with a double, sacrifice fly, five RBI and two runs scored in a win over Kailua

Miecah Andres, Kamehameha — Batted 2 for 4 with three RBI in a loss to Hilo

Kadon Antolin, Baldwin — Allowed one unearned run on three hits with four strikeouts and two walks in five innings of relief in a win over Kailua

Aiva Arquette, Saint Louis — Batted 2 for 3 with a walk in a win over Pearl City

Kaimana Bingo, Kailua — Batted 2 for 4 with a double, three RBI and two runs scored in a win over Iolani

Nuu Contrades, Saint Louis — Batted 2 for 2 with a walk, RBI and a run scored in a win over Pearl City, batted 2 for 4 with an RBI in a loss to Waiakea and batted 2 for 3 with an RBI, two stolen bases and two runs scored in a win over Kailua

Brandon Deth, Damien — Batted 3 for 3 with a double, walk, RBI and two runs scored in a win over Molokai, allowed two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and two walks in six innings pitched in a win over Kamehameha-Hawaii and batted 1 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored in a win over Waimea

Christian Dominno, Baldwin — Batted 3 for 3 with a double, walk, two RBI and two runs scored in a win over Kailua

Dennis DuPont, Saint Louis — Batted 2 for 2 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored in a win over Kailua

Kade Erdman, Waimea — Batted 1 for 2 with two walks, a stolen base and three RBI in a win over Waipahu

Taven Hiraishi, Konawaena — Allowed three earned runs on four hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks in six innings pitched in a loss to Nanakuli

Mason Hirata, Waiakea — Batted 2 for 3 with a walk, sacrifice bunt and an RBI in a win over Saint Louis and walked twice, stole a base and scored a run in a win over Baldwin

Kai Hirayama, Mililani — Allowed one run on five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in 6 2/3 innings of relief in a loss to Kailua

Dylan Honda, Waiakea — Allowed three runs on three hits with five strikeouts and five walks in 6 1/3 innings pitched in a win over Kalani and batted 2 for 3 with an RBI, stolen base and a run scored in a win over Saint Louis

Makane Honokaupu, Baldwin — Batted 2 for 4 with two RBI and pitched three scoreless innings of five-hit ball with three strikeouts and no walks in a win over Hilo

Elijah Igawa, Waiakea — Batted 2 for 2 with a walk and a run scored in a win over Kalani and batted 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI in a win over Saint Louis

Nai Iwaki, Kailua — Batted 3 for 5 with a double, RBI, stolen base and a run scored in a win over Iolani

Kaynan Kaku Jr., Hilo — Batted 2 for 2 with a triple, three RBI and a run scored in a win over Mililani

Kuola Kaluhiokalani, Waianae — Allowed two runs on nine hits with seven strikeouts and one walk in a complete-game win over Molokai

Donald Kapaku, Nanakuli — Allowed three runs on five hits with nine strikeouts and two walks in a win over Konawaena

Kaohu Kawelu, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Batted 3 for 3 with two doubles and two RBI in a win over Waianae

Kedren Kinzie, Waiakea — Batted 1 for 2 with a walk and two RBI in a win over Baldwin

Shayde Kuhns, Kailua — Batted 3 for 5 with two RBI and a stolen base in a win over Iolani and batted 2 for 4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored in a win over Mililani

Anson Lazaro, Waimea — Batted 1 for 3 with a sacrifice fly and three RBI and allowed no runs on two hits with six strikeouts and one walk in four innings pitched in a win over Waipahu and batted 3 for 3 with a sacrifice fly, two RBI and a stolen base and allowed two unearned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks in six innings of relief in a loss to Damien

Levi Maddela, Baldwin — Batted 3 for 5 with two doubles and an RBI in a win over Kailua

Salvatore Martino, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Allowed one run on three hits with eight strikeouts and three walks in five innings pitched in a win over Waianae and batted 2 for 2 with an RBI and a run scored in a loss to Nanakuli

Makai Miyamoto, Kailua — Allowed one earned run on one hit with three strikeouts and one walk in a complete-game win over Mililani

Jameison Pabalan, Damien — Batted 2 for 3 with a double, RBI-sacrifice fly, one stolen base and two runs scored and allowed two runs on three hits with three strikeouts and one walk in four innings pitched in a win over Molokai

Spencer Rego, Saint Louis — Allowed three hits with three strikeouts and three walks in a complete-game shutout of Pearl City

Jonah Richardson, Maui — Allowed one unearned run on two hits with 12 strikeouts and one walk in eight innings pitched in a loss to Kalani

Devin Saltiban, Hilo — Batted 2 for 4 with a walk, two RBI and a run scored in a win over Kamehameha and batted 2 for 4 with two RBI in a loss to Baldwin

Treston Shigematsu, Waimea — Batted 2 for 2 with two walks, an RBI and two runs scored and pitched three scoreless innings of no-hit ball with one strikeout and two walks in a win over Waipahu  and batted 3 for 4 with a triple, RBI and a run scored in a loss to Damien

Dylan Soto, Pearl City — Batted 2 for 3 with two stolen bases and two runs scored in a win over Kalani

Beau Sylvester, Kamehameha — Batted 2 for 3 with a home run, double and two runs scored in a loss to Iolani

Trey Uemoto, Konawaena — Allowed four hits with four strikeouts and two walks in a five-inning shutout of Waipahu

Travis Ujimori, Iolani — Batted 2 for 3 with a double, stolen base, two RBI and a run scored in a win over Maui

Kyson Wada, Waiakea — Batted 2 for 3 with an RBI and pitched a scoreless inning of relief to get the save in a win over Baldwin

Joshua Ward, Waiakea — Doubled, drew a walk and drove in three runs in a win over Kalani

Dylan Weddle, Kalani — Allowed one run on six hits with three strikeouts and no walks in seven innings pitched in a win over Maui

Eli Yamanaka, Hilo — Allowed four hits with six strikeouts and two walks in a complete-game shutout of Mililani


BOYS VOLLEYBALL

Austen Apana-Purcell, Campbell — Had 11 kills, one dig and an ace in a three-set loss to Mililani

Keegan Au Yuen, Punahou — Had 22 assists, two digs and one ace in a three-set win over Roosevelt

Luca Connor, Seabury Hall — Had 50 assists, three kills, three digs, five block assists and one ace in a five-set win over Nanakuli

Kainalu Enriquez, Waiakea — Had 31 assists, six kills, six digs and two aces in a five-set loss to Roosevelt

Riley Haine, Punahou — Had 15 kills, 10 digs, two block assists and two set assists in a three-set win over Moanalua

Jordan Kan, Roosevelt — Had 18 kills, 13 digs, three assists and an ace in a five-set win over Waiakea

Keahi Kaneakua, Pearl City — Had 16 kills, three digs and two block assists in a four-set win over Saint Louis and had 15 kills, four digs, four block assists, one set assist and an ace in a four-set win over Seabury Hall

Keanu Kawaa, Moanalua — Had 11 kills, seven aces, five digs, three block assists and a solo block in a three-set win over Castle

Makoa Kekaula-Van Gieson, Nanakuli — Had 16 kills, six digs and two block assists in a five-set loss to Seabury Hall

Tevita Lavaka, Konawaena — Had 19 kills, two digs, five block assists and one solo block in a loss to Pearl City

Clayton Morante, Waiakea — Had 29 kills, 18 digs, 18 assists and two block assists in a five-set loss to Roosevelt

Andrew Muragin, Saint Louis — Had 15 kills and five digs in a four-set loss to Pearl City

Rex Pagurigan, Saint Louis — Had 42 assists, one digs, one solo block and a block assist in a four-set loss to Pearl City and had 33 assists, eight digs and one block assist in a three-set win over Nanakuli

Christian Ronquilio, Pearl City — Had 41 assists, 10 digs and three kills in a five-set win over Konawaena, had 60 assists, three kills, two digs, one block assist and an ace in a four-set win over Saint Louis and had 37 assists, 19 digs, four block assists and four kills in a four-set win over Seabury Hall

Fabian Ruiz, Konawaena — Had 24 digs and an assist in a five-set loss to Pearl City

Thomas Russell, Seabury Hall — Had 21 kills, seven digs, one ace and a block assist in a five-set win over Nanakuli and had 22 kills, 18 digs, one block assist and one set assist in a four-set loss to Pearl City

Tyler Russell, Seabury Hall — Had 20 kills, 26 digs, three set assists, one block assist and one service ace in a four-set loss to Pearl City

Fati Seei-Tofi, Pearl City — Had 24 kills, four digs, one ace and a block assist in a five-set win over Konawaena, had 24 kills, three digs, two set assists, two service aces and one block assist in a four-set win over Saint Louis and had 16 kills, 14 digs and two block assists in a four-set win over Seabury Hall

Kale Spencer, Kamehameha-Maui — Had 13 kills, two digs, two set assists, one solo block and an ace in a three-set loss to Mililani

Keaukaiokaiwi Tavares Thompson, Punahou — Had 12 kills, three digs and one block assist in a three-set win over Roosevelt

Steven Duke Thomas, Le Jardin — Had 15 kills, six digs, two block assists and one block solo in a three-set loss to Konawaena

Aidan Tune, Punahou — Had 16 kills, seven digs, two service aces and one block assist in a three-set win over Moanalua

Tylus Williams, Pearl City — Had 32 digs, four assists and an ace in a five-set win over Konawaena, had 18 digs in a four-set win over Saint Louis and had 27 digs and four set assists in a four-set win over Seabury Hall

Brayden Yadao, Mililani — Had 13 kills, three aces, one dig, one block assist and a set assist in a three-set win over Kamehameha-Maui


GIRLS WATER POLO

Waiahuli Aku, Kamehameha-Hawaii — Scored five goals in a win over Kahuku

Maile Cacal, Lahainaluna — Scored five goals in a loss to Roosevelt

Claire Hughes, Hawaii Prep — Scored eight goals in a win over Kalaheo

Maile Imonen, Hawaii Prep — Scored six goals in a win over Kalaheo

Kristen Johnson, Kaiser — Scored four goals in a win over Hawaii Prep

Clara Lee, Roosevelt — Scored seven goals in a win over Lahainaluna and scored five goals in a win over Kamehameha-Hawaii

Emma Luna, Punahou — Scored four goals in a win over Kahuku and scored four goals in a win over Kaiser

Kaylee Ogawa, Punahou — Scored five goals in a win over Kamehameha



Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].




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