HHSAA Baseball
Baldwin turns the tables against Mililani


Thu, May 4, 2023 @ [ 4:00 pm ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Mililani 0 100000160
Baldwin 0 0 0002X261

W: Bryson Nakamoto    L: Skye Hyun    SV: Kadon Antolin

BAL: Jaren Pascual 1-2 rbi; Bryson Nakamoto 6.6 IP 0 ER 6 K
MIL: Cyler Wicklund 2-3; Skye Hyun 6.0 IP 2 ER 2 K

MANOA — Kade Fujioka is showing his worth in more than ways than one in the 2023 baseball state tournament.

One day after earning the pitching win on the mound, the Baldwin junior came up clutch at the plate with a pinch hit in the bottom of the sixth to score the go-ahead run as the second-seeded Bears rallied over Mililani, 2-1, in the semifinals of the Wally Yonamine Foundation Division I Baseball Championships at Les Murakami Stadium Thursday night.

Fujioka's game-winning RBI punches Baldwin's ticket back to the state final where it will try for its seventh overall championship against top-seeded Kamehameha on Friday.

The Bears, who will be making its 12th appearance in the title game, will try to atone for last year's championship loss to Waiakea.

"It feels great, especially after last year and the pain that we felt," Fujioka said on reaching the state final.

Kade Fujioka's pinch hit in the bottom of the sixth scored Jayson Kahaleanu for the go-ahead run to rally the Bears over the Trojans. Michael Lasquero | SL    Purchase image

Baldwin trailed for most of the game after the Trojans took a 1-0 lead after the second inning, but it manufactured two runs on three hits in the sixth inning to flip the script on unseeded Mililani, who won its first two games of the tourney by the same score, 2-1.

"Mililani, hats off to them, they're a tough ball club," said Baldwin coach Craig Okita. "They had us on the ropes tonight. We were fortunate that we got some hits in that sixth inning."

Kuhio Aloy's one-out base hit through the right side of the field started the rally for the Bears. Peyton Bui pinch ran for Aloy and stole second to set up designated hitter Jaren Pascual's RBI single to left field.

Jayson Kahaleanu then replaced Pascual on the base paths and got into scoring position on Christian Dominno's bunt. Fujioka got the call in the six-hole spot and saw three straight balls before swinging on the 3-1 pitch for an RBI up the middle.

"I knew with the count I was in I was probably going to get a fast ball so that's what I sat on and drilled it up the middle," said Fujioka. "I knew my job was to go in and pinch hit. It felt good to get the job done."

Bryson Nakamoto scattered six hits in 6 2/3 innings of work in the win. He struck out six and walked three and was tagged for an unearned run. He nearly had the complete win, but had to give way to Kadon Antolin for the save after he hit the pitch count limit.

"I was just thinking to keep going and pitch to the best of my abilities and let my defense back me up and try to win the game," said Nakamoto, who finished with 112 pitches after the last batter he faced had a base hit on a full count.

Skye Hyun took the loss for the Trojans. He allowed six hits in six innings, struck out two, walked two and was charged with two earned runs.

Cyler Wicklund and Kai Hirayama each had two hits to lead Mililani at the plate.

Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].

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