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Prep Football Preview Special
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Michael Lasquero | ScoringLiveMay 5, 2023, 11:13pm
Fri, May 5, 2023 @ [ 7:00 pm ]
W: Blade Paragas L: Levi Maddela
KSK: Elijah Ickes 3-3 2 runs rbi dbl; Blade Paragas 2.6 IP 0 ER 5 KBAL: Bryson Nakamoto 1-2 2 runs trp; Kadon Antolin 5.0 IP 3 ER
MANOA — The 2023 Hawaii prep baseball season ended with a bang.
Jace Souza's RBI triple off the wall in the right-center gap secured the win in walk-off fashion as Kamehameha outlasted Baldwin, 5-4, to win the Wally Yonamine Foundation Division I Baseball Championship Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium.
It was the Warriors' fifth state title in school history and their first since 2003.
"It feels surreal, it feels like I'm in a dream right now, I'm out of breath," said Souza. "We've been working hard all season for this very moment and it finally paid off."
Leadoff batter Elijah Ickes scored the game-winning run for Kamehameha. Even before he crossed home plate, the Warriors' dugout were already on the field celebrating.
"I looked at the outfielders and they started turning and burning and I just told myself 'I'm scoring all the way, I'm not stopping," said Ickes, who batted 3-for-3 in the game with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.
The game had the feeling of a boxing match with the two top-seeded teams in the tournament trading shots against each other. The Bears took a 3-0 lead after the top of the third inning only for Kamehameha to tie it in the bottom of the frame.
The Warriors then took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth when catcher Aukai Kea got his first hit of the tournament only for Baldwin to tie it right back in the top of the sixth on an error.
Baldwin benefited from four Kamehameha errors, but the Warriors did just enough to hold the Bears at bay to give them a chance at glory at the end.
"We're never a team that you should count out," said Souza, who was named the tournament's most outstanding player. "We're here for a reason and we just battle all the time no matter what and that's the result of the game right there."
Blade Paragas earned the win in relief of starter Ethan Waikiki. Paragas, who hasn't pitched since April 6, went 2 2/3 innings and gave up just one hit and one unearned run. He walked three and beaned one, but he had five strikeouts including three in the top of the seventh to strand two Baldwin runners.
"They brought in Paragas and he's the dude," said Baldwin coach Craig Okita. "We were just scratching and clawing trying to get runners base, get them in scoring position and get that key hit. We had that chance in the top of the seventh, we just couldn't come through."
It was disappointing end to the season for the Bears, who also loss to Waiakea by one run in last year's final.
"Just heartbreaking, game could have gone either way. Hats off to Kamehameha," said Okita, whose team left 11 runners on base. "I just feel terrible for our kids. They persevered, they've worked so hard and dealt with adversity all year long just to get back here and to lose like that, it's tough, but like I said, that's baseball."
Levi Maddela was tagged for the loss for the Bears. He came in from center field at the start of the sixth inning to relief starter Kadon Antolin.
Baldwin got the runs going in the third when Bryson Nakamoto led off the inning with a triple to the right-center gap. Miscommunication between three Kamehameha infielders on a routine pop fly allowed the next batter to reach on an error. After a lineout to shortstop, the Warriors intentionally walked Kuhio Aloy to load the bases.
Designated hitter Jaren Pascual got credited with the first RBI of the game when he drew a walk on the next plate appearance. Christian Dominno's single then scored courtesy runner Peyton Bui before a sac fly by Kaden Anderson brought Aloy home to make the score 3-0.
The Warriors got off to a good start in the next half-inning with two bunt singles that sandwiched a hit to left field. Ickes' sac fly scored Cody Branco to put Kamehameha on the board before the Warriors loaded the bases again on a walk. This set up Kea's sac fly to make the score 3-2. Kamehameha later tied it at 3 when an error allowed Pono Nakano to come home for an unearned run.
Neither team brought home another run in till Ickes led off the bottom of the fifth with a hit through the area between third and second. One batter later Kea had an RBI single on the first pitch thrown at him to give Kamehameha a 4-3 lead.
Baldwin tied it in the next-half inning after the Bears drew a two-out walk and got hit by a pitch. Maddela was able to reach the bag on an error on the next at bat which allowed Nakamoto to score the tying run.
WALLY YONAMINE FOUNDATION/HHHSAA BASEBALL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - DIVISION I
Most Outstanding Player: Jace Souza, Kamehameha
CatcherAukai Kea, Kamehameha
InfieldKuhio Aloy, BaldwinElijah Ickes, KamehamehaJayden Montero, KamehamehaBryson Nakamoto, Baldwin
OutfieldChristian Dominno, BaldwinKai Hirayama, MililaniAyden Lobetos, Kamehameha
PitcherAlaka'i Kiakona, KamehamehaHunter Lindsey, Campbell
UtilityKoen Barton, Leilehua
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