When the stars line up at Baldwin, it’s happy time.
It’s also, at least in two of the last three seasons, time for a state championship. Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa gave the Bears the kind of utility as a player that all coaches covet. In this age of specialization, the senior not only offered pristine defense in center field, he was perfect on the mound with a 0.00 ERA during Maui Interscholastic League play.
Then came a clutch performance at the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Baseball State Championships. He won a game on the mound, improving to 6-0 as a hurler. He batted .600 with seven RBIs and two runs, and continued to play Golden-Glove level defense in center. He was a runaway selection by coaches and media as the Star-Advertiser’s All-State Position Player of the Year, and was also second in the voting for Pitcher of the Year. He was one of four Bears voted to the first team.
Click here for the full Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State baseball teams.
“What the scouts didn’t know is this is actually his first year of being a pitcher through the high school year,” Baldwin coach Shane Dudoit said. “There’s not much mileage, he throws 93-94 mph. He’s 94 with a good splitter, and he hasn’t gotten control of his curve ball yet. At the next level, it’ll be a full-time job.”
Dudoit projects Hoopii-Tuionetoa between the ninth and 14th rounds of the upcoming draft.
“He’s already thrown the high school season. He’ll probably go to the short A and minor-league camps. They like his fluidness,” Dudoit said. “There are estimates from adding 4-8 mph more just because of his motion, his arm slot, getting stronger, eating healthy, putting on muscle. From Hawaii to Arizona, that’s automatically 3-4 mph difference,” Dudoit said.
Discipline has been a key factor in Hoopii-Tuionetoa’s success.
“He’s a good kid, super respectful, super team player. You very rarely find guys like that. Just all-around good kid from a good family. He will still get lickens if he doesn’t do the yard on Sundays,” Dudoit said. “I don’t know where he might end up, but his exit speed off the bat is tremendous, but he’s very raw like a lot of the guys on Maui.
Name: Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa
School sport: Baseball
Q&A / Favorites
> LeBron James
> Houston Astros
Food (at home):
> Banana Pancakes
Food (eating out):
Hobby outside of sports:
> Black Panther
> NBA Youngboy
Teacher (elementary through high school):
> Mrs. Ellen Ferenette-Garcia
Place to relax:
> Waihee Beach
> “Give 100 percent in everything you do.” —Shane Dudoit
What your mom (Mazi Ho’opi’i-Tuionetoa) says that you can’t forget:
> “Are you serious, Bubs?”
What your dad (Si’iva Tuionetoa) says that you can’t forget:
> “I going bite your finger off.”
What your coaches say that you can’t forget:
> “Shaka Hawaiian.”
How does your sport affect your daily life during the season and offseason?
> Kept me on the right track, staying away from the negativity and steady grinding.
What middle and elementary schools did you attend?
> Wailuku Elementary, Iao Intermediate
What youth teams did you play for? What club do you play for and what are the daily commitments like year-round?
> Wailuku Phillies and Pono
Where have you travelled for your sport(s)?
> California, Oahu, Big island, Washington, South Carolina, Maine
What do you like to do — or what’s something else you’re good at — that would surprise most people? > Tennis
What is your ultimate dream/bucket list? Where would you like to travel, what life would you like to have as an athlete? And away from sports?
> Dubai because get cool stuff there. I wanna be in the Hall of Fame as an athlete. Away from sports, be happy and enjoy life
What is the history and background of your name?
> My mom guys named me after my great uncle who passed away couple months before I was born.
Any shout-outs or additional thoughts are welcome.
> Shout out to my parents, and my Grandpa for always supporting what I do, and believing in me.