WAILUKU — The OIA West is an incredible 9-0 so far in the Division I and II state baseball tournaments so far. I doubt this has ever happened, and though it’s remarkable, it simply continues a pattern of success for West Oahu region athletics in the past decade as the population base of Oahu continues to shift from east to west.
That being said, Waipahu is up against perennial powerhouse Baldwin, the MIL champion. The Bears are 14-0 in MIL play this season and seeded second in the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA D-I State Championships.
A Waipahu upset win would mean the semifinal round on Friday would be occupied exclusively by OIA West schools.
Game time is in 11 minutes (7 p.m.). Conditions here at Iron Maehara have been gloriously pristine all day. The wind did kick up in the afternoon, but there has been not a single rain drop. Forecast calls for some cloudiness and possible rain tonight, however.
Three up, three down for Waipahu as Baldwin pitcher Kawena Alo-Kaonohi establishes the tone.
Baldwin loads the bases on two walks and a single off Jaron Sugimoto, but Damien-Luke Awai strikes out waving at a slow curveball, and then Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa grounds out to Sugimoto.
Sugimoto threw 26 pitches in the inning.
Steven DeSilva singles to right on a full count to lead off the inning for the Marauders. Khaine Viliamu walks on a full count. Michael Price, who had both a grand slam and a sacrifice bunt in yesterday’s win over Hilo, drops a sac bunt and advances the runners. Micah Takayama has a 1-1 count, squares up to squeeze bunt. The pitch is in the dirt, bounces off the chest of Baldwin C Taje Akaka and DeSilva is sprinting down the line. DeSilva slides home safely as Akaka’s tag is just inches away. That’s a stolen base for DeSilva, a strike on Takayama and Waipahu has the lead. WAIP 1, BAL 0.
Viliamu advances to third on the play. Takayama flies out to center, but Viliamu doesn’t try to score. Rayson Carriaga grounds out back to the pitcher, third out.
Nainoa Keahi leads off for the Bears, 1-2 pitch is inside and dropping. He laces a double to the left-field corner. Sugimoto strikes out Taje Akaka and Jacob Chong, then Naloa Dudoit lines a shot up the middle. 2B Takayama reaches right and gets a piece of it, but the ball caroms into center field and Keahi hustles home from second with the tying run. BAL 1, WAIP 1.
Chayce Akaka pops up to short to end the inning.
Three up, three down for Waipahu. Alo-Kaonohi only needed six pitches to finish that frame.
Baldwin takes the lead in the bottom half. Nawai Ah Yen leads off with a walk on four pitches. After Alo-Kaonohi grounds out, Damien-Luke Awai singles to center with Ah Yen advancing to third. Hoopii-Tuionetoa sends a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Ah Yen. BAL 2, WAIP 1.
Keahi follows with a single to left, scoring Awai from second. BAL 3, WAIP 1.
Pinch hitter Cade Kalehuawehe, a freshman, grounds back to the mound to end the inning. Sugimoto has thrown 64 pitches through three innings.
Kobe Russell singles to left and then Alo-Kaonohi balks. Oops.
Then Alo-Kaonohi refocuses and strikes out DeSilva and Viliamu, the No. 4 and No. 5 hitters in Waipahu’s lineup. Count is 0-1 on Price when Russell gets a huge jump and steals third base. Then Alo-Kaonohi strikes out Price, freezing him with a curveball for strike three. Struck out the side. Beastly.
Chayce Akaka reaches on a two-out infield single, then steals second base. But Ah Yen grounds to second, inning over.
Alo-Kaonohi in a great rhythm. He needs just seven pitches in the fifth, striking out Blazsen Ferreira. Alo-Kaonohi has struck out four and walked one so far. He has thrown 59 pitches.
The Bears receive the gift of two infield errors by the Marauders to open the lead. Courtesy runner Kaipo Haole and Hoopii-Tuionetoa score on a bad throw to second by 2B Takayama. BAL 5, WAIP 1.
That’s the second error of the inning. Pinch hitter Andre Beaudoin singles to right and the bases are loaded. Dudoit flies out to center, no attempt to score by Constantino at third base. Two outs.
Chayce Akaka grounds a single to right, scoring Constantino and Kalehuawehe. BAL 7, WAIP 1.
Ah Yen pops out to Sugimoto in foul territory to end the inning. Four runs for Baldwin and Alo-Kaonohi pitching well.
Sugimoto lines a shot toward short that handcuffs SS Dudoit. Tough handle, scorer rules it’s a single. Phillips grounds to second and Baldwin turns it into a 4-6-3 DP. Ruseell follows with an opposite-field single near the left-field line. DeSilva grounds to third to end the inning.
Alo-Kaonohi leads off with a single to center and Sugimoto’s stint is done. He went 5 innings, allowed 10 hits, struck out three and walked four. He threw 107 pitches. Price moves from third base to the mound.
Awai walks on a full count, but he’s thrown out at second on a steal attempt, nice throw by C Phillips. Keahi walks but Kalehuawehe strikes out to end the inning.
Alo-Kaonohi going after a complete-game win. Viliamu walks and advances to second on a wild pitch. Price pops out and Takayama flies out. Carriaga strikes out and Baldwin advances to the semifinals.
That’s a 5-hitter for Alo-Kaonohi, who was strong, determined and mostly consistent. He threw just 82 pitches. He struck out five, walked one and threw one wild pitch.