Baldwin backs up national ranking with another title

Baldwin's Kevin Varner Jr. celebrated with teammates after scoring one of the Bears' 14 runs against Waiakea in the state final last year. The Bears are the No. 1 seed this season as they go for a third championships in four years. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

The Division I state baseball trophy will remain on the Valley Isle for a third straight year.

MIL champion Baldwin backed up its national ranking for most of the season with its second state championship in three years after rolling BIIF champion Waiakea 14-4 in five innings of the final game of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA State Baseball Championships tonight at Les Murakami Stadium.

Haku Dudoit finished 2-for-3 with three runs and three RBIs and Chayce Akaka also scored three times for the Bears, who were ranked No. 24 in the USA Today Super 25 this week.

Baldwin finished its season 16-1 and added its second state title in three years, sandwiched around Maui’s win in 2017.

“It’s very gratifying because that’s a very good Waiakea team over there,” Baldwin coach Shane Dudoit said. “They helped us out and we were able to capitalize on those situations and get some timely hitting when we needed to.”

Baldwin put the finishing touches on matching the biggest blowout in a Division I state final since the Bears lost to Punahou, 13-2 in 2010, with a seven-run fifth inning.

Baldwin’s Haku Dudoit celebrated after scoring in the Bears’ 14-4 win over Waiakea. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

The first nine batters all reached base with an error and two walks starting the inning.

Haku Dudoit and Nainoa Keahi each added two-run singles as the Bears finished with nine hits in the game — all singles.

“It was very tough,” said Akaka, one of eight starters who were on the state-title winning team two years ago. “(Waiakea) started off strong. We just kept with it, stuck strong and did what we had to do.”

Waiakea’s Casey Yamauchi singled twice and scored the game’s first run and sophomore Kala’i Rosario went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, including a run-scoring single in the first inning to put Waiakea up 2-0 and hand Baldwin its first deficit in the tournament.

Seven walks, a hit batter and five errors eventually did in the BIIF champions, who lost their first game of the season to finish 17-1 with a second straight runner-up finish at states.

“A few walks here, a few defensive plays just fell short and (Baldwin) is a great team,” Waiakea coach Rory Inouye said. “They capitalize on things like that.”

Waiakea’s Safea Villaruz-Mauai slid in safely to cut Baldwin’s lead to 4-3 in the Division I state final. Photo by Jay Metzger/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Division I

Match #DateMatchupTime/ScoresSite
1May 8KS-Maui vs. CampbellCamp, 3-0Les Murakami Stadium
2May 8Kailua vs. LeilehuaKail, 3-0Les Murakami Stadium
3May 8'Iolani vs. KalaniIol, 11-1 (6)Les Murakami Stadium
4May 8Pearl City vs. PunahouPun, 6-2Les Murakami Stadium
5*May 9KS-Maui vs. LeilehuaTie, 6-6Hans L'Orange Park
6May 9(3) Waiakea vs. CampbellWaik, 6-2Les Murakami Stadium
7May 9(4) Mililani vs. 'IolaniIol, 12-8Les Murakami Stadium
8May 9(1) Baldwin vs. PunahouBald, 8-7Les Murakami Stadium
9May 9(2) Mid-Pacific vs. KailuaKail, 6-1Les Murakami Stadium
10*May 10Kalani vs. Pearl CItyKaln, 9-5Hans L'Orange Park
11*May 10Mililani vs. PunahouMil, 5-4Hans L'Orange Park
12*May 10Campbell vs. Mid-PacificCamp, 4-2Hans L'Orange Park
13May 10Waiakea vs. KailuaWaik, 5-0Les Murakami Stadium
14May 10'Iolani vs. BaldwinBald, 9-4Les Murakami Stadium
15*May 11Leilehua vs. KalaniKaln, 2-1Hans L'Orange Park
16*May 11Mililani vs. CampbellMil, 2-1Hans L'Orange Park
17*May 11'Iolani vs. KailuaIol, 8-1Les Murakami Stadium
18May 11Baldwin vs. WaiakeaBald, 14-4 (5)Les Murakami Stadium
* — consolation


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