Micah Jio, Maui’s artful center fielder, and left-hander Dawson Yamaguchi, Saint Louis’ ace of aces, collected the most votes from a panel of coaches and media and were named the Honolulu Star-Advertiser position player and pitcher of the year award winners today.
The complete 2017 All-State baseball teams were released in Sunday’s newspaper.
Jio was steady and occasionally spectacular on the field, at the plate and on the basepaths as Maui rose from unseeded entrant to state champion at the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA State Championships.
Yamaguchi, a broad-chested left-hander with multiple weapons in his arsenal, was clutch for Saint Louis as the Crusaders captured the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship. He seemed to get stronger as the long season extended for Saint Louis through the double-elimination playoff tourney. He finished 7-1, saved one game, and posted a miserly 0.95 ERA.
Here are some other notes on the first-team selections:
>> Saint Louis had five first-team selections this year, the most for a single school since Mid-Pacific had six in 2013. The Crusaders didn’t have a single first-team selection last year.
>> Maui had four players on the first team this year, before that the Sabers hadn’t put a single guy on the first team since Vance Otake in 2003.
>> Yamaguchi is the first pitcher of the year from Saint Louis since Kalei Contrades in 2011.
>> Joey Cantillo is the only player to repeat from last year. Everyone else was a first timer.
>> Bryant Nakagawa is the first first-team catcher from a neighbor island since Kolten Wong of Kamehameha-Hawaii for the Honolulu Advertiser in 2008.
>> Kailua has had the top first baseman for two years in a row. Noah Auld was the selection last year.
>> Keith Torres is the first top shortstop from Saint Louis since Rayson Romero in 2014.
>> DJ Stephens is the first first-team outfielder from Saint Louis since Kaeo Aliviado in 2011.
>> Li’i Pontes is the first Kamehameha pitcher to be first team since Keenan Lum in 2012.
>> Saint Louis had two pitchers named to the first team, last year Baldwin placed two pitchers on the first team. Before that, the last time one school had two pitchers on the first team was Punahou in the 2004 Star-Bulletin with Jared Pate and Jeeter Ishida.
>> Campbell has had at least one first teamer for five years in a row, the longest current streak.
>> ‘Iolani didnt have a first teamer for the first time in three years.