Kaiser gets chippy in win over Kalani

Kaiser head coach Ryan Umemoto was ejected by the umpire as Kalani coach Shannon Hirai looked on Friday. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser
Kaiser head coach Ryan Umemoto was ejected by the umpire as Kalani coach Shannon Hirai looked on Friday. Jamm Aquino / Star-Advertiser

There are rivalries that take on a semi-friendly tone.

This one was far from it. When Kalani visited Kaiser on Friday afternoon for an OIA East baseball game, both the visiting Falcons and the home plate umpire were targets of verbal abuse from Kaiser players and at least one Kaiser supporter in the audience.

It was an exceedingly feisty effort by the Cougars, who won 5-4 in an upset of the fifth-ranked Falcons. Three Cougars were tossed from the game, including center fielder Keoni Pangan and two coaches. One of them was head coach Ryan Umemoto. All the ejections had to do with unsportsmanlike comments coming out of Kaiser’s dugout, directed at Kalani players or chief umpire Ken Nagasawa

Kalani coach Shannon Hirai did not appreciate the apparent unsportsmanlike tactics by the host team.

“It’s hard for us to ask teenaged kids to control their tempers,” said Hirai, who watched carefully as his team filed out of the facility after the game. “Being singled out like that, there’s only so much they can take. The first time we played them (on Mar. 16), it was the same thing.” 

The warnings from Nagasawa began in the first inning. He cautioned Kaiser first baseman Kainoa Torres, and in the bottom of the inning, he issued another warning toward the Cougars’ dugout. By the second inning, Nagasawa heard more unsportsmanlike banter and called Umemoto to the plate. 

“They just wouldn’t stop taunting, making derogatory comments to the other team and to the umpires,” Nagasawa said. “Their coach lost control of the team.” 

Umemoto wouldn’t identify the player who made the most recent comment.

“He said, I need an identification or you’re out. I don’t want my players out,” Umemoto said. 

He was ejected and spent a couple of innings standing near the dugout behind the fence. Nagasawa later directed him to leave the field, and Umemoto said he watched from atop of the hill behind home plate. 

Nagasawa was also verbally threatened by a Kaiser fan, who yelled, “I’m going to get you after the game,” from the fence behind home plate and again near the Kaiser dugout. Nagasawa said he instructed the site manager to provide an escort for the umpire crew after the game, but there was none, he said. The site manager was nowhere to be seen.

The spectator who threatened Nagasawa was seen after the game questioning the umpire. Nagasawa was walking toward the parking lot when the spectator started walking along side him, criticizing and questioning him about the warnings and ejections, arguing that “getting in the heads” of Kalani’s players is part of the game. He also told Nagasawa that he “should go back to umpire school.” There was no physical confrontation.

Umemoto noted that umpires normally leave the field via the right-field foul line exit near the parking lot. Nagasawa and his field umpire departed through the exit next to Kaiser’s dugout, next to the bleachers.

For Umemoto, the repercussions of ejections and comments won’t take away from the team’s “most complete” performance of the season. 

“It doesn’t take away from the win. It’s two teams going at each other,” he said, almost acknowledging the intensity of the rivalry. “I’ll say this: it feels good. Every year, it’s like this, regardless of where we are in the standings.” 

At the time Umemoto was ejected, Kaiser starting pitcher Kamalu Simeona had just struck out his fourth Falcon and Kaiser was coming up to bat in the bottom of the second. 

“I was still confident in my team. The kids said, ‘Coach, we got your back!’ They stepped up today,” he said. 

The taunting issue resumed late in the game, when Nagasawa ejected Pangan during the seventh inning. Pangan’s father, an assistant coach, approached Nagasawa and wound up getting tossed, too. 

Kaiser got on the scoreboard in the first inning when Pangan led off with an infield single and later scored on a two-out single to right by Torres.

Kalani bounced back with two runs in the top of the third. Kohl Suehiro singled to left and later scored on a single to center by Hunter Lau to tie the game. After a Kaiser infield error and a walk loaded the bases, Jarryn Wee’s groundout brought Kyle Sasano home from third for a 2-1 Kalani lead.

Kaiser responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Torres singled to right and advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt by Kalani pitcher Connor Zalewski. Torres scored on a one-out single to left by Emett Garcia, and Garcia later scored on a single to left by Kennedy Chun. That gave Kaiser a 3-2 lead.

The Falcons rallied in the top of the fifth. Sasano led off with a walk and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Wee, tying the game at 3.

Again, Kaiser answered right away. In the bottom of the fifth, Lincoln Lima singled with one out and Emmett Covello doubled to right with two outs. Garcia then grounded to short, where the shortstop, Wee, misplayed an in-between hop. Lima scored to give Kaiser a 4-3 lead.

In the sixth, Antonio Omphroy walked with one out and advanced to second on a passed ball. Another errant pickoff throw by Zalewski allowed Omphroy to move to third, and Omphroy scored on Simeona’s triple to left.

Coincidentally, though Umemoto had his differences of opinion with Nagasawa, he thought the umpire did an otherwise sound job.

“I thought he called a good game (at the plate),” Umemoto said.


  1. hossana April 9, 2016 7:17 am

    Kaiser’s head coach should be called on the carpet and suspended for the rest of the season incl. several of his undisciplined players. This was a flagrant display of undiscipline behavior by Kaiser, some of its parents, and players. How can Kaiser’s administration tolerate this type of behavior representing the school and is this what we teach the kids in school….lack of character and discipline and lack of sportsmanship…..oh, yes, I was there watching this whole scenario play out as I felt sorry for the Kalani coach and his players. There is no excuse for this type of behavior displayed by the Kaiser baseball team and staff. No excuse and several loud and abusive comments by Kaiser parents were just plain disgusting. Nothing more and nothing less.

  2. bhumble April 9, 2016 9:55 pm

    My apologies to the Kalani baseball team and parents. I am a kaiser parent and was at the game on Friday. I was so embarrassed at the way some of the kaiser boys and one kaiser parent behaved. There were other parents who felt the same way too. I really thought kaiser was a class act school….but I guess I was wrong. I used to be proud wearing my Kaiser Baseball Shirt. But I won’t wear it again. I’m too embarrassed to be associated with this team under the direction of these coaches. I have never witnessed before, coaches getting kicked out of a game and protecting a kid for his bad behavior. I can’t understand why the coaches would support this ongoing bad behavior. Is this what we want to teach our kids? That it’s ok to behave that way? But then again, I’ve seen the same kids behaving the same way at practices in front of the coaches and the coaches doesn’t reprimand them and allows this kind of behavior to occur. So why not act like that in a game when the coaches approves and allows it. The players attitude reflects the way they are being coached. The Kaiser administration needs to take action now!

  3. Falcon4Life April 9, 2016 10:46 pm

    There’s always been a rivalry between the 2 schoools, but this game was really bad! I even saw Kaiser’s AD watching the game, and to think the Kaiser coaches would allow this type of behavior and not discipline the players (even when the umpire called him on it), right in front of their very own AD???? WOW! Unbelievable! And Umemoto’s comments post game? “It doesn’t take away from the win. It’s two teams going at each other,” TWO…teams? What game was he watching??? Seemed pretty one sided to me…I feel so sorry for their boys…

  4. shutup April 9, 2016 11:27 pm

    CHEERING for YOUR team is part of the game. The boys on both teams played their hardest and the fact that one was more vocal than the other doesn’t mean anything. Talking trash is a part of the game of baseball, so stop crying about every little thing now just like the coaches did during the game. KALANI LOST, DEAL WITH IT.

  5. @shutup April 10, 2016 12:09 am

    Cheering does not equal taunting. You are probably the type that excuses bullying as “boys being boys” and as just “harmless fun”. Talking trash is part of baseball? Since when? Do you see ANY professional players “taunt”?
    You might be able to claim that “talking trash” is part of football and basketball based on what you see in the professional leagues, yet both sports have specific penalties to curb that type of behavior, in other words, there are lines that cannot be crossed, and the officials determine those lines. The Kaiser coach is either 1) unable to control his players and thus his players have no respect for him or 2) he is condoning and encouraging this behavior. Not sure what is worse.

  6. Must be a kaiser fan^ April 10, 2016 12:35 am

    How’s this guy? Saying “cheering” is part of the game. Obviously it is, but cheering and taunting is two completely different things and if you can’t tell the difference than you’re a special type of stupid. As far as I know EVERY sports event that occurs(I played Football and baseball c/o 11) the refs ALWAYS tell the parents in the stands to let the players do the playing and the refs do the referring. Why? To avoid a situation exactly like this. If I was the ump I would of stopped the fucking game and issue the whole team a warning but that wouldn’t be fair to Kalani who was just trying to play. I get the whole getting in the other teams head and talking shit. I never did it but I have friends who did. Sports are mentally demanding as they are physical. Just like life is, mentally demanding as it is physical. The difference is these players took it out of control and their pathetic coach wasn’t a man and instead acted just as childish as his players. KAISER’S POOR SPORTS, DEAL WITH IT.

  7. ??? April 10, 2016 9:38 am

    Kaisers poor sports???????? Are you sure because last i checked THEY WON.. So what is there to be a poor sport about??? Kalanis the poor sports crying and grumbling about EVERYTHING. I don’t see anything wrong with taunting based on the fact that the first time Kaiser played Kalani at Kahala it was Kalani’s staff who couldn’t control their team, the boys were also taunting Kaiser and one from Kalani even tried to knock down a Kaiser player. So I don’t believe taunting is any worse than trying to physically harm a person.

  8. who cares April 10, 2016 9:45 am

    Why does all of this matter any more? Game is over. There nothing that can be done about it now just move on. I bet all of the people commenting either wasnt at the game or was too scared to speak up while at it. I in fact am a Kalani parent and it is embarrassing to see that you all are grown adults talking shit about high school kids………. Worse than these teenagers out there….

  9. NotMyKids April 10, 2016 9:08 pm

    Although the game is over, the only thing that matters (and is the most concerning), is that the coaches allowed these kids to behave as they will, even after warnings by the umpire! You would think after the warnings, the coaches would’ve ‘nipped it in the bud’, but it sounds like they let it continue to escalate. Aside from coaching baseball, aren’t these coaches responsible for also teaching them good sportsmanship, good character, win or lose with class, you can still be competitive. As they say, let your actions on the field speak for you, and not your mouth. So yes, ‘boys will be boys’, and they are young, but I’d like to think these coaches aren’t amongst them, and are there to guide them as coaches should. If they don’t know how, then I think the administration should find coaches who do.

  10. STFU April 11, 2016 8:42 am


  11. Leah April 11, 2016 10:14 am

    An apology to Kalani? Were you present the first time Kaiser played them??? If you were, I am disgusted that a Kaiser parent would be apologetic after Kalani’s blatant cockiness toward our team. Difference between us is, we didnt go sobbing to the ump like they did. Our boys swallowed it and tolerated it as part of the game. It’s certainly obvious that you are one of the parents that have been moaning and groaning all season. You won’t be wearing your Kaiser shirt anymore? That’s wonderful news. We do not need unsupportive half-witted people like you shaming our team anyway.
    Too bad Paul Honda wasn’t there for that game, his article would have been completely different instead of bashing our boys like this.
    Kalani whiners, suck up the loss… It’s over.

  12. Cougar Nation April 11, 2016 12:19 pm

    What is worst is our Girls Basketball Head Coach Simon Bitaga. Look and read all the stuff about him on this thread: http://www.hawaiiprepworld.com/girls-basketball/kaiser-girls-jv-basketball-coach-dismissed/

    In addition to being investigated and being placed on leave for a while this year, his jv coach got removed. There are so many allegations. He also runs his own club league called the eastsidaz. He bans kids from the league. Let me repeat this, he bans them. The allegations ranges from leaving his club to not wanting to play for kaiser. Who does that to kids? Hes a coward in the worst way.

  13. Leah April 11, 2016 1:34 pm

    @ cougar nation

    Please stick to your own thread. We are discussing a baseball incident that happened over the weekend. I followed your link as well as your comments. Perhaps you should start a Anti-Kaiser campaign or Kaiser bashing organization suitable for your vigilante needs. I am also perplexed by your name “cougar nation.” One would think it is a supportive name lol. As I read your comments, I quickly realized you are not. You sound more like a DOE conspiracy theorist.

  14. Basketball Watcher April 11, 2016 8:36 pm

    Leah, you are nothing more than an ignorant clown living off the tax money of hard working Americans. Instead of taking government assistance and using the Walmart’s public computer, try getting a job. It’s people like you that ruin the minds of young teenagers. You already ruined your own life and now you want to soil the brains of kids? That just plain sucks.

    Also, has Kaiser ever won anything? Well at least in the 25 years? I see they got a D2 title that is the same as winning the lunchtime league title at any ILH school.

  15. Leah April 12, 2016 9:07 am

    @basketball watcher

    You should brush up on your reading comprehension skills. I hear they offer adult night reading classes at high schools in all districts. You can even obtain your GED through them if you’re interested. That would would be really helpful to you. Who’s talking about Kaiser’s sports history? This pointless point you are trying to make, is irrelevant. But since we’re on the subject, let me enlighten you.
    Kaiser is competitive in all D1 sports. JV football took champs 2 yrs ago, JV baseball last year. Basketball (D2) also last year. Soccer made playoffs, boys varsity baseball made it to states last year and girls softball is undefeated. Michael Eletise was the highest recruit to ever come out of Hawaii with over 40 D1 offers.
    But let’s get back to the topic…Jim Leahey imposter. Maybe you should search YouTube to see if they have video tutorials on how to be a better internet troll. I’ve never been employed by Walmart, nor did I ever use a computer there! I didnt even know you could, lol. I thought only libraries and the apple store allowed that. Your lack of knowledge, inaccurate information and fairy tales about my so called unemployment status and dependency on government assistance, only solidifies that you are nothing but a internet tough guy that talks too much out of your ass. Are you bored because the thread you and cougar nation was on died out? Is your life that pathetic that all you do is wait around for controversy in youth sports? Seriously basketball watcher, stop playing on your computer, go get you GED and start reading some books to get that reading comprehension elevated. You should change your name from basketball watcher to Incoherent Babble.

  16. So Shame April 12, 2016 10:49 pm

    Reading all these comments…. No wonder the kids behave like that. It all starts at home. SMH

  17. Eduation First April 13, 2016 10:09 am

    C’mon guys, the adult school comments and the GED comments have been used over and over again by me towards my buddy 88 and his aliases. Leah, can you at least reference my material when you copy it? At least give me some credit for my original thoughts.

    By the way, when did JV become a Varsity D1 sport? I must have been away too long! Also why are you referencing Basketball D2? That’s the PC title for teams that cannot compete with the big boys to make them feel good like Iolani Football. What’s next? Are you going to tell me that hopscotch and tag are going to be D1 sports too?

    You keep listing all the sports that never win any D1 titles. (yawn).

    Who cares about 40 D1 offers. Last time I checked, DeForest Buckner (of Punahou) will be drafted in the top 5 of the upcoming NFL Draft and will sign for millions. That’s way more impressive than 40 D1 offers.

    Regarding the 40 D1 offers can you provide us with a link to make your statement credible?

    And for the last time, stop using my same material. I have been saying these things for the past 2 years. The other guy must not be too smart, but at least he isn’t an imposter who has to steal material.

    Bring it on Leah, lol.

    Leah will not come back with:

    1) I am a troll
    2) I should go to Night School
    3) Do I have a GED
    4) I am an imposter
    5) I use my mommy’s computer
    6) Kaiser is so amazing at….


  18. tammy kaneaiakala mello April 13, 2016 5:13 pm

    SHAME ON KAISER BASEBALL!!!!!! And at the end of the article, he’s justifying actions/???!!! Really????? aw, come on!! Can’t even call him coach. How ever did these clowns get hired??? no, for real???? Aren’t there character checks???? Where’s the AD???? Do these coaches actually know that part of their job is building young adults that are going to have to be positive members of our society???? Integrity???? What da heck???!!!! As an student-athlete alum who was married to an alum who still holds records in the OIA, whose pictures and trophies still grace that place, who had an athletic scholarship there for many years…..I am appalled and saddened at the same time! I adored my school. My late husband and I went back to coach there after high school for many years….WHAT THE HECK Kaiser of the 21st century???? I know many many alum upset and pissed at this situation. We are waiting to see what’s going to be done….

  19. Leah April 13, 2016 6:03 pm

    @ “Eduation First” (frowns with disbelief)

    How about you take your own advice and worry about “eduation first.” I’m not sure what that word means, but you should invest in a dictionary. Another recommendation I have is to either enable autocorrect on your mobile device, or ask SIRI to proofread for you.
    I’m sorry, are you a professional stand-up comedian that used this same “material” in one of your performances? What do you think I do? Stalk you in blogs? Copy your “original material” then wait for an opportunity to quote them as my own? (Insert double eye roll here) You must be a comedian, because I find this to be quite humorous…peculiar, but humorous. Its also a little creepy that you think so highly of yourself. Its rather strange to think you’re so witty and you have all this “original material” that people steal. This is definetly my first encounter with someone of your sorts. (Exhales with fright and confusion)
    I think its a good idea for you to join basketball watcher in the adult night reading classes I suggested. (The crowd applauds with words of encouragement for you) If you READ what he wrote, ” has kaiser ever won anything? Well, in the last 25 years?” You would know that I was merely pointing out that his 25 year losing streak argument was invalid. I made my point, regardless of division or sport. (One eye winks)
    #OHB with your ILH crap. They all get recruited from public schools! Lol. ILH offers them scholarships worth at least 15 grand a year!
    I respect all athletes. Regardless of division, school, type of sport. Its a shame that you can compare kids like this and argue that one individual is better than the other because blah blah. I feel an overwhelming sense of happiness for our local boys/girls and their families that make it anywhere on any level, to any school and anywhere in the world.
    If you want more info on Michael, practice using SIRI. Then you can add one more skill to your resume. One for asking her to proofread and spell for you, secondly to look for information on Google. (Crowd cheers in excitement and approves my suggestion)
    One last thing, you’re right. I didn’t need to “come back” with faults you listed from basketball watcher. You had a whole set of your own issues.

    *Leah blows a kiss, drops the mic and exits off stage…

  20. Grow up April 13, 2016 11:31 pm

    So embarrassing listening to the Kaiser coaches taunting the Kalani players yelling “sit down” and “see ya!” Shame…they act worse than some of the kids. Your playing days are over coaches. Maybe your coaching days are over too. “See ya”

  21. Grow up April 14, 2016 12:01 am

    And Shame on one of the coaches wife who was yelling at the ump from the stands. She’s the team mom and a school counselor. Great role model

  22. Education First April 14, 2016 9:31 pm

    Wow now I got ignorant people trying to be me! Well thank you very much! Leah, thanks for making the “fake” account, then writing to yourself, and then replying back to yourself. That is a pretty good one, but I am sorry. 88 already beat you to the punch.

    You talk about spelling and I guess it is somewhat important. But you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on it. You do know that in all the ELA strands, spelling is near the bottom in importance. That is why they made spell check.

    Now let’s get to the root of this. When am I getting my royalties? You continue to reuse my old material. Siri, adult schools, stalking. Can you even compose an original thought?

    You write, “#OHB with your ILH crap. They all get recruited from public schools! Lol. ILH offers them scholarships worth at least 15 grand a year!” Really, last time I checked many of the student-athletes have attended Punahou or Iolani from Grade K. You use the word all. Well that once again is inaccurate like most of the nonsense you spit.

    But I understand the hatred and envy. You attended Kaiser. You never won anything since Kaiser doesn’t win anything worth mentioning (D2 Sports do not count). You never got recruited to any ILH school even ASSETS.

    The closest you ever got to competition was playing your NCAA bracket last month. Well I guess you are competing when you enter your fantasy league. But other than that, nothing.

    I loves how you use, “The crowd applauds……” I mean if you are talking about stalking then you are the pure definition of it. It seems that you have searched the archives and took all my material. You are so played out. At least come up with your own stuff. But we all know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    I will be awaiting your comeback with more of my material. Once again I would ask for a royalty. But no one wants to hear you ideas. And you really don’t have any money other than what my tax dollars pays.

    But I will be anxiously waiting for some tired, re-used material. I will take a bow and the crowd goes wild.

    As for you, I can come over and tuck your ass in. Let me know. And by the way, if you play your cards right, maybe I will help your kid at Kaiser get into Punahou or Iolani. And no worries, I will catch the bill for you. I know the price tag is way out of your league.

  23. Super irritating April 14, 2016 9:52 pm

    STFU ALL READY “Education First”

  24. Really? August 11, 2016 5:21 pm

    After reading and hearing about this game through out the HK community, I am shocked that these coaches couldn’t control their team! I am an old school coach that know a lot of these players and they were never like this! My kids played for Kaiser years ago and there was always a rivalry even back then BUT never unsportsmanlike actions! Although you may not hear the taunting in baseball games, it does happen but not like football and basketball, in fact as a catcher, we used to say all kinds of crap to the batters but nothing derogatory and NEVER to an official!!!! If my kids or players had ever acted like this, they would “get cracks” and they know it would happen in front of everyone. Sorry Kaiser coaches, this is all on you! You leadership failed miserably and it’s a wonder why the admin took this long to replace you. As I said before, I have seen a lot of these kids growing up and they were taught better and I am assuming that not all the players were being unsportsmanlike but come on coaches!!!!
    On a brighter note, they now have a new head coach that will not take that type of behavior from the players!!!

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