Here we go with the quarterfinal round of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Baseball State Championships at Iron Maehara Stadium.
Final: Baldwin 8, Waiakea 5
Top 7: Miyao cranks a double off the right-field wall with one out, but Varner, who had replaced Haole in the seventh, gets Rosario to fly out and then strikes out Mauai to end the game.
Bot 5: Ziegler-Namoa led off with a walk and eventually scored on a throwing error by the catcher. BALDWIN 8, WAIAKEA 5.
Top 5: The Warriors plate a run when Miyao walks, moves to second on a single by Rosario and scores on a double by Mauai. Rosario and Mauai, however, are stranded. BALDWIN 7, WAIAKEA 5.
Bot 4: With Haole in a rhythm, Waiakea’s bats have gone quiet. Baldwin’s offense, meanwhile, adds two more runs in the fourth. Danelle Daniels leads off with a single and a stolen base. He advances to third on a wild pitch, and with two outs, he scores on a single by Varner and that’s it for Waiakea P Cody Hirata. New pitcher Rysen Ross throws a wild pitch, Varner goes to second. Kalehuawehe then singles to left, plating Varner from second base, and the lead is three runs. Haole flies out to end the inning. BALDWIN 7, WAIAKEA 4.
Bot 3: The Bears score three times to take the lead. Baba Varner is hit by pitch, advances to second base on a wild pitch and Kalehuawehe walks. Haole singles to left, scoring Varner. A throwing error by the catcher allows Kalehuawehe to score, and the game is tied at 4. With two outs, Mochi Dukelow’s ground ball gets over the glove of third baseman Hirata, and Haole races home from third to give Baldwin the lead. Isaiah Souza grounds out to end the inning. BALDWIN 5, WAIAKEA 4.
Top 3: Rosario’s talent is unmatched so far at the plate and on the field. His second base hit of the game is a double to the right-field corner, and Mauai follows with a double to left, scoring Rosario. Min strikes out, and on Devin Hirata’s fly out to right, Mauai is doubled off second to end the inning. WAIAKEA 4, BALDWIN 2.
Bot 2: The Bears score twice to pull within a run of Waiakea. Cade Kalehuawehe and Haole single. With runners at the corners, Haole steals second, but the throw is off-target and Kalehuawehe races home from third to score. After Ben Ziegler-Namoa singles, Mochi Dukelow’s sac bunt allows courtesy runner Dawson Tokishi to score. WAIAKEA 3, BALDWIN 2.
Bot 1: Waiakea’s pitcher, Hirata, retires Baldwin 1-2-3, including a strikeout. WAIAKEA 3, BALDWIN 0.
Top 1: The Warriors are jolting Haole from the start. Stone Miyao led off with a single and Kalai Rosario followed with a home run to left, his second tater in as many days. Safea Mauai walked and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Cody Min. Devon Hirata singles to center, runners at the corners. The count is 2-0 on Brandon Nakayama when Bears coach Shane Dudoit visits Haole at the mound. Nakayama sac fly to right, Mauai scores from third. Davin Midel works the count to 3-2, like Nakayama, and flies out to right to end the inning. WAIAKEA 3, BALDWIN 0.
Baldwin (22-1) vs. Waiakea (20-4)
> Kaipo Haole vs. Cody Hirata
> The Bears are the top seed in the tournament, also defending state champion. Waiakea is the BIIF runner-up.
> Baldwin defeated Waiakea 6-1 on Feb. 8.
Notes: The Bears are 3-1 against Top 10 teams with wins over Waiakea, ‘Iolani and Saint Louis. Their lone Top 10 loss was to Punahou. Waiakea is 3-4 against ranked foes with wins over Saint Louis and Hilo (twice) and losses to Baldwin, Kamehameha-Hilo and Hilo (twice). … Waiakea reached the state tourney by blanking Leilehua 9-0 in a play-in game on Saturday. The Warriors then ousted Saint Louis 9-4 on Wednesday in the opening round.
Final: Punahou 4, Kaiser 1
Punahou advances to the semifinal round to face BIIF champion Hilo, the third seed.
End 6: No runs in the sixth. Kaiser down to its final three outs in the seventh.
End 5: Landon Shigeta doing his part with four innings in the books. Chung left after falling ill. He had been sick before the game. McConnell still rolling, however, with a four-hitter. PUNAHOU 4, KAISER 1.
Top 4: Kaiser threatens against McConnell in the fourth. Two Punahou errors, plus an infield single by Brock Perreira, loads the bases. McConnell then strikes out Branden Chun-Ming and Cal Tashiro.
Top 3: Kaiser gets on the scoreboard. Jesse Stroede singles with two outs and scores on Landon Shigeta’s single. PUNAHOU 4, KAISER 1.
Bot 2: Koa Eldredge leads off with a triple and scores when Matt Nishimura’s grounder is botched. Nishimura scores later on an infield single. PUNAHOU 4, KAISER 0.
End 1: Punahou P Matt McConnell retires the Cougars 1-2-3. In the bottom half, Cody Hirano leads off with a walk from Kaiser sidearmer Curtis Chung. With two outs, Hirano steals second and Aaron Tom walks. Kade Morihara then lines a shot to center that gets CF Jesse Stroede in a bunch. The ball gets past him for a triple, scoring Hirano and Tom easily. PUNAHOU 2, KAISER 0.
Punahou (22-5-1) vs. Kaiser (13-12-1)
> ILH champion Punahou is ranked No. 2 in the Star-Advertiser Top 10 and seeded second in this state tournament. Kaiser surprised Campbell in the opening round on Wednesday.
Notes: The Buffanblu edged the Cougars 6-4 on Feb. 15. Campbell is 1-6 against Top 10 teams, including a win over Mililani on Feb. 18. Punahou is 9-5 against Top 10 teams. The Buffanblu have not lost to a public school yet.
Final: Hilo 7, Kailua 4
Top 7: Mikey Hanano leads off for Kailua with a single, and then Iranon, who is 5-for-7 at this point, had the count 3-1 against Gabanio. An inside strike makes makes the count full. Then Hanano chases a breaking ball off the plate and misses. The movement on Gabanio’s best pitch is eel-ish. Sarae flies out to left, and it’s over. Hilo advances.
End 6: The Vikings tack on an insurance run. Cabreira walks, steals second and moves to third on a groundout by Ahuna. Gabonia then singled to left, bringing Cabreira home. HILO 8, KAILUA 4.
Bot 5: The Vikings charge ahead with the help of a Kailua error. Tim Sato singled and moved to second base on a sac bunt by Cabreira. McMurray intentionally walked Ahuna, then beaned Gabonia. Ah Yat replaced McMurray and Urbanozo-Moses laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to bring home Sato, tying the game at 4. Paul Anthony then grounded to second, setting up a potential double play, but Takata dropped the ball. Ahuna scored on the play to give Hilo a 5-4 lead. Sabu Kahee’s single loaded the bases, and Xaige Lancaster followed with an infield single. SS Iranon’s throw to third for a forceout attempt was a split-second late, and Urbanozo-Moses scored to make it a 6-4 Hilo lead. Micah Freeman then went opposite field with a single to right, plating Anthony from third for a three-run lead. Hilo is the best opposite-field hitting team I’ve seen so far in the tourney. Amazing discipline and skill. Sato, who led off the inning, then lined out to second for the third out. HILO 7, KAILUA 4.
Bot 3: Hilo responds. Ryan Cabreira leads off with a walk and Ahuna laces an opposite-field double to the left-field corner. Nice piece of hitting. Cabreira scores from first and the Vikings are within one run. Gabonia sac bunt, Akuna advances to third. Dayson Urbano-Moses strikes out swinging, two outs. Anthony grounds out to third to end the frame. KAILUA 4, HILO 3.
Top 3: Kailua surges ahead with three runs in the top of the third. Mikey Hinano and Kayde Irnanon singled. Iranon is now 5-for-6 in the tourney. After a Taylor Takata ground-ball forceout, Brandon Sarae walked to load the bases. Jalen Ah Yat grounded to first, where Paul Anthony’s throw home was too late to force out Iranon. Kalua Neves then singled to right, scoring Takata and Sarae for a 3-2 Kailua lead. Neves advanced to second on the play on an E9. Ewaliko then singled the other way on a 1-2 pitch and Ah Yat scored. Gabonia then got Kalaola and Kaleiohi to ground out to short, ending the inning. KAILUA 4, HILO 2.
End 2: McMurray retires Hilo 1-2-3, the bottom three of Hilo’s lineup. Same for Gabonia, who has retired all six batters he has faced.
End 1: The Vikings get on the scoreboard first. Leadoff man Ryan Cabreira is hit by a McMurray pitch and Maui Ahuna singles. The throw from right field to third base sails way high, allowing Ahuna to advance to second. Ocean Gabonia, Hilo’s starting pitcher, lines a single to left-center, scoring Cabreira and Ahuna. Presto. Hilo leads. HILO 2, KAILUA 0.
Hilo (11-3) vs. Kailua (15-7-2)
Fifteen hours after winning a wild nine-inning, 10-1 game against Maui, Kailua is back on the diamond on a hot afternoon at Iron Maehara Stadium.
> Ocean Gabonia vs. Quinn McMurray
> Hilo is the third seed in the tourney, ahead of Mililani. The Vikings edged Waiakea to win the BIIF.
Notes: It is not the ideal scenario for Kailua, which would probably have started Bryson Ewaliko today. Instead, he was pressed into duty for the opening-round game against Maui and can’t pitch today.
Final: Mililani 4, Kamehameha 0
Shiigi goes the distance for a two-hitter with NINE strikeouts and just one walk.
End 6: Another insurance run for the Trojans. JR Suehisa reaches base with two outs on an infield error. Advances to second on a wild pitch, the first by Rawlins. Then to third on another WP. Vance Oshiro walks, then Ethan Thomas singles to right center, Suehisa scores. Winchester flies out. MILILANI 4, KAMEHAMEHA 0.
End 5: Shiigi retires Kamehameha 1-2-3 and now has eight K’s in five inning. Rawlins has settled in nicely after that rough patch. The Warrior have a deep pitching staff, but Coach Daryl Kitagawa stuck with Rawlins and it worked out. They need runs, though, and Shiigi is having a masterful game. MILILANI 3, KAMEHAMEHA 0.
End 4: Trojans eke out a key insurance run. Waika Fukuda leadoff single, Jacob Hirayama sac bunt but the pitcher, Dylan Rawlins gambles on a throw to second and Fukuda is safe. Oh boy. Two runners on, no outs. Micah Kaohu lines out to short. JR Suehisa pops out. Fukuda advances to third base on a delayed steal, and Hirayama takes advantage to advance, too. Vance Oshiro clutches up, infield single to short, Fukuda scores from third. Rawlins then gets Thomas to fly out. MILILANI 3, KAMEHAMEHA 0.
Bot 3: Ethan Thomas walks and Kaiwi Winchester doubles, runners at third and second, one out. Faildo with a slow roller to first, runners hold, two outs. Jayton Pang flies out to right, inning over. Missed opportunity for the team in gold.
Top 3: Mililani P Jason Shiigi on a tear. He has struck out two Warriors in each of the first three innings.
End 2: The Trojans plate two runs with the help of two Kamehameha infield errors. Kaiwi Winchester leads off with a single, Hunter Faildo sac bunt, Jayton Pang infield single. Runners at the corners. Waika Fukuda’s ground ball to third, E5, Winchester scores. Jacob Hirayama foul pop, two outs. Micah Kaohu hard grounder deep in the hole, SS tries to make the throw, feet are still sliding on the dirt as he plants, throw is high. Single and throwing error. Pang scores on the play. Suehisa pops out to end the inning. MILILANI 2, KAMEHAMEHA 0.
End 1: Shim leads off with a walk for the Warriors, but is stranded. The Trojans go 1-2-3.
Mililani (17-6) vs. Kamehameha (18-11)
> Jason Shiigi vs. Dylan Rawlins.
> Kamehameha blanked Castle 4-0 on Wednesday to advance.
> Mililani, the OIA champion, enters as the fourth seed.
Notes: The Trojans were 2-1 against Top 10 teams, both wins coming against Campbell, as well as the loss. Coming off their OIA title-game win, the Trojans are on a on a five-game win streak and have won 10 of their last 11. … The teams have not met this season. … The Warriors are 8-7 against ranked opponents this season. They have not beaten an OIA team since Feb. 18 (Kailua). Kamehameha’s pitching has been elite. No opponent has scored more than five runs on the Warriors since Mar. 30 (Mid-Pacific).
Day 1 at Iron Maehara Stadium was outstanding for fans. Title contender Campbell went down at the hands of Kaiser. Combined, there were six home runs in the opening round, tying the record for an entire tourney here at trusty Iron Maehara. (The record for any venue, according to our resident historian and Mad Librarian, Jerry Campany, is 12. Aloha Stadium. Yes, that far back.)
Then there was Wednesday night’s intense, dramatic, wacky clash between two fantastic teams, Kailua and Maui. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a game with that much at stake with that many off-the-wall maneuvers. Especially an extra-inning game that was inches away from being a win for one team, then became a victory for the visitors.
Jerry notes that Jalen Ah Yat‘s home run — it basically cleared the trees beyond right field, where there are almost never homers here at Iron Maehara — and his win as the pitcher is a rare combination at states. Here is Jerry’s list.
Jalen Ah Yat, Kailua, 2019
Chevas Numata, Pearl City, 2011 (Les Murakami Stadium)
Michael Kealoha, Kailua, 2003 (Iron Maehara Stdaium)
Fausto Allosada, Baldwin, 1998
Thad Estrada, ‘Iolani, 1997
Mason Makashima, Waimea, 1984
Vaughn Yadao, McKinley, 1977
Keith Kasparovitch, Punahou, 1968