Na Koa Ikaika Maui's Jesse Smith has been named the North American Baseball League's North Division pitcher of the year, and Maui High School graduate Kalaika Kahoohalahala is one of four other Na Koa players chosen for the division All-Star team.
Smith had a league-leading 1.33 ERA this year, finishing 10-2 to tie for third in the NAL in wins. His 89 strikeouts tied for fourth.
Kahoohalahala batted .291- seventh in the division - with two home runs, 22 RBIs, 39 runs and 12 stolen bases. He was one of four All-Star infielders, as was Na Koa's Jose Sanchez, who batted .318, fourth in the division, and scored 44 runs, which ranked second. Sanchez also hit three homers and drove in 29 runs.
Jesse Smith of Na Koa Ikaika Maui had the best ERA in the North American League’s North Division this year.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
Smith was the All-Star pick for right-handed pitcher, and Victor Ferrante was named to the team as the right-handed reliever. Ferrante tied with teammate Mike Koons for the division lead in saves, with nine, and struck out 40 batters in 31 1/3 innings while posting a 2-3 record and 2.30 ERA.
Nick Valdez was chosen as the catcher after finishing second in the division in RBIs with 42 while batting .273 with two home runs.
A quartet of Maui players received honorable mention - infielder Gered Mochizuki, a Baldwin graduate, along with utility pick Waylen Sing Chow, shortstop Danny Sandoval and pitcher Josh Larson.
Mochizuki batted .270 with a homer and 27 RBIs while stealing eight bases in nine attempts. Sing Chow scored a division-leading 45 runs and hit .266 with two homers, 28 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. Sandoval hit five homers, tied for third in the division, and his 40 runs ranked third. Larson went 2-0 with a 2.03 ERA in 19 relief appearances and one start, striking out 25 batters in 44 1/3 innings.
Maikel Jova of the division-champion San Rafael Pacifics was named the Most Valuable Player after leading the division in average (.345) and RBIs (45) and finishing second in homers (seven). He set a league record with a 37-game hitting streak.
Na Koa and players from the Hawaii Stars will play the Ishikawa Million Stars in exhibition games on Monday and Tuesday in Japan. Ishikawa and Maui split two games at Maehara Stadium in July.