Bears stay undefeated
WAILUKU – The Baldwin High School baseball team runs deep.
The Bears are ranked third in the state by voters in the Star-Advertiser weekly poll and they know the Wally Yonamine Foundation Division I state tournament will be held at Maehara Stadium in May.
The Bears showed off their depth in a combined five-hitter by Joshua Nobriga and Patrick Turner and broke out the bats late in a 9-3 win over King Kekaulike on Thursday.
“My teammates backed me up good,” Nobriga said after working five innings to get the win, which moved the Bears to 4-0 in the Maui Interscholastic League D-I race.
Turner pitched the final two innings for Baldwin.
The Bears led just 1-0 through three innings as Na Alii left-hander Ryley Widell was effective early.
Baldwin took a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth that was highlighted by Isaiah Maddela’s two-run single.
Na Alii (4-4) cut the lead to 4-3 with two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth when Widell scored after a triple.
Dalton Cabacungan’s two-run single down the first-base line capped a four-run sixth for the Bears and they added another in the seventh.
“Automatic, I always have faith in my hitters,” Nobriga said. “All those runs gave me a lot of confidence.”
King Kekaulike coach Mark Makimoto said the MIL’s three-games-per-week format forces teams to get better. He said the leader of the pack is clearly the pitching-rich Bears.
“Both Nobriga and Turner did a good job today,” Makimoto said. “The MIL is tough this year. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day. The three-game series makes it tough – you have got to have pitching and you have to have legs to go all three games, too.”
Baldwin coach Jon Viela concurred with that assessment.
“King K is a good ballclub,” Viela said. “They have got good pitching, so they are going to be in every game. The score just reflects that we got to their depth.”
When Widell tired in the sixth, Na Alii sent three relievers to the mound before they could record the final out.
“With their starters and their core players they will give anybody a run for their money.” Viela said of Na Alii.
Patrick Burrows led the Bears’ 10-hit attack by going 3-for-5, including a double and triple.
Widell’s RBI triple was the highlight for Na Alii.
Nobriga said it was only a matter of time before the Bears broke out the bats. He left with the 4-3 lead and Turner did not allow a hit in picking up the save and struck out two.
“Our bats are tough,” Nobriga said. “I knew they would get going there when the game was on the line.”
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joshua Nobriga, Patrick Turner (6) and Makana Victorine, Kawena Alo-Kaonohi (7). Ryley Widell, Devin Cabos-Santiago (6), Kaleb Mamaril (6), Zane Jarrett (6), Michael Natoli (7) and Reid Yonamine, Nate Steadman (6). W-Nobriga. L-Widell. Sv-Turner. 2B-Baldwin: Patrick Burrows. 3B-Baldwin: Burrows; King Kekaulike: Widell.