Bears take league title
WAILUKU – Daulton Cabacungan knows he isn’t going to overpower hitters.
He sure knows how to frustrate them.
The right-hander pitched a three-hitter and Baldwin High School scored three runs in the third inning in a 4-1 victory over Maui High in the Maui Interscholastic League Division I baseball overall championship game Wednesday at Maehara Stadium.
“I just change up my tempo and change up the speed on my pitches,” Cabacungan said.
Baldwin, which has won the last four league titles, and Maui High had already qualified for the state tournament, to be held May 8-11 at Maehara Stadium. The Bears (13-2), the MIL’s regular-season champion, will receive a first-round bye. The Sabers (11-4) were the league tournament champions.
Cabacungan walked three batters and struck out five. He allowed leadoff hitters to reach in five of the first six innings, but held the Sabers to a 1-for-7 performance with runners in scoring position.
“We had runners on and we couldn’t cash them in,” said Maui High coach Chase Corniel. “We didn’t execute the small ball at all.”
Cabacungan slowed the tempo by holding the ball for a long time with runners on and bluffing on numerous occasions to keep runners close at second base. He also went with a couple of quick pitches and sometimes dropped his arm angle.
“He frustrated me a couple of times with his tempo,” said Baldwin coach Jon Viela. “If he frustrates me, his own coach, I’m sure he frustrates the other team.”
Baldwin also played error-free behind him.
“I wouldn’t have gotten this win without my defense,” said Cabacungan, who didn’t allow a hit after the third inning. “My defense was a big help to me.”
Maui High took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Jaylen Suda’s two-out single to left, which scored Mark Karaviotis from second.
In the third, after the Bears’ Anoai Moe-Keahi led off with an infield single, No. 9 hitter Aaron Victorino failed on a couple of attempts to put down a sacrifice bunt, but grounded a single into right. Lane Kashiwamura then reached on an error that allowed Moe-Keahi to score and put two runners in scoring position. After a strikeout, Cabacungan hit a sacrifice fly and Noah Apolo followed with a run-scoring single to left.
The Bears went ahead 4-1 in the sixth when Patrick Burrows scored on Moe-Keahi’s two-out single to center.
* Kyle Sakamoto is at email@example.com
Daulton Cabacungan and Makana Victorine; Micah Isagawa, Mark Karaviotis (6) and Jaylen Suda. WCabacungan. LIsagawa. 2BMaui High: T.J. Molina.