Maui moves one win from berth in final

WAILUKU – The Maui Blue team in the Pony 14 state baseball tournament has plenty of experience when it comes to important games.

Six of the starters were on the Central Maui team that won a Little League 11-12 state title in 2011. Last year, several of the players on the current team advanced to the Pony 13 West Region tournament.

After a 4-1 win over Windward, Oahu, on Saturday night at Maehara Stadium, Maui is two wins from another state crown.

“This is a special bunch of kids,” Maui coach Kevin Galicinao said.

A combined four-hitter from Kamuela Kaniaupio and Nawai Kaupe, errorless defense spearheaded by Kao Mindoro and a laser-beam two-run homer from Kawena Alo-Kaonohi were the keys to the win.

Maui advances to a winners-bracket game on Monday, while Windward will play an elimination game today.

“You have to stay in the winners bracket if you can because of the pitching rules and injuries and stuff,” Galicinao said. “We have got time to heal, so it’s a big win.”

Maui broke on top 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Micah Jio led off by reaching on an error, stole second base, took third on a balk and scored on Mindoro’s single to center.

The home team boosted the lead to 4-0 in the sixth. Mindoro scored on an RBI single by Kekoa Ostermiller and Alo-Kaonohi followed with a line-drive, two-run homer over the temporary 300-foot fence in left field.

“I was losing a few hairs there when it was 1-0, but that is the Kawena we know,” Galicinao said.

Alo-Kaonohi, a sophomore-to-be at Baldwin High School, played varsity football and baseball as a freshman.

“It was a fastball inside, full count,” he said. “It was awesome. I looked up and heard the crowd screaming.”

Kaniaupio went five scoreless innings, allowing two hits, striking out five batters and walking two. Kaupe permitted one hit and one walk, and hit a batter, but she struck out three.

“They did a great job, they kept us in the game all night long,” Galicinao said. “They did great pitching, too. Hats off to Windward, they have got a great team.”

Kaniaupio walked the first two batters of the second inning, but Orion Miyasato-Farias threw out Kaliu Lapera trying to steal second base and Kaniaupio picked Daniel Thomas off of first. After two straight singles, Kaniaupio got an inning-ending groundout. Windward stranded runners at second and third in the next inning.

Mindoro, the second baseman, had four assists in the second and third innings and finished with five, and a putout.

“Defense was very important,” Mindoro said. “We are trying not to break down on the errors and stuff.”

In the fourth, Christian Rivas nailed Ostermiller at the plate trying to score on a short fly ball to center field.

Kaupe, the younger sister of 2012 New York Mets fourth-round draft pick Branden Kaupe, struck out Shaundy Kamai-Moku to end the game.

“We didn’t hit today, they made the plays, they have a good team,” said Windward coach Dennis Moniz. “We will be back, we ain’t through.”

* Robert Collias is at


Windward ….. 000 ….. 000 ….. 1-1 ….. 4 ….. 2

Maui Blue ….. 100 ….. 003 ….. x-4 ….. 5 ….. 0

W-Kamuela Kaniaupio. L-Joseph Cantillo. Sv-Nawai Kaupe. Leading hitters-Windward: Jayce Smalley 2-3. Maui: Kawena Alo-Kaonohi HR; Kekoa Ostermiller 2-3, run, RBI.


Kona ……. 100 ….. 001 ….. 1-3 ….. 5 ….. 3

Mililani ….. 200 ….. 060 ….. x-8 ….. 7 ….. 3

W-Kamahao Arita. L-Tanner Gray. Leading hitters-Kona: Logan Canda 2-4, HR. Mililani: Alexander Wong 3-4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI.


Kapolei ….. 000 ….. 310 ….. 0-4 ….. 4 ….. 1

Hilo ……….. 050 ….. 010 ….. x-6 ….. 5 ….. 3

W-Makoa Andres. L-Makes Ramos. Leading hitters-Hilo: Gehrig 3-3, 3B; Daylen Calicdan 2B.


Maui ……. 000 ….. ..11-2 ……. 5 ….. 1

Kauai ….. 103 ….. 26-12 ….. 10 ….. 0

W-Pat Esteban. L-Ekolu Watanabe. Leading hitters-Maui: Damien Awai 1-2, 2B, run; Travis Delima 1-3, 2B. Kauai: Esteban 2-3, 2B, 2 runs, 2 RBI, Caleb Ephan 2-4, 2B, run, 3 RBI.