Bears back in title game
The Maui News
The Baldwin High School baseball team, No. 1-seeded and ranked 24th in the nation by USA Today, advanced to its second state championship game in the last three years with a 9-4 win over Iolani on Thursday night at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu.
Baldwin will meet No. 3 seed Waiakea in a rematch of the 2012 state final won by the Warriors 5-2. Last season, Waiakea lost the state final to Maui High.
Baldwin is making its fourth state final appearance in the last nine seasons, and its 2016 state title was the fifth in school history.
The Bears jumped on top with a four-run bottom of the third inning, scoring all of the runs with two outs. Nainoa Keahi drove in the first two runs with a single up the middle. Keahi later scored on a single by Kaipo Haole and Bubba Hoopii-Tuionetoa knocked in the final run of the frame with a single.
The Raiders struck for three runs in the top of the fourth to close within one. Micah Yonamine’s RBI double down the third-base line tied the game at 4-4 in the top of the fifth for Iolani.
Hoopii-Tuionetoa smoked a triple to the right-field wall with two outs in the bottom of the fifth to score courtesy runner Dawson Tokishi, and Bobby Drayer followed with an RBI double to left on the next pitch to make it 6-4.
Jacob Chong, who made an impressive play at second base to end the Iolani fifth, put runners on second and third with a single up the middle, taking second on the throw home, but Chayce Akaka struck out to end the threat.
Akaka came on for Hoopii-Tuionetoa to start the top of the sixth on the mound — Akaka earned the save with two scoreless innings.
Hoopii-Tuionetoa made a circus catch in center field to end the Iolani sixth with two runners on base.
Keahi’s RBI double made it 7-4 in the bottom of the sixth. Hoopii-Tuionetoa smacked a two-run double to push the lead to 9-4.
Hoopii and Keahi both went 4-for-4 at the plate, combining for three runs scored and seven RBIs.
At Hans L’Orange Field in Waipahu, the season ended for MIL Division II champion Molokai in a 6-1 loss to Konawaena on Thursday.
The Farmers (11-2) were limited to five hits by Andrew Udac, who walked three and struck out none.
Kanoa Lealao-Hiro gave Molokai a 1-0 lead in the second inning with an RBI single.
Stevie Texeira led the Wildcats’ nine-hit attack with a 3-for-4 day that included three runs knocked in. Konawaena (10-9) will play for fifth place today against Kamehameha Hawaii.
BALDWIN 9, IOLANI 4
Iolani 000 310 0–4 7 0
Baldwin 004 023 x–9 13 1
Jacob Hinderleider, Jonah Miyazawa (4), Aaron Ujimori (6) and Micah Yonamine; Bubba Hoopii-Tuionetoa, Chayce Akaka (6) and Cade Kalehuawehe. W–Hoopii-Tuionetoa. L–Miyazawa. Sv–Akaka. 2B–Iolani: Yonamine; Baldwin: Nainoa Keahi, Bobby Drayer. 3B–Baldwin: Hoopii-Tuionetoa.
Leading hitters–Baldwin: Keahi 4-4, 2 runs, 3 RBIs; Hoopii-Tuionetoa 4-4, run, 4 RBIs.
KONAWAENA 6, MOLOKAI 1
Molokai 010 000 0–1 5 3
Konawaena 002 400 x–6 9 0
Micah Calairo-Nakagawa and Kaimana Nakayama; Andrew Udac and Kanai Rivera. W–Udac. L–Calairo-Nakagawa. 2B–Konawaena: Kolu Alani.
Leading hitters–Konawaena: Stevie Texeira 3-4, 3 RBIs; Alani 2-4, 2 runs, RBI; A.J. Allred 2-2, run, RBI.
Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball State Championship
Kalani 9, Pearl City 5
Mililani 5, Punahou 4
Campbell 4, Mid-Pacific 2
Waiakea 5, Kailua 0
Baldwin 9, Iolani 4
Consolation final–Kalani vs. Leilehua at Hans L’Orange, 11 a.m.
Fifth-place game–Mililani vs. Campbell at Hans L’Orange, 1:30 p.m.
Third-place game–Iolani vs. Kailua at Les Murakami Stadium, 1:30 p.m.
Championship–Baldwin vs. Waiakea at Les Murakami Stadium, 7 p.m.
Konawaena 6, Molokai 1
Kamehameha Hawaii 7, Waianae 3
Damien 8, Farrington 3
Radford 3, Kapaa 2, 8 innings
At Les Murakami Stadium
Fifth-place game–Konawaena vs. Kamehameha Hawaii, 8:30 a.m.
Third-place game–Farrington vs. Kapaa, 11 a.m.
Championship–Radford vs. Damien, 4 p.m.