Bears shut out Warriors

Haole, Akaka help Baldwin improve to 6-0

Kaipo Haole of Baldwin High School pitches during the third inning of the Bears’ win over Kamehameha Maui on Tuesday afternoon. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

WAILUKU — It was a state-championship game remix of youngsters-turned-veterans leading the attack for the Baldwin High School baseball team on Tuesday in the Bears’ 4-0 win over Kamehameha Maui at Maehara Stadium.

Third baseman Chayce Akaka, in the lineup for the first time in Maui Interscholastic League play this season, smacked a triple on the fourth pitch of the bottom of the first inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Kaipo Haole two pitches later.

“It feels good,” Akaka said as head coach Shane Dudoit walked by. “Coach taught me well. Today during batting practice I was focusing on my hitting more. It came in handy.”

Cade Kalehuawehe put the Bears (6-0) ahead 2-0 when he singled and later scored on a groundout by Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa in the second.

Nainoa Keahi drove in Baldwin’s third run in the third on a bases-loaded single to left field with no outs. The next two outs were made at the plate on attempted steals, and Kamehameha Maui pitcher Konnor Palmeira struck out Hoopii-Tuionetoa to end a bases-loaded threat.

Baldwin’s Ekolu Watanabe steals second in the fourth inning as Kamehameha Maui shortstop Nate Facuri takes the throw. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Baldwin made it 4-0 in the fourth when Ekolu Watanabe scored on a wild pitch.

Haole needed 85 pitches to get through the first 6 2/3 innings — he allowed five hits, struck out five and walked two. The sophomore right-hander faced the minimum in the third through sixth innings before two walks and a hit in the seventh ended his day. Roy Meinen got the final out with the bases loaded.

“It felt good, I have a lot of confidence in my defense, I give a lot of credit to them,” Haole said. “They were helping me out.”

Haole started on the mound in the Bears’ 5-1 win over Pearl City in last season’s state title game. Current juniors Akaka, Hoopii-Tuionetoa and Keahi were also in the state title tilt, as was sophomore Kalehuawehe.

“We have the capability, the same players as last year, same old thing,” Akaka said. “Those guys aren’t the type of sophomore who pressure out, they keep their composure.”

Warriors catcher Ross Panlasigui looks to home plate umpire Steve Cramer for the call after tagging out the Bears’ Damien Awai in the third inning. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Baldwin outscored the Warriors 18-2 over 23 innings in completing a three-game sweep on Tuesday, a makeup game from a Friday rainout. Kamehameha Maui (5-4) has a bye this week and face King Kekaulike in a three-game set next week to finish the regular season.

“They’re a really good team, we have to play perfect baseball against them, and they got the best of us this series,” Kamehameha Maui coach Mo Lau Hee said.

The Warriors battled back from an 11-0 loss Thursday against Baldwin.

“We have a lot of heart, the boys are going to play every inning, every out like it’s their last, and we’re going to fight to the end of the season,” Lau Hee said.

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

KS Maui 000 000 0–0 5 2

Baldwin 111 100 x–4 7 0

Konnor Palmeira, Graydon Tanaka (5) and Ross Panlasigui; Kaipo Haole, Roy Meinen (7) and Cade Kalehuawehe. W–Haole. L–Palmeira. Sv–Meinen. 3B–Baldwin: Chayce Akaka.

Leading hitters–Baldwin: Kalehuawehe 2-3.