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Prep Football Preview Special
Stacy Kaneshiro | ScoringLiveMay 7, 2022, 2:53am
Fri, May 6, 2022 @ [ 7:00 pm ]
W: Kadon Antolin L: Nai Iwaki
KAIL: Makai Miyamoto 1-2 run rbi; Nai Iwaki 1.3 IP 0 ER 2 KBAL: Wehiwa Aloy 4-4 2 runs 5 rbi dbl; Kadon Antolin 5.0 IP 0 ER 4 K
WAILUKU, Maui - It will be a rematch of 2018 when top-seeded Baldwin takes on third-seeded Waiakea in a battle of undefeated powers for the Wally Yonamine Foundation Division I state baseball championship Saturday night at Iron Maehara Stadium. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
Wehiwa Aloy batted 4 for 4 with five RBIs and Kadon Antolin pitched five strong innings of relief and the Bears (16-0), first in the ScoringLive Power Rankings, crushed unseeded Kailua, 17-5, in Friday night's semifinal. The Warriors (10-0) are looking for their first title since 2012.
In 2018, the Bears beat the Warriors, 14-4, at Les Murakami Stadium in a contest called after five innings because of the 10-run differential mercy rule. Since the advent of the 12-team format, which all league champions are seeded, the top seed has captured the crown 11 times; the third seed has won twice.
But the night belonged to Wehiwa.
"Wehiwa's been hitting the ball solid all year long," Baldwin coach Craig Okita said. "You look at his stat line, it's probably not the greatest, but he's hit the ball hard all year long. He just hasn't got the breaks. He's hit balls at'em like tonight. He hit the ball on the button and the guy catches it so I told what happened all this time doesn't matter. What happens tonight and tomorrow is what everybody remembers. He had a great night tonight.
Aloy had a three-run double in a four-run second inning that made out 6-0 and an RBI single in a two-run fifth. The ball that Okita said was hit hard but caught was a sixth-inning sacrifice fly.
The Bears took a 7-0 lead after the top of the third and appeared that they would cruise. But the Surfriders (11-7), notorious battlers under coach Corey Ishigo, pulled to within two with a five-run third against Baldwin starter Levi Maddela, who had not allowed a run during the Maui Interscholastic League season. Maddela gave up four of the runs; the other was allowed Antolin. He gave up one hit, but walked five and hit two batters.
"We definitely did (want him to pitch longer), especially with a seven-run lead going into the third and he walked those guys," Okita said. "He kind of let them back in the game and that's one team you never want to let back into the game. Those guys are scrappy and they'll fight. Got a little gut-wrenching at some times. We brought in Antolin and he pitched a hell of a game."
Antolin, who got credited for the win because Maddela did not pitch the required four innings to be the pitcher of record despite leaving with the lead, allowed three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He retired the last eight batters he faced.
The Bears, who scored in every inning, scored at least one run against all six pitchers the Surfriders ushered out to the mound.
Baldwin began subbing players late in the game. Isaac Imamura hit a three-run, inside-the-park home run in a four-run seventh. Iwaki, who went to left field after lasting 1 1/3 innings, apparently thought the ball was foul and gave up chase. When he realized it was called fair, it was too late.
A concern for Baldwin is lead-off hitter Makane Honokaupu, the second baseman, who sprained his ankle in Thursday's quarterfinals. Although he started against Kailua, he was lifted for Laakea Ko in the second inning after drawing a walk. He did re-enter in the sixth as a pinch hitter, but was intentionally walked and again lifted for a pinch runner.
"He's a pig piece to our puzzle," Okita said. "We'll see how he feels. He was king of hurting today; we tried to give him as much rest as possible so we brought him back at the end because we didn't want to lose that opportunity."
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