WAILUKU – The Baldwin High School baseball team is heading to their 10th state championship game.
The Bears (16-0) got there by scoring in every inning, collecting 17 hits along the way, in a 17-5 semifinal win over Kailua on Friday night in a thrilling game that lasted more than three hours in front of a raucous crowd of 1,205 at Maheara Stadium.
Top-seeded Baldwin will seek his seventh state crown when he takes on Waiakea tonight at 6 p.m. in a rematch of the 2018 State Finals won by the Bears 14-4.
Baldwin took the lead early in the first inning when Wehiwa Aloy smoked a line drive to center field with two outs, took second on an errant out attempt and scored from second on a wild pitch that strayed away from catcher Kaelen Kauahi.
Kailua pitcher Nai Iwaki gave Aloy a boost after his hard hit single.
Iwaki was hit with a one-out pitch late in the first and Mikey Hanano followed with a walk to put the runners up for first and second. Baldwin pitcher Levi Maddela pulled out Shayde Kuhns for the second out and Orion Medeiros got out to shortstop to end the inning.
Davin Lewis walked and Christian Dominno singled into left field to start the Bears’ second. Anu Chaves flew to second base for the first out. Ethan Tokishi failed at second base and the ball was mishandled, charging the bases and spelling an early end for Iwaki.
Rayvin Pagan, who entered the match with a 2-0 count, completed a march to Makane Honokaupu to force a run to make it 2-0. Isiah Kekahuna hit for the second out.
Aloy then smoked a three-run double to right field to make it 5-0.
The Surfriders had two runners with two outs in the second, but Maddela took out Pagan looking to end the threat.
Maddela doubled to lead the Bears’ third and Lewis followed with a single to put the runners up first and third.
Dominno hit a rule-of-thumb double that bounced over the left field fence to make it 6-0 and leave the runners at second and third without outs.
An error on a throw after a ground ball from Chaves’ bat made it 7-0.
Maddela went through the bases loaded with no outs late in the third. Orion Medeiros was hit by a force pitch in Kailua’s first inning — it was the first earned inning given up by Maddela in 30 innings this season, based on stats kept by Baldwin’s staff.
This ended Maddela’s night on the mound and brought in Kadon Antolin. Makai Miyamoto greeted Antolin with a left single to make it 7-2.
Antolin hit Blazen Lono-Wong looking for the first out, Titan Kauhi walked to make it 7-3, Noah Kalahiki came out at shortstop for the second out and Jayden Hunt hit a squibber at second base which was misplayed for a two-pointer. mistake to make 7-5.
The Bears came out of the inning when the Surfriders attempted a double steal and pinch runner Corbin Dennis was ejected at home plate by shortstop Aloy.
Aloy led the Bears’ fourth with a left single and Kuhio Aloy followed with a hit to the center. Maddela hit his second double of the game, a left to make it 8-5 and leave the runners at second and third without outs.
Hunt was then replaced by Kahiapo McKeague on the mound. Lewis retired for the first out. Dominno singled to center to bat in a run to make it 9-5, but Maddela was at the plate on the same play for the second out. Chaves flew out to end the inning.
Kuhns reached a two-base error with two out in the fourth, but Antolin retired Medeiros on three pitches to end the threat.
Antolin was hit by a pitch to start the fifth Baldwin, moved to second on a wild pitch, Laakea Ko struck out for the first out and Kekahuna elected to put the runners on first and third.
Wehiwa Aloy hit a single into right field to make it 10-5, and Kuhio Aloy hit a sacrificial fly to make it 11-5.
Kekahuna walked with the bases loaded in the sixth to increase the lead to 12-5, bringing Wehiwa Aloy home. He hit a sacrificial left fly to make it 13-5 – he finished the night 4 for 4 with five RBIs. Kuhio Aloy flew out to end the threat.
Chaves hit in a run in the seventh with a single down the middle. Pinch hitter Isaac Imamura hit a three-run homer inside the park on the left field line to explain the final score.
Waiakea 5, St. Louis 4
Dylan Honda’s bunt single in the top of the seventh led to the winning run for the Warriors, sending the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champions to the state championship game against Baldwin.
Honda was 3 for 4 at the plate with a run and the winning RBI. Kaden Oshiro and Mason Hirata both had two hits for third-seeded Waiakea (10-0).
Honolulu Interscholastic League champion St. Louis (15-4-1) will play for third place at 3 p.m. today.
Blayne Nuu Contrades led the second-seeded Crusaders with a 2-for-4 day that included an RBI.
*Robert Collias is at [email protected]
BALDWIN 17, KAILUA 5
Baldwin 142 222 4–17 17 2
Kailua 005 000 0– 5 4 4
Levi Maddela, Kadon Antolin (3) and Anu Chaves; Nai Iwaki, Rayvin Pagan (2), Jayden Hunt (3), Kahiapo McKeague (4), Noah Kalahiki (5), Kai Saznehira (7) and Kaelen Kauahi. W–Antolin. L–Iwaki. 2B–Baldwin, Wehiwa Aloy, Maddela 2. HR–Baldwin, Isaac Imamura (inside the park).
Top hitters – Baldwin, Aloy 4-4, 5 RBIs; Maddela 3-5, RBI.
WAIAKEA 5, SAINT LOUIS 4
Waiakea 020 002 1–5 11 1
St. Louis 000 040 0–4 5 1
Loren Iwata, Kaleb Dela Cuesta Sato (5), Judge Dorser (6) and Elijah Igawa; Kahiau Schenk, Jacob Villacorte (4), Ray Seabury (7) and Ezekiel Ribuca. W-Dorser. L–Villacorte.
Top hitters – Waiakea, Mason Hirata 2-3, RBI; Dylan Honda 3-4, running, RBI; Kaden Oshiro 2-4, run. St. Louis, Blayne Nuu Contrade 2-4, RBI.
WALLY YONAMINE FOUNDATION / HHSAA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
At Maehara Stadium
Maui High 7, Moanalua 3
Pearl City 5, Kalani 1
Hilo 5, No. 4 Mililani 0
No. 3 Waiakea 5, No. 2 Saint Louis 4
Baldwin 17, Kailua 5
Consolation Final: Maui High vs. Iolani, 10 a.m.
Fifth Place Game: Pearl City vs. Hilo, 12:30 p.m.
Third Place Game: St. Louis vs. Kailua, 3 p.m.
Championship: Baldwin vs. Waiakea, 6 p.m.