WAILUKU — As the Maui Interscholastic League season reaches its midway point, the undefeated Baldwin High School baseball team is happy with how they’re progressing.
The Bears improved to 6-0 after completing a series sweep over Kamehameha Maui with a 4-1 win on Friday night at Maehara Stadium.
“We got off to a slower start today than expected, but we pulled off the win tonight as one team,” said Baldwin senior Makane Honokaupu, who tripled and scored a run.
Although the Bears shut out the Warriors (2-4) in their previous games this week, Baldwin head coach Craig Okita knew tonight would be different.
“We knew this would be a tight game. Baseball is a funny game and we knew that they would give us a game today. They are a good team there,” Okita said. “We hit the ball decent, but they just didn’t fall in. (Kamehameha) made some nice plays at center field. Like I said, that’s baseball — sometimes you get the breaks and sometimes they make plays and it’s tough to score and we kind of ran into that tonight.”
Baldwin starter Davin Lewis kept the Warriors in check, limiting them to a run on two hits and a walk over four innings. He struck out four.
Honokaupu said “we have to stay as one” if the Bears want to keep the momentum throughout the season as they look to keep their school’s streak of 10 straight MIL Division I titles going.
In the second half, Baldwin faces Lahainaluna (3-6) next week before a showdown with Maui High (5-1) ahead of the MIL tournament.
“I like the way that they are progressing from preseason until now, it’s a long season. We have two big series up ahead,” Okita said. “In this league, there’s a lot of parody, everybody can beat everybody, so we’re not taking anybody lightly, so we’re just going one game at a time.”
After a scoreless first inning, Baldwin’s Levi Maddela broke the ice in the bottom of the second with a single to drive in Kuhio Aloy after Aloy doubled to left field.
The Warriors responded in the top of the third when Chaz Kaneakua hit an RBI double, scoring Nakea Kahalehau.
The Bears went ahead again with two runs in the fourth inning that included Lewis’ bases-loaded grounder to left field that scored Wehiwa Aloy, and Isaiah Chaves’ RBI single that brought home Kuhio Aloy.
Lewis was relieved by Bryson Nakamoto in the top of the fifth inning, and the junior promptly retired the side, striking out two batters.
In the bottom half, Honokaupu’s one-out triple put him in position to score off Isiah Kekahuna’s double to center field.
Nakamoto kept the Warriors scoreless in the sixth, and Wehiwa Aloy closed out the victory with a 1-2-3 seventh to earn the save.
Warriors starting pitcher Raige Velez finished with four strikeouts, allowing four runs on six hits and a hit batter in five innings.
Kamehameha Maui coach Mo Lau Hee said that his squad this season is “very young” as the Warriors have only five seniors, but noted that “the experience they’re going to gain this year, winning or losing, will benefit us in the future.”
“We had the right mindset tonight, we had the right urgency to come back from the first two games,” Lau Hee said. “The mindset and effort was there today.”
* Dakota Grossman is at email@example.com
KS Maui 001 000 0–1 2 3
Baldwin 010 210 x–4 6 0
Raige Velez, Halii Dudoit (6) and Kelton Tom. Davin Lewis, Bryson Nakamoto (5), Wehiwa Aloy (7) and Isaiah Chaves. W–Lewis. L–Velez. Sv–Aloy. 3B–Baldwin: Makane Honokaupu. 2B–Kamehameha Maui: Chaz Kaneakua; Baldwin: Kuhio Aloy, Isiah Kekahuna.
Leading hitters–Baldwin: K. Aloy 2-3, run.
W L Pct. GB
Baldwin 6 0 1.000 —
Maui High 5 1 .833 1
Kamehameha Maui 2 4 .333 4
Lahainaluna 3 6 .333 4 1⁄2
King Kekaulike 2 7 .222 5 1⁄2
W L Pct. GB
Seabury Hall 2 0 1.000 —
Molokai 1 0 1.000 1⁄2
Lanai 2 2 .500 1
Hana 0 3 .000 2 1⁄2
Seabury Hall 13, Hana 1, 3 innings
Molokai 13, Lanai 3, 5 innings
Lahainaluna 9, King Kekaulike 5
Baldwin 4, Kamehameha Maui 1
Molokai at Lanai, 10 a.m.
Seabury Hall vs. Hana at Maui High, 10 a.m.