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Baldwin-Waiakea for state baseball title

May 11, 2012 - Robert Collias
UPDATE: Sports editor Brad Sherman talked to Jon Viela after the game for this story on Baldwin's semifinal victory, giving the Bears a shot at their fifth state title tonight.

I got to watch a couple games for the Waiakea baseball team when the Warriors played in the Maui High tournament back in February and the Warriors are the real deal.

Ranked No. 1 for much of the year in the Star-Advertiser poll that I vote in, Waiakea was inexplicably seeded No. 3 for the Wally Yonamine Foundation Division I state tournament. The Warriors scored in the bottom of the seventh for a 2-1 win over defending state champion Pearl City today to make the state final.

Their opponent will be No. 4-seeded and MIL champion Baldwin, by far the most successful non-Oahu baseball team in state history with four state crowns (1959, 1960, 1984, 1995), two runners-up (1963, 2010) and seven other final four appearances. The Bears rode the stellar pitching of Troy Shishido to a 6-2 win over Hilo in the late semifinal today.

The two teams met back on Feb. 10 in the Maui High tournament and we ran this linescore from Waiakea's 8-6 win in the Feb. 11 paper:


At Maehara Stadium

Baldwin ...... 030 ..... 001 ..... 2-6 ....... 6 ..... 1

Waiakea ..... 100 ..... 025 ..... x-8 ..... 12 ..... 1

W-David Camacho. L-Patrick Turner. 2B-B, Branden Kaupe, Anoai Keahi; W, Camacho, Quintin Torres-Costa.

Leading hitters-B, Kaupe 2-3. W, Torres-Costa 2-4, run; Korin Medeiros 3-4, 4 RBIs; Camacho 2-3; Kean Wong 1-2, 3 runs.

The Division I state final will feature two Neighbor Island teams for only the second time ever — the first was the Bears' 10-7 win over Waimea for the crown in 1984 when current Baldwin coach and former University of Hawaii MVP Jon Viela was a starting infielder as a freshman for the Bears.

It should be a great game and y'all can listen to it with my buddy Bill Schindler handling the play by play on KMVI 550 AM radio, beginning at 7 p.m. The game will also be televised on OC-16 TV — a suggestion, turn down the drivel from the Oahu commentators who can't pronounce the names correctly and tune in to my man, Bill.

Here is our look at Baldwin's 5-3 win over Kamehameha Kapalama in the quarterfinals‚ a game played at Iolani School.

In as sure a sign of disrespect as there could be for the MIL — a league that owns seven D-I state baseball crowns (there is only one other NI team to win one, Hilo in 1985) — runner-up Maui High and Baldwin both opened their state-tournament runs at Iolani . . . in the only two games played there in the entire tournament.

It was necessary because UH was practicing at Murakami Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons prior to leaving today on a road trip. It was, however, blatantly unfair to put both MIL games there and even more unfair to let Kapalama play there. Kamehameha was in familiar surroundings at Iolani, a venue where those Warriors played several ILH games this season.

After talking to the Baldwin coaches briefly, I know the Bears used the crystal-clear slight as motivation that has driven them to the state final.

Freelancer Russell Tolentino will cover the state final for us tomorrow night.

Stay tuned for the best coverage on the MIL anywhere, right here.


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