Kupihea, Malina named all-tournament

  • Randy Dela Cruz / Contributed photos

    LEFT: Kapaa relief pitcher Kade Kupihea throws during a semifinal game of the 2018 Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball State Championships–Division II tournament Thursday at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu. RIGHT: Kapaa shortstop Ka’imi Malina (1) throws to first base for a putout during a semifinal game of the 2018 Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball State Championships–Division II tournament Thursday at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu.

A couple of Warriors received postseason recognition.

Kapaa High School infielders Kade Kupihea and Ka’imi Malina were named to the All-Tournament Team of the 2018 Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball State Championships–Division II tournament.

“Kade and Ka’imi are team captains and great team leaders. It’s well deserved,” Kapaa head coach Bryan Aiwohi said on Saturday.

He added: “They explain the importance of putting the team first. Don’t worry about your own stats, don’t worry about yourself, but work hard and put the focus on the team. And you’ll end up shining at the end. That’s the way to do it. … These two guys are unselfish. They had the opportunities, and they took advantage of them.”

The list was released by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association late Friday night. Those named were selected by the media and the HHSAA.

In the batter’s box, Kupihea was a combined 3-7 with six runs scored and one RBI during a three-game stretch. Malina was a combined 2-8 with one run scored and four RBIs.

“He had some great at bats. Smart hitter,” Aiwohi said of Kupihea. “He really works the count, and does well. His batting average must be pretty good.”

He said of Malina: “He came up clutch. We need the hits to score the runners on base. He came up clutch. I can understand why he made the tournament team.”

Both also pitched well during the team’s tournament run, Aiwohi said.

In Kapaa’s quarterfinal game Wednesday against Waianae of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, Malina was the starting pitcher. In a winning effort, Malina pitched 5.0 innings, allowed three earned runs on six hits and had four strikeouts and three walks.

Pitching in relief Wednesday and getting the save, Kupihea threw for 2.0 innings, allowed no runs on one hit and had one strikeout and one walk.

In the semifinals Thursday against OIA’s Radford — the eventual tournament runner-up — Kupihea pitched in relief. In 5.6 innings, he allowed two runs on three hits and had two strikeouts and six walks. Kupihea was tagged with the loss that game.

“It helps a lot when they’re flexible. You can switch them around like a board game — just move them around, and you know they’re going to make the plays,” Aiwohi said. “It’s not only that. Playing the big championship game against Kauai High and playing in the state tournament, my captains really stepped up. They held their composure when we were down, and they never gave up. They just kept pumping up the team. … It really pulled us through. I got to give credit to all my captains for that.”

The Warriors coach added he feels a few more of his players should have gotten recognition as well.

“There are a couple of other kids I wish got the nod for the tournament team, but they didn’t make it. I felt they deserved it,” Aiwohi said. “Ekolu Rivera, Levi Cummings and Ka’eo Kamau, those guys really stepped up their game and played their hearts out.

“Even in the last game, Kaenen Lacaden was suffering from dehydration. But he refused for me to pull him,” he continued. “It was to the point where the trainer told me I had to pull him, I pulled him. But, you know, I understood. It’s his senior year. It’s his last game. He wanted to stick it out. We let him stick it out for as long as we can. It’s hard to find kids with hearts like that.”

Division II All-Tournament Team

Catcher: Shiloh Kaeo, Damien

Infielders: Jordan Donahue, Damien; Kade Kupihea, Kapaa; Kamakani Motas, Damien, Reese Shioji, Farrington

Outfielders: Chasen Castilliano, Farrington; Pomai Kim, Damien; Paul Mezurashi, Damien

Utility: Jack Dillon, Radford

Pitchers: Richard Akana III, Radford, Ka’imi Malina, Kapaa

Most Outstanding Player: Bryce Uyeno, Damien

Division I All-Tournament Team

Catcher: Micah Yonamine, Iolani

Infielders: Kaipo Haole, Baldwin; Nainoa Keahi, Baldwin; Asa Kurasaki, Punahou; Casey Yamauchi, Waiakea

Outfielders: Kalai Rosario, Waiakea; Shane Sasaki, Iolani; Kirk Terada-Herzer, Punahou

Utility: Chayce Akara, Baldwin

Pitchers: Stone Parker, Kailua; Cody Hirata, Waiakea

Most Outstanding Player: Anthony Hoopii-Tuionetoa, Baldwin

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