Saturday | April 18, 2015
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Final frontier

By KEVIN JAKAHI

Tribune-Herald sports writer

HONOLULU — In their last year together at Waiakea, brothers Kodi and Korin Medeiros are making lasting memories at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state tournament.

Kodi Medeiros provided the complete-game pitching gem, and senior third baseman Korin Medeiros had the game-winning hit, a pair of highlights that pushed the Warriors into the state championship.

Medeiros fired a three-hitter, and on cue the clutch hits came in Waiakea’s 2-1 win over Pearl City in the semifinals of the Division I state baseball tournament on Thursday at Les Murakami Stadium.

Waiakea (19-0), the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champion and No. 3 seed, will play Baldwin (15-1), the Maui Interscholastic League champion and No. 4 seed, for the state championship at 7 p.m. today.

“It’s the same as last game (5-0 win over Castle in the quarterfinals). We finished hard,” Korin Medeiros said. “The main thing is we got the last batter on in the last inning. What stood out is my brother pitched really good, and the bottom of the lineup did their job. They got on base. It was a team effort.”

Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh, pinch hitter Dean Hosaka walked and Quintin Torres-Costa singled. Then Kean Wong got into a 0-2 hole, but drew a full-count walk to load the bases, chasing reliever Tanner Tokunaga.

Kawika Pruett, who pitched 5 2/3 innings in a 6-2 win over Mid-Pacific in the quarterfinals, replaced Tokunaga and fell behind 2-0 to Korin Medeiros, who smoked the next pitch up the middle, scoring pinch runner Matt Camacho.

One brother’s game-winning hit gave another a complete-game win. Kodi Medeiros allowed a run on three hits and two walks, and struck out eight, stranding four on base, including the sacks full in the sixth — the inning the Chargers (11-7) scored.

Pruett led off with a sharp single to left, and Jason Komoda, the No. 9 hitter was hit by a pitch. Tyler Tokunaga singled to center to load the bases with one out.

Kodi Medeiros struck out Reid Akau on four pitches, but walked No. 3 hitter Tanner Tokunaga with a full-count fastball for an RBI and 1-1 tie. He got cleanup batter Kamalu Neal to ground out, ending the inning.

The UH verbal commit threw 99 pitches, a low total, but he was pitching on a month’s rest, and didn’t have his usual first-pitch, strike-throwing sharpness. Of his 26 batters, he tagged only 11 with strike one.

“I like how we stuck together,” he said. “We never lost focus. We kept going and no one was down. It’s a thrill to be in the championship. Waiakea hasn’t been there in a while.”

Kodi Medeiros didn’t pitch in the BIIF playoffs; Reyn Kihara beat Keaau in the semifinals, and Torres-Costa defeated Hilo for the league title. Still, Medeiros retired 11 straight at one point, whiffing five during that span. His fastball was clocked as high as 88 mph.

He was also helped by a flawless defense, which had two key plays: catcher Wong’s pickoff of a runner at second in the second inning, and first baseman Kylen Uyeda’s scoop on a low throw for an inning-ending putout in the sixth.

Korin Medeiros batted 2 for 4 with an RBI, and Torres-Costa was 2 for 4 to lead Waiakea, which finished second at states in 1996, losing to Iolani 4-1 in the championship.

Akau pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed a run on five hits and one walk, and struck out one. Tanner Tokunaga got one out and took the loss.

In the fourth, shortstop Davy Camacho dropped a bunt single, and after two outs Robbey Meguro stepped to the plate and missed badly on a first-pitch changeup.

Waiakea assistant and third-base coach James Hirayama had a brief talk with Meguro, the No. 8 hitter. And that chat paid immediate dividends.

Akau threw Meguro another changeup, and the senior left fielder parked it to the right-field wall for a run-scoring triple and 1-0 lead.

“Coach told me he had confidence in me and to have confidence in myself,” Meguro said. “The win is a great momentum-setter for the championship. We just wanted this win. It’s an indescribable feeling. It feels so good.”

In the seventh, Pearl City, the Oahu Interscholastic Association’s No. 3 team, performed a little drama with two outs. Pruett drew a full-count walk, and advanced to second on a passed ball.

With the tying run in scoring position, Kodi Medeiros stuck a 2-2 count on No. 8 hitter Matt Tsutomi, and got him to ground out to Camacho, who fired to first, finishing off Pearl City.

“Each game we take as the most important game of the season,” Waiakea coach Kevin Yee said. “We’ve answered the call in the first two games. We’re looking to carry that to the championship.”

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