Kevin Yee sees a bright future for Waiakea’s baseball program, saying the Warriors’ next three freshmen classes will “put them in the running for a state title for five or six years.”
Yee plans to be around to see those runs, but he won’t have his usual spot in the team’s dugout.
After the Warriors ended their season with a 3-1 loss to Maui in the fifth-place bracket semifinals of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I state tournament Friday at Maui’s Iron Maehara Stadium, Yee informed his team he will step down as Waiakea head coach and become an assistant baseball coach at the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
“I told them I appreciated the opportunity to coach them, and I wish the seniors well with their future endeavors — whatever they may be,” Yee said. “I told the guys coming back, ‘You guys have to work hard,’ because the guys coming up are gunning for their jobs.”
Yee ended a two-year stint with the Warriors, leading them to a state title in his first season.
“I appreciated the time I got to coach, and I give credit to all the assistant coaches,” Yee said. “None of the success would have happened without their sacrifice and their support.”
In Yee’s final game with the Warriors, Waiakea (12-6) managed just six hits against Sabers pitcher T.J. Molina, who went the distance.
Waiakea scored its lone run in the first inning, when Andy Filoteo lined a single to right that plated Kodi Medeiros.
Medeiros finished 2-for-3, but Yee said the Warriors weren’t patient at the plate throughout the game. They made seven first-pitch outs.
On the mound, Chase Komatsu did well to wiggle out some tough jams in five innings of work, but four balks — the Sabers (13-5) scored a run on one of them — and three hit batsmen hurt him.
“You’re always going to put yourself behind the eight ball when you give them free bases,” Yee said.
Calvin Uemura followed Komatsu with two scoreless innings.
Yee called the entire season “a learning experience” for much of his team. He said seven of his nine starters had never started before on the varsity level.
“It takes time when you have those situations,” Yee said. “We had our ups and downs, but they played with effort, and that’s all you can ask for.”
Maui 010 020 0 — 3 6 1
Waiakea 100 000 0 — 1 6 0
c Konawaena 10, Radford 2: Ryan Torres-Torioka did it all for Konawaena, pitching four innings to get the win and going 3-for-4 with a triple and five RBIs for the Wildcats in the Division II fifth-place bracket semifinals at Oahu’s Hans L’Orange Field.
The contest ended after five innings because of time constraints.
BIIF Division II runner-up Konawaena (13-4) advanced to today’s noon fifth-place game, where it faces Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion Kapaa (9-5).
Torres-Torioka’s bases-loaded triple in the third inning highlighted a six-run inning that gave Konawaena a 10-1 advantage. On the mound, he gave up two runs on five hits, striking out five and walking two.
Torres-Torioka’s brother, Royce, went 2-for-3 with a double while Vinny Chang was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Skye Suzuki was 2-for-3 while Domonic Morris added an RBI triple and three runs scored.
Harley Thompson took the loss for the Oahu Interscholastic Association runner-up Rams (10-4).
At the plate, Marc Tejeda went 2-for-3, and Brett Morrow had an RBI double.
Radford 100 10 — 2 5 1
Konawaena 226 00 — 10 12 2
c Kamehameha-Hawaii 18, Baldwin 4: Senior Sydney Plunkett netted seven goals for the second consecutive match in Honolulu as the Warriors finished fifth at the HHSAA tournament for the second year in a row.
Acacia Trusdell had a hat trick while Michelle Fratinardo, Paula Imoto and Katelynn Kubo added two goals apiece for the BIIF champions (14-1), who jumped out to a 9-3 lead at halftime. Chloe Martins-Keliihoomalu and Halia Nahale-a also scored.
Alea Weber led the Bears (9-2) with two scores, and Christina Patao-Torres and Deme DeShayne added goals for the champions of the Maui Interscholastic League.