Thursday, June 28, 2001
Riding the waveTHE versatile star and the fiery head coach who led Kailua to the state championship this spring top this year's Star-Bulletin All-State Baseball Team.
Kekaula and Ishigo of
Kailua and Bauer of Mid-Pacific
Institute headline the 2001
All-State Baseball Team
By Jason Kaneshiro
Kawika Kekaula and Corey Ishigo's efforts in guiding the Surfriders to the prep baseball summit this season earned them Position Player and Coach of the Year honors. Mid-Pacific's Ricky Bauer, who led the Owls to the Interscholastic League of Honolulu title, is the Pitcher of the Year.
Kekaula and Bauer head the all-state team, which was selected based on consultation with coaches around the state.
Kekaula made the all-state team as a third baseman, but the senior did a little bit of everything to spearhead the Surfriders' drive toward the state title. He also played catcher and was one of the team's top pitchers.
"Kawika was a good leader," Ishigo said. "He played whatever position to help the team. ... He never complained. He just went out and played wherever I needed him."
But Kekaula's primary contributions came at the plate, where he hit .509 and drove in 25 runs in 16 games. He closed his high school career by going 3-for-5 with three RBIs against Mid-Pacific in the state championship game.
"He was a decent hitter before, but this year he was excellent," Ishigo said. "It was all the hard work that paid off, those four years and the summers."
Bauer took the loss in that title game, but his accomplishments throughout the season far outshine one bad inning.
The 6-foot-2 right-hander posted a 7-3 record with a 1.69 earned run average and was instrumental in the Owls' 11-game winning streak, which carried them to the ILH title and the state championship game.
"You always hear that in the pros it's every man for themselves," Bauer said. "But this team was just that, a team. Everybody worked together for the common goal and it made pitching and playing a lot easier."
Bauer was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 39th round of the recent Major League Baseball draft and is debating whether to continue his career in college or the pros.
St. Louis' Brandon League and St. Joseph's James Onaga join Bauer on the all-state pitching staff.
League struck out 75 batters in 60 innings this season and was a second-round draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays. Onaga earned Big Island Interscholastic Federation Most Valuable Player honors and saved his best performance for last when he struck out 12 Baldwin batters in the first round of the state tournament.
Baldwin catcher Kurt Suzuki struggled at the plate this season, but his superior defensive skills earn him an all-state spot. He will continue his playing career at Cal State-Fullerton, which played in this year's College World Series.
Joining Kekaula in the infield are Iolani first baseman Blaine Umeda, Mid-Pacific second baseman Isaac Omura and Kamehameha shortstop Bronson Sardinha.
Sardinha hit .391 for the Warriors and was a first-round draft pick of the New York Yankees. Umeda was one of the toughest outs in the state, posting a .455 batting average. Omura, a junior, hit .352 and drove in 25 runs.
Kailua center fielder Mike Cathcart, the catalyst of the Surfriders' offense, leads the outfield. He is flanked by Kamehameha junior Tyler Perkins and Mid-Pacific senior Clint Copulos. Perkins, a unanimous ILH all-star selection, hit .444, while Copulos batted .372.
Iolani junior Kila Ka'aihue is the all-state designated hitter after hitting .492 for the Raiders, and Kailua's Kamaile Santos gets the utility player spot for his heroics down the stretch.
Santos made his mark on the mound, where he went 6-1 with a 3.00 ERA. He won four games in the last two weeks of the season, including the OIA and state tournament championship games.
Ishigo was the runaway pick for coaching honors when he led the Surfriders to the state championship after recovering from the three-week teachers strike in April.
"I think he did an outstanding job of getting the kids together -- especially with the strike -- and peaking at the right time," Pearl City coach Mel Seki said.
Scott Yamada, who led Moanalua to its first state tournament appearance, also received consideration.
All-State Baseball Team
Player of the YearKawika Kekaula, Kailua
Pitcher of the YearRicky Bauer, Mid-Pacific
Coach of the YearCorey Ishigo, Kailua
First TeamCatcher: Kurt Suzuki, Baldwin, Sr.
First base: Blaine Umeda, Iolani, Sr.
Second base: Isaac Omura, Mid-Pacific, Jr.
Third base: Kawika Kekaula, Kailua, Sr.
Shortstop: Bronson Sardinha, Kamehameha, Sr.
Outfield: Mike Cathcart, Kailua, Sr.
Outfield: Clint Copulos, Mid-Pacific, Sr.
Outfield: Tyler Perkins, Kamehameha, Jr.
Designated Hitter: Kila Ka'aihue, Iolani, Jr.
Utility: Kamaile Santos, Kailua, Jr.
Pitcher: Ricky Bauer, Mid-Pacific, Sr.
Pitcher: Brandon League, St. Louis, Sr.
Pitcher: James Onaga, St Joseph, Sr.
Second TeamCatcher: Nick Tudisco, St. Louis, Sr.
First base: Keahi Kapana, Campbell, Jr.
Second base: Aaron Carvalho, St. Joseph, Sr.
Third base: Milton Grado, St. Louis, Sr.
Shortstop: Kelii Alcon, Molokai, Sr.
Outfield: Kelii Correa, Kamehameha, Sr.; Gainor Nitta, Mililani, Sr.; Kyle Yanabu, Mid-Pacific, Sr.
Designated Hitter: James Strombach, Moanalua, Jr.
Utility: Royce Fukuroku, Maui, Sr.
Pitcher: Chad Bailey, Campbell, Sr.; Lance Fujii, Baldwin, Sr.; Mark Rodrigues, Kauai, Sr.
Honorable mentionCatcher: Jay Baptista, Leilehua; Kwinton Estacio, Kauai; Gavin Concepcion, Pearl City; Travis Mitsuda, Iolani. First base: Ryan Hanohano, Waiakea; Abe Manutai, Moanalua; Jarid Kawamoto, Kailua. Second base: Spencer Kam, Punahou; Gered Mochizuki, Baldwin; Scott Serizawa, Kauai; BJ Clifton, Leilehua. Third base: Brad Takamori, Iolani. Shortstop: Dane Marcouiller, Mid-Pacific; Travis Hayashida, Kailua; Geoffrey Say, Moanalua; Davin Feary, Hilo. Outfield: Jory Pearce, Kailua; Ikaika Lester, Molokai; Stephen Green, Moanalua; Kevin Kahn, Mid-Pacific; Tyson Higa, Baldwin. Pitcher: Daniel Kawahakui, Kahuku; Hubert Pruett, Kamehameha; Reid Matsushima, Punahou; Ryan Basco, Mid-Pacific; Shawn Benson, Pearl City; Eric Tao, Waiakea.
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