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By Ikena Du Pont, Sports editor

 

 

Mario “Marz” Ramirez is the team’s number one starter for the second year in a row. He was stellar this year against Division I teams from the Universities of Washington and Hawai‘i. HPU lost both games, but he gave up only five runs in eight innings against Washington and two runs in five innings against Hawai‘i. For the season he is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA. Ramirez says that “100 percent commitment and hardwork pay off.”

Ramirez and longtime friend Matt Burson transferred from Irvine Valley College in 2004. Burson, a 6 foot 2 inch, 220-pound pitcher, is the biggest player on the HPU team. He leads the team with a 2.53 ERA, has one win and no losses, and has become the go-to guy out of the bullpen. Burson also excels in the classroom; he was the team’s scholar-athlete last year.

Another big guy having a great year is Tyler “Big Nasty” Jefferson. The Vancouver native is hitting .324 with one home run, and leads the team with a .519 on-base percentage. Jefferson is usually the designated hitter when he doesn’t catch.

Gavin “Adobo” Conception is the Sea Warriors’ other catcher. The graduate of Pearl City High School leads the team with two home runs. He transferred from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho where he won two NAIA World Series rings. Conception brings leadership and experience to the team and is this year’s team captain.

Another Pearl City native is Jherell “In the purse” Miller. He leads the team in walks, but his other statistics don’t do justice to how hard he has been hitting the ball this year. The Kamehameha graduate has hit one home run and three doubles. Miller transferred two years ago from Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California.

The last four players have been at HPU for four years and have dedicated a lot of time and effort for the Sea Warrior Baseball team.

Ikena Du Pont is the only pitcher on this year’s team who has been a Sea Warrior for the past four years.This year he is 1-1 with a 3.52 ERA. Du Pont is another Kamehameha graduate from Pearl City and he believes that team unity is the key to a successful season.

Chase “Nahx” Nakamura, is from Aiea and is the team’s utility player. In four years at HPU, Nakamura has played six of the nine positions. After starting as catcher his sophomore year, Nakamura went to the outfield last year, and is playing more infield this year. He hit one home run and leads the team in stolen base percentage.

Another Aiea native is Brandon “Braddah B” Sato. The graduate of Saint Louis converted from playing second base the last three years to being the team’s starting centerfielder. Third in the lineup, he is second on the team in hits and doubles. “I miss the infield,” Sato said, “but I’ll play anywhere to help the team.”

Grandon Costa is also a graduate of St. Louis High School. He came to HPU to play third base but was immediately promoted to shortstop where he locked up the position for four years. After hitting above .400 his freshman year, Costa never let up. He leads this year’s team in runs scored, doubles, and slugging percentage (.472).

“ It’s a transition year being that you have a veteran team with a new coaching staff and it takes time to get used to the change, but we’ve come a long way,” said the team’s Head Coach Garret Yukumoto. “I think the experience the seniors bring to the program has been tremendous.”
 
All photos by Domi Nabal

Ikena Du Pont is the only four-year senior pitcher.

Mario Ramirez leads the team with three wins.

Gavin Conception leads the team with two home runs.
 

Chase Nakamura can play any position on the field.

Jherell Miller has started every game so far in 2006.

Grandon Costa will give up his four-year reign as HPU shortstop.
 

Tyler Jefferson has a batting average of .324.

Matt Burson leads the team with a 2.53 Earned Run Average.

Brandon Sato moved to the outfield from second base.
 

 

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