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by Tiffany Garrett and Jeff Harada

 

 

“It’s sad to see the season come to an end, but we played great baseball,” said HPU Head Coach Garett Yukumoto. “I tip my hat to our players that have come a long way throughout this program, to give it their all and to give some leadership and guidance. Hopefully they taught our young guys so they can pick up the ball, and they taught me a lot in this [my first] year.”

In the April 14 doubleheader, HPU came from behind to win the first game 10-9. The Sea Warriors lead most of the game until the Vulcans scored four runs on five hits in the fourth inning, and pushing the lead to three with another run in the sixth. Sophomore Michael Kealoha’s two-run single in the bottom of the seventh capped a four-run HPU rally, and gave HPU the victory. Sophomore reliever Pierce Manglallan picked up his third win of the year after taking over for starter Mario Ramirez.

In the nightcap, Hilo held a 5-2 lead after five innings before the Sea Warriors put two across in the sixth on a run-scoring single from Jherell Miller, and an RBI from Costa, who was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Hilo would add a run in the seventh, making it 6-4, and set the stage for another dramatic comeback. HPU cut the lead to one, and had the tying run on second base with nobody out, but Hilo’s Vinny Biggs settled down and got the next three batters, earning the save in relief of Ryan Hanohano. Brandon Muser took the loss for HPU, after lasting just 1.1 innings.

Both teams faced off the next day with another twin bill. The Sea Warriors dominated the first game thanks in part to a stellar outing by freshman Kevin Matsumoto who hurled a six-hit complete game shutout en route to a 14-0 victory. Hilo did not give in, and won the second game 3-2 to split the series. Senior starter Ikena DuPont gave up three runs in the third inning, and three Sea Warrior errors did not help matters. HPU added a run in the fourth on an RBI-single by senior Gavin Concepcion, and another in the seventh on a run-scoring single from Costa. With the tying and winning runs on base however, the Sea Warriors could not convert. DuPont took the loss, allowing just three hits and one earned run in 4.2 innings.

At the end of the night, nine Sea Warrior seniors were honored and showered with leis and gifts as they trotted around the bases and threw from the mound one last time. Among the seniors recognized were: Concepcion (Pearl City, Hawai‘i), Matt Burson (Mission Viejo, California), Tyler Jefferson (Vancouver, Canada), Miller (Pearl City, Hawai‘i), Mario Ramirez (Mission Viejo, California), Chase Nakamura (Aiea, Hawai‘i), DuPont (Pearl City, Hawai‘i), Brandon Sato (Aiea, Hawai‘i), and Costa (Waipahu, Hawai‘i).
 




All the HPU seniors, including Gavin Concepcion (top) and Tyler Jefferson (bottom), took part in Senior Night after the last game of the season against the visiting Vulcans. Players had the chance to run around the bases or deliver a pitch to home plate for the last time in a Sea Warrior uniform.

Photos by Baxter Cepeda

 

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