Bears Beat Mid-Pac 2-1 to Reach D-I Semis
By Fred Guzman
Baldwin is poised to make another run at a state D-I baseball title. The Bears – winners of four state crowns, but none since 1995 — fell short last year, reaching the final before suffering a spanking at the hands of Punahou on Maui.
It was Punahou’s record seventh straight title, but that streak has ended. The Buffanblu failed to qualify out of the competitive ILH, finishing behind top-seeded Saint Louis and Mid-Pacific.
Baldwin lived up to its No. 3 seed by edging Mid-Pac 2-1 on a wet and windy night at Murakami Stadium. Next for the Bears is a 7 o’clock semifinal against No. 2 Moanalua, which advanced with a 17-9 win over Hilo as Na Menehune capitalized on 18 hits and nine walks.
Pearl City beat fourth-seeded Waiakea 5-2 to reach the other semi, facing OIA rival Kailua, which stunned top-seeded Saint Louis 3-2.
Brysen Dafun led the Bears both on the mound and at the plate. He settled down after giving up a run in the bottom of the first, scattering seven hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out four. Dafun also delivered a tying RBI single in the fourth.
Baldwin took the lead in the fifth on a bases-loaded RBI infield single by James Uwekoolani.
Mid-Pac mounted a serious threat in the sixth, loading the bases before Dafun got out of the jam. The senior right-hander cruised through the final inning, inducing three straight groundouts.
WARRIORS WIN: Kamehameha-Maui lived to play another day. On Saturday, to be exact. That’s when the Warriors face the winner of today’s game between Leilehua and Mililani in the 9 a.m. consolation final. Kamehameha advanced by beating Radford 2-1 in a game shortened to 1 hour, 18 minutes – and stopped in the middle of the fifth – because of late start caused by rain. Lika Fujihara starred for the Warriors, allowing four hits on the mound and driving in both runs with his bat.