Sabers Win Big Thanks to Kuloloia’s Three-Hitter

Sabers Win Big Thanks to Kuloloia’s Three-Hitter

Logan Kuloloia, a senior at Maui High School, wanted the baseball on Tuesday and he took full advantage of a significant opportunity.

The senior left-hander Kuloloia led the Sabers to a 4-0 victory over Kamehameha Maui at Maehara Stadium with a complete game of three hits, five walks, and a hit batsman.

In the Maui Interscholastic League Division I race, Maui High moved to 9-1. To secure the regular-season title and accompanying state berth, they must win one more game in the final two games, which are scheduled for Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and Thursday at 3:30 p.m.

“In the beginning my curveball was working, but then towards the end, I don’t know, couldn’t find it,” Kuloloia said. “My change-up was pretty good, too. That’s about it. Fastball wasn’t too good today.”

Kuloloia completed the shutout with 108 pitches; the national high school maximum is 110.

“I was eager to go because I had been envisioning this for quite some time,” Kuloloia remarked.

Throughout the entire game, Kuloloia’s defense has played excellently.

Kuloloia declared, “We’re just looking forward to winning it all and we’re only taking it one game at a time.” Because I know some batters can hit, I had to employ caution when facing them today. It worked when I used some off speed.

In the top of the second inning, Maui High advanced runners to second and third with two outs before the game’s first run was scored on a wild pitch. Aaron Omuro scored another run on a wild pitch in the third strike, making the score 2-0.

Kamehameha Maui starter Kaimi Kahalekai, a University of Texas signee, gave three walks and two wild pitches, which allowed Maui High to score two runs without allowing a hit in the period.

The second inning saw Bransyn Hong and Noah Gabriel single with one out for Kamehameha Maui. After Denali McGuire hit a fly ball to medium depth in right field, Hong attempted to advance to third base but was thrown out on a beautiful 9-6-5 relay that began with Izaiah Koko in right field and ended with Nicholas Nashiwa at shortstop. The inning ended with a spectacular double play as Nashiwa tagged out Hong at third base.

The Sabers’ third inning began with a single from Koko, who advanced to third base on a mishandled pickoff throw by Kahalekai.

After that, Dumlao was walked, and Koko sprinted home after a pass to make it 3-0. After two wild pitches, Dumlao scored to increase the Sabers’ lead to 4-0.

The Sabers were ranked #1 in both statewide polls and had a 9-0 start to the regular season last year before faltering late in the campaign and missing the state tournament entirely. Since 2008, Maui High has not taken home the MIL overall title.

Head coach Chase Corniel of Maui High is aware of how close his team is to earning a berth in the state tournament.

“Huge, huge especially (after) what happened last year,” Corniel said. “I told our seniors ‘this is the first thing that we’ve got to do, our first goal’ and, you know, we’re going to try to meet it.”

For the second out of the third inning, Omuro made a nice play for the Sabers defense by running down a foul pop by Ziah Chang.

Following a walk to start off the top of the Maui High fourth, Micah Torres relieved Kahalekai after 66 pitches and ended the inning without any more problems.

In the top of the fifth, Nashiwa singled with one out and Dumlao walked to put runners on first and second bases. To put an end to the threat, Molina fouled out and David Vergel de Dios flied out to left.

Hong attempted to steal third base in the Warriors’ fifth, but Vergel de Dios threw him out, allowing another runner to reach base.

In the seventh inning, rookie pinch hitter Riley Phillips walked to put runners on first and second for the Warriors after Gabriel hit a single with one out. After beating out the throw to first base and grounding into a fielder’s choice force at second base, Kai Kang left runners on the corners with two outs.

The game was subsequently over when Chang flied out to center.

After dropping their last four games, the Warriors (5-5) are assured of the third seed in the MIL tournament the following week. Shane Dudoit, the head coach of Kamehameha Maui, gave Kuloloia a cap tip.

“He did a great job, kept us off timing,” Dudoit said. “In this game you’ve got to be able to hit the ball, score runs, defend and be able to keep guys off the bases, not allow guys to get free passes.”

Dudoit is excited about the MIL tournament because it seems like a competitive event.

Without a doubt, he replied. It promises to be a fascinating competition. It promises to be an extremely fascinating competition. I’m excited because I think it will be one of the best in a very long time.

0–4. 3. 0 Maui High. 022 000.

  1. 2 Kamehameha Maui 000 000. 0-0

Logan Kuloloia, David Vergel de Dios, Micah Torres (4), Kaimi Kahalekai, and Nakea Kahalehau. W–Kuloia. L-Kahalekai.

Top hitters: Noah Gabriel (2–2) and Kamehameha Maui (2-2).

Sanchita Patil

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