Baseball alumni defeat varsity team in pre-season scrimmage


Alumnus Austin Nagamine swings for a double, out of reach for catcher Tyler Tonokawa.

Na Hoku staff

The alumni came, saw and conquered, but it was all for the good of the Moanalua High School varsity baseball team.  

The difficulty of scheduling teams for pre-season scrimmages and an accelerated season prompted Head Coach Peter Arakawa to draw on his connections to Moanalua High School baseball alumni to go head-to-head against his players. 

The Feb. 26 game was lopsided, with the alumni coming out on top 14-4, but the experience was enlightening to the players. 

Left fielder Kameron Mitsuyoshi said playing the adults was like “playing against major league players.”  

“I was overwhelmed a bit at the speed of the pitches,” he said, but added that after a few at-bats, “it felt the same.”

  Mitsuyoshi said Arakawa wanted the team to practice against experienced players. 

“I knew I would not be able to get preseason games in which is super crucial to a baseball season,” Arakawa said.

He said the pandemic last year affected the dynamics of the program.

“The culture needed to be redistilled here at Moanalua as it was lost over the past couple of years,” Arakawa said. “It was basically the pandemic-affected season that made me put this together.”

Drama teacher and former assistant baseball coach Mark Ikenaga said Arakawa called him earlier in February to pitch the idea of an alumni game. 

“With word of mouth and calling a few players, the word just kind of traveled,” Ikenaga said, and they were able to assemble a team of 12 alumni. “Some of the  guys still play AJA (baseball league), so they’re still [active].”

Arakawa said the bulk of the alumni team came from the 2011 team, which had competed in the state championship tournament, and the oldest was from the class of 2002. 

“I thought it was a success and I hope they do it again next year,” Ikenaga said.