MPI catcher Fujiki potent on offense, defense
In an Interscholastic League of Honolulu annually loaded with baseball talent, a four-year veteran finally made it to the top of the postseason honors heap.
Mid-Pacific senior catcher Aaron Fujiki, a perennial offensive and defense stalwart for the Owls, was named ILH Player of the Year after a recent vote of league coaches.
Fujiki, batting third, was the anchor of a solid lineup. He hit .393, with three home runs, 23 RBIs and had an on-base percentage of .475.
Fujiki was just as valuable on defense, as his quick release and rifle arm shut down opposing teams' running games. He threw out 12 potential base stealers.
Fujiki's senior leadership — he has played a key role since his freshman year — helped the Owls to a 13-1 record and tie for first place in the ILH's regular season round robin.
League champion Punahou led the way with four all-star first-team selections: third baseman Tyler Hanzawa, outfielder Matt Suiter, catcher Zach Kometani and utility player Reece Kiriu.
Mid-Pacific and Saint Louis each placed three players on the first team. MPI was represented by Fujiki, second baseman Russell Doi and pitcher Matt McDaniel. The Crusaders placed outfielder Tamatoa DeMello, pitcher Josh Saio and designated hitter Moses Samia.
'Iolani placed first baseman Reyn Nagamine and outfielder Breland Almadova.
Kamehameha shortstop Pi'ikea Kitamura rounds out the first team.
Saint Louis' Duane Fraticelli and Punahou's Eric Kadooka shared Coach of the Year honors. Fraticelli helped the Crusaders rebound from a 4-12 season to go 17-4 and finish second for their first state tournament berth in at least eight years.
Kadooka guided the Buffanblu to five consecutive victories down the stretch and the ILH championship, after a turbulent 8-5-1 trek through the regular season round robin.
First base — Reyn Nagamine, 'Iolani.
Second base — Russell Doi, Mid-Pacific.
Third base — Tyler Hanzawa, Punahou.
Shortstop — Pi'ikea Kitamura, Kamehameha.
Outfield — Breland Almadova, 'Iolani.
Outfield - Tamatoa DeMello, Saint Louis.
Outfield — Matt Suiter, Punahou.
Catcher — Aaron Fujiki, Mid-Pacific.
Catcher — Zach Kometani, Punahou.
Pitcher — Matt McDaniel, Mid-Pacific.
Pitcher — Josh Saio, Saint Louis.
DH — Moses Samia. Saint Louis.
Utility — Reece Kiriu, Punahou.
First base - Easton Torigoe, Mid-Pacific.
Second base — Lucas Gonsalves, Saint Louis.
Third base — Kaden Kamoe, Saint Louis.
Shortstop — Danny Higa, Saint Louis.
Outfield — Marcus Kimura, Saint Louis.
Outfield — Kama Moises, Pac-Five.
Outfield — Tyler Young, Punahou.
Catcher — Darby Ventura, Damien.
Pitcher — Dane Kinoshita, Mid-Pacific.
Pitcher — Chris Pascual, Kamehameha.
DH — Jeeter Ishida, Punahou.
Utility — Paul Snieder, Punahou.
Damien: DJ Andrade, Travis Derby, Oli Meheula, Michael Memea.
'Iolani: Jarrett Arakawa, Lionel Fujioka, Brennan Nacario, Kelsey Outram.
Kamehameha: TC Campbell, Ula Nakamura, Makana Ramie.
Maryknoll: Zack Fujimoto, Matt Guzman.
Mid-Pacific: Michael Nagamine, Todd Nagamine, Wade Tamaru, Derek Tan.
Pac-Five: Tyler Simao.
Punahou: Josh Bninski, Jeremy Fujimoto.
Saint Louis: Kyle Gonzaga, Keoni Haina, Cole Shidaki.
Player of the Year — Aaron Fujiki, Mid-Pacific
Coaches of the Year — Duane Fraticelli, Saint Louis; Eric Kadooka, Punahou