Free Baseball: Hawaiʻi Pacific vs. Hawaiʻi-Hilo In Waipahu This Weekend
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Come out to Hans L’Orange this weekend to see if ʻEwa Beach kid Jordan Mopas can continue to crush homers and spark celebrations like the one you see above.
“We are really excited and preparing for a strong finish in our last 16 games of the year,” coach Dallas Correa told me in an email.
Here are the game times:
Saturday: Doubleheader, first game at 1pm
Admission is free, and you can BYO … whatever.
HPU Sharks Baseball: Midseason Report
The Sharks are looking to continue a strong homestand after a rough road trip dropped them in the league standings.
After starting the season 16-6, the Sharks went 0-fer on their 1st mainland trip, losing 4 each to Concordia Irvine and #13-ranked Azuza Pacific.
But, back home at Hans L’Orange for last weekend’s series against Academy of Art, the Sharks got right. They won three of four games, which included Mopas’ walkoff two-out homer on Saturday night — setting off that wild celebration.
Mopas, who attended Saint Louis but was raised in ʻEwa Beach, hit 4 homers in the 3-game series, and now has 9 on the year. That’s 2nd in the Pacwest Conference. Mopas leads the league in RBI, with 38.
The League’s Best Hitters Are HPU Sharks
He’s not the only HPU Shark on the league leaderboard:
- Christian Kapeliela is tied for the league lead in doubles with 11.
- Micah Layosa leads the league in triples with 4.
- Tanner Tokunaga leads the league in stolen bases, with 14.
- Kapeliela is batting .402 and Sean Coffey .400, good for 3rd and 4th in the league.
- Coffey’s .480 on-base percentage is 3rd, with Tokunaga in 6th at .462
As a team, the Sharks have the most runs in the conference, and the highest batting average — and their .329 mark ranks 12th in the nation.
“This group has done an incredible job of living above the line not only on the field but also off the field,” Coach Correa told me.
He noted that the team has participated in:
- March Against Domestic Violence
- St. Francis Health Care Systems Walk to support our kupuna
- Special Olympics Hawaiʻi Bowling
- Speaking at career days at Āliamanu Elementary and Niu Valley Middle School
We have also raised our team GPA from a 2.84 to a 3.29 this past fall,” Correa said, “and are looking to continue improving and serving our community not only on the west side but throughout the entire island.”
HPU’s Opportunities for Improvement
The hitting has been solid. But HPU also leads the league in errors — they’ve committed 62, leading to 47 unearned runs.
Combine that with the team’s 0-8 road trip, and they’re 8th in the 9-team league.
This weekend, HPU faces in-state rivals Hawaii-Hilo for the final four of the 13 games the teams will contest this season.
HPU leads the season series, 6-3. Sweeping the Vulcans would vault the Sharks back up the standings, with three more series left to play.
Coach told me: “If we can continue to prepare intentionally in practice and have a purpose each day by grinding out AB’s, taking care of the baseball defensively and playing catch, along with commanding the zone with our arms, we put ourselves in a position to do something special and have a chance to keep playing in May.”
Images by Texas Powers, via HPU Athletics