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Maryknoll boasts winning hand with pocket aces in Yap, Remily

Apr. 2—One was born to pitch. The other was not—at first.

One was born to pitch. The other was not—at first.

Allin Yap and Jacob Remily have immense work ethic, often rising early to get extra reps done in the weight room. Training and gearing up year 'round, all in hopes of elevating Maryknoll to new heights in Division I baseball.

"In the off-season, before school, we push each other in the weight room, " Yap said. "Since my freshman year. They have a lifting plan for us."

Yap has morphed from a lanky 130-pound freshman into a 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior. He had a near-perfect performance against La Salle (Pasadena, Calif.) when Maryknoll trekked to the mainland in preseason. After a bout with pneumonia, he returned and hurled seven scoreless innings against then-No. 1 Kamehameha with 12 strikeouts.

A slight relapse kept Yap sidelined for another week, but the left-hander is ready for the stretch run.

"I'm 100 percent now, " said Yap, who is a commit to Hawaii.

Remily spent most of his Spartan career at the corners, As a freshman, he was 6-3 and 135 pounds, a third baseman who could also play first base. Occasionally, he took the mound and tossed an inning or two. He topped out around 85 mph as a junior last year.

Things changed in the summer of 2023. He toyed with the idea of pitching more, and his Hawaii Elite coach, Brandon Toro, gave him the opportunity. After working out with pitching guru Ashkhon Kuhaulua, Remily squared up his pitching mechanics. Suddenly, his heater topped out at 90 mph.

San Jose State had inquired about Remily as a field position player, but the staff got wind of his exploits in travel ball. By early fall, SJSU made him a scholarship offer as a two-way player, and Remily eventually committed to the Spartans.

Since then, he has topped out at 94 mph. His top in-game numbers are 91-92 mph, Maryknoll coach Alaka 'i Aglipay said.

Many mornings, the two hurlers met up at Maryknoll's weight room to get the reps in. Remily is now 6-6 and 185 pounds.

"I'm pushing 190, " he said. "That's always been the hardest part, the weight-gaining part. I'm doing a better job of not losing weight during the season."

Yap was on the varsity at Maryknoll as a freshman. A natural in many ways, Aglipay said. His excellence with the fastball, slider, change-up and curve haven't been hampered by the illness.

"The first time I saw him play was in Nanakuli. I live there now and my cousin is close with their family, so I wanted to support him. Allin was fifth or sixth grade, and they played with the older boys, " said Aglipay, who wasn't the head coach at Maryknoll yet. "The day I saw him play, he did really well. I found out he was one of the younger ones on the team. Allin is one of those kids who is a gamer. Things come naturally for him."

Yap grew up playing baseball and football from age 4 at Nanakuli.

"Tee ball at Nanakuli Beach Park. Tiny Mites Pop Warner. I stopped playing football when I was 14. I miss it, kind of, but I quit because of baseball, " Yap said. "Baseball is year 'round and I'm traveling."

Yap was a student at Ka Waihona o Ka Na 'auao Public Charter School in Nanakuli. When he transferred to Maryknoll, he became one of four freshmen—along with Tanner Fujino, Luke Swartman and Noah Bernal (now at Pearl City ) on the varsity squad.

Unlike Remily, Yap had no problem adding muscle and weight in the offseason.

"I just ate a lot and lift at school and my (weight training ) coach's house, " he said. "Some days it's legs. Some days upper body."

His squat record is 405 pounds. He has dead lifted 425 pounds.

"When I started, I was in seventh grade. I couldn't even (squat ) 65 pounds. I just wanted to be strong. I wanted to be like Mike Trout and people who are strong."

Remily's father, Jeff, was a pitcher at Seattle University. Jeff Remily was a construction project manager in Guam when he met Tanja, a former Northern Arizona basketball player-turned-dive boat captain.

Pitching wasn't automatic for Jacob Remily, however. The transformation from corner infielder to potential draftee has been incredibly fast.

"I've always thrown innings here and there. I knew I had a strong enough arm, coordinated enough to throw strikes, a curve ball here and there. Traveling with coach (Toro ), I threw more games. There was always the part missing, I didn't know what I was doing. Over summer throwing 87, OK command. The timing and the way my body was moving wasn't efficient, " Remily said. "When I came home I got in contact with Ashkhon. I started going out to his workouts and instant fix with him. He works magic. I went from 87 to 90, 91."

Learning the mechanics was a process with Kuhaulua.

"My lead leg block. When you plant your foot, the whole purpose of pitching is transfer of energy, coiling and transferring energy through your arm, " Remily said. "Your arm is an extension of what your body is doing. Coil from your back hip. I was losing energy through my front leg. He helped me tweak some things. If you fix a major issue, a lot of the other stuff will fall into place. Everything from the ground up for sure. I was 92 (mph ) when we had a showcase down here, so that was a PR. We went to Arizona for a showcase with some pro scouts. I was sitting on 91 to 94 the whole night. That's when I was, OK, let's see where this can take me."

The ILH gauntlet doesn't reward potential. The best get handed defeat on less-than-stellar days. Underdogs wreak havoc. Three state-tournament berths are on the table. If the stars line up—Yap stays healthy, Remily continues to progress and the team keeps improving—the Spartans are in the running. A 2-5 regular-season record won't matter when the league playoffs begin soon. Spartan fans see the promise. Remily nearly went the distance in a 5-2 win over Mid-Pacific on Saturday, finishing with eight strikeouts and two walks, allowing one earned run and two hits.

"My fourth inning (against MPI ), I had to figure out a way to lock in more, keep the inning shorter. A lot of kids now have pitched for years. They know what to do deeper in the game. I'm still learning all that stuff, " he said. "Pitching is such an in-depth thing. That's why so few guys do both things. It's not the day before that gets you ready. It's the week before."

In ILH action, Remily is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.76. He has 19 strikeouts and nine walks issued in 15 innings. Mid-Pacific coach Dunn Muramaru has fresh memories of Remily's performance against the Owls.

"He has all the raw materials to be good. In fact, the scout from Texas was there and he liked his motion and stuff. The ball gets on the kids. We had a hard time, " said Muramaru, in his fifth decade of coaching.

In that same game, Yap had three base hits against MPI pitchers. Muramaru believes, however, that Yap's talent on the mound is undeniable.

"His future is as a pitcher. He shut us down last year, too, in a kind of important game against (Payton ) Dixon, " he said.

The grind begins at 4 a.m. for Yap when his mother, Malia, wakes him up and makes him breakfast. He arrives at Maryknoll by 6 :30 a.m., naps for an hour, then gets ready for class.

Remily and younger sister Jordyn, a soccer player who plays for Division II state champion Pac-Five, commute from Kahaluu.

Remily counts his blessings.

"It didn't all just happen overnight. A lot of hard work put in, a lot of people who put effort and energy into me. I'm super grateful to everybody who's been there for me. My parents for making the sacrifices to allow me to travel, " he said.

Watching his high school and club teammate transform into a pitcher has been quite an experience for Yap.

"He's more of a pitcher now. He loves pitching. He's throwing very hard now, " Yap said. "I've never faced him before."

Yap is a talent with the bat, as well. When Hawaii touched base with him last May, it was his two-way potential that was appealing.

"They saw me pitch and I talked to (pitching coach ) Keith (Zuniga ). He likes the way I carry myself, " Yap said. ""(Hitting ) coach Dave Nakama called me. Coach Rich (Hill ) and their coaches want the local boys to stay home. When I went on my visit, it felt like home."

Yap is taking it one day at a time.

"My message would be just to stay happy and live life, " he said. "To be grateful for what I have."

ALLIN YAP Maryknoll baseball —P /OF —Junior Q &A—Top 3 movies /shows 1. "Stomp the Yard "

2. "Outer Banks "

3. "911 "

"I've seen 'Stomp the Yard' since I was young, at least 10 times. I'm not a dancer."—Top 3 foods /drinks 1. Raising Cane's 2. Chipotle 3. Sushi Bay (Kapolei )—Top 3 homemade foods 1. Mom's Parmesan chicken 2. Grandma's beef stew 3. Grandma's chili "My mom (Malia Yap ) makes Parmesan chicken twice a month. The only thing I can cook is rice and eggs. My grandma (Rose Kalima ) makes beef stew and we go to her house. We're going to her house tonight."—Top 3 music artists 1. Maoli — "Get Right "

2. Fiji — "Simmer Down "

3. Jeremiah Kahuakai — "Homestead "—Favorite athlete 1. Ronald Ocuna 2. Mike Trout 3. Bryce Harper—Favorite team : Las Vegas Raiders "My dad (Allin Christian Yap ) likes them."—Funniest teammate : Tanner Fujino "He's just energetic, a funny guy. He's always laughing, always has a smile on his face. He's the same in the classroom."—Smartest teammate : Alika Balberdi.—GPA : 3.1—Favorite teacher : Mr. (Cory ) Simon.

"He teaches religion class. He treats me like family. We just talk about life and stuff. To me, it feels like he cares for his students. He wants to make them better in the future. He's just a really good guy."—Favorite class : Religion.—Favorite motto : Be great.—Hidden talent : Bodyboarding "I go to any beach on the west side. Tumbleland in Maili. I go with my neighbors. My board is a couple years old."—New life skill : Driver's permit.—Bucket list : "Watch a Raiders game with my dad. Go to a Maoli concert."—Time machine : "I'm not sure, to be honest. I love the time I'm in right now."—Youth sports : "I played baseball when I was 4. Tee ball at Nanakuli Beach Park. I played football when I was 4, Tiny Mites, Pop Warner at Nanakuli. I stopped playing football when I was 14. I miss it kind of, but I quit because of baseball. It's year 'round and I'm traveling. Sometimes I play Pylon with my friends and play for fun, mess around."—If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self ?

"Keep grinding. Take no days off."—Shoutouts : "My parents, my family. Teammates, coaches."

JACOB REMILY Maryknoll baseball —P /3B /1B /OF —Senior Q &A—Top 3 movies /shows 1. "Fast and The Furious " (all )

2. "Suits "

3. "Bull Durham "

" 'Bull Durham' is funny. My dad (Jeff Remily ) likes it, too, and we'll watch it together."—Top 3 foods /drinks 1. Chipotle 2. Chicken katsu (L &L Hawaiian Barbecue Kaneohe )

3. Korean fried chicken (Zippy's )

"Their (chicken katsu ) sauce at L &L is really good."—Top 3 homemade food 1. Dad's smoked tri-tip steak 2. Carnitas tacos 3. Dad's brisket "I just watch. My dad (Jeff Remily ) is pretty in depth with it. He'll go on YouTube and learn about barbecue. I just eat and wash the dishes."—Top 3 music artists 1. Tyler Childers — "Feathered Indians "

2. Key Glock — "Spike Lee "

3. Catch A Fire — "Getaway "—Favorite athlete : Walker Buehler—Favorite team : Seattle Mariners—Funniest teammate : Tanner Fujino "Tanner's a character."—Smartest teammate : Alika Balberdi.—GPA : 3.2—Favorite teacher : Mr. (Cory ) Simon.—Favorite class : Graphic design—Favorite motto : "I don't really have a personal motto."—Hidden talent : surfing "I like Ala Moana Bowls. I've been surfing since I was little."—New life skill : Driver's license.—Bucket list : "Watch a Seattle Mariners game. Pitch in the big leagues. Get drafted."—Time machine : "I don't want to see the future. It would be cool to go in the past and see how baseball was created. How they came up with it."—Youth sports : "My first sport was baseball. I was 4 or 5, Kahaluu Little League. I played a bunch of stuff, a little bit of basketball, little bit of volleyball, little bit of soccer."—If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self ? "Don't get too high with the highs and don't get too low with the lows. Keep trusting your work because it will pay off."—Shoutouts : "All of my family. My mom, dad, sister, grandparents. My coaches Marcus Kimura, Ashkhon Kuhaulua, coach Bu (Brandon Toro ). All of the Maryknoll coaches. All the coaches who coached me growing up."