Former Waipahu Standout Pitcher Thriving Under Pressure

Entering pressure-packed situations is the norm for the closing pitcher, and in Josh Maglangit’s case, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“That pressure is the fun part,” said the Waipahu pitcher. “There’s an adrenaline that pumps through you (in game-deciding situations). When coach (Jared Abreu) calls on me to go and warm up, that pumps me up right there because I know I am going to go in.”

Maglangit’s most recent pitching appearance to date was memorable, as he was called on to help preserve Waipahu’s 7-4 victory over the Boise Gems in the semifinals of the Northwest Regionals in Eugene, Ore. The following day, Waipahu defeated the Medford Mustangs to win their second straight Northwest Regional.

Maglangit and his team-mates are currently in Shelby, N.C., to play in the American Legion (Under-19) World Series.

“We’ve just been walking around the shops since we’ve been here,” he said, “and everyone has been real welcoming, especially the other teams. Everyone gets along. The environment has been great.”

By the time they return to Oahu, they will have been away for three weeks. “Being away has been a fun experience, and being with my teammates has been a whole other experience,” Maglangit said.

“We built a lot of chemistry throughout the season, especially being on the road together. Everyone has just joined together. It’s like a brotherhood.”

Waipahu was hoping to make another spirited run at the series after making it all the way to the semi-finals last summer. The team took a 23-4 record into their opener last Friday, including games played here en route to winning the state title in July. Waipahu actually lost its first regional game, but reeled off five straight wins to advance to the World Series in Shelby.

The roster also features Tanner Tokunaga, Caleb Duhay, Dylan Sugimoto, Zach Navas, Kamalu Neal, Matt Tsutomi, Cameron Igarashi, Jordan Mopas, Nick Bottom, Brent Sakurai, Josh Inouye and Leeland Lauti.

For Maglangit, the American Legion World Series could have another benefit. He will be a sophomore at Glendale

Community College in the fall semester and is hoping to secure a baseball scholarship for his last two years of college. “There is a lot of exposure here,” said Maglangit, who was a key player on Waipahu High’s 2012 Division II state championship team. “You have over 1,000 people watching you.

“I’m really interested in working for the Department of Land and Resources or something of that sort,” he added. “I like being outside, and I have respect for this land of ours.”