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Arizona baseball lands Hawaiian ace

University of Arizona head baseball coach Jay Johnson believes Kamehameha High School’s Javyn Pimental will be a key member of his pitching staff for years to come. (Courtesy: @JavynPimental/Instagram)

HONOLULU (BVM) – There isn’t much widely-available information out on Javyn Pimental, but University of Arizona baseball head coach Jay Johnson is sold on his Hawaiian southpaw commit.

“He’s (Pimental) a very athletic left-handed pitcher, which, if you’re following the trajectory of our team and program, you know left-handed pitching is a big need moving forward to be able give teams different looks,” Johnson said in November when the Wildcats announced their nationally-lauded 2020 signing class.

Ranked No. 11 by Baseball America, Arizona’s 2020 recruiting class features three Perfect Game top 100 players. While that short list doesn’t include Pimental, the Kamehameha High School ace is the Perfect Game No.1-ranked left-handed pitcher in Hawaii.

Pimental helped lead the Warriors to the state tournament in 2019 where he threw five innings of shutout ball in the opening round, fanning seven batters and walking just one. His teammate and San Diego State commit, Kelena Sauer, finished the game with two shutout innings, three punchouts and no walks for a save.

Kamehameha lost in the quarterfinals and finished the season 20-12, ranked No. 6 in the Star-Advertiser baseball top 10.

Warriors’ head coach Daryl Kitagawa said Pimental was a four-year varsity player who improved every year since his freshman season.

“He has grown physically, mentally and has been a big part of our program,” Kitagawa said. “He has a large frame at 6-foot-3 and is quite imposing from the left side.

He wants the ball, wants to compete and tries to do whatever he can to help the team.”

Pimental is a promising prospect who will likely benefit from being surrounded by one of the best signing classes in the country. In fact, the lefty is already off to a fast start in Johnson’s book.

This guy’s body looks like he’s going to be coming into his own in the next couple years and I’m proud of him with the time difference, he signed in time to be announced in this press conference, so that was a good start,” Johnson said.

The dry heat of Tucson will be an adjustment, but Pimental is excited to experience the climate of his new home.

“I’m super excited for what’s coming up; I can’t wait,” Pimental said in an interview with Paul Honda. “I’d rather be hot than cold.”

Pimental’s former head coach is confident that the southpaw will make an impact in Tucson similar to the one he forged at Kamehameha. 

“I believe that he will have every opportunity to compete and that’s all that can be asked,” Kitagawa said. “I’m confident that he will battle and cherish his opportunities and is looking to make contributions to the Wildcats baseball team for sure.”

Arizona was 10-5 in the spring before COVID-19 canceled the season and now brings in a top-notch recruiting class. Anchoring the Wildcats’ rotation down the road could very well be a left-handed pitcher from Hawaii.

“Without question his best days are ahead of him at Arizona and I believe he will reach his full potential here as a key member of our staff for years to come,” Johnson said 

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