ILH Baseball
Saint Louis sifts through Punahou on Navyac's 8 strikeouts


  



Tue, Mar 10, 2020 @ [ 3:30 pm ]


FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Punahou 0 000000042
Saint Louis 0 1 0000X130

W: JT Navyac    L: Tyler Shimabukuro

STL: Evan Hu 1-2 rbi; JT Navyac 7.0 IP 0 ER 8 K
PUN: Kalae Harrison 1-3 dbl; Tyler Shimabukuro 5.0 IP 0 ER


WAIPIO — JT Navyac notched the complete-game shutout victory while piling up eight strikeouts as Saint Louis quickly sifted through Punahou, 1-0, Tuesday afternoon in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu season opener at Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park in a game that lasted just an hour and a half.

Only twice did a Punahou runner reach scoring position at second base: Kalae Harrison's double in the first inning and Cody Kashimoto's advancement on a passed ball after reaching on a single.

Navyac gave up zero walks and only went to five three-ball counts, each of which ended with an out. His eight strikeouts was a career-best as the senior also notched his second-career complete game — the first coming against his former school Mid-Pacific last season.

"We needed to be really really good on the mound and defense, and so I was pleased with both parts," Saint Louis coach George Gusman said. "We didn't hit very much — both sides didn't hit — but we hit some balls right at them so the message is to just keep swinging."

The lone difference came in the bottom of the second inning with Austin Texeira's lead-off walk. While Navyac was able to move him over to second base with a sacrifice bunt, Punahou shortstop Kalae Harrison got Texeira out at third base on a fielder's choice from Pono Dela Cruz. Jack Yuretich next grounded back to Harrison, but this time the shortstop was unable to get the final out of the inning, setting up for Evan Hu's RBI single to score Dela Cruz for the only run of the game.

"It's usually one inning in high school that makes the difference and it's usually the team that plays the cleanest game that wins, and we just had one kind of mishap and that cost us," Punahou coach Keenan Sue said.

Tyler Shimabukuro also had a fine outing for the Buffanblu, giving up just two hits and one walk while reaching a three-ball count just three times. The senior totaled 16-2/3 innings a year ago and had perhaps the biggest performance with recording the win in relief duty to help Punahou claim its 14th state title.

"Grateful for everything, entitled to nothing. Last year was last year so we're just looking forward," Sue said about entering the season as defending champions.

"I think Saint Louis is definitely the toughest opponent we faced all preseason so it was good to see somebody who competes well all the way to the last pitch and those guys do," Sue continued. "They're going to be a force this year and we look forward to playing them all year long."

In addition to Navyac, the Crusaders return a good core of experienced pitchers with Richard Vidal III (87-1/3 career innings pitched), Caleb Lomavita (42-2/3 IP), Makaio Bruchal (26-1/3 IP), Teixeira (15-1/3 IP) and Randen Kohagura (12-1/3 IP).

The Buffanblu threatened in their last at-bat in the seventh inning with Makana Murashige's two-out single, but Navyac retired the side and sealed the win by inducing a fly out to center field.

"JT's earned that spot today. He was the most consistent during the preseason and it was an open competition for everyone and he was clearly our best guy," Gusman said. "We had Richie warming up and Caleb, and we actually had a pitch count on him but he told me he wasn't coming out. But that was going to be his last batter."

Saint Louis (1-0) will take on Maryknoll (1-0) Saturday, 3 p.m. at Ala Wai while Punahou (0-1) will return to CORP Thursday to play PAC-5 (0-1).



Reach Spencer Honda at [email protected].




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