HHSAA Baseball
First inning outburst propels Damien over Waimea for second title since 2018


Sat, May 7, 2022 @ [ 7:00 pm ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Waimea 2 0001025133
Damien 10 0 0000X10100

W: Peter Pappalardo    L: Treston Shigematsu

DMS: Rustyn Ah Yat 3-4 run 2 rbi; Peter Pappalardo 6.0 IP 5 ER 2 K
WAIM: Treston Shigematsu 3-4 run rbi trp; Anson Lazaro 6.0 IP 0 ER 5 K

From los amigos to los campeones.

Damien parlayed a huge first inning into a 10-5 victory over Waimea in the title game of the HHSAA/Wally Yonamine Foundation Division II baseball championships.

"Before we started states we were thinking, we got to have our thing," said starting pitcher Peter Pappalardo. "We decided we're going use the sombrero ever since Lawa (Rustyn Ah Yat) nickamed us los amigos, so we had to use it, it was fitting."

And the sombrero made its appearance early and often in the bottom of the first inning, as the Monarchs churned out 10 big runs on just five hits. In the course of the inning, Damien sent 14 hitters to the plate.

The opening inning surge was seemingly a continuation of the offensive barrage put on a day earlier, when the Monarchs scored 12 runs in the final two innings of a mercy rule shortened win over Kamehameha-Hawaii.

"The momentum definitely stayed on our side," remarked Jamieson Pabalan. "We just had to keep our composure and make the plays, that's pretty much it."

From the opening inning onward, it was an uphill climb for the Menehunes, one that got steeper with each scoreless inning chalked up by Pappalardo, who allowed 11 hits in six innings of work, but walked none and relied on his defense to get the job done.

"Its a real morale booster when you get that ten run first inning," said Pappalardo. "You feel like you have the confidence to let your defense get the stops and that's what we did."

Tresten Shigematsu and Anson Lazaro racked up three hits each, but Waimea just never got enough momentum to swing their way to get back in it, though for the balance of the game it always seemed like the tide could shift at any moment, most notably in the top of the seventh and final frame.

"I've never had a ten run lead be so uncomfortable before," noted Damien head coach Skyler Tengan. "We honestly thought that we were going to get Lazaro to start the game and tried to prepare for him, and hats off to him, he's a heck of a pitcher."

Other than having to battle out of that first inning jam, Lazaro dazzled on the mound, allowing two unearned runs on seven hits, he walked two and struck out five, while holding Damien to zeros after that first inning.

Pappalardo eventually gave way to Pabalan with no outs in the seventh as Waimea rallied to close the gap to six runs on a clutch single to right by Shigematsu.

But Pabalan willed Damien through the final three outs, getting an unassisted force at third for the first out, notching a strikeout for the second, and then inducing the game ending fly out to right.

"It just feels amazing, it a surreal moment," said Pappalardo of the title win. "No matter how much you think about it, you're never gonna really understand it until you're in it."

The championship game win marked the second in the last three seasons for the Monarch, and the third consecutive for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, as Saint Francis won the crown in its final season in 2019.

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