For 40 years, Saint Louis baseball fans suffered a drought of epic proportions.
That all came to an end on Friday night, when the Crusaders’ deluge of offense spurred a 10-0 win over Mililani in the final of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Division I State Baseball Championships at Les Murakami Stadium.
It was the first state crown for the Crusaders (17-6) since 1974, when Jim Anderson guided the program to its first and only title. It was another Anderson, junior pitcher Pono Anderson, who starred this week. The 6-foot-2 right-hander went all five innings, allowing just two hits against Mililani, the Cinderella squad of the tourney. Anderson won two games on the mound and saved another as Saint Louis went 4-0 under the spotlight, just a week since finishing second in the ILH.
“I feel relieved,” coach George Gusman said a few minutes after being drenched by his players with a Gatorade shower. “We had a tough draw. When you face challenges and the guys come through, that makes it special.”
Maryknoll 4, Kamehameha-Hawaii 0
Ace Joshua Muneno crafted a one-hit shutout as top-seeded Maryknoll defeated Kamehameha-Hawaii 4-0 in the final of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Division II State Baseball Championships at Les Murakami Stadium.
The Spartans (18-3) captured their second state title in a row, relying on stellar pitching, near-error free defense and timely hitting.
“Joshua did his job. Kamehameha (Hawaii) can swing the bats. He had to keep them off balance, keep it away,” coach Randy Yamashiro said.
In 13 innings pitched at the state tourney, Muneno allowed just one earned run while winning twice. He went the maximum allowed, 39 outs.
“It was pretty much the same game plan,” Muneno said, referring to his quarterfinal start against Radford. “Keep it away and down. I wasn’t tired at all. I let my team work. I couldn’t be prouder of my defense.”
Muneno trusted his defense through and through. He didn’t strike out a batter and walked just two. KS-Hawaii (14-2-1), which scored 40 runs in its two state-tourney wins over Nanakuli and Waianae, couldn’t seem to get a clear cut on Muneno’s array of pitches.