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Kamehameha blanks Saint Louis, 4-0, to win ILH title | Photo Gallery

By: Wes Nakama

WAIPI’O — Achieving both ultimate survival and triumph, Kamehameha blanked Saint Louis, 4-0, Monday afternoon at Patsy T. Mink Central O’ahu Regional Park to win the hard-fought ILH baseball championship.

Greyson Osbun, Alaka’i Kiakona and Elai Iwanaga combined on a two-hitter and rode an early 3-0 lead to help the Warriors improve to 16-5 and secure the league’s top seed and first-round bye in next week’s Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball State Championships at Les Murakami Stadium. The Crusaders fell to 14-7 and will begin state tournament play in the first round on Tuesday, May 14.

The conclusion followed a wild and extremely competitive regular season and an equally intense ILH tournament, which Kamehameha won last Friday by edging Saint Louis, 6-5, in eight innings to force Monday’s winner-take-off playoff.  

“Being able to finish it out is huge, no matter what road we took,” said Osbun, a junior right-hander. “I’m excited, I’m pumped for states.”

The Warriors gave Osbun early offensive support by manufacturing a run in the top of the first inning after leadoff batter Jayden Montero walked, stole second, advanced to third on Nalu Grace’s sacrifice bunt and and scored on Jace Souza’s single to left. Kamehameha made it 2-0 in the second when Kaulana Quinlan scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch, then 3-0 in the third after Matt Zarriello led off with a triple to left center just past a diving Tanner Chun and scored on Osbun’s one-out, opposite field single to right.

That was more than enough run support for Osbun on the mound, where he allowed only one hit, struck out four and walked one in five innings pitched.

“Yeah, it gave me a lot more confidence to just go out there and throw the ball in the (strike) zone, not be too fine and not need to make the perfect pitch,” Osbun said. “So I think having that lead, and the energy we had … just going out there, getting quick outs and getting back in the dugout and getting our guys back up to bat — that’s what I was looking to do.”

On the same field seventeen days prior, Osbun was one out away from a no-hitter against the Crusaders and finished with a one-hitter.

“He just pitched a good game,” Saint Louis coach Benny Agbayani said. “We put the bat on the ball and things didn’t fall, we hit some balls hard. That’s the name of the game, sometimes you just need the ball to fall. And every time you start a game, you don’t want to start behind (1-0, 2-0, 3-0), because it’s tough coming from behind especially when you have a good pitcher like that on the mound. But every time you go into that situation, you gotta find a way to win.”

Kiakona took over in the sixth, allowing only a walk, and Iwanaga closed out the seventh after allowing a leadoff single. The only other hit by the Crusaders was Ka’ili Kane’s single to left in the bottom of the fourth.

“Hat’s off to Greyson, he’s a dog, love that guy,” Kamehameha coach Daryl Kitagawa said. “We’ve got a great group of pitchers, and our entire team … they don’t do it by themselves, our fielders and batters don’t do it by themselves. It’s a combination of all 25 (players) doing their little part, and that’s why we’re a pretty good team.”

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