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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Oura's ironman pitching among state's bests

Advertiser Staff

The state high school baseball tournament has had its share of lore as it enters its 50th anniversary. And it didn't wait long to start one. An impressive one at that.

Glenn Oura pitched all three wins to lead Baldwin to the first state championship in 1959. He accounted for 21 of a possible 24 innings for the Bears. He pitched four innings in a first-round game against St. Joseph that was cut to seven innings because of a two-hour time limit. He pitched a complete game in a 2-1 win against Saint Louis in a semifinal that was limited to eight innings, again because of a time limit. He returned for a third consecutive day to beat Waipahu, 10-3, in the championship, going the full nine innings.

Proving it was no fluke, Oura improved on his feat in his senior season of 1960, accounting for all but two outs in the Bears' second title in a row. He pitched in 29 1/3 of a possible 30 innings. He tossed a one-hitter in a 3-0 win against Ka'u in the opener. The next day, he fired the tournament's first no-hitter in a 3-0 win against Kaua'i in the semifinals.

He then beat Saint Louis, 12-7, in the championship. Apparently showing some fatigue, he only went 11 1/3 innings of the 12-inning contest.

Oura's two-year total in the state tournament was 6-0 with an ERA of 1.07. In 50 1/3 innings, he allowed 20 hits and 25 walks with 29 strikeouts.

No one would be allowed to match his unbelievable feats. In 1961, a 15-inning limit was put on pitchers.

It was only appropriate that Oura threw the tournament's first no-hitter. There have been 11 since. The most impressive being Glenn Goya's perfect game in Punahou's victory over Saint Louis in the 1972 championship.

Of course, not all highlights belonged to pitchers.

Farrington's John Matias blasted four home runs and drove in nine in the 1962 semifinals against Waimea at the old Honolulu Stadium. Matias would later bomb home runs there as a pro for the Hawaii Islanders.

Among notables who have played in state tournaments were:

  • 'Aiea's Derek Tatsuno won his 27th career game in beating McKinley, 4-2, in the 1976 championship. He went on to become the greatest pitcher in University of Hawai'i history and was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame last year.

  • Punahou's Norm Chow played for the 1964 state championship team. The former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator has taken a similar job at UCLA.

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