Punahou wins seventh consecutive state baseball championship
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
WAILUKU, Maui — Punahou set yet another new standard in winning its record seventh straight Wally Yonamine Foundation Baseball State Championship tonight, pounding Baldwin 13-2 in a game shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule.
The Buffanblu, who entered the tournament as the Interscholastic League of Honolulu's third-place team for the second straight year, finished the regular and postseason at 15-5-1.
"We always say that's the best way, to take the toughest route," said Punahou senior Kainoa Crowell, a senior left fielder who had a home run, double and four RBI's as the Buffanblu took a stunning 10-0 lead in the top of the first inning. "If we can beat the best teams four straight nights, then there's no question about us. We proved we're the best tonight."
Crowell's home run came on an 0-2 inside fastball with one out after leadoff batter Michael Suiter reached on a sharp single to left.
Bears starter Guyson Mochizuki then loaded the bases after two singles and a walk, and reliever Brysen Dafun hit his first two batters to make it 4-0. No. 9 batter Ryan Yamane and Sutier then followed with RBI singles, and after a walk to Kaiana Eldredge, Crowell slammed a two-run double to right-center.
Alakai Aglipay's sacrifice fly to left brought home Eldredge to make it 10-0.
"(Mochizuki) looked OK in the bullpen, but we just came up against a ball club that is red-hot," Baldwin coach Jon Viela said. "They were hitting the ball hard and away from our fielders, and when that happens, there's nothing much you can do. Against a team like that, you have to be really fine with your pitches, you gotta pitch well and hit your spots because every single pitch counts."
The Bears answered with two runs in the bottom of the first, but the Buffanblu added single runs in the second, third and fourth to complete the rout.