2 HRs, complete-game win by Caleb Lomavita propels Saint Louis

Caleb Lomavita swings at the first pitch he sees for a three-run home run in the top of the first inning. Saint Louis went on to an 11-6 win over Mid-Pacific in the ILH semifinals on Thursday, May 13, 2021. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser.

Extra mileage is a way of life every day for Caleb Lomavita.

Maybe he took the night off on Thursday. He certainly earned it. The Saint Louis senior belted two home runs and pitched a complete game as the Crusaders outlasted Mid-Pacific, 11-6, in the semifinals of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu baseball playoffs.

Saint Louis will meet Punahou for the ILH title on Saturday.

The Cal signee finished 3-for-5 with five RBIs and three runs scored. One the mound, he permitted three earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks. He threw 112 pitches and still had velocity on the fastball and some bite on the breaking ball in the last frame. The catcher/infielder/outfielder took some licks from Mid-Pacific’s lineup of talented hitters, but his tenacity was ceaseless.

“I feel good. Seeing the hard work finally paying off throughout the seasons. This feels good to get this win,” said Lomavita, who has a 3.93 grade-point average. “I expected to go as far as I could to help my team. I worked really hard. Coach isn’t taking me out. I have 100 percent trust in myself and I knew the guys were going to back me up in the end. I wanted the ball the most.”

Neither head coach was surprised by Lomavita’s resilience.

“Tough kid. We hit him pretty good, but he’s so resilient,” Mid-Pacific coach Dunn Muramaru said. “He didn’t have his good stuff today, but he battled.”

“These are games where if you don’t advance, your season is over. Caleb’s clearly our best guy on the mound,” Saint Louis coach George Gusman said. “He wasn’t at his best today, his pitches weren’t his best, but his competitiveness and his ability to not give in, to support his teammates, hit, run, I’m going to miss that kid.”

There will be one more game for Saint Louis, but ultra-versatile Caleb Lomavita’s final chapter as a Saint Louis pitcher was unforgettable on Thursday. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser.

Speaking of running, Lomavita’s day isn’t complete without the extra mile or five.

“He’ll probably go home tonight and go running. That’s just what Caleb does,” Gusman added. “That’s why physically, he’s able to do that. He’s just so strong. Mentally, he understands what needs to be done to be successful. Shoots, man, you don’t get kids like every day.”

Lomavita and his team, or any team, won’t get a chance to show their wares in a state tournament, but he could have been the best hitter going in.

“It’s funny. You don’t know what you’re looking for when you’re hot. It’s just see and react to the ball. Batting practice was good. We were practicing the slow ball going the other way,” he said.

Clutch hitting by the visiting Crusaders made the difference. Aiva Arquette and Lomavita homered in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively. Clinging to a 9-6 lead in the sixth, Kysen Wa‘alani’s two-run blast gave Saint Louis some valuable insurance.

“Wa‘alani’s home run was huge,” Gusman said of the shot over the 333-foot fence in center. “That was kind of a Mid-Pac special. It’s probably caught in any other field, but both teams play at the same park and it’s hurt us in the past. Today, it worked in our favor.”

The Owls met Lomavita’s fastball with plenty of resistance. Karter Wong socked two doubles. Every at-bat was a battle. Lomavita was more than willing to pitch to contact.

“Those guys don’t strike out very much. That was part of our scouting report that they never do. That’s a Mid-Pac, Dunn Muramaru team. You’ve got to make plays. We didn’t make some in the infield, but at the end of the day, as long as you’re one run better.”

Second baseman Nu‘u Contrades went 3-for-4 with three doubles, and his play at second base was textbook precision and artistry.

“My infield’s pretty athletic. They’re really good. I wouldn’t trade my infield for anybody else’s. I’ll take them every day of the week and twice on Sundays,” Gusman said.

The Owls will lose 14 seniors to graduation, many of them pitchers.

“That’s going to be tough,” Muramaru said.

However, they do have some key returnees for 2022.

“The middle, our shortstop (Coen Goeas) is a ninth grader. I think we have (Kennedy) Hara back. I don’t know if he’s going to play second base next year. He wanted to catch,” Muramaru said. “He’ll probably have to pitch, too.”

Wong is also going to be in the mix.

“Karter Wong played well. He’s going to have to pitch, too, next year. He played well,” Muramaru noted.

Kodey Shojinaga’s value as an infielder, closer and hitter will remain next season.

“We’ve got work to do, so that’s what summer is for,” Muramaru added. “We missed the summer (last year). That really hurt, the summer and the fall. That’s when we lift weights, so we’re probably going to go as soon as Monday.”

At Damon Field
Saint Louis (7-2) 430 112 0 — 11 16 3
Mid-Pacific (5-3) 202 020 0 — 6 7 0
Caleb Lomavita and Evan Hu. Ethan Toyama, Cayden Okada (1), Kodey Shojinaga (3), ZB Kon (7) and Tyler Kurata. W—Lomavita. L—Toyama.
Leading hitters—Saint Louis: Nu‘u Contrades 3-4, 3 doubles, 2 runs; Lomavita 3-5, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 runs; Aiva Arquette 2-5, HR, double, RBI, 2 runs; Xander Sielken 2-4, RBI, sac; Makamae DuPont 2-4, double, RBI; Cody Antone 2-3, RBI, walk; Kyson Wa‘alani 1-3, HR, 2 RBIs, HBP. Mid-Pacific: Draven Nushida 2-4, 3 runs; Karter Wong 2-4, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs, run; Travis Ito 2-3, 2 RBIs.


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