Kamehameha’s plan to weather a hectic week has held up through the first two days of the Division I state tournament.
Last week’s rain pushed the ILH Division I championship game to Monday and the Warriors’ loss to Saint Louis gave them one day to recharge for their tournament opener.
Junior Blaise Pontes threw 63 pitches while giving the Warriors six shutout innings in a 3-0 win over Kalani on Monday in the first round of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Baseball State Championships.
Sophomore right-hander Christian DeJesus then held defending champion Baldwin to an unearned run on four singles and struck out six over 5 1/3 innings in the Warriors’ 6-1 quarterfinal victory on Thursday at Les Murakami Stadium.
The Warriors advanced in the winner’s bracket to face Waiakea in Friday’s 4 p.m. semifinal in their fourth game in five days.
“We came in with a plan so that we had everybody ready, made sure we had one pitcher for every game and hopefully the plan works out for us,” DeJesus said after his final start of the season.
Kamehameha senior Hunter Breault threw 19 pitches while getting two outs in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s win over Kalani. Kamehameha coach Tommy Perkins said Breault is scheduled to start Friday. but “I’m not positive.”
Breault needed just seven pitches to ring up two strikeouts on Wednesday. But he gave up a single, hit a batter and walked another before being relieved by Francis Gora, who got the final strikeout on three pitches.
Perkins said Wednesday was Breault’s scheduled bullpen session, “so we wanted to get him out there rather than throwing everything in the pen back there.”
Pontes’ pitch total against Kalani requires him to take two days of rest, making him eligible to throw on Saturday should the Warriors advance to the final.
DeJesus threw 94 pitches on Thursday, taking him out of consideration to make another appearance in the tournament and his performance kept the Warriors on track in their pursuit of the program’s first state championship since 2003.
He stranded a Baldwin runner at second in the first and second innings and the Bears scratched out a run in the third when Chase Akaka singled, stole second then took third and scored on an errant throw.
DeJesus went to full counts to six batters and won five of those battles, four on flyouts — including Micah Kinoshita’s diving catch in left in the third inning — and was lifted in the sixth after giving up his second walk of the game. Senior Jesse Awa got the final four outs, ending the game with a line out to shortstop Kawai Takemura to start a double play.
“It was pretty much come out and give it your all for the rest of the season,” DeJesus said of the Warriors’ approach to their busy week. “It’s the last week of baseball, we’re not going to have it for a while, so just give everything you have.”
First baseman Hunter Fujitani broke a 1-1 tie with a two-out single in the top of the fourth and Logan Salcedo and Takemura followed with RBI singles to give the Warriors a 4-1 lead. Salcedo added a sacrifice fly in the sixth as Kamehameha pulled away.
“That rain week kind of affected us,” Perkins said. “We’re finally bouncing back so I hope we can maintain it. The kids looked good today.
“We had a couple hours today to refocus on our hitting and went back to basics. The kids came though and got a string of hits together.”