ILH Baseball
Yamamoto powers third-ranked Saint Louis past Punahou


Tue, Mar 18, 2014 @ [ 3:45 pm ]

FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Punahou 0 000100111
Saint Louis 1 0 1120X572

W: Jordan Yamamoto    L: Noah Goss

STL: Jordan Yamamoto 1-3 run 2 rbi HR / 7.0 IP 0 ER 10 K
PUN: Robert Straton 0-1 run; Noah Goss 6.0 ER 4 ER 3 K

In the first of two meetings this week between the Crusaders and the Buffanblu, Jordan Yamamoto pitched a complete game one-hitter, and added a booming two-run home run over the left field fence in Saint Louis' 5-1 win over Punahou (1-3-1) at Mike Goeas Field.

"In this league, wins are so hard to come by so we are very pleased," said Saint Louis head coach George Gusman. "We didn't play very well against Iolani (on Saturday), so this is a big one for us."

The 6-foot Yamamoto was dominant, allowing just one unearned run, striking out ten while walking just one in 97 pitches.

"I felt that all of my pitches were working today, so when I have control I feel like I have more confidence on the mound, especially when I have my defense backing me up on those hard plays," said Yamamoto. "We did it as a team."

Saint Louis (3-1-0), ranked third in the ScoringLive/OC16 Baseball Power Rankings, wasted little time getting on the board, as Rayson Romero reached first on a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice by Jordan Mopas and came home on a line drive single to center by Jacob Gribbin.

Gribbin, who was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base, added an insurance run for the Crusaders in the last of the third, as his shot to third base was mishandled, allowing Mopas to score from third.

With only six hits combined in the contest, offense was definitely at a premium, but Saint Louis certainly made the most of its opportunities.

"Baseball isn't about the long ball, its about the small game, the little things," remarked Yamamoto. "We executed all the bunts when we needed to, the little plays and just pulled through as a team."

"We work on that stuff everyday. We work on our bunting, we work on our reads, its very gratifying to see that stuff come to fruition," added Gusman. "And when they see that it works in a game, they just buy into it that much more."

The Buffanblu's best opportunity came in the top of the fourth inning, when Aaron Fong laced a single to third, the first hit of the game for Punahou, and then moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Yamamoto was able to get out the inning unscathed however, as he got KJ Harrison to strike out looking and then induced Bo Coolen into a fly ball out to retire the side.

Then in the bottom of the fourth, Saint Louis increased the margin to 3-0, as Devan Stubblefield drew a leadoff walk, moved over to second on a sacrifice, and motored around third and on to home on an errant throw to third base.

Yamamoto's monster shot to left center, good for a two-run home run in the fifth, increased the Crusaders' lead to 5-0, and the biggest hit of the afternoon was a bit of a surprise to the Crusders' starting pitcher himself.

"I was just thinking of not getting the hat trick, putting the ball in play," remarked Yamamoto, who had struck out in first two appearances. "I just focused on the ball, and it just happened. Technically I guess you could say it was a 'mistake,' but it happened, and I was happy about it."

Punahou managed to get on the board in the top of the sixth, when Robert Straton walked to leadoff the inning, moved over to second on a fielder's choice, and then scored after an errant throw on a Beau Branton grounder. But any chance of rally by the Buffanblu was extinguished on the next at-bat, when the lead runner was doubled off at second following a fly ball out to end the inning.

Punahou starter Noah Goss went five innings, allowing 5 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits, striking out 4 and walking three, before yielding to Michael Viola, who allowed a hit and walked two batters, but did not all any Crusaders' to cross the plate.

"It was a big game for us, a good confidence booster," said Yamamoto.

Reach Brien Ing at [email protected].




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