ILH 2 Champs Roll into State Championship

The way the Damien Monarchs are rolling at the plate right now, the wait for Saturday’s 4 p.m. Division II state title game will feel quite long.

After beating St. Francis four consecutive times to steal the ILH title and berth in the state tournament, the Monarchs have kept it going over the last two days, totaling 25 runs in 11 innings to advance to their first state baseball final in school history.

Left fielder Akila Arecchi went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Kaimana Cameron was 3-for-3 with four RBIs for the Monarchs (17-5) in a 14-3 win over Hawaii Prep in five innings in the Division II semifinals of the Wally Yonamine Foundation/HHSAA Baseball State Championships at Les Murakami Stadium.

Cameron is batting 1.000 (5-for-5) in the state tournament with four RBIs and four runs scored as the Monarchs prepare to face Kauai in the final.

Damien has rolled over its two opponents, beating Farrington 11-6 in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Kauai has won two one-run games in extra innings to reach the final.

“Everybody is staying hot right now and everybody is coming in clutch for hitting,” Cameron said. “Our pitchers are throwing strikes like they have to and everyone is performing well right now.”

Kaycee Natividad threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief without giving up a hit to earn the win. Starter Grayson Buenogave up three runs on two hits in 1 2/3 innings before leaving the game with an undisclosed injury.

Damien’s offense had his back scoring in all five innings.

Hawaii Prep (10-11) failed to record an out in the bottom of the fifth inning as all five Monarchs reached base. A walk, single and hit batter loaded the bases for Paul Mezurashi, who then walked in a run. After a wild pitch made it a 12-3 game, pinch hitter Chayne Wayton hit a two-run double to end it due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Mezurashi was 2-for-2 with two runs scored and an RBI and Kayson Kajiwara singled and scored twice.

at Les Murakami Stadium
Hawaii Prep (10-11) 030 00 — 3 2 2
Damien (17-5) 251 24 — 14 14 1
Finn Richmond, Sheldon Aribal (3), Michael Hughes (5) and Braden Kojima. Grayson Bueno, Kaycee Natividad (2) and Kana Schuman. W—Natividad. L—Richmond.
Leading hitters—DMS: Akila Arecchi 3-4, 3 runs, RBI; Kaimana Cameron 3-3, run, 4 RBIs; Jayden Cabbab 1-2, 2b, 2 runs, RBI; Shiloh Kaeo 2-2, run, 2 RBIs; Paul Mezurashi 2-2, 2 runs, RBI; Chayne Wayton 2b, 2 RBIs; Kayson Kajiwara 1-2, 2 runs.