Kamehameha-Hawai’i dominates Damien to win second state baseball championship

BY MICHAEL LASQUERO | HSRN
PUBLISHED MAY 19, 2024

There is a new champion in Division II baseball.

Third-seeded Kamehameha-Hawai’i dethroned two-time champion Damien in convincing fashion with a 12-1 mercy-rule win Saturday morning at Moanalua in the Wally Yonamine/HHSAA Baseball Championships.

The Warriors (16-1) used a nine-run surge in the top of the first to pull away for their second state title in school history, their first since 2016.

“It’s means a lot,” said winning pitcher Shiloh Santos. “We wanted it for Hilo, our school, our families and for each other and that’s really important for us.”

KS-Hawai’i sent 15 batters to the plate and scored nine runs on eight hits in the first half-inning of the game.

“You can’t ask for anything better when you score nine in the first and you don’t even have to go out on the mound,” said coach Andy Correa. “It’s a real comforting thing and it really puts you in a relaxed state to play the rest of the game.”

Kaohu Kawelu, Dominic Christensen and Santos all recorded multiple hits for the Warriors. Kawelu, Elijah Okano and Braden Gomes also scored twice.

“Our mindset was just to hit,” said Kawelu, an HPU-commit. “No matter where, to hit the ball, hit it hard and put it where they weren’t so it worked out in our favor.”

The first state title in KS-Hawai’i’s history was won on Hawai’i Island at Wong Stadium, but this year was different. The Warriors also had to resume their semifinal game against Kauai with inclement weather forcing numerous schedule changes during the tournament.

“It was really nice to overcome adversity in the trip during the season,” said Correa. “It was a nice reward for the kids.”