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Monday, March 14, 2005



HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL


Crusaders’ triumph
sets up all-ILH final

Word on the Saint Louis Crusaders, at least in the eyes of some watchers, is that they're all offense and not a lot of pitching.

That could change soon. Jayson Fukumoto and Nainoa Campbell, both coming off extensive rehab stints, combined to lead Saint Louis over Waipahu 7-5 yesterday at chilly Mililani High School field.

"I know they lost a lot of pitchers, but they'll be all right," Waipahu coach Milton Takenaka said of the Crusaders. "We've been hot and cold. We got blown out by Kamehameha on Friday, but we played decent tonight. We played a whole lot better."

Daniel Oshiro went the distance and took the loss for the Marauders (3-7).

Saint Louis (10-3) will meet Mid-Pacific, a 3-2 winner over Kaiser, in today's championship game of the third annual Glenn Nitta Invitational. Game time at Mililani is 4 p.m.

Swirling, bone-chilling winds presented all kinds of challenges for outfielders. Junior catcher Justin Doane led the Crusaders at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two doubles.

Fukumoto went four innings to get the win. It was the southpaw's first start since having surgery to repair a small tear in his rotator cuff last summer.

"Jayson hit his 60-pitch count for us," Saint Louis coach Scot Paiva said of Fukumoto, who threw changeups, splitters and a "12-6 curveball" in addition to his fastball. His only other previous outing was a brief appearance against Kamehameha.

The sophomore showed tremendous promise as a 13-year-old, firing a no-hitter for Waipio against Pearl City in a junior league game.

Campbell, a right-hander, went the final three innings, mixing a snappy fastball with some off-speed pitches. The tall hurler missed all of last year, his junior season, with an elbow injury.

"He threw pretty well. He's worked really hard and became a leader for us in the offseason," Paiva said. "Effort is something I cannot coach."

Pitching, however, is. In the talent-rich Interscholastic League of Honolulu, having enough ammunition on the mound is often the difference between contenders and state tournament qualifiers.

"As long as we throw strikes, we can win games," Paiva said. "If we walk guys, it's a problem."

Waipahu never surrendered, cutting a five-run margin to 6-4 in the sixth inning. "We had a lot of little mistakes," Takenaka said. "Hopefully, our guys start to believe in themselves."



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