POSTED: Sunday, June 07, 2009

There are a few pitchers who took the mound as often as Jeremy Fujimoto.

No other, however, came through in the state tournament like the Punahou senior did. In three appearances, he won two games and preserved a victory in the final against Kailua for a save. He struck out 19 and walked only one in 10 innings, finishing with a 0.00 ERA as Punahou won its sixth state title in a row.

That sterling performance convinced coaches and media to select Fujimoto as Pitcher of the Year in the Star-Bulletin All-State Baseball selections.

Fujimoto's state-tourney dominance surprised most foes. His regular season mirrored Punahou's uphill battle—4-4 in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu with a 3.08 ERA and a league-high 42 strikeouts in 36 innings. He also walked 30.

At the state tourney, Fujimoto turned into a living, breathing pitching hero—emphasis on breathe. He applied a breathing exercise during his time on the mound.

“;Our mental (preparation) coach taught me that,”; he said of Brad Yates. “;I kind of made it routine after every pitch. I get too amped up sometimes. It helped me settle down a bit.”;

Batters managed to hit .061 against Fujimoto in the state tourney, down from the .185 during ILH play.

“;He had trouble throwing strikes early in the season, but he's a bulldog. He doesn't give in,”; Mid-Pacific coach Dunn Muramaru said.

Breland Almadova had superstar numbers just about everywhere. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound 'Iolani senior hit .461, belted nine homers, amassed 34 RBIs and scored 33 runs to earn Star-Bulletin Position Player of the Year honors.

The UH-bound speedster had a .921 slugging percentage, adding eight doubles and three triples to his homer total, and also had a .517 on-base percentage. He stole six bases in six attempts, committed just one error in 56 chances in centers field.

Almadova made nine appearances as a pitcher. He was 2-0 with an ILH-high four saves to go with a 0.39 ERA. He struck out 16 and walked three in 18 innings, and opponents hit .172. Just about the only thing to spoil his spectacular season was an upset loss to Moanalua in the state quarterfinals.

A month later, Almadova can only wonder.

“;What would've happened if we played Punahou,”; he asked.

Coach of the Year honors went to Punahou's Eric Kadooka, who guided his team to its sixth HHSAA state championship in a row. Punahou was 7-5 in regular-season play, but earned a state berth in the league's playoff tourney. In addition to Fujimoto's pitching, Kadooka took his staff's advice and moved junior-varsity pitcher Zachery Muenster to the varsity for the state tourney.

The move paid dividends: The freshman went 2-0 with an 0.72 ERA, including the title win over Kailua.

First Team

Matthew McDaniel


Pos.: P. Class: Sr.

4-2, 2.75 ERA, 29 Ks in 35 IP, opponents batted just .223. Hit .400

Charles Kaalekahi
Pos.: P. Class: Jr.
5-2, 0.72 ERA in 48 IP, 39 Ks, 9 BB. No earned runs at state tourney

Piikea Kitamura
Pos.: SS. Class: Sr.
Hit .407, walked 13 times for an OBP of .527 and scored 20 runs

Michael Suiter
Pos.: OF. Class: Jr
435 batting average, 14 runs, 7-9 SB-A. Hit .385 at state tournament

Keanu Carmichael
Pos.: C. Class: Sr.
Hit .442, 19 RBIs, slugging pct. .808. Only 1 error all season

Reyn Nagamine
Pos.: 1B. Class: Sr.
Hit .365, 3 HR, 17 RBIs and 15 runs. Hit .571 (4-7) at state tourney

Kalei Hanawahine
Pos.: OF. Class: Sr.
Hit .429, drove in 17 runs, scored 23. OBP of .535 and 6-7 SB-A

Kahana Neal
Pearl City
Pos.: U. Class: Jr.
8-0, 2.06 ERA in 40 IP, 32 Ks, 10 BB. Also hit .347 with 22 RBIs

Justin Protacio
Pos: 2B. Class: So
Led Owls with .467 batting average, scored 16 runs

Buen Hatanaka
Pos: 3B. Class: Sr.
Hit .293, 3 HR, 18 RBIs, 26 runs, 16 BB

(OBP .436)

Kale Sumner
Pos.: U. Class: Sr.
Switched from third base to catcher, hit .440 in OIA Red play.

Eric Kadooka
Coach of the Year
Led Punahou to unprecedented sixth straight state title


Second Team

Alika PruettKamehamehaPSr.
Chris PascualKamehamehaPSr.
Sheldon Lee'IolaniPJr.
Carlton TanabePearl CityCSr.
Kewby MeyerKamehameha1BJr.
Kyle KobayashiPearl City2BSr.
Michael ArakakiMid-Pacific3BSr.
Timothy ArakawaMoanaluaSSJr.
Derek TanMid-PacificOFSr.
Jensen Park'IolaniOFSo.
Arlie JohnsonKamehamehaOFSr.
Alika Ramseyer-HoKailuaUSo.
J.R. Bunda'IolaniUSr.

Third Team

Zachary ManagoMoanaluaPJr.
Bryson GautheKailuaPSr.
Chris ChungSaint LouisPJr.
Tyler YoungPunahouCSr.
Moses SamiaSaint Louis1BJr.
Makana RamieKamehameha2BSr.
Tyler HanzawaPunahou3BSr.
Wade TamaruMid-PacificSSSr.
Jordan OshiroPearl CityOFJr.
Michael MemeaCampbellOFJr.
Taylor KauweloaDamienOFSr.
Jarrett Arakawa'IolaniUJr.
Ryan McMonigleKailuaUSo.

Honorable mention (in alphabetical order)

Pitchers: Joey Aquino, Mililani; Devin Fujioka, Hawaii Prep; Jake Fukuyama, Moanalua; Isaiah Kaneakua, KS-Maui; Dae Yang Kim, Moanalua; Jenson Koga, Kauai; Devin Lee, Kalani; Dillon Matsuda, Kalani; Zachery Muenster, Punahou; Kulani Soares, KS-Hawaii; Kendal Ushijima, Hilo. Catchers: Ridge Hoopii-Haslam, Hilo; Jordan Inamasu, Baldwin; Jordan Kahalekai-Bermoy, St. Anthony; Lanan Rice-Kashima, Kauai; Zach Wong, Kaiser. First Basemen: Michael Acoba, Waimea; Naea Kalehuawehe, KS-Maui; Geonah Ragual, Hilo. Second Basemen: Dayton Alexander, KS-Maui; Jayce Carvalho, KS-Hawaii; Joe Honma, Kaiser; Jared Iha, Kailua; Scott Rapanot, Molokai. Third Basemen: Robert Perreira, Waimea; Dalton Miyasato, Kauai. Shortstops: Ryan Fukunaga, Hilo; Matthew McCraney, St. Anthony. Outfielders: Paul Correa, Waimea; Michael Egami, Moanalua; Kainalu Garso, Baldwin; Matthew Guzman, Maryknoll; Miles Higa, Moanalua; Jeremy Ioane, Punahou; Jacob Meyer, Kamehameha; Todd Nagamine, Mid-Pacific; Wataru Noguchi, Kalani; Bronson Oda, Pearl City. Utility: Evan Lim, Punahou; Josh Kaiwi, Makua Lani Christian; Adam Oshiro, Pac-Five; Craig Shoji, Maryknoll.