FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM|
Saint Louis catcher Jowen Murray-Thornton tagged out Mid-Pac's Alan Sunada in the bottom of the fourth inning yesterday.
lead Saint Louis
The Crusaders beat the Owls
12-0 as Marc Nobriga and
Jowen Murray-Thornton shine
The right arm of Marc Nobriga and the bat of Jowen Murray-Thornton may be the two ingredients the Saint Louis baseball team looks back on as being keys to Interscholastic League of Honolulu glory.
Nobriga subdued league-leading Mid-Pacific yesterday by throwing a one-hitter, while Murray-Thornton went 3-for-4 with three extra-base hits and five RBIs as Saint Louis whipped the host Owls 12-0.
The win pulled the Crusaders (9-3) a half-game in back of the Owls (9-2) in the ILH standings and opened up the possibility of a late run to the regular-season title. More importantly for Saint Louis, the victory may have represented the final steadying of a ship that got rocked once in a while. Exactly two weeks earlier, the Crusaders were bombarded 15-0 by Kamehameha.
"After that game, the kids sat down and decided to buckle down," Saint Louis coach Scot Paiva said. "We only have two games left in the season, but after today's win, we still have a chance.
"It's really important to win games this late in the season because you want to be on a winning roll when the ILH tournament starts."
Near the Owls dugout after the game, coach Dunn Muramaru retained his composure, as usual. His only answer, under gray skies, was the only logical one: "The game should have been rained out.
"No loss is a good one, so we're going to flush this (loss) away and see what's going on. We'll see what these guys are made of."
Losing pitcher Harrison Kuroda -- the victim of two early unearned runs before getting tagged for six runs in the fifth -- was down after such a thorough loss.
"One of the coaches was telling me that some days you have it and some days you don't," Kuroda said. "My feeling is we've got to get better. Nobriga threw a real good game. He's a very good pitcher and Saint Louis is a very good team and this is a very tough league. We'll try not to lose two in a row. We have to get back up."
MPI errors with runners on third base in the first and second innings gave the Crusaders a 2-0 lead.
"That second one took the life out of him (Kuroda). It buried us," said Muramaru, whose team is more suited to holding a lead than making comebacks.
Murray-Thornton's three-run homer to right-center keyed Saint Louis' six-run fifth as the lead grew to 8-0. The ball bounded off the top of the chain-link fence and over. Danny Lee also contributed with a two-run single and Johnny Gentry added an RBI hit.
In the seventh off reliever Jared Hara, Murray-Thornton drove in two more runs with a bases-loaded double to left-center. Another runner scored on the play, thanks to an MPI outfield error. Gentry also had another RBI hit in the four-run inning.
Owls catcher Kip Masuda had the only hit off Nobriga, a blooper to left-center in the bottom of the fourth when the score was still 2-0. Pinch runner Alan Sunada -- in for Kuroda, who walked with two outs -- tried to score from first on the play, but was tagged out at the plate by Murray-Thornton, who took a relay throw from first baseman Chester Wilson.
Nobriga finished with nine strikeouts and two walks, and he had five 1-2-3 innings.
"My slider and changeup were working because once I establish my fastball, everything else falls into place," said Nobriga, who was still throwing heat in the seventh. "We talked about coming out and playing strong this week against Mid-Pacific. This is a big win for us."
Murray-Thornton is looking forward to the future after his big plate performance.
"With Marc on the mound, we're really confident, and I think we can make it all the way and keep the intensity up," he said.
At Mid-Pacific Institute Field
|Saint Louis (9-3)
Marc Nobriga and Jowen Murray-Thornton; Harrison Kuroda, Conan Young (5), Jared Hara (6) and Kip Masuda. W--Nobriga. L--Kuroda.
Leading hitters--StL: Ryan Sasaki 2-4; Danny Lee 2-4, 2 RBIs; Chester Wilson 3-3; Johnny Gentry 2-4, 2 RBIs; Murray-Thornton 3-4, 2 2bs, 3-run HR, 5 RBIs; Shaun Kauleinamoku 2b.
Punahou 4, Iolani 2
The Buffanblu scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to rally past the Raiders.
Punahou scored in the sixth off four hits, an error and a sacrifice fly.
At Ala Wai Field
Eric Muraoka, Wally Marciel (6) and Bert Mitsunaga. Jared Pate and Robert Kirisu. W--Pate. L--Muraoka.
Leading hitters--Iol: Travis Nishioka 2-3. Pun: Noah Phillips 2-3, RBI.
Kamehameha 9 Maryknoll 3
The Spartans beat the Warriors after a pair of rain delays took up 27 minutes, allowing Kamehameha to score six runs on just three hits in the top of the fifth.
The game was called because of lightning an inninng later.
At Ala Wai Field
Kanekoa Texeira, Jacon Cockett (6) and Stuart Kam; Peter Kirst, Spencer Kim (6) and Brian Tabata. W--Texeira. L--Kirst.
Leading hitters--Kam: Brandon Ogimi, 2-2; S. Kam, 2-3, 2b, 2 RBIs; Travis Young, 2-3; Keola Kaluhiokalani, 2b. Mrykl: David McCoy, 2-3; Brett Ikei, 2b.
Pearl City 16, Radford 0
Kahuku 10, Farrington 7