Wapahani finished with a 30-4 record during its state championship baseball season. To senior second baseman Luke Snider, two of those four losses stand out as providing particular lessons.
Wapahani twice lost the second game of a doubleheader, the first time against Homestead on April 12 and the second time on April 19 against Northeastern. Each time, the Raiders had won the first game of the day against that opponent, then lost the second game by one run.
“That really told us we’ve got to work on pushing through games,” Snider said. “Even when we’re tired, we’ve got to keep pushing.”
Snider said that lesson of learning to push through on difficult days proved to be important in Saturday’s 2-0 state championship win against Evansville Mater Dei at Victory Field in Indianapolis. The temperature was listed at 89 degrees in the game’s box score.
The state title win also pushed the Raiders to 30 victories for the season. That total exceeded their expectations, Snider said. He said at the beginning of the season, he would have considered approximately 25 wins to be a great total.
“(Thirty) was a little higher than we were shooting for, but it’s awesome,” Snider said.
One of the highlights of the season for Wapahani came on May 17, when it defeated both Delta and Daleville to win the Delaware County championship. Coach Brian Dudley said it was among the many highlights for the Raiders in the historic season. The 2014 Wapahani squad became the first team from Delaware County to win a state championship in baseball.
“Every accomplishment, as far as the county all the way through, that’s what their goals are,” Dudley said. “And to be able to go through, all the way through and make the run, is just a credit to the kids.”
The two losses in doubleheaders were the first two blemishes on the Raiders’ schedule. The other two losses came consecutively. The first was an 8-4 defeat to Park Tudor. That loss was also the second game of the day for Wapahani, though the Raiders were in a tournament setting and were facing a different opponent than the one they faced earlier in the day. The next loss came on May 5, a 3-2 loss to Frankton in nine innings.
The Frankton loss was followed with a 10-2 win against Daleville on the road on May 7. That victory against the Broncos was the beginning of a 17-game winning streak, one the Raiders rode all the way to a state championship.