By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Call it the maturation process of a young pitcher.
In his first start of the season, sophomore right-hander Chad Giannetti tossed six scoreless innings for his first collegiate baseball victory as Hawaii beat Louisville, 4-0, yesterday.
The Rainbows (5-4) took advantage of four errors by the road weary Cardinals (1-6), who concluded a nine-day trip that saw them drop two to No. 2 USC, one to No. 15 Pepperdine and another to Cal State-Northridge before losing two of three from the Rainbows. All of the runs yesterday were unearned.
But the day belonged to Giannetti (1-0), who displayed the kind of poise UH coaches want from their pitchers. Twice Giannetti loaded the bases and both times he escaped unscathed.
"In the past, hed get into jams and didnt know how to get out of them," UH acting coach Carl Furutani said. "Today, he got into jams, stepped back, made adjustments. He just went out there and competed and got it done."
After breezing through the first three innings without allowing a hit, Giannetti started the fourth by hitting Mike Hook and giving up singles to Scott Gerlach and Mike Budak to load the bases with no outs.
"I just lost my focus a little bit, wasnt getting ahead of the batters," Giannetti said.
After a visit from Furutani, Giannetti struck out Carlos De la Osa, got Bill Gatti to foul out to first and retired Fernando Isa on a force play.
In the fifth, Giannetti got two outs before loading the bases on consecutive singles and a hit batsman. He then got Budak to fly out to right fielder Tim Montgomery, who caught the tailing fly ball below his knees.
"Gave me a little scare there," Giannetti said.
Giannetti was 0-3 with a 5.20 earned run average in five starts last season.
It wasnt just a breakthrough for Giannetti, who allowed four hits and a walk, while striking out five. A Rainbow Stadium crowd of 923 watched Wakon Childers add two scoreless innings of relief before closer Bryan Lee finished with a perfect ninth.
Childers, who took a medical redshirt last season after elbow surgery, allowed a run in one inning in Fridays loss to Louisville. It was his first appearance since 1999.
"Its been a long time coming," Childers said. "I cant tell you how happy I am to get back out there."
He said he started throwing on a daily basis only two weeks ago. "My slider was working real well and my sinker was definitely on," Childers said.
Added Furutani: "Were bringing him along slowly. Hes still not really there yet. His velocity is still a few miles short of what it can be."
As for the Cardinals, they played like a team ready to return home. Shortstop Adam Haley, who played superb defense the first two games, committed three errors, including two on one play. His second-inning double-error allowed Chad Boudon to reach second. Boudon eventually scored on Tim Montgomerys single.
Haleys throwing error to start the third inning paved the way for a two-run inning.
A two-base throwing error by third baseman Budak in the fourth was cashed in by Purtells RBI single.
Boudon and Gregg Omori had two hits apiece for the Rainbows.
All of the unearned runs were against starter Denny Williams (0-2).
The Rainbows open the Western Athletic Conference season against Nevada on Thursday.
"Were going to try to get that big sweep for the WAC," Childers said. "That would set things up. Were looking forward to those road trips (that follow the Nevada series) because, whatever it is, we never seem to do well on the road."
Vulcans roll: Chad Agustins pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the ninth lifted Hawaii-Hilo over Nevada, 5-4, in a WAC game yesterday at Wong Stadium.
It was the second consecutive game in which the Vulcans (3-8, 2-1 WAC) beat the Wolf Pack (2-7, 1-2) in the home ninth.
The Vulcans took a 4-3 lead into the top of the ninth before Matt Maguire's sacrifice fly tied the game.
In the bottom of the frame, Daniel Rhodes pinch-ran for Keola Park, who had reached first on an error. Douglas Rhodes singled to put runners at first and second and Agustin singled on a 2-1 pitch off reliever Clint Kofmehl (0-1) to drive in the winning run.
Anthony Bernal pitched 8 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts. Sergio Reyes (2-1) pitched one-third of an inning.
Kaliko Oligo, Ryan Petersen, Park, Billy Rayl and Justin Kaneshiro each had two hits for the Vulcans. Bo Bryant was 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and three RBIs for the Wolf Pack.
The Vulcans embark on their first road trip of the season a WAC series at Texas Christian -Saturday through Feb. 19, and at Rice, Feb. 22-24.
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