By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
What a difference one night and a livelier fastball make.
Closer Bryan Lee, who got a reprieve Thursday night, made the best of a second chance to help Hawaii defeat Sacramento State, 5-1, in collegiate baseball last night.
For the second night in a row, UHs bullpen failed to hold a late lead, spoiling a brilliant no-hit performance over five innings by starter Sean Yamashita.
The Rainbows (2-0) blew a 1-0 lead in the top of the eighth when a one-out single against Chad Giannetti and two hit batsmen by Ryan Yamamoto loaded the bases. In came Lee, who got tagged for four runs in two-thirds of an inning the night before. Inheriting the bases loaded with one out, he got Cory Williams to pop to short. And although he allowed the tying run to score on Dave Lusks single to right, Lee minimized the damage by getting Joe Evans to ground out to shortstop.
Hawaii then scored four runs in the bottom of the frame before 1,168 fans at Rainbow Stadium to send the Hornets to 0-2. Gregg Omori was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to break the 1-all game. A balk pushed across another run before Arthur Guillens two-run single.
In Thursdays game, which the Rainbows won 8-7 in 11 innings, Lees fastball was clocked in the mid-80 mph range, according to acting coach Carl Furutani. So the coaches, who call pitches for the pitchers, had Lee use his breaking pitches more. But last night, Lees fastball was in the upper 80s. Although still some 3 mph down from his potential, according to Furutani, it was enough to hold down the Hornets. Lee (1-0) pitched 12/3 innings, allowing a hit and striking out two.
"Tonight, he had a better fastball," Furutani said. "He was more focused and more confident."
Lee was more than happy to face the tight situation in the eighth inning.
"Its a great boost for my confidence, to come back the next day and get the job done," Lee said.
Meanwhile, Yamashita was unhittable. He used his curve to set up batters and his biting slider to finish them off. He had seven strikeouts and walked none. He retired the first 12 batters of the game, striking out six of the first nine. A fielding error by shortstop Cortland Wilson allowed the only Hornet to reach base against Yamashita, last years closer.
"After Ive seen the first pitch, I knew he was going to have a special game," Furutani said.
Yamashita threw first-pitch strikes to 11 of the 16 batters he faced. Only three batters managed to draw three balls and all were eventually retired. He left after five innings, the self-imposed limit set by Furutani. Yamashita threw just 65 pitches, 15 under the other prescribed limit.
"I wanted to make sure I got my five (innings) before I got to 80 (pitches)," Yamashita said.
Catcher Brian Bock said Yamashita had complete command of his pitches.
"He can throw any pitch at any time and they didnt know what was coming," Bock said.
Aggressive base running
The Rainbows werent faring much better against Hornets starter Jeffery Groeger, who allowed a run and three hits in five innings.
Hawaii took a 1-0 lead in the second. With one out, Chad Boudon lined a double to left-center. On an 0-2 count, he broke for third, forcing Hornets third baseman Chris Kinsey to cover the bag. But Brian Bock slashed a grounder where Kinsey had been for an RBI-single.
On the run-and-hit, the runner is attempting a straight steal and the batter only swings if he likes the pitch. Unlike a hit-and-run, the batter swings to protect the runner.
The play was another sign of the aggressive base running the Rainbows are incorporating this season. On Thursday, they stole six bases. Last night, they were caught stealing twice, both at third base.
But it was heads-up base running by Derek Honma that keyed the four-run eighth. After his lead-off walk, Honma made it to third from first on Matthew Purtells bunt single to third against Hornets reliever Adam Rakela (0-1). Later in the inning, UH runners were such a distraction that the Hornets next reliever, Jared Redden, balked in a runner.
An attempted squeeze bunt by Guillen, with runners at second and third, was nullified when home plate umpire Keoki Torres ruled the bunt foul. So instead of one run coming in, the runners returned to their bases and Guillen to the batters box, where he promptly bounced a two-run single to right.
The series concludes at 1:05 p.m. today. Gavin Garrick will start for the Rainbows against Steve Cuckovich.
SACRAMENTO STATE HAWAII
ab r h bi ab r h bi
Jackson cf 3 0 0 0 Purtell dh 3 1 1 0
Williams 2b 4 0 0 0 Scalabrini 3b 3 1 1 0
Lusk c 4 0 2 1 Omori 2b 3 1 0 1
Evans dh 4 0 1 0 Kimura 1b 4 0 0 0
Brown lf 2 0 0 0 Boudon lf 2 1 1 0
Frietas lf 1 0 0 0 Guillen pr/lf 1 0 1 2
Kinsey 3b 4 0 0 0 Bock c 3 0 1 1
Meghan 1b 4 0 0 0 Montgomery rf 3 0 0 0
Celillo rf 3 1 2 0 Wilson ss 3 0 0 0
Barba ss 1 0 0 0 Honma cf 2 1 1 0
Totals 30 1 5 1 Totals 27 5 6 4
SACRAMENTO STATE (0-2) 000 000 0101
HAWAII (2-0) 010 000 04X5
E-Kinsey, Wilson. LOB-SSU 6, UH 4.
2B-Evans, Boudon. SH-Brown, Barba, Purtell, Bock.
SACRAMENTO STATE IP H R ER BB SO Groeger 5 3 1 1 0 6
Rakela L,0-1 2 2 3 3 3 2
Redden 1 1 1 1 0 0
Yamashita 5 0 0 0 0 7
Giannetti 2.1 4 1 1 0 0
Yamamoto 0 0 0 0 0 0
Lee W, 1-0 1á 1 0 0 0 2
Rakela pitched to 3 batters in the 8th. Yamamoto pitched to 2 batters in the 8th.
WP-Rakela. BK-Redden. HBP-Barba by Yamamoto; Jackson by Yamamoto; Omori by Redden.
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