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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, February 11, 2002

Hornets beat UH baseball again

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

For the second consecutive day, a breakdown of fundamentals hurt the Hawai'i baseball team as it fell to Sacramento State, 5-3, yesterday.

Sacramento State's Casey Fuller is out at first base as Hawai'i's Gregg Omori fields the throw.

Deborah Booker • The Honolulu Advertiser

The Hornets (2-1), picked to finish ninth in the nine-team Big West Conference, took advantage of two unearned runs in a four-run fifth inning to take two of three from the Rainbows (2-5) before 958 at Les Murakami Stadium.

"It's just a deal when things aren't going the right way, guys are playing tentative," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "That's what we did the last two days. We played very tentative, like we were afraid to make a mistake.

"Even offensively, we're up there sometimes swinging not to strike out rather than driving the baseball. I still believe we're going to be OK because we can get out of that because we have good kids. But we can't play afraid to make a mistake."

Freshman Ricky Bauer (0-2) cruised early, retiring the first 12 batters he faced. But he gave up back-to-back doubles to Mario Celillo and Casey Fuller — both on 0-1 counts — then surrendered a double on an 0-2 count to Bret LeVier. Because the ball hung in the air between left fielder Scooter Martines and center fielder Arthur Guillen, Fuller could only advance to third on the play.

With the infield playing in to defend against the runner on third from scoring, Matt Wilson grounded out to third baseman Brent Cook, as the runners held.

Bauer got Danny Gill to hit a bounding ball to Cook, who charged and threw wildly to catcher Grady Symonds, allowing both runners to score to put the Hornets up 3-2. Gill took second on the play.

"I rushed my throw, pulled Grady off," Cook said of the play. "Ricky was throwing a good game. I take full responsibility for that for not making that play."

Freshman Ricky Bauer gave up five hits and three earned runs.

Advertiser library photo • Jan. 26, 2002

After stealing third before Tito Barba walked, Gill scored on Tim Reimer's single to left to make it 4-2.

Bauer gave up another run in the sixth after Celillo's second double of the game, an intentional walk, force out at second and a home-and-second double steal to make it 5-2.

Bauer was in control when he kept his pitches down, as he induced eight grounder for nine outs. But in the big inning, he left some pitches high. At the time, the Rainbows led 2-0 on an RBI single by Danny Mocny and run-scoring double by Kevin Gilbride in the second inning off Hornets starters Chris Kinsey (1-0).

"We got the lead and it was like he lost focus from throwing the ball down in the zone," Trapasso said of Bauer, who allowed five hits, five runs (three earned) and two walks with seven strikeouts in six innings.

Sean Yamashita pitched three scoreless innings of relief, allowing a hit and a walk, while striking out three.

Not all of the Rainbows problems were on defense. The hitting has struggled, too. The Rainbows had just three extra-base hits in the series, one of them was a bloop triple in Friday's game.

Trapasso made some lineup changes yesterday. Lane Nogawa, who had been batting ninth, moved to leadoff (batting .333 entering yesterday's game) and Mocny made his starting debut at designated hitter. Guillen, who led off the first six games, batted ninth.

While Mocny batted 2-for-3 and Guillen went 1-for-3 with a walk, Nogawa batted 1-for-5, further accentuating what has become a black hole in the UH lineup. Entering yesterday's game, the leadoff spot was 5-for-24 with a .321 on-base percentage.

"We'll keep toying with that (spot) until we find somebody," Trapasso said.

Further, the Rainbows failed to sacrifice successfully after getting the first two runners on to start the eighth inning. Brian Bock's bunt turned into a force out at third base; the Rainbows ended leaving the runners at first and second.

Kinsey, the starting first baseman the previous two games, allowed seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and four walks with five strikeouts. Kinsey batted for himself in the No. 3 slot, going 0-for-4.

Dusty Decker pitched the final 2¡ innings for the save.

Next for the Rainbows is UCLA (4-3), predicted to finish seventh in the nine-team Pac-10.

The Bruins took 2 of 3 from Florida Atlantic over the weekend. The UH-UCLA series runs Friday through Sunday.

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