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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 31, 2002

Yamashita pitches UH past UH-Hilo

By Leila Wai
Special to The Advertiser

Behind the pitching of senior Sean Yamashita last night, the Rainbows did something they were unable to do so far this season.

Beat the Vulcans.

Led by the right-hander, the University of Hawai'i defeated Hawai'i-Hilo, 7-2, in the sixth night of the Ohana Hotels and Resorts Easter Tournament at Les Murakami Stadium.

Hawai'i is 11-20 overall and 3-2 in the tournament. Hawai'i-Hilo is 9-29-1 and 1-4. The Rainbows lost a four-game series in Hilo earlier this month.

"I think our guys had some pride and they wanted to come out and play with a little more aggressiveness and that is the way they started the game tonight and it all started with Yamashita," said Hawai'i coach Mike Trapasso. "He was outstanding and that kept them in check the whole game."

In his second start of the season, Yamashita pitched Hawai'i's first complete game of the season, allowing two runs on five hits, and striking out eight batters and walking two.

"I felt pretty good tonight. I had command of my fastball and my curve which helped a lot," he said.

Yamashita is now 2-0 as a starter, 2-2 overall. Daniel Lockett took the loss, dropping to 2-2.

Yamashita was helped by an awakening Hawai'i offense, which had 12 hits, highlighted by a two-run home run by senior Lane Nogawa in the top of the third inning. Nogawa nailed the ball 325 feet over the right-field fence, scoring Arthur Guillen to give the Rainbows a 2-0 lead. It was Nogawa's first collegiate home run.

"It felt good, I was looking for something away and I got it and just tried to drive it into right field," Nogawa said.

Said Trapasso: "We really did swing well, this is two nights in a row where we've gotten some timely hits. More importantly is that we've been better with our at-bats; we've been swinging with a lot more aggressiveness."

The Vulcans answered back with a run in the bottom of the third when Ryan Hanohano scored on an RBI single to right field by Kaliko Oligo. Hanohano walked to start the inning and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Douglas Nassimbene and a ground out by Daniel Rhodes.

The Rainbows scored three runs in the fourth inning.

Gregg Omori led off the inning with a walk, Derek Honma singled and advanced to second on a throwing error by the shortstop Rhodes, which allowed Omori to go to third.

Kevin Gilbride singled to score Omori, and Honma came home on a throwing error by center fielder Oligo trying to get Honma at third.

After Tim Montgomery struck out, Grady Symonds reached base on a fielder's choice as Gilbride was thrown out at home. Symonds then scored on Guillen's RBI single.

In the sixth, Honma's two-out single to left center scored Nogawa and Brent Cook to stretch the Rainbows' lead to 7-1. Nogawa reached on a walk and Cook on a base hit.

Defense was also a key, as Hawai'i committed no errors, and Hawai'i-Hilo committed four.

"I think the difference tonight was Sean Yamashita," said UH-Hilo coach Joey Estrella. "It didn't matter what we did on the field, he handcuffed us all night and made pitches when he needed to and kept us off balance. Maybe right now they are starting to roll a little bit and this will be good for them going into the WAC."

The Rainbows were just glad to avoid a series sweep with Hilo.

"It was embarrassing losing four games and all I could think about was revenge," said Yamashita.

Nogawa agreed: "It felt good to get some revenge back."

• • •

• San Jose State 4, Lewis-Clark State 3: Ryan Adams' single to center field drove in Gabe Lopez in the bottom of the eleventh as the Spartans defeated the Warriors to finish the tournament undefeated.

Lewis-Clark State 000 020 000 10—3 9 0
San Jose State 000 000 020 11—4 7 1

Andres Torres, Nick Seely (8), Kyle Correa (9), Ryan Heitmann (10) and Gabe Stajduhar. Jahseam George, Andy Cook (7), Frank Esposito (8), Donald Gemmell (10) and Adam Shorsher. WP—George. LP—Heitmann.

Leading Hitters: LC—Tory Haven 2-4; Stajduhar 2-5; Micah Furtado double; David Bernstine double; Emerson Frostad homer. SJSU—Bryan Baker homer; Travis Becktel double; Markum King 2-2, double.

• • •

• Birmingham Southern 6, UC Riverside 3: The Panthers scored three runs in the eighth inning to open a four-run lead.

Leading 3-2, the Panthers loaded the bases after sloppy play by the Highlanders, including two walks, a wild pitch, a hit batsman, an error by the catcher and a balk.

Birmingham Southern 000 110 130—6 7 2
UC Riverside 110 000 010—3 7 2

Josh Britnell, Derek Griffith (7) and Jon Prince. Brian Hoff, Cordell Perkins (7) and Jimmy Anderson. WP—Britnell. LP—Hoff. S—Griffith.

Leading Hitters: BS—Michael Cline 2 RBIs; Mac Godwin 2-5, double; Cory Hamrick double; Jon Prince double, RBI; Pat Mizerany double. UCR—Scott Powis RBI; Tony Festa 2-4, RBI; Brian Wahlbrink 2-4.