Clutch hitting lifts UH over UCLA, 8-3
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Hawai'i got four two-out hits with runners in scoring position and a strong pitching performance from Ricky Bauer to beat UCLA, 8-3, yesterday to take 2-of-3 in the Rainbows' collegiate baseball season-opening series.
Deborah Booker The Honolulu Advertiser
Hawai'i's Nick Ponomarenko is greeted by teammates after scoring on Tim Montgomery's single with two outs in the seventh. The Rainbows scored six runs on four two-out hits.
Deborah Booker The Honolulu Advertiser
The game was played before 1,417 at Les Murakami Stadium. The 5,570 that attended the three-game series were the most since last year's season-opening four-game series against Florida State drew 7,543. Last year's top attendance for a three-game series was 4,235 against Rice.
Bauer (1-0) worked six innings and allowed six hits and a walk. He permitted two runs, one of which was unearned. Bauer used 81 pitches, netting nine grounders, including a double play, and eight air outs. He did not strike out any batters.
"I really thought he was gassed," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "In that sixth, he was battling out there and started to leave (pitches) up. We wanted to keep it around 80 pitches; he threw 81 so we cut it right there. To get six innings, we'll take that any time."
Bauer allowed more than one base runner in an inning twice. He escaped with a no-out double play in the fourth and he allowed an unearned run in the fifth on a force at second with the bases loaded.
"I was spotting my fastball, getting my changeup over every now and then, kept them off-balance," the sophomore right-hander said. "I could've gone more, but the coaches wanted to rest our arms a little bit, not do too much early in the season."
Right-hander Clary Carlsen, a JC transfer, pitched the final three innings for UH's first save of the season. After two scoreless innings, he allowed a run in the ninth before getting preseason All-American Wes Whisler to ground out to first baseman Andrew Sansaver to end the game with the bases loaded.
What: UH-Manoa (2-1) vs. UH-Hilo (2-14) When: 6:35 p.m. tomorrow Where: Les Murakami Stadium Radio/TV: 1420AM, 6:15 p.m./KFVE, 6:30 p.m.
Warriors vs. Vulcans
What: UH-Manoa (2-1) vs. UH-Hilo (2-14)
When: 6:35 p.m. tomorrow
Where: Les Murakami Stadium
Radio/TV: 1420AM, 6:15 p.m./KFVE, 6:30 p.m.
Trailing 1-0, the Rainbows got a two-out, two-run single by freshman third baseman Rocky Russo. They added another run in the second on a two-out double by the left-handed Sansaver, who made his first start yesterday against UCLA's right-handed starter Casey Janssen (0-1). Brian Finegan added a two-out, two-run single in the third, and Tim Montgomery contributed a two-out, RBI single in the seventh.
"You get four two-out base hits that score runs, that's going to give you a chance to win every game," Trapasso said. "That was kind of the tale (Saturday) night. We executed except for one bunt late in the game that hurt us. But the truth is the game was decided on we having zero hits with runners in scoring position."
Besides his RBI double, Sansaver helped with his glove. Coaches raved about his defense and he displayed his skills yesterday. In the fifth inning, he snagged Whisler's hard grounder near the line and fired to second for a force. Shortstop Finegan took the throw, but his relay to pitcher Bauer covering first was high. Sansaver prevented another run from scoring when he caught the errant throw while backing up first.
"I used to play outfield in high school before moving to the infield," Sansaver said. "I like to handle the ball."
Right-handed hitting Nick Ponomarenko started at first base the first two games of the series because UCLA started left-handers in those games. He was the designated hitter yesterday.
"I love Sansaver because of his defense and just because of the intensity that he plays with," Trapasso said.
The Rainbows return to action quickly this week. They will play UH-Hilo at 6:35 p.m. tomorrow at Murakami Stadium. The Vulcans (2-14) are trying to snap a seven-game losing streak.
Freshman right-hander Keahi Rawlins, out of Moloka'i High, is scheduled to make his starting debut for the Rainbows. The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder was drafted in the 36th round by the Philadelphia Phillies in June. Trapasso said Rawlins will be on a similar pitch count to Bauer (around 80 pitches).
"He's strong enough to go 80-85 (pitches)," Trapasso said. "But we'll see. I'd like to be able to throw a lot of guys that we haven't thrown yet. But our goal is to do whatever we can to win the game."
Notes: Four ticket windows were open during Saturday's game. There were more walk-up sales than usual, causing the long line, stadium manager Glenn Nakaya said ... Freshman second baseman Isaac Omura led the Rainbows offensively by going 5-for-12 (.417) with two doubles, a triple and four RBIs in the series. Right fielder Josh Green (4-for-12) and shortstop Brian Finegan (3-for-11) also had four RBIs apiece for UH ... One of the goals of new hitting coach Brian Green was for the UH batters to have a walks/hit batsmen-to-strikeouts ratio of 1-to-1; UH had 26 combined walks/hit-by-pitches to 21 strikeouts in the series. In contrast, UH pitchers allowed six walks/hit batsmen to 15 strikeouts.