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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 8:39 p.m., Saturday, April 22, 2006

Rainbows roll past New Mexico St. in baseball

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawai'i got a strong outing from Justin Costi, and Robbie Wilder hit his first collegiate career home run in a 10-3 rout of New Mexico State to clinch the Western Athletic Conference baseball series Saturday night before 2,170 at Les Murakami Stadium.

The Rainbows (29-11 overall, 7-5 WAC) moved into sole possession of second place in the conference, 1 1/2 games behind first-place Louisiana Tech, which lost to Sacramento State, 11-10, in 10 innings yesterday.

Justin Costi (5-1) went a season-high 7 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. Myles Ioane made his season debut, allowing a run in 1 1/3 innings of relief.

Jason Conner (2-3) was tagged for eight runs (four earned), 11 hits and two walks with three strikeouts in five innings for the Aggies (14-28, 1-10).

Hawai'i scored in the first against Conner. With one out, Derek DuPree doubled to left, took third on Justin Frash's single to right and scored on Luis Avila's sacrifice fly to right to give UH a 1-0 lead.

The Rainbows added two in the third. DuPree led off with a single to right and stole second. Frash doubled to right, but DuPree was thrown out at home on the play. Avila single to left to score Frash, taking second on the throw and advancing to third on left fielder Mark Montgomery's throwing error. After Matt Inouye grounded out to short on the drawn-in infield, freezing the runner at third, Avila scored when Esteban Lopez reached first when third baseman Joseph Godinez's throwing error pulled the first baseman off the bag to make it 3-0.

Hawai'i blew it open with a five-run fifth. Avila walked and scored on Inouye's triple to left. Lopez reached first safely on third baseman Godinez's fielding error, as Inouye held third. Sanchez popped out to second to hold the runners. Hee singled to left, scoring Inouye and sending Lopez to third. Hee stole second and Lopez scored on catcher Brandon Lance's throwing error to second. After Eli Christensen struck out, Robbie Wilder homered to right to make it 8-0.

The Rainbows kept up the scoring in the seventh against reliever Mark Smith. Pinch hitter Adam Roberts led off with a single to center and took second on Hee's single to center. Both advanced on a wild pitch before Christensen walked to load the bases. Wilder was hit by a pitch to force across a run and DuPree walked to score another run to make it 10-0. Frash popped out to third and pinch hitter Eli Rimes fouled out to third. The left-handed Smith was then pulled for the right-handed Bennett Askew to the right-handed hitting Inouye, who grounded to third baseman Godinez, who stepped on third for the force to end the inning.

The Aggies avoided being shutout for the second consecutive night by scoring in the eighth. With one out, pinch hitter Joaquin Ortiz singled and Marcus Quade singled before Mark Montgomery flied out to right. Godinez singled to right-center scored Ortiz and sent Quade to third. After Godinez stole second, pinch hitter Nick Pardikes walked to load the bases. Costi then hit Jason Long to force across the second run, making it 10-2. Costi was pulled for Ioane, who got pinch hitter Jeremy Uhl to fly out to center to end the inning.

The Aggies scored in the ninth. Rodriguez walked, stole second, took third on a ground out to second and scored on Ortiz's sacrifice fly to center to make it 10-3.