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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 3, 2006

'Bows opportunistic in win over San Diego St.

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

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WHO: San Diego State (0-2) vs. Hawai‘i (2-0)

WHERE: Les Murakami Stadium

WHEN: 6:35 tonight, 1:05 p.m. tomorrow


TV: K5 tonight

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Hawai'i wasn't at its best fundamentally, but showed a lot of heart with an amazing, 11-9 come-from-behind win against San Diego State last night.

Justin Frash's two-out, three-run double in the bottom of the seventh put the Rainbows (2-0) ahead for good, 10-8. An error made it 11-8, which turned out to be crucial because the Aztecs got a run back during a Jekyll-Hyde performance by closer Darrell Fisherbaugh in which he pitched into and out of an eighth-inning jam, then struck out the side in the ninth for his second save in as many nights.

"Fundamentally, we didn't play a good game," Frash said. "But we got so much character on this team. If we just play together as a team, we'll win games like that all year."

"I told those guys we won for two reasons," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "Character No. 1. We really showed character. We overcame adversity. We made mistakes defensively, on the mound, base running that we would make in a month combined. But because this team's got character, we continued to battle back. And the second reason was our offense. They kept us in the game, they kept coming back."

But the Aztecs (0-2) were worse off, committing seven errors, allowing seven unearned runs and throwing six wild pitches that helped the Rainbows erase deficits of 4-3, 6-5 and 8-7 to take a 2-0 lead in the four-game series.

Just as important as Frash's hit was a two-run double in the bottom of the first by Matt Inouye. His two-out hit not only chipped away at the Aztecs' three-run first, but at least psychologically kept the Rainbows close early.

"That was just huge for us," Frash said. "We answered right back and kept battling back the whole game."

It was a rough outing for both starting pitchers making their Division I debuts. Hawai'i starter Ian Harrington, a transfer from Bellevue (Wash.) College, gave up six runs on nine hits and a walk with two strikeouts in five innings. San Diego State starter Justin Masterson, from NAIA Bethel (Ind.) College, considered the top prospect in the Mountain West Conference, gave up six runs — four earned — nine hits and four walks with two strikeouts. He had three wild pitches.

The Rainbows got off to an inasupicious start when Qunitin Berry led off the game with a bunt double past third baseman Joe Spiers. The ball rolled past him down to shallow left. Spiers also committed a fielding error in the inning, allowing the Aztecs to take a 3-0 lead.

But Inouye's double scored two unearned runs because of an error.

Hawai'i got two runs without the benefit of an RBI to take a 5-4 lead in the fourth. With runners at second and third and one out, a Masterson wild pitch scored one run and the second scored on the same play when the catcher's throw to the pitcher covering home got away for an error.

The Aztecs came back with two in the fifth to regain the lead, 6-5, and added a run in the top of the sixth to make it 7-5. But the Rainbows tied it in the bottom of the frame, scoring one run on a wild pitch and the second on a throwing error by the catcher.

San Diego State took an 8-7 lead in the seventh on a two-out, flare single to left by Nick Romero.

In the UH seventh, Eli Christensen walked, took second on a catcher's throwing error and stayed there when Derek DuPree reached on third baseman Tim O'Brien's throwing error. After Spiers struck out, Jon Hee walked to load the bases against Brett Douglas (0-1). He got ahead 1-2 on Frash, who grounded a double down the right-field line to clear the bases. After an infield single moved Frash to third by Kris Sanchez, who left after pulling his hamstring, Inouye reached on another error by the third baseman to make it 11-8.

Sanchez's injury forced changes in the infield. Eli Rimes went in to play first. Christensen moved from short to second; Hee from second to third; and freshman Nathan Young went to shortstop.

Trapasso said Sanchez will be out tonight, so some changes will be made. But he challenged his team to rise.

"It goes to character," he said. "If that's what's going to define this team, which I think it might, we'll see how we'll react."

Rich Olsen (1-0) allowed three runs — two earned — on three hits and a walk with three strikeouts in two relief innings.

Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at skaneshiro@honoluluadvertiser.com.