UC Irvine tops UH, 1-0, in pitching duel
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By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Hawai'i had its best pitching performance of the season, only to face a better one in a 1-0 loss to UC Irvine last night that evened the series at 1.
Freshman right-hander Scott Gorgen (2-0) pitched two-hit ball over 8 1/3 innings, walking two while striking out six for the Anteaters (4-2) before a season-high 2,033 at Les Murakami Stadium. Another freshman right-hander, Kyle Necke, hit a batter, but snagged a one-hopper back to the mound by Justin Frash for a game-ending double play. Together, they faced 30 batters, or three over the minimum.
"It's a tough loss, but if we're going to stay on an even keel that means we have to come out tomorrow, forget about tonight and find a way to scratch some runs across and hope to have the same (kind of) outing out of (today's starter) Mark Rodrigues," UH coach Mike Trapasso said.
As tough to swallow was the loss of right fielder Matt Inouye, who sustained a possible back spasm when he made a strong throw at the plate to nail a runner in the second inning. Although he batted in the bottom of the inning, grounding out to first, he did not return to the field to start the third inning.
"He's pretty doubtful for (today)," Trapasso said.
Last night belonged to Gorgen, a 5-foot-10, 175-pounder from Concord, Calif. He was incredibly effective, using 106 pitches. Both of the hits he allowed were in the second inning: a lead-off ground single to left by Eli Christensen and a single to short by Robbie Wilder, the most successful of Rainbows, reaching three times, the other two times on walks.
"He was doing a good job on his changeups," Wilder said. "He threw strikes. You have to tip your cap to him and try and come out tomorrow and get the next guy."
This was Gorgen's second start. He went 5 2/3 innings, allowing an unearned run in a 10-4 win against California.
"I was trying not to think about the tight score," he said. "I just kept saying to myself, 'Keep doing what you're doing.' "
"That was special," UCI coach Dave Serrano said. "The fact that the freshman Scotty Gorgen came in here and pitched in a tough atmosphere, a big crowd and a good Hawai'i team."
Also surprising was that Serrano brought in another freshman to close out the game, despite having a proven dominant closer in Blair Erickson (29 career saves).
"I knew it was the top of the order and Hawai'i, being disciplined, I wanted someone who I knew was going to come in and pound strikes," Serrano said of his choice. "Necke got the nod tonight, but it doesn't mean we won't go to Blair tomorrow."
The Rainbows (4-2) got a strong outing from left-hander Ian Harrington (0-1), who gave up a run, six hits and a walk with three strikeouts in his second start. Rich Olsen struck out four, giving up one hit, in two scoreless innings of relief.
Gorgen made a first-inning run stand up, at one stretch retiring 17 batters in a row before walking Robbie Wilder with one out in the ninth. The Anteaters scored when Taylor Holiday started the game with a double to left off the first pitch of the game, took third on Ben Orloff's sacrifice, watched Cody Cipriano walk and came home when Jaime Martinez reached first when third baseman Jon Hee bobbled a chopper. Since it was ruled that Holiday would've scored even if Hee made the play, the run was earned.
The rubber game of the series is at 1:05 p.m. today. Rodrigues (0-0) will start for UH against UCI's Glenn Swanson (1-0).
Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at email@example.com.