No. 11 Arkansas stymies UH, 5-1
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stacy Kaneshiro
On a night when he admittedly didn't have his best stuff, Arkansas left-hander Nick Schmidt was still good enough to beat No. 24 Hawai'i, 5-1, last night in a battle of nationally ranked teams at the First Hawai'i Title Rainbow Tournament.
The No. 11 Razorbacks (11-1 overall, 2-1 tournament), the second seed after the round robin, will play third-seeded Texas-Arlington at 2:30 p.m. today. Top-seeded Washington (11-3, 2-1) will play fourth-seeded Hawai'i (12-5, 1-2) at 6:35 p.m.
Because Arkansas and UTA must leave late tomorrow night, they will play again at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow, while UW and UH will meet again in the tournament finale at 7:05 p.m.
Last night, Schmidt (4-0) gave up a run, two hits and five walks with six strikeouts in seven innings before 1,100 at Les Murakami Stadium. Devin Collis added two scoreless and hitless innings of relief.
"Just tip your hat to those guys (and) come out and try to win again tomorrow," UH coach Mike Trapasso said.
Schmidt, who has allowed only five hits in 26 innings this season (including last night) said he had trouble with the humidity.
"To tell you the truth, I struggled today with command from the get-go," the 6-foot-5, 220-pound sophomore said. "I battled with the heat. It's a little warmer here than it is back home, but I just battled through."
"This is the wildest Nick's been all year," Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said. "Usually, he's a strike-throwing machine. The zone was tight for both guys. If it wasn't on the plate, both pitchers weren't getting it. They had to throw it over the plate. For the most part, he's been sharper (in past outings)."
Hawai'i starter Steven Wright (3-1) experienced his worst outing of the season, giving up five runs, eight hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. The most runs he had allowed in a game in four previous starts was three.
The teams appeared to be testy. The umpires issued a warning to both teams when UH's Robbie Wilder was hit by Schmidt pitch in the fifth.
"I was losing control of my pitches," Schmidt explained. "They (the Rainbows) thought I was throwing at them. I wasn't. Bottom of the fifth inning, you're not going to do that to a team. Wrong place, wrong time."
Added Van Horn: "They're acting like we're throwing at them. We're not throwing at anybody. The guy's throwing 80 pitches and it's hot and humid out here. But it was an intense game. It was a good game for us to win. I'm just glad we won."
Trapasso agreed that the intensity was high.
"Both teams were talking (trash) to each other," he said. "They didn't feel we belonged on the same field as them and we weren't going to back down. That's college baseball at a good, intense level."
In the top of the fifth, Hawai'i first baseman Luis Avila had some sort of engagement with base runner James Ewing at first base. Avila slapped his glove on Ewing, but nothing further happened.
"I was going back and he kind of elbowed me," Avila explained. "But that was it."
The Razorbacks took a 1-0 lead in the third. With two outs, Chris Hollensworth lined a single to center and scored on James Ewing's double to the left-center alley on a full count.
Arkansas made it 2-0 in the fourth. With one out, Brian Walker walked. David Hum hit a bouncer to Wright, whose throw to second was high, allowing Walker to take third and Hum to advance to second. Blake Parker's single to right-center scored Walker.
The Razorbacks scored twice in the fifth. Hollensworth doubled to left-center and Ewing walked before Wright struck out Jake Dugger. Danny Hamblin extended his hitting streak to 10 games when he singled to left to score Hollensworth and move Ewing to third. Ewing then scored when Hamblin tried to steal second, but was caught for the second out before Brian Walker grounded out to Wright to end the inning.
The Rainbows made it 4-1 without the benefit of a hit in the fifth. With two outs, Joe Spiers walked and Wilder was hit by a pitch. Spiers stole an uncovered third base while Schmidt still held the ball. A wild pitch scored Spiers and moved Wilder to second before Jon Hee struck out to end the inning.
Arkansas got another run in the seventh. Steve Robison led off with a double and took third when Hollensworth flied out to deep center. Wright was pulled for Matt Daly, whose wild pitch scored Robison.
WASHINGTON 6, TEXAS-ARLINGTON 5
The Huskies (11-3 overall, 2-1 tournament) squandered leads of 2-0 and 4-2 yesterday before scoring two runs in the top of the ninth to beat the Mavericks (4-9, 1-2), who left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.
Elliott Cribby (1-1) blew a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth when he allowed a bases-loaded walk to Kyle Thomason and two-run single to Danny Slinkman to put Texas-Arlington up 5-4.
But the Huskies regained the lead in the ninth on successive RBI singles by Curt Rindal and pinch hitter Jake Rife with two outs off Dillon Gee (1-3), who was charged with a run on two hits and a walk in one inning. Gee had come in relief of Erik Cartmill, who walked Bradley Boyer to start the ninth and was pulled after that.
Cribby allowed two runs in 1 2/3 innings, giving up a hit and two walks with no strikeouts.
Cribby retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth before hitting Adam Moore with a pitch. Nick Hagadone was summoned from the bullpen. He walked Ben Burum and Kyle Rudy before getting David Newby to ground out to third for his second save.
Washington scored first in the second inning on a one-out, two-run single by Matt Hague off UTA starter Ryan Riddle. But the Mavericks tied it in the sixth against UW starter Kyle Parker. Daniel Rieder led off with a walk, but was forced at second when David McLeod grounded to first. Moore's double to right put runners at second and third. A wild pitch scored McLeod and sent Moore to third, where he scored when Ben Burum grounded out to second to tie the score at 2.
The Huskies moved ahead in the eighth when successive RBI singles by pinch hitter Matt Lane and Joey Dunn made it 4-2 before the Mavericks scored three in the bottom of the eighth.
WASH. (11-3, 2-1) 002 000 022 — 6 9 0
TEXAS-ARL. (4-9, 1-2) 000 002 030 — 5 5 0
Kyle Parker, Nick Haughian (7), Elliott Cribby (8), Nick Hagadone (9) and Joey Dunn, Matt Lane (8). Ryan Riddle, Brandon Endsley (7), Erik Cartmill (8), Dillon Gee (9). W—Cribby. L—Gee. S—Hagadone.
Leading hitters: Washington: Matt Hague 2-4, 2 RBIs; Curt Rindal 2-5, RBI. UTA: Adam Moore 1-3, double.
Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at email@example.com.