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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rainbow baseball beats Vulcans, 5-2

Advertiser Staff

Hawai'i snapped its two-game skid with strong pitching to hold off Hawai'i-Hilo, 5-2, last night in non-conference action at Wong Stadium on the Big Island.

Justin Costi (3-0) won his third consecutive decision, allowing two runs, five hits and a walk with one strikeout in 5 1/3 innings for the Rainbows (19-8). Rich Olsen added a scoreless inning and freshman Matt Daly struck out five in 2 1/3 hitless innings for his first save.

Ryan Hanohano (0-7) allowed three runs, six hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings for the Vulcans (9-17), who swept a four-game series from UH in 2002 in Hilo.

Rainbows coach Mike Trapasso still isn't pleased with the team's performance.

"I'm not particularly happy with the way we're playing," Trapasso said. "We had five runs on 11 hits, but we left 12 on base. We have been in cruise control since Western Illinois. We are fortunate to be 6-2 over that stretch. I told our guys we're playing very mediocre baseball. It's going to catch up to us. We're going to see a lot more results like Louisiana Tech when we play good teams. We get a lead early then go into cruise control. We didn't get to 19-8 by going through the motions."

For starters, the Rainbows left the bases loaded in the first inning and grounded into an inning-ending double play after getting the first two batters on base in the fifth.

Luis Avila led UH's 11-hit attack by batting 3 for 4, including two doubles and an RBI. Adam Roberts was 2 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI.

"Adam was big for us," Trapasso said.

Manoa scored in the second when Jorge Franco led off with a walk, stole second, took third on Roberts' ground out to first and scored on Eli Christensen's single to right.

But the Vulcans tied it in the third. A.J. Satele doubled to center, took third on Dayne Ogawa's sacrifice and scored when Jimmy Crider grounded out to second.

Manoa regained the lead in the top of the fourth on Roberts' RBI double off Hanohano. Roberts later scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Joe Spiers off Tyson Usui.

But the Vulcans threatened in the sixth against Costi. Michael Higa singled with one out, took second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on Mark Veneri's single. After Tyler Curtis' ground out to short scored Higa to pull the Vulcans to 3-2, Trapasso lifted Costi for Olsen, who struck out Matt Haasenritter to end the inning.

But Olsen labored in the seventh. He allowed a lead-off single to Robby Mowers, got the next two outs, but walked pinch hitter Chris Campbell on four pitches before being pulled for Daly, who struck out Crider.

"We needed Rich to throw that fastball down in the zone better when we have a lead like that late in the game," Trapasso said.

Daly allowed a lead-off walk in the eighth to Higa on four pitches. But Higa was caught stealing when Daly struck out Veneri. Daly then struck out three of the last four batters to finish off the Vulcans.

"Matt came in and picked us up," Trapasso said. "He was lights out tonight."

The series concludes at 2 p.m. today, weather permitting. The Rainbows will return tonight.

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