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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 4:31 p.m., Thursday, May 25, 2006

Wright fans 13 in win; UH faces Nevada Friday

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

Steven Wright pitched four-hit ball over eight innings and struck out 13 to lead No. 24 Hawai'i over Louisiana Tech, 8-0, today in the opener of the Western Athletic Conference tournament at Beiden Field in Fresno, Calif.

Wright (11-2), who was named WAC Pitcher of the Year Wednesday, was in complete control. The junior righthander did not walk a batter for the Rainbows (41-13), who play Nevada 4 p.m., Hawaii time Friday. Nevada defeated San Jose State, 15-1, today.

Luke Burnett (4-6) was charged with four runs, nine hits and two walks, while striking out five, in 6 2/3 innings for the Bulldogs (32-24).

They will play the loser of Fresno State-Sacramento State in a losers' bracket game Friday.

Hawai'i took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, Matt Inouye bounced a single just inside the first base line and took third on Esteban Lopez's ground-rule double to right-center.

On an 0-1 count, Eli Christensen's sacrifice fly to center scored Inouye.

The Rainbows increased their lead in the fourth with two runs. Justin Frash led off with a ground single to right and took third when Luis Avila singled off the right field wall. The ball caromed so hard to right fielder Jericho Jones that Avila had to scamper back to first after getting about halfway down to second.

A bouncer in front of the plate allowed Avila to take second on the wild pitch, as Frash held third. With the infield halfway, Inouye lined a single to left, scoring Frash and sending Avila at third.

Lopez's sacrifice fly to deep center scored Avila to make it 3-0 against Burnett.

Avila ripped his team-leading eighth home run of the season, a blast to left, to make it 4-0 in the sixth inning.

The Rainbows broke it wide open with a four-run eighth when they sent nine batters up. A two-out throwing error made three of the runs unearned against Steve Alverson.

Inouye batted 3-for-4, driving in two runs and scoring twice.

Lopez batted 2-for-2 and Avila went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.