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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 6:50 p.m., Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hawaii advances to WAC tourney title game

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

Mark Rodrigues pitched seven strong innings to lead Hawaii over Nevada, 11-2 , Saturday to advance to Sunday's Western Athletic Conference tournament championship against top-seeded Fresno State.

Game time is 9 a.m., Hawaii Time. The Rainbows need to win two to win the tournament and its automatic NCAA Tournament regional berth. As the only unbeaten team left, FSU only needs to win the first game to win the title.

Rodrigues (4-2) had his longest outing of the season with seven innings, allowing two runs, six hits and two walks with six strikeouts for the Rainbows (43-14). Darrell Fisherbaugh pitched the final two innings.

Matt Renfree (2-3) allowed six runs on two hits — both home runs — and five walks with three strikeouts for the Wolf Pack (26-28).

Hawaii jumped to an early lead against Renfree. Robbie Wilder led off with a walk in the bottom of the first, and Justin Frash later drilled a two-run home run to right-center, his third homer of the season.

The Rainbows increased their lead in the second when three walks by Renfree with two outs was followed by Derek DuPree's first home run of the season, a grand slam to right to make it 6-0.

Hawaii scored again in the third. With one out, consecutive walks by reliever Chris Scott, who started the inning, was followed by a single to center by Jorge Franco. But Esteban Lopez was thrown out at the plate trying to score. Jon Hee reached on a fielding error by the second baseman to load the bases. Wilder hit a grounder to short, but Hee beat shortstop Ryan Foley's flip to second base, allowing the run to score to make it 7-0.

Shawn Scobee blasted his league-leading 22nd home run to start the top of the fourth for Nevada. But UH also scored in the fourth. Frash led off with a single, took second on a wild pitch on a swinging third strike by Avila, and scored on Matt Inouye's single to right.

The Wolf Pack got another run in the fifth. Durell Williams hit a one-out single, and one out later scored on Matt Bowman's double off the center field wall to pull them to 8-2.

The Rainbows got two in the sixth on a two-run single by Avila off Jeremy Joustra.

The Rainbows added their final run in the ninth with a sacrifice fly by Franco.