Nevada beats UH, 10-3
|||Fresno State rallies for 3-2 win|
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stacy Kaneshiro
FRESNO, Calif. — No. 24 Hawai'i allowed a season-high 10 walks and could not cash in on scoring opportunities in falling to Nevada, 10-3, last night in its second game of the Western Athletic Conference double-elimination tournament at Beiden Field.
The fourth-seeded Wolf Pack (25-25), winners of nine in a row, will play top-seeded and 21st-ranked Fresno State in today's winners' bracket. The winner advances to tomorrow's championship.
The second-seeded Rainbows (41-14), who saw a modest four-game win streak snapped, are in a fight for survival. They will play fifth-seeded Louisiana Tech (33-24) today at noon, Hawai'i time. If they win, they play the loser of the FSU-Nevada game at 4 p.m.
The 'Bows need to win both to advance to tomorrow's championship, and then they'll need to win two more times to clinch the tournament title. But all season long, they've been resilient. Their longest losing streak is two.
"We let the umpire get to us," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "We're usually not like that. We have to forget about it and come back against a good LaTech team."
Home plate umpire Darrel Mason ejected UH catcher Esteban Lopez in the seventh inning for complaining about balls and strikes, Trapasso said. At the time Tyler Davis ran a 2-0 count on Ryan Foley. Trapasso argued vehemently about the ejection.
Since it's an unsportsman-like ejection, Lopez does not face a one-game suspension. He was replaced by freshman Landon Hernandez.
It was apparently frustrating for UH pitchers, who combined for 10 walks, exceeding the previous high of eight against Washington in March. Starter Justin Costi (8-2) gave up a season-high four walks. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs and seven hits with four strikeouts. This after four consecutive solid starts in which he walked just four in 32 1/3 innings.
Matt Daly came on in relief in the third and in his 3 1/3 innings, he also walked four. Davis and Jayson Kramer walked one apiece. Only Dean Turner did not allow a walk in his one-third inning. But Trapasso would not fault his pitchers; UH entered the game having allowed the fewest walks (126) among WAC teams.
"You saw the game," Trapasso said, hinting that he wasn't pleased with the umpiring. "You'll just have to decide. I thought we threw the ball pretty good."
However, Nevada scored eight of its 10 runs on three home runs.
Two of the batters Costi walked scored on Drew Johnson's grand slam in a six-run third in which 11 Wolf Pack went to the plate. It was Johnson's fifth homer of the season and only his 14th career hit.
Two batters Daly walked in the seventh scored when David Ciarlo hit a three-run homer off Davis, who replaced Daly after the two walks.
Durell Williams led off the bottom of the first with a homer to left-center, ending UH's consecutive scoreless innings streak at 12. Before the homer, UH had allowed just one earned run in its last 37 innings.
Meanwhile, Nevada starter Ryan Rodriguez (7-7) had control issues of his own by allowing five walks in 6 2/3 innings. But he escaped by making good pitches at opportune times. He got a fourth-inning double play just before Eli Christensen's RBI double. He had the bases loaded with one out before retiring Luis Avila on a foul pop to first and getting Matt Inouye on a grounder to short.
Nine of 10 runners UH stranded were in scoring position.
"I thought Rodriguez was outstanding," Trapasso said. "We had no answer for him. Offensively, we had some opportunities, but he always seemed to close the door when it was time to get back into the game."
Rodriguez gave up three runs and eight hits and had eight strikeouts. Wesley Dorsett added 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
"A combination of timely hitting and (Rodriguez making) big pitches in key situations helped," Nevada coach Gary Powers said.
The Rainbows found themselves down 7-0 before scoring in the fourth on Christensen's fly ball double just inside the right-field line. But that came after Lopez grounded into a double play with runners at first and second.
Hawai'i closed to 7-3 in the seventh on Inouye's two-run double with the bases loaded, ending Rodriguez's night. But Dorsett struck out Lopez to end the inning with runners at second and third.
The 'Bows will start left-hander Ian Harrington (7-3) against LaTech. Harrington has won his last three decisions, including a 5-3 win over LaTech on May 6 at Ruston. He gave up three runs in 7 2/3 innings in that game, striking out four with no walks.
Hawai'i has won four in a row against LaTech after dropping the first two games of the season series at UH.
If the Rainbows advance, left-hander Mark Rodrigues (3-2) will start today's second game.
Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at email@example.com.