Rainbows top Sacramento State, 7-2, split doubleheader
Nate Klein pitched five solid innings and Vinnie Catricala drove in three runs and Hawai'i beat Sacramento State, 7-2, to salvage a Western Athletic Conference baseball doubleheader split tonight at Les Murakami Stadium.
The Hornets won the nine-inning opener, 2-1.
Klein (1-2) allowed a run, five hits and a walk with five strikeout for the Rainbows (23-13 overall, 6-4 WAC) in the scheduled seven-inning game. Jesse Moore allowed a run in two relief innings.
Brandon Sandoval (4-4) gave up seven runs, six hits and four walks with two strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings for the Hornets (21-16, 2-5).
The Rainbows jumped a 2-0 lead in the first against Sandoval. With one down, Shane Hoey reached first on a wild pitch after a swinging third strike. Vinnie Catricala drilled a 2-2 pitch to left-center for a two-run homer. One out later, Kolten Wong hustled a liner to right-center for a double and Christian Johnson walked. Matt Roquemore reached first safely when pitcher Sandoval fumbled a grounder to load the bases. But Sean Montplasir grounded out to first to end the inning.
In the top of the second, the Hornets cut their deficit in half when Jeff Roth doubled with one out and scored from second on a wild pitch by Klein.
The Rainbows added two in the third, scoring their first runs of the series that weren't driven in by a home run. Catrciala led off with a single, took second on a wild pitch and beat the throw from shortstop to third when Kevin Macdonald reached first on the fielder's choice grounder. With runners at the corners, Wong's single to right scored Catricala and moved Macdonald to third. With Wong going with the pitch, Johnson grounded out to first and Catricala scored on the play to make it 4-1. Roquemore's ground out to short moved Wong to third, but was left there when Montplasir grounded out to second.
Hawai'i added a run in the fourth. Greg Garcia drew a one out walk, took second when Hoey grounded out to short and scored on Catricala's single to left to make it 5-1. Catricala went to second on a wild pitch, but Macdonald grounded out to short, ending the inning.
Klein gave way to Jesse Moore to start the top of the sixth. Tim Wheeler walked with one out and scored on Blake Crosby's double to left to pull the Hornets to 5-2. But Moore struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Hawai'i cushioned its lead with two in the sixth. Kevin Fujii led off with a bunt single to first, beat a throw to second on Greg Garcia's fielder's choice sacrifice to third to put runners at first and second. But Fujii was forced at third when Hoey reached on a fielder's choice bunt to the pitcher,
leaving runners at first and second again. Catricala walked to load the bases, chasing Sandoval for Brian Filice. Macdonald's ground out to short advanced the runners to make it 6-2. Wong was intentionally walked to load the bases to set up Johnson's RBI single to short to reload the bases before Roquemore struck out.