Utah Valley routs Rainbows; WAC tourney matchups set
Chris Benson continued his assault of Hawai‘i pitching by driving in four runs to help Utah Valley in an 10-2 today to earn a split of the four-game non-conference series at Les Murakami Stadium.
It was the fifth time in the last eight games UH pitching has surrendered double-digit runs.
Benson, who hit for the cycle Saturday night, had a pair of RBI singles and a two-run double today to back the strong pitching of Kyle Beecher (3-3) went six-plus innings, allowing two run, two hits and four walks for the Wolverines (18-35). The Rainbows were held to just three hits in the game.
Jared Alexander (3-2) lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing four runs, eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts for the Rainbows (31-24).
The Wolverines picked up where they left off last night, scoring two in the first on four hits, including successive RBI singles from Chris Benson and Goose Kallunki.
Utah Valley continued its assault in the third with two more runs. Billy Burgess tripled to right-center with one out and scored on Benson’s line single to center to make it 3-0. After Kallunki flied ou to center, Kevin Arendse singled to right and Benson went to third when right fielder Christian Johnson mishandled the hit to put runners at the corners. Alexander was pulled for the left-hander Ryan Davis and UV countered with pinch hitter Kirk Doxey, who walked to load the bases. Ryan Jones walked to force in a run and Davis was replaced by Sam Spangler, who got Jake Rickenbach to ground out to short to end the inning.
The Wolverines added three in the sixth with Benson doing the damage again, this time with a two-run double off Connor Little, who came in for Spangler, who walked two of the first three batters to start the inning. Kallunki followed with an RBI single to make it 7-0.
Utah Valley got a run in the seventh on an RBI single from Jace Brinkerhoff to make it 8-0.
The Rainbows broke their silence in the seventh. Wong led off with a walk and Sean Montplaisir was hit by a pitch, chasing Beecher for Zach Bennett. Johnson’s single to center scored Wong and moved Montplaisir to third and ended Bennett’s day for Devin Nelson. Shane Hoey grounded to short for a double play to score Montplaisir to pull UH to 8-2.
The Wolverines scored twice in the ninth to make it 10-2.
Fifth-seeded Hawai‘i will play second-seeded Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. Thursday in the opening round of the Western Athletic Conference baseball tournament at Les Murakami Stadium.
In other opening round games, sixth-seeded Nevada will play top-seeded San Jose State at 11 a.m. and third-seeded Fresno State will play fourth-seeded New Mexico State at 3 p.m.
San Jose State beat Nevada, 9-3, today, making the Wolf Pack sixth.