'Bows edge Gonzaga
• Photo gallery: Hawaii vs. Gonzaga baseball
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Josh Slaats continued his dominance at home, pitching one-hit ball over seven innings to lead Hawai'i over Gonzaga, 3-1, last night to take the opener of a non-conference three-game series.
Slaats (3-1) extended his home scoreless streak to 20 innings — he got two outs after allowing a fourth-inning RBI single against Oregon Feb. 28 — in silencing the Bulldogs (10-14). Cameron Edman's fifth-inning double was the only hit he allowed before 2,158 at Les Murakami Stadium. He tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts, while walking one and hitting a batter for UH (15-11).
"I don't think he could've thrown any better," Hawai'i coach Mike Trapasso said. "He was outstanding. He gave us just what we needed."
Lenny Linsky worked the last two innings in dramatic fashion, allowing a run, seven hits and a walk for his sixth save. Four of the hits he allowed didn't leave the infield. One was a squibber and two others were choppers.
"There were a lot of infield hits," Linsky said. "But you can't do anything about it. You just have to keep going out there and pound the zone, not be afraid to give up hits."
It was his fourth consecutive outing he has pitched at least two innings. Linsky threw 42 pitches last night, so he likely won't appear for the remainder of the series.
"I'm leaning to just holding him out and give him rest," Trapasso said.
Linsky, who took a line single off his right thigh with the bases loaded in the ninth to spoil the shutout, said he felt fine despite totaling 9[0xb0] innings his last four outings.
"It's not really a big deal," he said of his extended appearances. "I'll do whatever coach needs me to do."
It was a pitcher's duel from the start, as Gonzaga starter Cody Martin (2-3) allowed only three hits with four walks and 10 strikeouts in six innings. The two runs he allowed were unearned.
The Rainbows broke the scoreless deadlock with two outs in the fifth. Greg Garcia singled to right and reached second when third baseman Sean Wilson dropped a looping liner off the bat of Kolten Wong. David Freitas drew a walk to load the bases and set up Collin Bennett's two-run single to right.
Bennett, the only Rainbow with multiple hits, had two of UH's five hits.
"He was hitting his spots well," Bennett said of Martin. "He had a nice curveball. He had a pretty good change-up too. He wasn't overpowering, but he's a good pitcher. He has a good resume. He had a good year last year."
The Rainbows got an insurance run in the seventh. With two outs against reliever Andrew Danner, Freitas reached on a single to third and went to second on Bennett's single to the pitcher.
Danner was pulled for Mark Phillips, who walked Kevin Macdonald to load the bases. With Jeffrey Van Doornum at the plate, Phillips' wild pitch scored Freitas to make it 3-0.
The Bulldogs avoided the shutout in the ninth. With one out, Clayton Eslick and Royce Bolinger hit back-to-back single to put runners at first and second. Edman hit a chopper to Linsky, who threw to second for a force and put runners at the corners. After pinch hitter Brian Yardley walked to load the bases, Kevin Hawk hit a liner off Linsky's thigh for the RBI single before Drew Heid lined out to second baseman Wong to end the game.
The series resumes at 6:35 tonight. Hawai'i will send Matt Sisto to the mound against Gonzaga left-hander Ryan Carpenter.