Rainbows' ninth-inning rally falls short in WAC opener, 8-6
Dusty Robinson scored three runs and ripped a two-run home run to back the strong pitching of Josh Poytress to lead Fresno State over Hawai'i, 8-6, tonight to take the Western Athletic Conference season and series opener before 2,741 at Les Murakami Stadium.
The Rainbows' rally in the bottom of the ninth fell short. Jeffrey Van Doornum led off with a single to right off Zac Bischoff and went to second on pinch hitter Sean Montplaisir's single to center. Pinch hitter Christian Johnson singled to right to load the bases and chase Bischoff for Sean Bonesteele. Matt Roquemore popped out to short. Greg Garcia's line single to left scored Van Doornum and reloaded the bases. Kolten Wong's triple to left-center pulled UH to 8-5. David Freitas struck out for the second out. Wong scored on a wild pitch. Collin Bennett walked and Bonesteele was litfed for Cody Kendall to face Kevin Macdonald, who walked. Macdonald was lifted for pinch runner Breland Almadova. Van Doornum walked to load the bases, but Montplaisir struck out to end the game.
Robinson went 2 for 2 with two walks and a hit batsman.
Josh Slaats (3-2) went 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (three earned), five hits and four walks with four strikeouts for the Rainbows (16-13 overall, 0-1 WAC).
Poytress (4-2) went 7 1/3 innings, allowing a run, seven hits and a walk with a career-high eight strikeouts for the Bulldogs (18-12, 1-0). Kendall's strikeout was good for his second save.
The Bulldogs cashed in on a lead-off walk and error to score twice in the second inning. Robinson led off with a walk and reached second when second baseman Wong dropped a throw from shortstop Garcia on a fielder's choice grounder by Trent Garrison, who was safe at first. Garrett Weber's RBI single to left moved Garrison to second. The runners advanced on Steve Detwiler's sacrifice. Justin Charles grounded out to second, advancing the runners and increasing FSU's lead to 2-0.
The Rainbows cut their deficit in half in the bottom of the fourth. Matt Roquemore led off with a single to center, took second on Garcia's sacrifice and scored on Wong's sacrifice fly to left.
Fresno State scored three in the sixth to chase Slaats. Jordan Ribera led off with a single to right and went to second when Robinson walked. Garrison squared around to bunt and was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Weber grounded to second for a double play that scored Ribera and moved Robinson to third, where he scored on Detwiler's double to left to make it 4-1. Charles' RBI single to left made it 5-1. Slaats was pulled for Jesse Moore. After Charles went to second on a passed ball Muno struck out to end the inning.
The Bulldogs increased their lead in the seventh on a twor-run home run by Robinson off Moore.
Fresno State added run in the ninth on an RBI single from Detwiler off Trent Allianic.