UH gets no-hit as FSU sweeps doubleheader
• Photo gallery: Hawaii vs. Fresno State baseball Saturday
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
In a personification of Hawai'i's woes, Greg Gonzalez fired a seven-inning no-hitter last night as Fresno State won 1-0 to complete a Western Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep at Les Murakami Stadium.
In the opener, the Bulldogs (20-12 overall, 3-0 WAC) knocked off the Rainbows (16-15, 0-3), 8-5.
A crowd of 2,534 at Les Murakami Stadium saw the Rainbows get no-hit for the first time since Coastal Carolina's Cody Wheeler did it March 26 of last season. That was a nine-inning no-hitter.
"It's something I haven't done before," said Gonzalez, a junior college transfer making his first start in Division I after 11 relief appearances. "It's nice to do it against such a good opponent. Everything tonight was pretty much perfect. A great atmosphere. Team is playing good, (we) played defense really well."
Gonzalez (4-0) faced just one batter over the minimum. The only base runner he allowed was Greg Garcia, who walked with one out in the first inning and again to lead off the ninth. Between the walks, Gonzalez retired 17 in a row.
He walked Garcia on four pitches in the ninth before striking out Kolten Wong. Christian Johnson, who homered and doubled in the opener and moved to cleanup in the second game, lined out to short and Garcia was doubled off first to end the game.
The Rainbows never came close to getting a hit. A number of their outs were on balls not hit hard.
Gonzalez was on alert to be used out of the bullpen the first two games before FSU coach Mike Batesole decided on starting the 5-foot-11, 190-pound right-hander.
"He threw really well his last time out (in relief) at (Cal State) Bakersfield," Batesole said. "That was two really outstanding pitchers going at it (tonight)."
The tough-luck losing pitcher was Sam Spangler (2-4), who turned in his best outing since beating The Citadel, 13-1, when he allowed a run in seven innings on March 6. Last night, Spangler allowed a run on three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.
"That's the only bright spot of the series so far," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "He really pitched well for us."
"They don't quit," Gonzalez said of the Rainbows. "The other pitcher threw a great game. They had me on my heels the whole day."
It was the fifth shutout against UH this season.
The only run came in the second inning. Garrett Weber doubled to left-center with one out, stole third on a play in which third baseman Josh Chevalier could not hold on to a throw from catcher Kevin Fujii. It proved costly, as Steve Detwiler's sacrifice fly to right scored Weber.
Chevalier started both games of the doubleheader, his first starts of the season, spelling freshman Pi'ikea Kitamura.
"Pi'i's been struggling and Chevy struggled defensively," Trapasso said. "That hurt us, but that's just one thing out of a lot of things we haven't done well in the first three games."
In the opener, the Bulldogs got 12 hits and strong middle relief from Derek Benny (1-2).
Benny went five innings, allowing two runs, five hits and two walks with three strikeouts in relief of starter Matt Morse, who gave up three runs in three innings. Tom Harlan pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save. It ended the same way as the nightcap with a lead-off walk, followed by a strikeout and a game-ending double play off a line drive.
Bobby Coyle had two hits and three RBIs, Jordan Ribera hit a two-run home run, and Dusty Robinson had a double and triple for the Bulldogs.
Johnson, batting eighth in the opener, went 2 for 3 with a two-run homer and RBI double.
Zach Gallagher (3-2) went six-plus innings, allowing seven runs (six earned), 10 hits and a walk with five strikeouts for UH.
The series concludes at 1:05 p.m. today. The Rainbows will start Alex Capaul (4-1, 4.40) against FSU's Charlie Robertson (2-1, 4.36) in a battle of right-handers.