Sacramento State stings UH in finale
By Mark Devaughn
Special to The Advertiser
Sacramento, Calif. — An early four-run deficit proved too much to overcome for the University of Hawai'i's baseball team, which suffered a 9-4 defeat to Sacramento State yesterday.
The Hornets were staked to a 5-1 lead in the second inning against Hawai'i starter Zach Gallagher as the Rainbows dropped three of four in the Western Athletic Conference series.
Hawai'i (18-19 overall, 2-6 WAC) received a solo home run from Sean Montplaisir in the seventh, but Sacramento State forced the visitors to perform poorly in key hitting situations.
The Rainbows could only muster single runs in the second, fourth, fifth and seventh innings. Hawai'i stranded two runners on base in each of the last three innings, while a double play killed a two-on, one-out rally in the sixth. Matt Roquemore led off the ninth inning with a walk before Chase Koissian singled, but three outs in succession had Hawai'i facing its second 2-6 start to WAC play in three years.
Six losses in the first eight WAC games of 2008 gave way to a runner-up conference finish that season.
"But we're not going to turn things around anytime soon the way we're playing," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "It starts with more toughness, and it starts with the guys having the desire to turn things around."
Hawai'i and its hot-hitting outfielder, Christian Johnson, have different destinations today. While the rest of the team heads to Louisiana for tomorrow's game against Centenary and next weekend's series against WAC foe Louisiana Tech, Johnson has an appointment for an MRI.
A day after hitting two home runs in an 11-6 defeat in Friday's first game of the series, Johnson went into a dive in foul territory in right field attempting to catch a fly ball. He wound up dislocating his shoulder.
Trapasso feared he might lose his standout senior for the season, but Johnson said he received word from the training staff that he could come back in four weeks.
"I go in (for the MRI) pretty much as soon as I get off the plane," Johnson said. "It's sore, but I'm in a lot less pain now than I was after it happened."
Second baseman Kolten Wong went 3 for 5 with two doubles and a run scored. Sacramento State (14-18-1, 3-1) won despite being out-hit 10-9.