Louisiana Tech downs 'Bows, 9-5
Hawai'i did an about face yesterday and Louisiana Tech rolled to a 9-5 win to even the Western Athletic Conference baseball series at 1 at J.C. Love Field in Ruston, La.
A day after getting great pitching and strong offensive support in a 10-0 win, the Rainbows (20-19 overall, 3-7 WAC) did neither against the Bulldogs (20-17, 5-5), who did.
Freshman Trevor Petersen (5-4) wasn't as effective as UH's Josh Slaats in Thursday's win, but he was good enough to go the distance because his offense kept up the pressure. Petersen allowed five runs (four earned), eight hits and a walk, while striking out four.
"Our pitching is leading the WAC by a lot overall, but our offense isn't," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "When our offense is what it is and we're not able to score runs, we can't afford to make those kind of mistakes from a pitching standpoint. And that's a shame because in this ballpark, you have to be able to score runs."
The Rainbows pulled to within 4-3 in the top of the sixth on Jeffrey Van Doornum's solo home run, his third in the series and team-leading seventh. But Jesse Moore walked the lead-off hitter in the bottom of the sixth and a fluke popped-up bunt single over the mound was followed by an RBI double and RBI single to widen the Bulldogs' lead to 6-3.
In the Bulldogs' seventh, Blair Walters retired the first two batters on two pitches before hitting Clint Ewing on a 1-2 pitch and giving up a two-run homer to Will Alvis on an 0-2 count to blow the game open at 8-3.
"It's a shame," Trapasso said. "You get two strikes and you hit a guy. Then you give up a home run on a ball we called not even to be a strike. We called for a ball to be out of the zone. It was right down the middle, belt-high. You can't do those things. You can't have a lead-off walk like Jesse had, the prior inning. You can't have a two-out, two-strike hit by pitch, then a two-strike pitch down the middle when you're trying to go a foot off the plate for a home run."
Sam Spangler (2-6) lasted just four-plus innings, allowing four runs, eight hits and a walk, while striking out one. Trapasso said Spangler battled, but labored with command and was getting his pitches high in the zone in a hitter-friendly park. At the same time, UH's bats were unable to get going.
"In this ballpark against a good hitting club, you have to score," Trapa sso said. "It just magnifies the mistakes from a pitching standpoint, but it doesn't diminish how disappointing it is because we are a good pitching club."
David Freitas also homered for the Rainbows. Like Van Doornum's it was a solo shot.
The last-place Rainbows dropped to 4 1/2 games behind first-place New Mexico State (7-2-1), which beat Sacramento State, 4-2, yesterday.
The series resumes at 10 a.m., HST today. Trapasso said either Matt Sisto or Alex Capaul would start on the mound for Hawai'i.