Beavers blank 'Bows
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Freshman left-hander Matt Boyd pitched five scoreless inning of relief to combine on a five-hitter with starter James Nygren to lead No. 10 Oregon State over Hawai'i, 5-0, last night to take the non-conference series, 3-1.
The Rainbows (1-3) were shut out for the first time since March 26, when they were no-hit by Coastal Carolina, 4-0, last season. The Beavers (3-1) remained ranked 10th by Collegiate Baseball in yesterday's new poll.
"After the tough loss yesterday, I thought today would be about effort," OSU coach Pat Casey said. "We got really, really good pitching out of our freshman kid. I thought Nygren struggled with command; we wanted to get more out of him than we got, but we were fortunate. We had some things go our way."
A Monday night crowd of 1,321 at Les Murakami Stadium watched the series finale.
Boyd (1-0) allowed two hits with a walk and two strikeouts in relief of Nygren, who gave up three hits and three walks with one strikeout in his four innings. But they were beneficiaries of some incredible defense. The Rainbows hit into three inning-ending double plays to kill rallies. The Beavers also threw a runner out at the plate in the fifth to preserve the shutout. Sean Montplaisir walked and tried to score when Breland Almadova reached safely on a sacrifice bunt that Boyd threw wildly to first. But right fielder Andy Quiring fired home to catcher Parker Berberet, who tagged Montplaisir's back before the runner reached home.
The Rainbows also had one out with the bases loaded in that same inning, but Kevin Macdonald's hard grounder was stabbed by shortstop Keith Jennette, who turned a double play to kill the threat.
"When that happened, I felt that some of the wind went out of our guys' sails," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "We didn't get it back and that surprised me because our guys are a group of tough kids. But we'll learn that these four-game series are grinds."
Left-hander Sam Spangler (0-1), who was drafted in the 20th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates last summer, went 4 2/3 innings, allowing a run, two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. He was on about a 65-70 pitch count limit because he was coming off a tender shoulder. Still, he wasn't replaced until after 78 pitches.
"I battled with sending Sam back out there for the fifth," Trapasso said. "He really wanted to go out; he was throwing really well his last couple innings. His first two innings, he didn't have his release point. He had no fastball command and couldn't throw anything for strikes. In the third inning, he found his changeup, fourth inning he found his breaking ball, so we sent him back out there. When he hit 78, I didn't want him to go 80 (pitches)."
Harrison Kuroda came in to get the final out of the fifth for Spangler by striking out Adalberto Santos with a runner on third.
With UH still trailing, 1-0, Kuroda walked two in the sixth. With two outs, he was called for a balk, moving the runners into scoring position, and Rob Folsom hit a two-run single over leaping shortstop Greg Garcia to make it 3-0.
The Beavers' first three runs were the result of walks being cashed into runs. Spangler's lead-off walk to Berberet scored on Tyler Anderson's sacrifice fly later in the second inning.
The Beavers added two more runs in the seventh on an RBI double by Santos off Blair Walters and an RBI single by Berberet off Jesse Moore (the run was charged to Walters).
The Rainbows made three errors last night, giving them eight for the series. Trapasso was pleased with the starting pitching, but not all of the performances from the bullpen.
"As disappointed as I am with how we played, there's also cause for excitement," Trapasso said. "We're playing a top 10 team and I don't think we played well. We didn't come anywhere close to playing a complete game and yet we feel like we gave 'em a game on Friday. We steal one (Sunday), but they didn't do anything to give us that game. We earned it. As bad as we played, we could've had a split.
"As bad as we played defensively, by the end of the year, that will be our strongest phase of the game. ... We'll find guys out of the bullpen throwing two pitches for strikes."
Next up for UH is Oregon (2-1). Hawai'i will host the four-game series starting Thursday.