'Bows beat No. 25 Oregon, 4-3
• Photo gallery: Hawaii vs. Oregon baseball
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Hawai'i got strong pitching and cashed in on a two-out passed ball in a three-run first inning to edge No. 25 Oregon, 4-3, last night in the opener of the four-game series.
Nate Klein (1-0) went six-plus innings, allowing three runs, seven hits, two walks with one strikeout for the Rainbows (2-3) in front of 969 at Les Murakami Stadium.
Blair Walters tossed a scoreless seventh, getting a double play to minimize damage, and Lenny Linsky added two perfect innings, striking out three for his first save.
"This is the kind of game we want to play," Klein said. "Sound defensively, get big runs when we need 'em."
For the Ducks (2-3), the first inning said it all. They appeared to have Klein on the ropes with runners on first and second and one out. But after a runner was caught stealing third, Klein retired the next batter to end the inning.
Then, in the bottom of the first, the Rainbows sent nine batters to the plate to score three. Breland Almadova led off with a walk, one of six that Oregon starter Tyler Anderson (1-1) would allow in his five innings of work.
An out later, Almadova took second when Kolten Wong grounded out to the pitcher. But Kevin Macdonald reached on a passed ball on a called third strike, as Almadova took third.
Collin Bennett's single to short scored Almadova, as Macdonald went to second. A walk to David Freitas loaded the bases before a wild pitch scored Macdonald to make it 2-0. Jeffrey Van Doornum reached when third baseman J.J. Altobelli bobbled a grounder and was late with his throw to first, allowing Bennett to score.
"We thought we gave away the first inning, offensively and defensively," Oregon coach George Horton said. "We made a bad decision to steal there, not getting a good jump. We kind of ran ourselves out of a potential inning."
The Ducks closed to 3-2 in the third on Marcus Piazzisi's two-run single, the third consecutive hit in the inning off Klein.
"It was a combination of me not hitting my spots and they were getting our signs off me," Klein said. "We could hear 'em (calling the pitches). That happens, but we cleaned it up."
The Rainbows cushioned their lead in the fifth with an opposite-field solo home run to right by Van Doornum to make it 4-2. It came after Freitas doubled, but got picked off.
Klein had retired five in a row, including a perfect sixth, when he allowed back-to-back singles to start the seventh.
That's when UH coach Mike Trapasso brought in the left-handed Walters to face the left-handed hitting Curtis Raulinaitis. Raulinaitis grounded the first pitch to shortstop Greg Garcia, who stepped on the bag and fired to first for a double play, with the runner scoring. Although K.C. Serna reached on a bunt single, Walters struck out Piazzisi to end the inning.
"That was a big double play to get, even though it scored a run," Trapasso said. "It turned first and third with no outs to two outs and nobody on and still having a one-run lead."
Linsky then pounded the Ducks with sinking fastballs to retire all six batters he faced.
"Mostly fastball," Linsky said. "Only the last pitch was a slider (to strike out J.J. Altobelli to end the game). I just wanted to help the team win. I wanted to get Klein a win."