Rainbows beat San Diego, face Arizona State in baseball regional
Pi'ikea Kitamura forced in the go-ahead run with two outs in the top of the ninth on a hit batsman with the bases loaded and Hawai'i stunned No. 15 San Diego, 4-3, today in the opener of the NCAA Tempe, Ariz., Regional at Packard Stadium.
The Rainbows (34-26) advance to the winners' bracket at 4 p.m., HST tomorrow against Arizona State, which defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 6-2.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Sean Monplaisir doubled and Kevin Macdonald was hit by a pitch by reliever Matt Thompson. The runners advanced when pinch hitter Christian Johnson grounded out to first. Kolten Wong was intentionally walked to load the bases. Kitamura was hit by Thompson's pitch to put UH ahead.
Lenny Linsky (4-0), who allowed the tying run in the eighth, pitched the final two innings.
Thompson (1-3) started the ninth for starter Kyle Blair, allowing the run, one hit for the Toreros (36-21), who will play the loser of the ASU-UW-Milwaukee game.
Neither starter figured in the decision. Matt Sisto pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and eight hit with four strikeouts for UH, while Blair went eight innings, allowing three runs, only one earned and seven hits with eight strikeouts.
The Toreros took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Bryan Haar singled with one out and Mike Ferraro drilled a two-run home run to right off Sisto.
The Rainbows tied it at 2 in the sixth, when Jeffrey Van Doorum reached first on a fielding error by third baseman Chris Engell and David Freitas homered to center off Blair.
Hawai'i took a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth on a one out, solo home run by Jeffrey Van Doornum.
But USD tied it in the bottom of the eighth. Lenny Linsky started the frame and hit Kevin Muno to start the inning. He took second on Nick McCoy's sacrifice and went to third when Engell grounded out to second. Linsky hit Tony Strazzara to put runners at the corners. Muno scored on second baseman Kolten Wong's error, tying the game at 3.