USC shuts out Rainbows, 9-0, takes baseball series
A baseball series that started with such promise for Hawai‘i ended in futility tonight when Southern California bashed the Rainbows, 9-0, to clinch the series 3-1.
Before 1,135 at Les Murakami Stadium, the Trojans (9-8) made the most of 14 hits, six walks, two UH errors and Chad Smith’s pitching. Smith (1-2), down and almost out when he was hit in the right shin by a liner in the second inning, pitched six scoreless inning and struck out eight. He gave up two hits and retired the last 11 Rainbows he saw.
The lone bright spot for Hawai‘i (7-9) was catcher David Freitas, who caught three Trojans stealing and picked another off at first base.
As soon as it stopped raining, the Trojans’ offense got untracked.
Joe De Pinto walked to start the fourth and Ricky Oropesa launched his fourth homer of the season to the opposite field to make it 2-0. Matt Foat reached on an error, Alex Sherrod singled — also to the opposite field — and Matt Hart walked to load the bases with one out.
Starting pitcher Zach Gallagher (0-1) was pulled and Blair Walters came in to get the last two batters on a blooper to right, which scored Foat, and a strikeout.
The rain returned, again and again. The Rainbow offense — all but absent since late Friday — did not.
Smith struck out the side in the bottom of the fourth and USC went back to work against Blair. He walked three in the fifth and was also victimized by a bunt single, a bunt that led to an error, a single and sacrifice fly.
He came out with the bases loaded and Hawai‘i down 5-0. Connor Little took over and immediately gave up a two-run single to Matt Hart.
The Trojans would add runs in the seventh and ninth while Hawai‘i, which had runners at third the first two innings, extended its scoreless slide to 15 innings.