Torigoe hits grand slam as Rainbows pound Air Force, 15-6
Reserve first baseman Easton Torigoe’s fifth-inning grand slam ingited Hawai‘i to a 15-6 win against Air Force tonight in the opener of a four-game series before 1,660 at Les Murakami Stadium.
Sam Spangler (2-3) went five innings, allowing four runs, five hits and three walks with six strikeouts for UH (8-9). Jesse Moore pitched the last four innings for his first save.
Alex Baker (0-3) allowed the slam to Torigoe and was charged with two runs and three hits in 1 1/3 innings of relief for the Falcons (5-13).
The Rainbows trailed 4-2 when the sophomore out of Mid-Pacific Institute drilled Baker’s first offering to center to put UH ahead. Torigoe came in as a defensive replacement in the third inning for first baseman Kevin Macdonald, who twisted his ankle when Garrett Custons reached on a bunt single in the first inning.
The Falcons jumped on Spangler for two in the first inning. Blair Roberts led off with a walk and took second on Garrett Custons’ bunt single to third. Addison Gentry’s single to center loaded the bases to set up Alex Bast’s sacrifice fly to center that also moved Custons to third. Matt Alexander struck out, but Spangler later balked, allowing Custons to score and Gentry to take second before Nathan Carter groundd out to short to end the inning.
Hawai‘i got a run on the bottom of the second. David Freitas led off with a single to short, but was forced at second when Collin Bennett grounded to short. Bennett took third on Kevin Macdonald’s single to right and scored on Jeffrey Van Doornum’s single to center that moved Macdonald to second. Pi‘ikea Kitamura struck out and Kalani Brackenridge grounded out to short to end the inning.
Air Force increased its lead in the third. Custons led off with a single, stole second when Gentry was called out on strikes, went to third when Bast grounded out to short and scored on Matt Alexander’s single to center to make it 3-1.
The Falcons added a run in the fourth. Matthew Roberts led off with a walk, stole second and went to third on Blair Roberts’ single to right. Custons’ sacrifice foul fly to right scored Matthew Roberts to make it 4-1. Blair Roberts was caught stealing second and Gentry was called out on strikes.
The Rainbows sent nine batters to the plate in a five-run fifth. Brackenridge led off with a double to right and Breland Almadova walked. Both advanced on Greg Garcia’s sacrifice and Kolten Wong was intentionally walked to load the bases. Koehler was lifted for Alex Baker to face Freitas. All of the runners advanced on Freitas’ sacrifice foul fly to right to pull UH to 4-2. Bennett was hit by a pitch to load the bases to set up Easton Torigoe’s grand slam to right to give UH a 6-4 lead. Van Doornum doubled to left, but Kitamura groundd out to third for the third out.
Hawai‘i increased its lead in the seventh on a one out, two-run home run by Bennett off reliever Steve Colangelo to make it 8-4. Kitamura later hit an RBI single and took second on the throw home. He then scored when Brackenridge reached on a bunt single to third on the third baseman’s throwing error. Brackenridge went to second on Christian Johnson’s single to left. Colangelo was pulled for Jack Hourin. Garcia walked to load the bases, which were cleared on Kolten Wong’s double to righ to make it 13-4.
The Falcons got a run in the eighth on pinch hitter Ben Ausbon’s sacrifice fly to make irt 13-5.
Hawai‘i added two in the eighth to make it 15-5 on Garcia’s RBI single and a bases-loaded walk by pinch hitter Russell Doi.