Rainbows power past Air Force, 9-5, clinch baseball series
Matt Roquemore, Kolten Wong and David Freitas each drove in two runs to lead Hawai‘i over Air Force, 9-5, today to take a 3-0 lead in the four-game non-conference series at Les Murakami Stadium.
Alex Capaul (4-1) allowed five runs, seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings for the Rainbows (10-9). Lenny Linsky added 2 2/3 scoreless for his fourth save.
Sean Carley (1-2) went two-plus innings, allowing six runs, seven hits and four walks with three stirkeouts for the Falcons (5-15).
The Falcons jumped on Capaul in the first to take a 1-0 lead. Blair Roberts led off with a single to left, took second on a sacrifice, went to third on Addison Gentry’s flyout to left and scored on a wild pitch with Alex Bast at the plate.
Air Force added three in the third. Matthew Roberts singled to center with one out and took second on Blair Roberts’ single to right. Garrett Custons’ double to left-center scored Matthew Roberts and moved Blair Roberts to third. Gentry’s two-run single to center made it 4-0.
The Rainbows took the lead by sending 11 batters up in a sixth-run third inning. Roquemore singled to left-center and went to third on Greg Garcia’s double to right. Wong tripled to left-center to pull UH to 4-2. Freitas singled to left to score Wong. Collin Bennett walked on four pitches to put runners at first and second. Christian Johnson walked to load the bases. Pi‘ikea Kitamura walked to force in a run to tie the game at 4. Carley was pulled for Alex Baker, who struck out Easton Torigoe and Kevin Fujii. But Roquemore’s two-run single to center put UH ahead, 6-4.
The Falcons pulled to within one in the seventh. Ben Ausbun singled to start the inning and one out later took second on Nathan Carter’s single. Capaul was pulled for Lenny Linsky. Matthew Roberts reached when he grounded to first for a force at second to put runners at the corners and Blair Roberts singled to left to pull Air Force to 6-5 before Custons grounded out to first to end the inning.
The Rainbows added three in the seventh. Andrew Loyd started the eighth inning for the Falcons and walked Wong to start the inning with ball four being a wild pitch that allowed Wong to make it to second. Wong went to third on a balk and scored on Freitas’ sacrifice fly to right to increase UH’s lead to 7-5. Bennett followed with a solo homer to right-center to make it 8-5. Johnson walked and Loyd was pulled for Matt Zettler, whose first pitch was wild, allowing Johnson to take second. Kitamura walked to put runners at first and second. Torigoe walked to load the bases. Kevin Fujii grounded to third for a force at home, but the catcher’s throw to first was high, allowing a run to score and Torigoe to take third with Fujii safe at first. Zettler was pulled for Michael Ceci, who got Roquemore to line out to second to end the inning.