Van Doornum's walkoff homer lifts UH past Nevada, 10-9
Jeffrey Van Doornum's two out two run home run capped a five-run bottom of the ninth to rally Hawai'i past Nevada, 10-9, today to take the first game of the Western Athletic Conference doubleheader at Les Murakami Stadium.
Trailing 9-5 against closer Tyler Graham, Collin Bennett led off by reaching on shortstop Kevin Rodland's fielding error and went to second on a wild pitch before Sean Monplaisir was hit by a pitch. Bennett took third when Kevin Macdonald flied out to right, as Montplaisir held first. Matt Roquemore walked to load the bases to set up Kolten Wong's sacrifice fly to deep left-center that advanced the other runners as well. Pi'ikea Kitamura's flare single near the right field foul line scored two to pull UH to 9-8. After pinch runner Kalani Brackenridge was inserted for Kitamura, Van Doornum drilled a 1-2 pitch over the left field fence to win it.
Blair Walters (1-1), who retired one batter, was the beneficiary of the rally for the Rainbows (22-21 overall, 5-9 WAC).
Graham (2-4) was tagged for five unearned runs because of the error that started the inning for the Wolf Pack (23-16-1, 4-5-1)>
Hawai'i wasted little time, scoring in the home first. Kolten Wong, batting leadoff for the first time this season, led off with a single and went to second on Pi'ikea Kitamura's single. An out later, they executed a double steal with Wong scoring and Kitamura taking third on the catcher's throwing error to third. After David Freitas grounded out to the pitcher, freezing the runner at third, Greg Garcia's RBI single gave UH a 2-0 lead.
The Wolf Pack came back with four in the second.
Nick Melino walked with one out and took third on Nick Leid's double. Joe Kohan walked to load the bases. Garrett Yrigoyen singled to right-center, scoring two, but center fielder Collin Bennett misplayed the ball, allowing Kohan to score and Yrigoyen to take third. Carlos Escobar Jr. singled to left to score Yrigoyen to make it 4-2, but Escobar was caught in a rundown between first and second for the second out.
The Rainbows tied it in the bottom of the third. Wong led off with a walk, stole second, took third when Kitamura grounded out to second and scored on Van Doornum's single to right. Van Doornum stole second and took third on the catcher's throwing error. Freitas grounded out to short with the infield in, holding the runner at third. Garcia beat out a grounder to first for an RBI single that tied the game at 4.
Nevada regained the lead with two in the fifth. With one out, Shaun Kort bunted for a single, took second on Brian Barnett's single and scored on Melino's double to left that moved Barnett to third. Spangler was lifted for Jesse Moore, who walked Leid to load the bases. Pinch hitter Cullen Mahoney's sacrifice fly to left made it 6-4.
The Rainbows got one in the fifth. With two outs, Kitamura singled and went to second on Van Doornum's single. Freitas' RBI single sent Van Doornum to third and pulled UH to 6-5.
Nevada cushioned its lead to 7-5 in the eighth. Waylen Sing Chow led off with a single, took second on a sacrifice and fielding error by first baseman Kevin Macdonald on Mahoney's bunt. Moore was pulled for Lenny Linsky. Yrigoyen's sacrifice moved the runners, but Linsky's first pitch to pinch hitter Ronnie Mitchell was wild, allowing Sing Chow to score and Mahoney to third.
The Wolf Pack opened their lead to 9-5 with a two out, two-run home run by Melino off Linsky.