'Bows sweep Nevada
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Hawai'i used late-inning dramatics to sweep Nevada, 10-9 and 1-0, last night in a Western Athletic Conference doubleheader.
The Rainbows (23-21 overall, 6-9 WAC) rallied from a 9-5 deficit with a five-run bottom of the ninth capped by Jeffrey Van Doornum's two-run home run in the opener.
In the seven-inning nightcap, the Rainbows pitched out of a bases-loaded one out jam in the top of the seventh to preserve their lead against the Wolf Pack (23-17-1, 4-6-1) before 2,423 at Les Murakami Stadium.
"It was huge, after being down four runs in the ninth inning and get the walk-off," Pitcher Matt Sisto said of the sweep. "It's going to spring us forward. The whole demeanor of the team is up now. It feels like it's going to start rolling now."
For starters, while UH is still last in the conference, it shares it with San Jose State (4-7), which was swept yesterday by Sacramento State. Hawai'i and SJSU are 6 1/2 games behind first-place New Mexico State, which swept a doubleheader from Louisiana Tech.
The only low for UH was that second-game starter Nate Klein left after one perfect inning because of an elbow injury.
"It was some kind of day," UH coach Mike Trapasso said.
In the opener, a two-run home run in the top of the ninth by Nick Melino looked like the nail that would shutdown UH, as it increased Nevada's lead to 9-5.
But an error by shortstop Kevin Rodland that let Collin Bennett reach to start the inning against Nevada closer Tyler Graham. A wild pitch moved Bennett over to second before Sean Montplaisir was hit by a pitch. Kevin Macdonald's flyout to right moved Bennett to third before Matt Roquemore walked to load the bases.
Kolten Wong's deep drive to left-center got the crowd going, but it turned into a sacrifice fly that also moved the other runners up. Pi'ikea Kitamura's flare single near the right-field foul line drove in two to pull UH to 9-8. After Kitamura was lifted for pinch runner Kalani Brackenridge, Van Doornum drove a high inside fastball to left center that landed on the street behind the second fence to end the game.
"It was a great feeling," said Van Doornum, both surgically-repaired shoulders wrapped in ice. "I was just trying to help the team win, get the job done. I'm happy we got the win."
Blair Walters (1-1) faced just one batter, striking out Waylen Sing Chow after Melina's homer to end the inning and pave the way for UH's rally.
Sam Spangler lasted 4 1/3 innings for UH, allowing six runs (five earned). Jesse Moore gave up a run in 2 2/3 and Lenny Linsky gave up two in 1 2/3 innings before giving way to Walters.
Graham (2-4) was charged with five runs, all unearned because of the error, in 1 2/3 innings of relief for starter Tom Jameson.
So unlike the opener, UH scored the only run in th second game and made it stand up.
Greg Garcia walked to start the bottom of the second and an out later took second when Montplaisir grounded out to shortstop. Garcia scored on Macdonald's single to right against Nevada starter Jeremy Cole (3-1), who allowed a run, three hits and two walks with two strikeouts in six innings.
Sisto (4-4) started from the second inning for Klein, scattering four hits and a hit batter over 5 1/3 innings. After allowing a hit and hit batsman in the second inning, he allowed only one base runner between the third and six innings on Cullen Mahoney's fifth-inning single. But he was caught stealing.
Holding a 1-0 lead entering the seventh inning, Shaun Kort led off with a double to right, but was held up at third on Melino's sharp single to center that center fielder Bennett fielded quickly.
With the infield drawn in, Brian Barnett's ground out to Sisto moved Melino to second, as Kort held third.
Trapasso brought in the left-handed Walters to face the left-handed hitting Mahoney, who walked to load the bases.
Trapasso then brought in the right-handed Connor Little to face the right-handed hitting Garrett Yrigoyen, who fouled out to first baseman Macdonald who made the catch away from home and holding the runners. Little then struck out Sing Chow to end the game.
"To be honest, I forgot it was a seven-inning game," Sisto said. "I made a good pitch, the guys made good swings twice. That's part of the game. The bullpen came in and closed the door. Connor came in and he was great."
Sisto was the probable starter for today's series finale. But when Klein went down, Sisto answered the call.
Today's starter is between Zach Gallagher or Little, who threw just nine pitches to get the final two outs for his first save.
"I gotta sleep on that one," Trapasso said.