Wong's 2-run homer in 10th lifts UH to 8-7 win in WAC tourney opener
Kolten Wong's two out, two-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning rallied Hawai'i past Louisiana Tech, 8-7, today in the opener of the Western Athletic Conference baseball tournament at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz.
The Rainbows (30-25) advance to the winner's bracket tomorrow against either Fresno State or New Mexico State. It is pending the outcome of tonight's Nevada-San Jose State game.
It was Wong's second homer of the game after going hitless in his first four at-bats. His other two-run homer of the game came in a four-run eighth that tied the game at 6.
Lenny Linsky (3-0) allowed three runs, one earned, in 2 2/3 innings.
Wong's game-winning blast to right came after the Bulldogs (27-29) took a 7-6 lead in the top of the 10th on a two out, RBI single by Ashton Hughes.
In the bottom of the 10th against Caleb Dudley, Kevin Macdonald reached on shortstop Hughes' error and was lifted for pinch runner Kalani Brackenridge.
Dudley was pulled for Will Alvis, who started at DH. Alvis got Matt Roquemore to ground to third to force pinch runner Kalani Brackenridge at second. With Roquemore at first, Wong drilled a 1-1 pitch for the game-winning homer.
Josh Slaats went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three unearned runs, seven hits and two walks, while striking out six.
Hawai'i took a 1-0 lead in the second. Greg Garcia led off with a single, took second on a wild pitch, went to third when Collin Bennett grounded out to second and scored on Sean Montplaisir's double to left-center.
The Rainbows made it 2-0 in the fourth. Bennett led off with a single, took second on Montplaisir's sacrifice, to third when Macdonald grounded out to short and scored on Matt Roquemore's single.
The Bulldogs sent nine batters to the plate to take a 3-2 lead in the sixth. Kyle Roliard led off by reaching first on shortstop Garcia's error. Two outs later, Roliard took second on Devon Dageford's single. Joey Ford singled to score Roliard. Center fielder Bennett's error allowed Dageford to score and send Ford to second, where he scored on Clint Ewing's single to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead. Clint Stubbs and Will Alvis walked to load the bases and end Slaats' day for Jesse Moore, who retired Ashton Hughes on a grounder to first to end the inning.
The Bulldogs added to their lead in the eighth. Ford walked with one out and went to second on a balk. After Jesse Moore fell behind 2-1 on Ewing, he was pulled for Lenny Linsky. Ewing reached on a chop single to short that moved Ford to third. Stubbs' RBI double moved Ewing to third. After Alvis was intentionally walked to load the bases, Hughes reached on a two-base throwing error by Linsky that allowed two runs to score to make it 6-2.
But the Rainbows tied it in the bottom of the eighth. Garcia led off with a triple and an out later, scored on Monplaisir's double. Macdonald's single moved Montplaisir to third, where he scored when Roquemore grounded to third for a force at second to make it 6-4. Wong tied it with his two-run homer to right.