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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fullerton roughs up 'Bows, 13-6

Advertiser Staff

Hawai'i's pitching took a beating from starter to relievers and Cal State Fullerton rolled to a 13-6 win yesterday to clinch the three-game series at Goodwin Field in Fullerton, Calif.

The Rainbows (12-11) will try to avoid a sweep in today's series finale at 10 a.m., Hawai'i time.

Christian Colon and Nick Ramirez each had three hits, including solo home runs, to pace the Titans (12-10), who tallied 17 hits, eight for extra bases.

Hawai'i squandered a 4-0 lead, tied the game at 6 in the top of the sixth, only to have the Titans regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth on Ramirez's homer before sending 10 batters to the plate in a six-run seventh to blow the game open.

"I told our pitchers when you get six runs on 10 hits, that's got to be good enough to win," UH coach Mike Trapasso said.

Hawai'i starter Sam Spangler labored from the start and wasn't able to hold the 4-0 lead when he allowed four in the bottom of the third, lasting just 2[0xb0] innings, giving up three hits and four walks.

"Our starting pitcher didn't have it from the first pitch and that's disappointing because we give him a four-run lead," Trapasso said. "He couldn't throw a strike."

But UH's bullpen didn't have the answer either. Connor Little allowed two runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. Jesse Moore (0-1) gave up three runs and five hits in two-plus innings.

"Connor Little, he's struggling," Trapasso said. "We made some adjustments. We were on the right track, but it kind of went backwards today. We know what the issue is. He's just having a hard time making the adjustment."

Left-hander Blair Walters, brought in to face the lefty-portion of the CSUF lineup, retired only one batter and allowed four runs and four hits. Only Harrison Kuroda went unscathed with two scoreless innings, although he hit consecutive batters with two out in the eighth.

"We had four lefties out of the next five hitters, so we bring in Blair," Trapasso said. "For the second time on this trip, he struggled. He couldn't throw anything down in the zone. He couldn't locate anywhere close to where we wanted."

Walters also labored in the win at Long Beach State, when he allowed a run and three hits in one-third of an inning.

The Rainbows sent nine batters to the plate in their four-run third against Titans' starter Daniel Renken, who lasted five-plus innings, allowing six runs (four earned ), eight hits and five walks with five strikeouts.

Renken was lifted for Kevin Rath, who walked the only batter he faced before giving way to Kyle Merkins (3-1), who pitched two scoreless innings and was the beneficiary of Ramirez's go-ahead homer and six-run seventh.

Colon was 3 for 4 with two doubles and his team-leading sixth homer of the season, while Ramirez was 3 for 4 with two doubles and his first homer of the season. Ramirez and Tyler Pill each had three RBI.

Meanwhile, Greg Garcia led UH by batting 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs, while David Freitas, Pi'ikea Kitamura and Christian Johnson each had two hits. Freitas led UH with three RBI.

The Rainbows will start Matt Sisto today against CSUF's Pill, the starting right fielder the last two games. Sisto (2-3) is coming off his best outing of the season, when he allowed a run in seven innings in a 13-1 win against Air Force.

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