Vulcans Sweep Pacific For First Wins of Season
by Josh Pacheco
After a slow start to the season on the road, the Vulcans picked up their first two wins of the season by beating Pacific 7-3 in game one, followed by a 1-0 pitchers duel in the seven-inning second game.
In game one, UHH got on the board first in the fourth inning when Brad Fairweather sliced a single into shallow left field, scoring Steven Riddle. Riddle reached base on a double down the left field line, but almost struck out on the pitch prior when he checked his swing on a close pitch, which on the appeal, the umpire ruled that Riddle did not go around, drawing the ire of the Pacific coaching staff.
Pacific took the lead in the top of the sixth off of starter Jordan Kumasaka, when the young starter faltered mightily in the inning. Kumasaka walked Conor Clark to start the inning. Two batters later, Clark reached second on a balk, then got to third on a wild pitch. After Jared Van Hoon flew out to shallow left, Nate Rasmussen brought him in with an RBI single. Rasmussen later scored off of a Mike Nagamine single, giving Pacific a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, UHH responded with two runs of their own. John Abreu doubled up the third base line, with the ball rolling all the way to the wall. The next batter, Jonathan James, brought him in with a double of his own to left center. Two batters later, Joshua Wong broke the 2-2 tie with a slicing single right over the head of first baseman Nagamine, giving UHH a 3-2 lead.
The Vulcans scored four more runs in the seventh inning, thanks to miscues from the Boxers. Keenan Kaluau drove in a run with a single, then advanced to second on the throw. The next batter, Abreu lined a base hit into center, and he, too, decided to take second, seeing no one covering the base. As the Boxers tried to recover, left fielder Grant Gabriel overthrew his infielder, allowing a second run to come in on the play. Later in the inning, Abreu stole third base and was able to come home on a throwing error from Pacific catcher Conor Clark, making the score 7-2.
Pacific got a run in the bottom of the eighth on a fielding error by Vulcan shortstop Kaluau, letting a ball scoot through his legs, scoring Jared Van Hoon, but they would not get any closer than that, falling 7-3, after Casey Bohlmann finished them off to pick up the three inning save.
In game two, starter Gavin Kinoshita was splendid. Kinoshita pitched five innings, allowing no runs on two hits, walking one and striking out four, in picking up his first win of the season in a 1-0 victory over Pacific.
In the second, Kinoshita had to work out of his own jam. After allowing Logan Moen to reach base on a single, his pick-off throw to second base sailed over Jonathan James’ head, allowing Moen to reach second base. He recovered by getting Jordan Siu to fly out to left and Michael Arakaki to ground out to second base.
UHH gave Kinoshita a lead to work with in the fourth when center fielder Brad Fairweather grounded to second baseman Nate Rasmussen, who bobbled the grounder, then fired to first base too late, scoring Jeremy Kaaukai.
In the fifth, Kinoshita ended his start on a high note. After allowing Arakaki to single through to center field with one out in the inning, he induced a beautiful 5-4-3 double play from Chad Fahey to end the inning. Third baseman John Abreu ranged to his left and made a beautiful scoop to field the baseball and go to second to start the double play.
Jeremy Delacruz picked up the save over two innings for the Vulcans, but it wasn’t without a hassle. In the seventh, Delacruz allowed Moen to reach base with a one-out single. After Siu grounded into a fielder’s choice to move Moen to second, Arakaki walked to put runners at first and second base with two out. Fahey hit a line drive to left field, which outfielder Greg Cleary fired back in to cut-off man Abreu, who quickly came home to catcher Tyler Nitahara. Nitahara cleanly blocked the left side of the plate, stopping pinch runner Therone Bridges in his tracks. Nitahara applied the tag cleanly and ended the game.
UH Hilo (2-4, 0-4 PacWest) will continue their four game series against Pacific (0-2) today with a doubleheader at Wong Stadium. The first game is at 4 pm, and will go nine innings. The second game is a seven inning contest.
Pacific – 3 5 2
Hawaii-Hilo – 7 12 2
WP – Jordan Kumasaka (1-0) LP – Mike McGuire (0-1) SV – Casey Bohlmann (1)
Pacific – 0 4 1
Hawaii-Hilo – 1 5 1
WP – Gavin Kinoshita (1-0) LP – Jason Sawyer (0-1) SV – Jeremy Delacruz (1)