Vulcans, Red Storm End Series in Second Split
For the first time at home since the opening series of the season against Pacific, the University of Hawaii at Hilo achieved at least a split of a baseball series, winning yesterday’s first game over Dixie State 6-3, before falling in the nightcap 4-2.
The Vulcans got out to a very familiar start in game one, getting the first five guys on base in the first inning against experienced starter Mike Dedrick (4-3). Leadoff man Jordan Murai walked, and was sacrificed over to second by John Abreu, who still made it on base after a throwing error by Dedrick. Joshua Wong drilled a double to left-center field, scoring Murai from third base, and Abreu scored next on a Steven Riddle base hit. Johnathan James rounded it out with a base hit of his own, scoring Wong, and rounding out the scoring in the inning.
Dixie State (24-13, 20-11) started to slowly chip away at the lead against freshman starter Jeremy Dela Cruz (3-3). In the third inning, Jayden Darrington’s single with the bases loaded scored Colton Yack, cutting the lead down to two. Then, in the fifth, Darrington flied out to right field. Tyson Littlewood tagged up from third trying to score, and right fielder Travis Stancil’s throw bounced wide of home plate, allowing Littlewood to score.
UH Hilo (12-32, 9-25) would get one of those runs back in the sixth, when Stancil singled home James to make the lead 4-2. They would break the game open in the seventh with two runs scoring on a Joshua Wong two-run double down the left field line, scoring Murai and Abreu to give the Vulcans a 6-2 lead.
Dixie State did get a run in the ninth on a Darrington sacrifice fly, but Patrick Fletcher nailed down his second save of the season in two-thirds of an inning of work, nailing down the 6-3 win.
Dela Cruz went seven innings for the victory, allowing two runs, one of them earned, on nine hits, striking out four and walking one. Casey Bohlmann pitched one-and-a-third innings of relief, allowing a run on two hits, while Fletcher finished it off, allowing only a hit.
Dedrick pitched six innings for the Red Storm, coming in off of three days rest from his last start on Friday at Hawaii Pacific. He allowed three earned runs, four total, on seven hits, with three strikeouts and one walk. Austin Christiansen allowed two earned runs in the seventh inning on two hits with one walk, while Jason Holmes struck out two, walked one, and allowed a hit in the eighth.
James and Stancil were stand out hitters for the Vulcans in game one, collecting three hits each with an RBI. Wong recovered from a hitless Monday to smack a pair of doubles while driving in three runs in the game. Darrington and Cedric Johnson each collected three hits for the Red Storm, with Darrington responsible for all three runs scoring.
Dixie State 001 010 001 – 3 12 2
Hawaii-Hilo 300 001 20x – 6 10 2
Red Storm Survive in Game Two Win
A three run inning proved to be enough of a cushion, barely, for the Red Storm to pick up a series-splitting 4-2 win over UH Hilo in a scheduled seven-inning nightcap.
Once again, Dixie State (25-13, 21-11) had to play from behind, as starter Sam Friend allowed a lead-off double to John Abreu. Abreu appeared to injure his knee as he rounded first base, forcing him to leave the game. His pinch-runner, Keenan Kaluau, would score on a Joshua Wong groundout, giving UHH the 1-0 lead after the first inning.
Dixie State broke out in the second off of Vulcans hurler Dane Kinoshita (1-4), scoring three in the second. With two on and one out, shortspot Tyler Slesk grounded out to tie the game, scoring Tyson Littlewood from third base. Mitch Manning scored during the next at-bat on a wild pitch, and two batters later, Jordan Hanley doubled down the left field line, scoring Eric Bond to give the Red Storm a 3-0 lead.
UH Hilo (12-32, 9-26) came right back in the bottom of that inning, getting a run back from Kaluau’s RBI single that got through into left field, scoring Austin Cusack. Daniel Reitz tried to score from second base, but he was gunned down at home, ending the inning.
Kinoshita lasted only two innings, and Seamus Yonishige pitched solidly in relief, keeping Dixie State at bay over the next four innings, allowing only a hit during that time.
The score remained 4-2 going into the seventh inning. Yonishige had set down nine straight batters until Jordan Hanley walked with two out in the top of the seventh inning. The left-hander was never the same after that, Kaluau’s throwing error to first base kept the inning alive, allowing two runners to get into scoring position. After Cedric Johnson was intentionally walked to load the bases, pinch hitter Nate Littlewood was unintentionally walked, scoring Hanley to give Dixie State a two run lead.
The Vulcans had one more chance against Red Storm closer Daniel Zapata, who entered the game in the fifth inning. On Monday night, Zapata (3-0) left the bases loaded in the ninth inning to hold on for his second win of the season. On Tuesday night, he allowed the first two men to reach base, walking Travis Stancil, then watching as catcher’s interference at the plate allowed Wong to reach first. After Tyson Goo sacrificed both runners into scoring position, Zapata froze pinch-hitter Steven Riddle on an inside-corner fastball for a strikeout, then induced a game-ending groundout to Johnathan James to end the game.
Zapata pitched two-and-a-thirds innings of relief, only walking one and allowing a hit while striking out two. Friend picked up a no-decision, failing to finish the fifth. He allowed two runs on five hits, striking out and walking five batters each.
Kinoshita’s day was short for the Vulcans, allowing three runs on three hits with two walks in two frames. Yonishige pitched four-and-two thirds innings of solid baseball, and Patrick Fletcher got an out to end the seventh.
The Red Storm scattered only four hits, with RBI’s from Hanley, Slesk, and Nate Littlewood. Wong continued his hot hitting for the Vulcans, picking up two hits and an RBI in the night cap.
Dixie State 030 000 1 – 4 4 1
Hawaii-Hilo 110 000 0 – 2 6 1