Rain Forces Tie to Close Baseball Series Between Dixie State and UHH
Heavy rain at Wong Stadium early Monday night forced an early end to game one of a doubleheader between Dixie State University and the University of Hawai`i at Hilo, producing a rare baseball tie.
Occasional light rain sprinkled down on the field at times throughout the game until the heaviest downpour fell at 6:10 p.m. with the game in the bottom half of the seventh inning. With the score 3-1 in favor of the Red Storm, DSU starter Austin Christiansen walked Greg Cleary on four pitches before home plate umpire Eugene Narimatsu sent everyone back to their dugouts and called for the tarp to cover the field. The rain let up an hour later, but not after much of the outfield was left unplayable. Officials called the game just after 7:00 p.m.
By rule, a game is official after the halfway point, but the final score reverts back to the last completed inning. Dixie State took the lead in the top half of the seventh inning, but because the bottom half of the frame was not completed, those runs come off the board. The game ended in a 1-1 tie.
UH Hilo (5-17-1, 5-11-1 PacWest) took their first lead in the series in the first inning against Christiansen. Samuel Kim’s RBI single scored Richie Mariano to give the Vulcans a 1-0 lead, however the home team let a potential big inning go by.
After shortstop John Abreu led off with a single, he tried to steal second base, but was caught frozen between first and second base and ultimately tagged out in a run down. Mariano reached second base because of a fielding error in right field by Ryan Westcott, and Kim opened the scoring two batters later.
Dixie State (11-3-1, 4-2-1 PWC) left runners on base in each of the first four innings against UHH hurler Jeremy Dela Cruz, but changed that theme in the fifth thanks to a battery miscue. Damien High School graduate D.J. Andrade reached base with a single to open the frame and was sacrificed over by Westcott. Later in the inning, Andrade went over to third on a wild pitch by Dela Cruz, and catcher Tyler Nitahara believed that he could have thrown him out, but his throw to third bounced by Kim and rolled into left field, scoring Andrade to tie the game.
Dela Cruz was chased from the game in the seventh inning after falling into trouble with two out. After Westcott singled and stole second base, Yuto Kata drove him in with a single and took second on a throwing error by center fielder Brad Fairweather. Patrick Fletcher came in and allowed a double two batters later to Cedric Johnson that scored Kata. The runs would be wiped off of the board because of the weather.
In the tie, Dela Cruz allowed one unearned run in six innings. He allowed seven hits, struck out two and walked two with a wild pitch.
Despite getting caught stealing in the first inning, Abreu had a great afternoon at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double. The Vulcans combined for seven hits on the day.
Dixie State starter Christiansen allowed an unearned run in six innings with a pair of strikeouts and walks and six hits allowed.
Mitch Manning capped off a great series with two hits in game three. He hit a grand slam in game one of the shortened set.
Officials tried to re-schedule the conclusion of the game, as well as the start of the final game of the series, for the following morning, but could not get umpires scheduled on short notice to work the games. Because both teams don’t play against one another in Utah, the final game of the series won’t be made up and the tie won’t be completed. Dixie State took two of the three games played, with both teams achieving a tie.
Dixie State 000 010 – 1 6 1
Hawai`i Hilo 100 000 – 1 7 1