Kinoshita Brothers Earn Wins in UHH Doubleheader Sweep
Retiring University of Hawai`i at Hilo head coach Joey Estrella said Friday morning that Gavin and Dane Kinoshita both requested to make their starts on that evening’s games.
The two brothers, who are both seniors, closed out their UHH careers with victories over Academy of Art University. Dane picked up his second victory of the season with the Vulcans’ 4-1 win in game one, while Gavin also collected his second victory in game two, a 3-1 win over the Urban Knights.
The Vulcans had to play from behind in the opener after a pair of wild pitches from Dane Kinoshita allowed Joseph Marchini to score in the third inning, giving Academy of Art a 1-0 advantage. That would be the only run the three-year Vulcan would allow as Kinoshita struck out eight, walked three, and gave up seven hits in six and two-thirds innings. He improved his record to 2-5.
UHH scored all of their runs with two out, including the game-tying score in the fifth inning. Following a Brad Fairweather double, Austin Cusack drove him home with a single into center field against starter Aaron Garabedian. The Urban Knights ace dropped to 0-8 after allowing three runs in five and two-thirds innings of work.
The last two of those runs off of Garabedian came from the bat of Samuel Kim. The sophomore transfer swatted his fifth home run of the season, a team high, out to left field, bringing Zachary Hamasaki home with him to put UH Hilo ahead 3-1. Kim went 2-for-3 at the plate in the opener.
In the seventh inning, the Vulcans loaded the bases with two out against the Urban Knights’ relief core. Tyler Nitahara singled off of Nick Giotta to start the run, and Keenan Nishioka took a walk from left-hander Yoshi Uemura. Kim was hit by a pitch to load the bases, bringing up Fairweather. Uemura got the Vulcan center fielder to swing at a pitch in the dirt for a strikeout, but the ball got by catcher Kevin Decker, allowing Nitahara to score and extending the UHH lead to 4-1.
Patrick Fletcher picked up his first save of the season for UHH, getting the final seven outs while allowing only a walk and striking out one.
Academy of Art was, once again, the first to break through in the nightcap. Stefen Henderson led the game off with a single, then stole second and took third on a throwing error from UHH catcher Nitahara. Two batters later, Ryan Ramirez singled through the right side to bring the first run of the game home.
It wouldn’t take long for the Vulcans to even the score. John Abreu led the bottom of the inning off with a single, and three batters later, freshman Keenan Nishioka drove him in with an RBI single into right-center field.
Two innings later, Nishioka would again come through with two out. Facing starter Nate Gercken, the Vulcan first baseman drove in Garrett Micheels, who doubled earlier in the inning, with a single to left center field, giving UHH a 2-1 lead. Nishioka followed an 0-for-4 first game performance by going 2-for-3 in the day’s finale.
Gercken, who fell to 1-5 on the season, pitched well in the losing performance, going all six innings by allowing three runs, two of them earned, on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
The final run, which was the unearned run, came as the Urban Knights were trying to get out of another jam. In the fourth inning, Fairweather singled and eventually got to third base, thanks to a sacrifice bunt and a ground out. It appeared that Greg Cleary would end the inning with a ground ball out to second base, but Edmunds struggled to field the high chopper that was moving toward him, allowing Cleary to reach on an error and Fairweather to cross home plate, making the score 3-1 in favor of UHH.
Meanwhile, Gavin Kinoshita worked his way in and out of trouble to earn the victory. He pitched five and two-thirds innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits with five walks and four strikeouts. His record improved to 2-4.
Kinoshita loaded the bases before his exit in the sixth inning, leaving a potential mess for Waiakea High School graduate Sheldon Shishido. The right-handed quickly cleaned it up with a strikeout to Henderson, his third of the day, to end the threat.
In the seventh, Shishido labored with two outs, allowing a single to Dante Redhead and a walk to Myles Babbitt. However, he would close the door on the Urban Knights by inducing a fly out to James Singzon to seal the victory and his second save of the season.
The final two games of the season, and the long coaching career of Estrella, takes place Saturday at Wong Stadium. First pitch of the doubleheader is at 1:00 p.m. Both games can be heard on ESPN Radio and ESPNHawaii.com.
Academy of Art 000 100 000 – 1 7 1
Hawai`i Hilo 000 012 10x – 4 8 3
Academy of Art 100 000 0 – 1 5 1
Hawai`i Hilo 101 100 x – 3 7 3