Sports

UH-Hilo’s Kurokawa Fired Complete Game Win to Cap Off DH Sweep

March 12, 2014, 8:02 AM HST
* Updated March 12, 12:15 PM
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Jordan Kurokawa battled through the flu and a pesky Point Loma Nazarene lineup Tuesday night to pick up his first win of the season, a complete game 4-1 victory in the second game of a twin bill at Wong Stadium.

UH-Hilo (5-6 overall, 4-3 PacWest) was hoping to start Kurokawa Monday to open the series, but a flu bug that spread throughout the team sidelined the right-handed pitcher for a day.

Kurokawa (1-2) allowed just one run on six hits with four strikeouts.

The Vulcans opened the game by capitalizing on Point Loma’s mistake. Jordan Murai grounded into a fielder’s choice at shortstop, but Clinton Harwick stumbled on the dirt and fired an errant throw to second base to allow Kyle Watase to get in safely. BJ Freitas, who reached base after getting hit by a pitch, scored to put UH-Hilo ahead 1-0 after one frame.

Point Loma (11-9, 4-3) tied the game in the fourth inning when Kyle Sheppard, named Co-Pitcher of the Week in the PacWest earlier in the day, grounded out to second base with just one out in the inning. Mike Marcoux scored from third base to even the game.

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Sheppard batted 1-for-3 on the evening with the game’s only extra-base hit, a double down the left field line in the second inning.

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The Vulcans would answer the score in the bottom half of the frame. Harrison Guiol walked with one out and stole second base. Two batters later, Korin Medeiros lined a single into center field to bring him home. Trey Hunt misplayed the ball into center field, which rolled all the way to the warning track nearly 400 feet away. Medeiros stopped at third on the error, but was stranded there when Ryan Fukunaga struck out to end the inning.

In the fifth, UH-Hilo opened its lead against Sea Lions’ starter Garrett Gooding. Samuel Kim was walked to lead the inning off. He later stole second base and advanced to third on Freitas’ sacrifice bunt. Watase brought him in with a single to left field to extend the Vulcans’ lead to 3-1 after five innings.

Gooding took the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with five strikeouts and two walks in five innings of work.

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Cole Chandler was the first one of the Point Loma bullpen, and the Vulcans quickly went after him in the sixth. Jordan Murai dropped a bunt down the third base line for a hit and reached second base on a balk. Guiol singled and Nishioka walked to load the bases.

Two batters later, Fukunaga laced a low liner to center field, which was caught by Hunt. Murai raced home and scored on the sacrifice fly, putting the Vulcans ahead 4-1 after six innings.

It wasn’t clear if Kurokawa would come out for the seventh. Close Michael Slifer initially jogged out onto the field, but quickly retreated when Kurokawa raced back out for the final frame. The sophomore hurler gave up a single to Hunt, but picked up a pair of strikeouts and closed the door on the Sea Lions, giving the Vulcans its third win in as many games.

Watase was the only one to pair hits for UH-Hilo, collecting two of the Vulcans’ six knocks.

Hunt and Marcoux each got two hits for the Sea Lions, who have lost three straight in its first ever trip to Hawai`i.

Point Loma Nazarene – 000 100 0 – 1 6 2

Hawai`i Hilo – 100 111 x – 4 6 1

Game 1: Vulcans Blank Point Loma 2-0

Every button interim head coach Kallen Miyataki pushed worked for the University of Hawai`i at Hilo baseball team in game one of Tuesday’s doubleheader.

Four pitchers combined for a five-hit shutout in the Vulcans’ 2-0 win over Point Loma Nazarene.

Miyataki’s first big decision was to take out starter Seamus Yoneshige with two outs and two men on base in the fourth inning. Yoneshige had allowed just two hits while walking two and striking out four over four and two-thirds innings and 79 pitches. In came Sheldon Shishido, who was called upon a day earlier to end a similar threat.

Not only did Shishido, a graduate of Waiakea High School, get a two-pitch out to end Point Loma’s threat, he lasted two and two-thirds innings of one hit relief to pick up his first win of the season.

In the sixth, Miyataki pulled second baseman Edison Sakata and called on Ryan Fukunaga to open the inning at the plate. The call worked as the Hilo grad singled to start the inning. Samuel Kim sacrificed him over to second base and a wild pitch moved him to third. BJ Freitas brought him home on a single up the middle to put the Vulcans on the board first.

That wouldn’t be all for UH-Hilo in that inning. Point Loma starter Kevin Lillicrop threw an errant throw to first base in an attempt to pick off Freitas, allowing him to move up to second base. Austin Cusack brought him home with a single to extend the Vulcans’ lead to 2-0.

Shishido was pulled for Jordan Kumasaka with one out in the eighth, and the junior quickly allowed a hit to Ryan Garcia to put the tying run on base with just one out. Miyataki went right back to his bullpen and called on closer Michael Slifer, who got a line drive out from Tyler Nordgren with both runners moving on the play. Preston Sands was called out at second to complete the inning ending double play.

Slifer had a little bit of work to do to closer out the game. After allowing a one-out single to Matt Jervis, he recorded a pair of strikeouts to Joseph Keller and Trey Hunt to end the game.

Slifer picked up his third save of the season, allowing two hits and striking out two while recording the last five outs of the game.

Lillicrop took the loss, falling to 1-1 on the season. He pitched all eight innings for the Sea Lions, allowing both runs, although just one was earned. He struck out three and allowed seven hits.

Fukunaga was the only player to pick up two hits. He batted 2-for-2 in the game.

Point Loma Nazarene – 000 000 000 – 0 5 1

Hawai`i Hilo – 000 002 00x – 2 7 0

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