POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 26, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 2:08 a.m. HST, Mar 26, 2011
A 3-0 loss to Cal State Fullerton was overshadowed by the loss of two Hawaii starters.
Juniors Kolten Wong and Jesse Moore left last night's game with injuries. Moore exited for a pinch hitter in the fifth and Wong left the game after striking out with the bases loaded in the eighth.
"We just got beat and now we've probably got to figure out what our lineup is going to be (today) because we have a couple of guys down and that's more concerning to me," Trapasso said. "Both of their shoulders popped out on swings, so we'll have to do some shuffling around again right when we thought we had things settled."
The Rainbows (11-10) mounted their lone scoring threat in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs. A Les Murakami Stadium crowd of 3,143 buzzed as Wong, the team's leading hitter, stepped to the plate after Sean Montplaisir walked.
After falling behind in the count, Wong struck out swinging, but the ball got away from the catcher, allowing Wong to take first. But after a lengthy conversation among the three umpires, Wong was ruled out for touching the ball outside of the batters box.
"Kolten is known as a great hitter, so I had to bear down," said Fullerton starter Noe Ramirez, who allowed two hits in eight innings. "Fortunately it worked out for me."
Noe and Nick Ramirez combined on the shutout, with Noe Ramirez needing to throw 137 pitches to give the Titans (13-8) their fifth win in six games.
A preseason All-American, Noe Ramirez walked three and struck out eight to improve to 4-2 for the season. Nick Ramirez worked a perfect ninth to record his fourth save.
"You know what, it was a great start," Noe Ramirez said. "I've started off this year a little slow, and to show up and (pitch) how I did today is a big relief for me."
With Noe Ramirez on the mound for the Titans, Fullerton had a chance to put the game out of reach early. Ivory Thomas drew a leadoff walk and stole second. Anthony Trajano bounced an infield chopper deep in the hole at short for a single and the Titans had runners on first and third with nobody out.
Nick Ramirez drilled an 0-1 offering from Matt Sisto right at first baseman Michael Blake, who doubled off Trajano at first. Sisto then got Tyler Pill to pop out, stranding Thomas at third base.
The fourth inning was the turning point in the game. Cal State Fullerton scored twice, needing only one hit after an error by Moore allowed Trajano to reach base. After a walk to Nick Ramirez, Pill sacrificed the runners into scoring position.
Instead of loading the bases for a potential double play, the Rainbows decided to pitch to Michael Lorenzen, who grounded out to short to bring home Trajano. Blake Barber, starting for one of the suspended Fullerton players, followed with a triple to right center, bringing in Ramirez to give the Titans a 2-0 lead.
Hawaii had an opportunity in the bottom of the inning when Zack Swasey broke up the no-hit bid with a one-out single. Blake followed with a single, but it came after Swasey was thrown out going to second on a hit-and-run attempt as the Rainbows came up empty.
The Titans tacked on a run in the fifth on an RBI single by Trajano that scored Jared Deacon, who led off with a walk.
All three Fullerton runs were scored by runners who reached base on either a walk or an error.
"I thought we played with some passion and competed, but we didn't have an answer for Ramirez," Trapasso said. "I think Sisto would like to have two at-bats back, but that's going to happen. We just got beat."
Sisto (1-3) took the loss, allowing one earned run in seven innings on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Randy Yard threw two hitless innings, walking one and striking out two.
The four-game series continues with a doubleheader today beginning at 3:05. Connor Little (2-0, 3.13) is expected to start the first game, scheduled for seven innings. Freshman left-hander Jarrett Arakawa (1-1, 4.13) will go in the nightcap.