POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, May 2, 2011
FRESNO, Calif. » Two years ago, Hawaii and Fresno State played a four-game series in Fresno with a combined score of 50-47. It was indicative of how out of control college baseball had become since the advent of metal bats. The NCAA responded by cracking down on metal bats, with a new standard going into place this season.
It's official — sanity has returned to college baseball. Yesterday, the Rainbows and Bulldogs engaged in an old-fashioned pitchers' duel, with Fresno State and Tyler Linehan topping Zach Gallagher 4-2. Through three games of this four-game series, the combined score is Hawaii 14, Fresno State 11.
Gallagher threw an eight-inning complete game, making only a couple of mistakes for the day. Linehan went 7 1/3 innings, and looked like he could have gone another 7 1/3, retiring the final nine batters he faced.
"That was a good game today," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "You've got two starting pitchers who were really throwing well. And I think Zach just wishes he had one pitch back."
Well, maybe two, actually. The pitch Trapasso was referring to was a hanging changeup to Brennan Gowens in the seventh inning. Gowens tattooed it, sending it deep over the right-field foul pole. The only question was fair or foul and it held on for a two-run home run.
Gowens also had a double in the first and scored the game's first run on a two-base wild pitch by Gallagher. Rainbows catcher Garrett Champion couldn't find the ball — it was over near the Hawaii dugout on the first base side — and Gowens came all the way around. That would be the other pitch Gallagher probably would like back.
"Just sticking to the plan, getting the right pitch," Gowens said of his home run. "You can't control where the ball goes and luckily it went over."
Gowens' homer broke a 2-2 tie. Hawaii (24-18, 9-2 Western Athletic Conference) had taken a 2-1 lead in the fifth thanks in part to the most unlikely source — No. 9 hitter Jesse Moore's first collegiate home run. It came leading off the inning, tied the score at 1-1, and set off a ruckus in the Hawaii dugout.
"I think we were all wondering that," Trapasso said with a chuckle when asked where Moore's home run came from. "That's why we had a lot of emotion out of our dugout on that one. We don't even see that in BP out of him."
Said Moore, when asked if he had somebody retrieve the ball, "Nah, it's not a big deal. I was happy to get us on the board. We were down 1-0 and I was trying to hit something hard, get a good swing leading off the inning. I put a good swing on it, it went over."
Breland Almadova followed Moore's hit with a stand-up triple to right-center. One out later, he scored on Kolten Wong's single to right. That was the last baserunner the Rainbows would get against Linehan.
"I was really impressed with Linehan," Trapasso said. "After we scored those two runs, it's like he got a second wind. He's going to be pretty good for these guys for a while. That's a good arm."
Fresno State coach Mike Batesole was happy his team finally played a clean game. Hawaii won the first two games of the series thanks in part to seven unearned runs.
"What's good about it is it makes tomorrow (Monday) big," he said. "We played very well early in the year and we hit a little funk. If we get tomorrow's, we'll be a half-game out."
Fresno State (29-9, 9-5) entered the weekend ranked 13th in the country.
|San Jose State||9||7||.563||21/2||29||16|
|New Mexico State||5||7||.417||41/2||30||14|
|Almadova cf||4||1||2||0||Muno 3b||2||1||1||0|
|Kitamura 3b||3||0||0||0||Gowens cf||3||2||3||3|
|Wong 2b||4||0||2||1||Robinson rf||4||0||1||0|
|Swasey dh||4||0||1||0||Ribera 1b||4||0||0||0|
|VanDrnm 1b||4||0||0||0||Weber ss||4||0||1||0|
|Bennett rf||4||0||2||0||Wise dh||4||0||0||0|
|Mntplasr lf||3||0||1||0||Judge lf||4||0||2||0|
|Champin c||3||0||0||0||Wynns c||3||0||0||0|
|Moore ss||3||1||1||1||Hutchson 2b||3||1||1||0|
|UH (24-18, 9-2)||000||020||000 - 2||9||1|
|FS (29-9, 9-5)||100||010||20x -- 4||9||0|
|Gallagher (L, 4-2)||8||9||4||4||2||4|
|Linehan (W, 3-1)||71/3||8||2||2||2||7|
|Linsky (S, 1)||12/3||1||0||0||0||1|
|Almadova cf||3||1||0||0||Muno dh||4||0||0||0|
|Kitamura 3b||3||0||0||1||Weber ss||4||0||0||0|
|Wong 2b||3||1||1||1||Robinson cf||4||1||3||1|
|Swasey dh||5||0||1||2||Judge lf||3||0||1||0|
|Vn Dornm 1b||5||1||1||0||Wynns c||2||0||0||0|
|Bennett rf||3||1||1||0||Mallory 2b||3||0||0||0|
|Montplaisir lf||3||0||1||1||Hutcheson 2b||1||0||0||0|
|Champion c||3||1||1||0||Qualls rf||3||1||1||0|
|Moore ss||3||1||0||1||Charles ph||1||0||0||0|
|UH (24-17, 9-1)||010||001||004||-||6||6||0|
|FSU (28-9, 8-5)||000||001||100||--||5||11||1|
|Harrison (W, 1-1)||21/3||1||0||0||0||1|
|Robertson (L, 0-5)||11/3||2||4||4||1||0|