POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, May 29, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 01:42 a.m. HST, May 29, 2011
MESA, Ariz. » Garrett Champion caught the third strike and fired the ball to third as he usually does after a strikeout.
Only problem was, the game was over.
It's hard to fault the Hawaii catcher for not believing yesterday's opening contest had finally come to an end. After 3 hours, 38 minutes, the Rainbows finished off an 18-10 victory over Louisiana Tech to temporarily avoid elimination in the Western Athletic Conference baseball tournament at Hohokam Stadium.
The two teams combined for 28 runs and 34 hits and used 14 different pitchers.
Nineteen different players got in the game for the Bulldogs, who finished their season 34-27.
"Offense won the game for us," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "It was tough because the two guys you were hoping to get you through the day were out after four innings."
Senior Zach Gallagher couldn't duplicate last year's 42⁄3 shutout innings against New Mexico State in the tournament. He was pulled after allowing four runs on five hits in two innings.
Junior Randy Yard, who would have started against Fresno State under ideal circumstances, threw two shutout innings in relief, but took himself out after the fourth with tenderness in his pitching arm.
As a result, Brent Harrison was forced to work 22⁄3 innings, even after giving up eight hits and four runs.
Trapasso had to go with Blair Walters for an inning and Lenny Linsky finished the game allowing a hit in 11⁄3 innings. He earned his 14th save, setting a UH single-season record, but the end result was a depleted pitching staff that had to face red-hot Fresno State.
Linsky, one of the top 100 draft-eligible prospects for 2011, according to Baseball America, wouldn't use that as an excuse.
"I don't think it hurt us that much, to be honest with you, because Jesse (Moore) is a bona fide starter," Linsky said.
Nine different Bulldogs entered in the seventh spot of the lineup after a substitution problem resulted in a 25-minute delay.
Louisiana Tech coach Wade Simoneaux tried to move Kyle Roliard, who started the game at pitcher and then moved to designated hitter, into the outfield.
Roliard is allowed to re-enter the game as a pitcher, but the umpires had already signaled reliever Will Alvis in to pitch.
After Roliard was temporarily allowed to move, Trapasso came out to argue, forcing LaTech to change its substitutions yet again.
Eventually, it was ruled LaTech had lost its designated hitter for the rest of the game, forcing Roliard to the bench.
Not the food
Sophomores Breland Almadova and Pi‘ikea Kitamura missed the first game with apparent food poisoning.
They believe it came from the pizza given to the team after the previous night's game.
Other players had upset stomachs, Trapasso said, but it forced both Almadova and Kitamura to go to the hospital.
Almadova was sent back to the hotel for the second game, but Kitamura returned and went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Hawaii second baseman Kolten Wong, Kitamura and junior pitcher Matt Sisto were named to the all-tournament team.
Sisto allowed an unearned run in seven innings of Thursday's 2-1 win over San Jose State.
Wong hit .412 (7-for-17) with a home run and four RBIs and Kitamura hit .500 (6-for-12) with two doubles and six RBIs.
Fresno State's Dusty Robinson was named MVP, hitting .429 (6-for-14) with two homers and eight RBIs.