Thanks to a midnight red-eye flight, Hawaii didn’t even get the chance at another ninth-inning comeback.
Aaron Jones hit a solo home run and Danny Pulfer scored the eventual winning run on a throwing error by catcher David Peterson as the Ducks earned a series split with a 4-3 victory over Hawaii last night in a game shortened to eight innings.
Because Oregon had to catch a flight back to Portland, the game was halted at 9:51 p.m., drawing boos from a Les Murakami Stadium crowd of 1,762.
Oregon’s bullpen blew leads in the eighth and ninth innings in the first two games, but didn’t have to worry about it last night.
"Oregon had to catch a midnight flight, so we made 9:45 p.m. the cutoff point," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "It’s one of those scheduling things that happen with the travel."
Kellen Moen got the job done in the eighth with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out pinch hitter Easton Torigoe to earn the save.
The Rainbows (2-2) finished with a split against the Ducks (2-2), but failed to cash in on two chances to win the series.
"We feel like we were a couple of plays away from winning the series," Trapasso said. "We didn’t play a complete game, but we stood toe-to-toe with a top-10 team and will learn from the mistakes we made."
Kolten Wong and Collin Bennett finished with two hits apiece and Zack Swasey added an RBI double for the Rainbows.
Oregon scored first for the fourth time this series when Jones opened the game with a solo home run, his second of the season.
Hawaii starter Jesse Moore avoided a big inning in the second after giving up two walks and a single to load the bases. After a visit from Trapasso, Moore got Jones to pop out to second as he retired the next four batters he faced.
Wong helped the Rainbows tie the game at 1-all, singling off Oregon starter Alex Keudell with two outs in the first. He quickly stole second and scored on a Jeff Van Doornum base hit.
Oregon retook the lead, its seventh different one of the series, in the fourth when Tyler Kuresa hit a leadoff double and scored on a groundout.
But again, Hawaii answered as Keudell walked three men in the bottom of the fourth. Swasey doubled to right to score Van Doornum, but UH only got one as Bennett was thrown out trying to steal second and Matt Harrison struck out with men on second and third.
"It was a hit-and-run and Peterson said he got the sign but couldn’t pull the trigger on the pitch that froze him," Trapasso said. "We had an advantage count, so we put a hit-and-run on to get a ground ball there and stay out of the double play."
Oregon retook the lead in the sixth as Stefan Sabol led off with a triple. Pulfer followed with an RBI single and scored on a throwing error by Peterson trying to catch him stealing at third base.
The Rainbows got runners into scoring position in the fifth and sixth innings, but stranded them both times. With Bennett on second and two outs in the sixth, pinch hitter Sean Montplaisir hit a bullet under the glove of Pulfer at second for an error, but Jones threw out Bennett at the plate to end the inning.
Wong sandwiched a double between two walks to load the bases with one out in the eighth. Blake scored Pi’ikea Kitamura on a sacrifice fly for the second out and Bennett grounded out to first to end the threat.
Keudell was credited with the win, allowing two runs on five hits in five innings with nine strikeouts. Freshman Jarrett Arakawa (0-1) gave up the two Oregon runs in the sixth inning to take the loss.
The Rainbows will continue their season-opening seven-game homestand with a three-game series against No. 6 Texas beginning Friday.
Hawaii was tied for 30th in the latest Collegiate Baseball rankings released yesterday. Oregon dropped six spots to No. 15. Next week’s opponent, Texas, is ranked seventh by Collegiate Baseball and sixth by Baseball America.
Oregon 4, Hawaii 3
|Jones rf||5||1||2||1||Almadova cf||4||0||0||0|
|Thomas rf||0||0||0||0||Kitamura 3b||3||1||1||0|
|Altobelli ss||5||0||0||0||Wong 2b||3||1||2||0|
|Marder c||5||0||2||0||Van Doornum 1b||2||1||1||1|
|Hambright 3b||2||0||0||0||Blake dh||3||0||0||1|
|Eshleman ph||1||0||0||0||Bennett rf||3||0||2||0|
|Gavin 3b||2||0||0||0||Peterson c||2||0||0||0|
|Peterson dh||3||0||0||0||Swasey lf||4||0||1||1|
|Kuresa 1b||3||1||1||0||Harrison ss||2||0||0||0|
|Healy ph/1b||1||0||1||0||Montplaisir ph||1||0||0||0|
|Sabol lf||2||1||1||0||Connor ss||0||0||0||0|
|Piazzisi lf||0||0||0||0||Torigoe ph||1||0||0||0|
E–Marder; Pulfer; Van Doornum; Peterson. LOB–Oregon 12; Hawaii 9. 2B–Marder; Kuresa; Healy; Wong; Swasey. 3B–Sabol. HR– Jones. SH–Pulfer; Hofmann; Peterson. SF–Blake. SB–Pulfer; Wong; Van Doornum. CS–Bennett.
|Kuedell (W, 1-0)||5||5||2||2||4||9|
|Arakawa (L, 0-1)||1||3||2||2||1||0|
HBP–by Linsky (Mendenhall). BK–Kuedell. PB–Marder.
Umpires–Dave Yeast(Plate); Billy Haze (First); Jake Uhlenhopp (Third).