After 15 innings behind the plate, catcher David Peterson decided he’d had enough.
Peterson used two wild pitches to score from second base to give Hawaii a 5-4 win over No. 6 Texas last night.
Any of the 2,834 fans at Les Murakami Stadium who planned on attending a baseball/basketball double dip would have missed the start of the basketball game as UH went 15 innings for the first time in three years.
Peterson, who finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored, singled to open the 15th and scored with two outs when Texas pitcher Corey Knebel (0-1) threw a second wild pitch that bounced hard off the backstop.
"I wasn’t going to slow down," Peterson said. "I was tired from catching. I wanted to get out of here."
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak for Hawaii (3-3). A win today would give the ‘Bows a winning record in seven games against two top-10 teams.
"That would be huge for us to establish ourselves among the good teams in the nation," said left-hander Blair Walters, who combined with Zach Gallagher (1-0) to hold the Longhorns (4-3) scoreless over the final seven innings.
Walters threw two innings in a 2-0 loss on Friday and was told before the game he wouldn’t throw. But with the game tied 4-4 and the Rainbows already having used five different pitchers, Walters was ready to go.
"I didn’t even have him active tonight," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "He came to me and said he was feeling good, to put him in. We did and he was outstanding."
Walters settled the game down after UH used four pitchers in the eighth. Alex Capaul recorded the first out before throwing five consecutive balls. Trapasso then brought in Jarrett Arakawa, who gave up a double and a walk to load the bases.
Trapasso went back to the bullpen for closer Lenny Linsky. A wild pitch scored Mark Payton and after a strikeout, Kevin Lusson drove in two runs with a single between first and second to give the Longhorns a 4-1 lead.
Texas loaded the bases again, but Michael Blake got Paul Montalbano to ground into a fielder’s choice to keep UH in the game.
"That was out of character for us to walk two guys and hit a batter like that, but credit our guys for battling back to answer with a three-spot of our own," Trapasso said.
Newcomer Zack Swasey, who has been UH’s best hitter to start the year, did it again with a three-run double off Texas closer Stayton Thomas to tie the game with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
Swasey and senior Sean Montplaisir started in the corner outfield spots and had five of UH’s 11 hits. Montplaisir, who finished 3-for-7, led off with a single. UH loaded the bases with two outs on a walk and a hit batter. Swasey drove a 2-2 pitch deep over Cohl Walla’s head in center to clear the bases.
"I was just focused in on seeing the ball and hit the ball," Swasey said. "It was exhausting, but we trusted each other, played as a team and we’re still not the best right now, but we’re ready to compete with the best teams."
Hawaii got a monster effort from starter Connor Little, who held Texas scoreless over six innings. He retired the first 10 batters he faced and gave up just three hits and a walk. He struck out one and threw 63 of his 95 pitches for strikes.
"That was a big thing in this game for Connor and the start he had," Trapasso said. "He still hasn’t thrown the way we’ve seen in practice, but he was able to throw his fastball and when he’s able to get his secondary pitches over consistently, he’ll be able to give us seven or eight innings."
Walters, who pitched innings nine through 12, gave up two hits and struck out four. Gallagher earned the victory with three scoreless frames, surrendering three hits. Neither pitcher walked a batter.