After three years living off his potential, Connor Little may finally be the pitcher he was expected to be.
The junior right-hander lasted a career-high 7 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and two runs in a 3-2 victory over Loyola Marymount yesterday at Page Stadium in Los Angeles.
Little (1-0) struck out three and walked one in his second consecutive quality start for the Rainbows (4-5), who handed the Lions (8-3) their second loss in three games.
"We lost the game (Thursday) with pitching and we won the game (yesterday) with pitching," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "It’s one of those deals where it’s a good win, but as soon as the game is over, you think (Thursday) and what could have been."
Hawaii let a 5-0 lead go to waste in a series-opening loss. It never trailed yesterday.
Little walked the leadoff batter to start the game and allowed consecutive doubles to Colton Plaia and Bret Dahlson for a run in the second.
Today: at LMU, 11 a.m.
He was dialed in from then on, retiring 13 straight before a leadoff single in the seventh.
Little was pulled after 107 pitches, hitting Matt Koch with a pitch to put men on first and second with one out in the eighth.
"I thought it was important to get him extended over 100 pitches," Trapasso said. "We need to get our starters extended and he did a great job. He was good the whole way."
Closer Lenny Linsky allowed a two-out single to Shon Roe that scored Matt Lowenstein before recording four consecutive outs to earn his second save.
Hawaii used a different starting lineup again, playing Jesse Moore at shortstop and giving AJ Bayus his first start at third base.
Bayus hit an RBI single in the fifth for his first Rainbow hit and Sean Montplaisir finished 3-for-4 with two of Hawaii’s five doubles.
"We’re just kind of seeing some guys in different positions since it’s early," Trapasso said. "We want to get our guys involved and see how they respond."
Zack Swasey singled, stole a base and scored in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
Michael Blake had two hits and Jeff Van Doornum drove in Montplaisir with a double in the sixth for the deciding run.
The Rainbows didn’t commit an error for the first time all season.
Lowenstein extended his hitting streak to 10 games with two hits and is hitting .474 for the season for the Lions.
Alex Gillingham (1-2) took the loss, allowing eight hits and all three runs in eight innings with no walks and five strikeouts.
The Rainbows will start senior right-hander Alex Capaul (0-1, 3.18 ERA) in the third game of the series today at 11 a.m.
Hawaii 3, Loyola Marymount 2
|Wong 2b||4||0||0||0||Lowenstein lf||3||1||2||0|
|Swasey rf||4||1||1||0||Johnson 2b||4||0||0||0|
|Montplaisir lf||4||1||3||1||Koch dh||3||0||0||0|
|Vn Drnum 1b||4||0||1||1||Simonitsch||4||0||1||0|
|Bennett cf||4||0||0||0||Roe ss||4||0||1||1|
|Peterson c||4||1||1||0||Guthrie 3b||4||0||1||0|
|Blake dh||4||0||2||0||Fujimoto cf||3||0||0||0|
|Bayus 3b||3||0||1||1||Plaia c||3||1||1||0|
|Kitamura 3b||1||0||0||0||McIntyre ph||1||0||0||0|
|Moore ss||3||0||0||0||Dahlson 1b||4||0||1||1|
E–Roe. LOB–Hawaii 6; LMU 7. 2B–Montplaisir 2; Van Doornum; Peterson; Blake; Plaia; Dahlson. SH–Fujimoto. SB–Wong; Swasey; Van Doornum.
|Little (W, 1-0)||7 1/3||6||2||2||1||3|
|Linsky (S, 2)||1 2/3||1||0||0||0||2|
|Gillingham (L, 1-2)||8||8||3||3||0||5|
HBP–by Little (Koch)
Umpires–Ruben Chavira (Plate); Paul Graham (First); Steve Fritzoni (Third).