Through seven innings, Hawaii looked on the verge of its most complete game of the season.
Three errors, two wild pitches, two walks, a hit batter and a passed ball later, the Rainbows were left trying to comprehend exactly what just took place.
The Portland Pilots were the beneficiaries of a multitude of careless UH mistakes, erasing a five-run deficit with eight runs in the last two innings to pull off a 10-7 victory yesterday at Les Murakami Stadium.
A crowd of 1,930 watched in disbelief as the Rainbows wasted a strong outing by freshman Jarrett Arakawa, who outdueled fellow ‘Iolani alum J.R. Bunda.
Arakawa left after seven innings of four-hit ball, but could only watch as Portland (8-5) erased a 6-2 deficit in the eighth when the Rainbows made an inordinate number of mistakes.
"We gave the game away throwing the ball all over the place," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "You’ve got to play nine innings. It’s as simple as that."
Hawaii (6-9) made it look tough yesterday, botching a chance at potentially winning its first series of the season.
Two throwing errors by third baseman AJ Bayus, who hit Hawaii’s second home run of the season, helped Portland’s first five batters in the eighth all come around to score.
Hawaii battled back to tie it in the bottom of the frame, but the Pilots took the lead for good when Matt Harrison short-hopped a two-out throw to first that got away from Jeff Van Doornum, allowing two runners to score.
"It wasn’t real pretty … but fortunately for us, they made some mistakes late that let us back in the game," Portland coach Chris Sperry said. "We were able to string a few things together and our bullpen pitched well again, so I’ll take it."
The Rainbows have repeatedly shuffled their lineup trying to find the right combination of offense and defense.
Hawaii had 12 hits in a game for just the second time this season, but three errors accounted for five unearned runs. For the season, Hawaii has allowed 18 unearned runs and committed 27 errors.
"We have to find the guys that are going to go out there and grind for us and play the position," said junior Kolten Wong, who started his first collegiate game at catcher. "We have to find guys who are going to go out there and give everything for the team, because that’s what we’re looking for right now."
Junior catcher David Peterson is limited to a designated-hitter role as he tries to recover from pain in his throwing arm.
Wong and sophomore Pi’ikea Kitamura, who played his first game at second base yesterday, are sharing the catching duties.
Wong finished 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs, but had a passed ball and couldn’t block a wild pitch by Lenny Linsky in the eighth, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
"It wasn’t rust," Wong said. "We got mixed up on the pitches. I was expecting a different pitch."
Wong had the perfect seat behind the plate to witness Arakawa’s best outing of his young career. The freshman left-hander gave up a solo homer in the first before putting up five straight zeros. Portland tacked on its second run in the seventh when Jeff Melby beat out a double play at first, allowing Tyler Thompson to score.
"Jarrett did everything we asked of him," Wong said. "For seven innings he pitched his (butt) off and it sucks that we gave it up the way we did, losing a (four)-run lead in the final two innings."
Arakawa threw 65 of his 103 pitches for strikes, giving up only the four hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
"It was the same thing with Long Beach, where I got behind early, but tried to settle down and execute the pitches coach called," Arakawa said. "We’ve got to play all nine innings and finish games because all it takes is one inning to lose a ballgame."
Breland Almadova scored four runs and Bayus and Van Doornum each had two hits for the Rainbows, who scored in four of the first five innings.
Linsky (0-1) was credited with the loss, allowing four unearned runs on two hits in 1 2/3 innings. Linsky replaced Brent Harrison, who gave up two hits and walked a batter without recording an out in the eighth.
Bunda, who graduated from ‘Iolani the same year as Almadova, allowed seven hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out two.
Brent Miller (2-1) recorded the final out of the eighth to earn the win and Chris Dennis worked a scoreless ninth to earn his sixth save.
Jesse Moore (0-2, 3.77) is expected to start for Hawaii in the series finale today at 1:05 p.m.
PORTLAND 10, HAWAII 7
|Smith cf||4||1||2||0||Almadova cf||3||4||1||0|
|Armijo dh||3||3||1||1||Montplaisir lf||5||1||1||1|
|Frattali 1b||3||2||0||0||Wong c||5||0||4||2|
|Mardesich 3b||4||1||1||1||Swasey rf||5||0||1||0|
|Fraser c||4||1||0||0||Kitamura 2b||5||0||0||0|
|Wesendorf rf||1||0||0||0||VanDoornum 1b||4||1||2||0|
|TThompson rf||3||1||1||0||Bayus 3b||5||1||2||2|
|Gill ph||1||0||0||1||Peterson dh||5||0||1||0|
|Grubb c||1||1||0||0||Harrison ss||4||0||0||0|
|Queen lf||4||0||2||0||Blake ph||1||0||0||0|
E–McCoy 2, Bunda, Bayus 2, Harrison. LOB–Portland 7, Hawaii 11. 2B–T.Thompson, Queen, Wong. HR–Armijo, Bayus. SH–Mardesich. SB–Queen,
Grubb, Almadova 2, Swasey, Van Doornum.
|Miller (W, 2-1)||1/3||0||0||0||0||0|
|Dennis (S, 6)||1||1||0||0||0||0
|Linsky (L, 0-1)||1 2/3||2||4||0||1||2|
WP–Linsky 2. HBP — by Linsky (Frattali). BK–Bunda. PB–Wong.
Umpires–Ramon Armendiaz (home plate), Greg Charles (1B), John Knard (3B).