Michael Blake scored the game-winning run on a slow-hit ground ball with one out in the bottom of the 12th inning to give the Hawaii Rainbows an 8-7 victory over Wichita State last night in the opener of a four-game baseball series at Les Murakami Stadium.
The Rainbows (12-13) scored the tying and go-ahead runs without a hit to snap a season-long four-game losing streak.
Lenny Linsky (1-1) pitched 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief to earn his first win.
Breland Almadova had a career-high three hits and reached base four times.
Chance Sossamon (0-1) allowed two walks in the 12th inning to take the loss for the Shockers (17-9), who are ranked No. 28 by Collegiate Baseball.
After a leadoff walk to Blake, the Shockers botched a double-play ball at second, allowing Zack Swasey to reach base safely. An intentional walk to Pi‘ikea Kitamura loaded the bases for Kalani Brackenridge, who hit a groundball to short that allowed Blake to score the winning run.
Sean Montplaisir, Swasey and Garrett Champion each drove in two runs for the Rainbows, who had 13 hits.
Hawaii trailed 7-6 in the ninth when the ’Bows manufactured a run without a hit. Kolten Wong and Jeff Van Doornum walked and Blake bunted them into scoring position for the first out. After falling behind 0-2, Swasey hit a fly ball deep enough to right to score Wong to send the game into extra innings.
The Shockers jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Rainbows came to bat as UH starter Jesse Moore got off to a slow start. Moore hit Tyler Grimes with a pitch and walked Kevin Hall on four pitches to start the game.
Chris O’Brien scored both runners with a one-out single as Moore allowed six of the first eight batters to reach base.
The junior right-hander settled down in the third, retiring the first of 10 straight to allow the Rainbows back into the game.
Champion drove in Hawaii’s first two runs, scoring Van Doornum with a single in the second and doubling home Swasey with one out in the fourth.
The game stayed tied at 2-all until the Shockers put together key two-out hits in the fifth. Grimes, the nation’s leader in walks, singled and took second when Hall was hit by a pitch. PrestonSpringer followed with a two-run double and O’Brien drove in his third run of a game with a single to put Wichita State up 5-2.
WSU starter Tim Kelley, who entered the game with a 0.95 ERA, couldn’t make it out of the fifth. Three consecutive walks with two outs set the stage for Swasey, who beat out a grounder to first for an infield single that scored Wong to make it 5-4.
Grant Muncrief replaced Kelley and immediately picked off Swasey at first with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Alex Capaul replaced Moore in the sixth, when the Shockers got aggressive on the base paths. Don Lambert and Micah Green each stole bases with two outs, allowing Wichita State to score a run on a wild pitch. Grimes followed with a two-out RBI single as the Shockers went back up 7-4.
The Rainbows cut the lead to a run in the bottom of the inning on a two-run double by Montplaisir, who blooped a ball just in front of the left fielder that skidded away into foul territory allowing two Rainbows to score.
Moore allowed five runs on five hits in five innings with five strikeouts.
The four-game series continues tonight at 6:35. Junior Matt Sisto (1-3, 2.27) is expected to start for Hawaii.