Before the first out was recorded, Louisiana Tech had all the offense it needed.
Mike Jefferson tossed eight scoreless innings and the Bulldogs handed Hawaii its first Western Athletic Conference loss, shutting out the Rainbows 3-0 yesterday before a Les Murakami Stadium crowd of 1,758.
Breland Almadova grounded out with runners on the corners in the ninth as Hawaii (20-15, 6-1) was held without a run for the fourth time this season.
"It’s disappointing losing a game when you hold someone to four hits, but credit them for getting the hit when they needed it," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "That’s what we couldn’t do and we’ve had that situation a few times this weekend where we haven’t been able to get that hit."
The Bulldogs (18-17, 3-4) got it in the first after Hawaii starter Connor Little struggled to start the game. Eight of his first nine pitches were balls and he hit Mark Threlkeld on a 1-2 pitch to load the bases without a hit.
Alex Williams drove in two runs with an RBI single and a passed ball by catcher Garrett Champion gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead.
Little retired 18 of the next 21 batters, matching a career high with eight strikeouts, but the damage had already been done.
"Connor couldn’t figure it out early," Trapasso said. "It’s a shame because you feel like if you just throw strikes to start the game, we’re still playing."
Jefferson made it hold up, keeping the Rainbows at bay for eight innings. The junior left-hander walked two and struck out six, allowing six hits in 128 pitches to improve to 4-2 for the year.
"When he’s in the strike zone with his offspeed pitches, he’s tough to hit," Louisiana Tech coach Wade Simoneaux said. "After our Bad News Bears performance (on Saturday), we needed to win (yesterday) to put ourselves in a position to split."
Zack Swasey had three hits and Collin Bennett went 2-for-4 in his first game in more than two weeks.
Jesse Moore was scheduled to start at shortstop, but reinjured his left shoulder before the game. Kalani Brackenridge took over at third and Pi‘ikea Kitamura moved over to take Moore’s spot.
"Pregame infield, his shoulder came out, so who knows what that’s going to be," Trapasso said. "I’m sure he’s out the rest of this weekend and probably next week as well, but we’ll see."
The Rainbows are 9-1 when Moore starts at shortstop.
Hawaii left 10 men on base, including four in the first two innings. Kolten Wong was stranded on third after a two-out triple in the first and Hawaii couldn’t cash in with the bases loaded and one out in the second. Brackenridge struck out and Almadova grounded into a fielders choice.
Caleb Dudley replaced Jefferson in the ninth and allowed singles to Swasey and pinch hitter Sean Montplaisir before securing his sixth save.
The Bulldogs will send left-hander Ben Carlisle (1-2, 7.20) to the mound in tonight’s finale at 6:35. The Rainbows will counter with right-hander Zach Gallagher (4-1, 1.95) as they try to win their third straight series.
|Hawaii||6||1||.857 — 20||15|
|New Mexico State||5||3||.625||11/2||27||9|
|San Jose State||3||5||.375||31/2||23||14|
Louisiana Tech 3, Hawaii 0
New Mexico State 20, San Jose State 8 (7)
Nevada at Fresno State, canceled
Air Force 8, Sacramento State 7
Louisiana Tech at Hawaii, 6:35 p.m., Les Murakami Stadium
LOUISIANA TECH 3, HAWAII 0
|Alvis rf||3||1||0||0||Almadova cf||5||0||0||0|
|Roliard lf||3||1||0||0||Kitamura ss||3||0||1||0|
|Threlkld 3b||3||1||0||0||Wong 2b||4||0||1||0|
|Wlliams 1b||4||0||1||2||Van Drnm rf||4||0||0||0|
|Ford cf||4||0||1||0||Blake 1b||4||0||0||0|
|Ewing c||4||0||0||0||Swasey dh||4||0||3||0|
|Hedges 2b||4||0||0||0||Bennett rf||4||0||2||0|
|Terrass dh||3||0||0||0||Champion c||3||0||0||0|
|Hughes ss||4||0||2||0||Brcknrdg 3b||3||0||0||0|
|LATECH (18-17, 3-4)||300||000||000||—||3||4||0|
|UH (20-15, 6-1)||000||000||000||—||0||8||1|
E–Brackenridge. LOB–LaTech 6; Hawaii 10. 2B–Ford. 3B–Wong. HBP–Threlkeld. SB–Hughes; Swasey.
|Jefferson (W, 4-2)||8||6||0||0||2||6|
|Dudley (S, 7)||1||2||0||0||0||2|
|Little (L, 3-2)||6||3||3||3||2||8|
WP–Jefferson; Little. HBP–by Little (Threlkeld)
Umpires–(Plate): Ted Kovach. (First): Travis Katzenmeier. (Third): Ryan Blieiberg. T–2:35. A–1,758.