The Hawaii baseball team can sleep well on the plane ride home following one of the best days of the 2011 season.
The Rainbows completed a winning road trip with a doubleheader sweep of Nevada yesterday, winning by scores of 8-7 and 4-0 at Peccole Park in Reno, Nev.
The day looked headed for disaster when the Wolf Pack exploded for six runs in the first inning of Game 1. Nevada (17-26, 6-9 Western Athletic Conference), which had scored 22 runs in 17 innings, wound up scoring only once more over the next 15.
A quartet of pitchers, headed by closer Lenny Linsky, who earned his 11th save in the first game and pitched a scoreless ninth in the second, helped the Rainbows (27-20, 12-4) go two up on No. 18 Fresno State in the loss column heading into their final home series of the season next week against San Jose State.
"It really was an amazing day for us," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "This one day made this entire trip a great one."
Randy Yard (2-0), in his first start in a Rainbow uniform, tossed five scoreless innings in the second game, allowing four hits. Jesse Moore, who started the first three games at shortstop, tossed three scoreless innings and Linsky pitched for the second time yesterday, allowing only one baserunner on a fielding error, to finish off a 5-3 road trip.
"We somehow settled in, and I think that when you go out there and score six in the first and end up losing the game, that’s tough and can be kind of demoralizing," Trapasso said. "I wouldn’t say they were demoralized, but coming out there and scoring one right away in the first inning I think had an effect on them for the rest of the game."
Hawaii’s three best healthy starters, Matt Sisto, Jarrett Arakawa and Zach Gallagher, were lit up by the Wolf Pack to the tune of 17 runs in 10 innings.
Brock Stassi continued his onslaught of UH pitching, finishing the series 9-for-17 with five doubles, a triple and seven RBIs. Kamehameha alumnus Waylen Sing-Chow was 5-for-9 with three doubles in the series as Nevada hit .344, but could only win one of the four games.
"It was one of those deals where I was just so impressed with what they were doing and the way they were swinging," Trapasso said. "Zack wasn’t making bad pitches and they were absolutely crushing him to the point that I went out there and just told him good luck facing the New York Yankees."
Senior Blair Walters settled the game down after replacing Gallagher to start the fourth, giving up two hits in 2 1/3 scoreless innings for his team-leading sixth win.
Linsky retired all five batters he faced – striking out two — to earn his 11th save. Of the nine batters in all he faced yesterday, the only one to reach base did so on an error.
Zack Swasey, who homered off Stassi, finished the series 8-for-16 with seven RBIs. Sean Montplaisir also hit .500 (7-for-14) and junior Collin Bennett, who has started 29 of the team’s 47 games this year, was 8-for-17 to bump his season average all the way up to .252.
"We’ve seen it coming now for a couple of weeks that he’s starting to get his swing back to what he’s accustomed to," Trapasso said. "It’s not the hits as much as the hits in big situations he got for us, and that’s really good to see, because I’ve said all along we’re going to have a hard time offensively if he’s not hitting the way he did last year for us."
The team also received a boost from senior Jeff Van Doornum, who started both games at first base with his throwing hand heavily wrapped. Van Doornum sat out Friday’s game after he was hit by a pitch on Thursday.
|San Jose St.||9||7||.563||3||30||18|
|New Mexico St.||7||8||.466||41/2||32 15|
Hawaii 8, Nevada 7 (1st)
Hawaii 4, Nevada 0 (2nd)
Sacramento State 15, New Mexico State 8 (1st)
New Mexico State 11, Sacramento State 9 (2nd)
Louisiana Tech 8, Fresno State 6 (1st)
Fresno State 7, Louisiana Tech 4 (2nd)
Sacramento State at New Mexico State (2)
Fresno State at Louisiana Tech
HAWAII 8, NEVADA 7, GAME 1
|Almadova cf||3||2||1||0||Sing Chow rf||2||1||2||0|
|Kitamura c||2||2||1||1||Frisbie ph||0||0||0||0|
|Wong 2b||4||1||2||2||Rowe cf||1||0||1||0|
|Swasey dh||5||0||3||2||Kohan 2b||2||0||0||0|
|Van Doornm 1b||4||0||0||0||Barnett cf/rf||4||1||1||1|
|Montplaisir lf||4||1||2||0||Melino lf||4||2||2||0|
|Bayus 3b||4||1||1||2||Yrigoyen 3b||4||1||1||3|
|Moore ss||4||1||1||0||Niebergall dh||2||1||1||0|
|UH (26-20, 11-4)||030||140||0||—||8||13||0|
|UN (17-25, 6-8)||601||000||0||—||7||11||1|
E–Shipley. LOB–Hawaii 12; Nevada 5. 2B–Almadova; Stassi; Melino. 3B–Montplaisir; Niebergall. HR–Bayus; Yrigoyen. HBP–Almadova. SH–Kitamura; Kohan. SB–Sing Chow; Rowe.
|Walters (W, 6-1)||21/3||2||0||0||1||1|
|Linsky (S, 11)||12/3||0||0||0||0||2|
|Joukoff (L, 2-6)||1||3||4||0||1||1|
HBP–by Joukoff (Almadova). BK–Walters.
Umpires–(Plate): Phil Benson. (First): Heath Jones. (Third): Dick Flaherty. T–2:28.
HAWAII 4, NEVADA 0, GAME 2
|Almadova cf||5||2||2||0||Sing Chow rf||4||0||1||0|
|Kitamura ss||5||0||2||0||Kohan 2b||4||0||1||0|
|Wong 2b||3||0||1||1||Turay ph||1||0||0||0|
|Swasey dh||5||1||2||2||Stassi p/dh||4||0||3||0|
|Bennett rf||4||1||2||0||Barnett cf||4||0||0||0|
|Van Doornm 1b||4||0||1||0||Melino lf||4||0||2||0|
|Montplaisir lf||4||0||1||0||Hernandez 1b||3||0||0||0|
|Bayus 3b||3||0||1||1||Yrigoyen 3b||4||0||1||0|
|Champion c||4||0||0||0||Escobar c||3||0||0||0|
|UH (27-20, 12-4)||100||001||110||—||4||12||2|
|UN (17-26, 6-9)||000||000||000||—||0||9||0|
E–Wong; Montplaisir. DP–Nevada. LOB–Hawaii 10; Nevada 11. 2B–Bennett; Sing Chow; Stassi; Melino. HR–Swasey. HBP–Wong. SH–Bennett. SB–Almadova; Wong.
|Yard (W, 2-0)||5||4||0||0||1||2|
|Stassi (L, 1-2)||72/3||10||4||4||1||6|
WP–Yard; Moore; Gardner. HBP–by Stassi (Wong).
Umpires–(Plate): Heath Jones. (First): Dick Flaherty. (Third): Phil Benson. T–2:09.