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Hawaii wins share of WAC title in big way

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The Hawaii baseball team did New Mexico State one better, tying a school record with 15 runs in the sixth inning of a 24-3 victory over the Aggies on Saturday in the regular-season finale for both teams at Presley Askew Field in Las Cruces, N.M.

Hawaii (32-23, 17-7 Western Athletic Conference) clinched a share of the regular-season WAC title and is on the inside track to earn the No. 1 seed in next week’s conference tournament in Mesa, Ariz.

The Rainbows hadn’t won a regular-season WAC championship since 1992, when they finished one win shy of the College World Series.

The Aggies tied a UH opponent record by scoring 13 runs in an inning on Friday. UH outscored NMSU 51-39 in the four-game series.

Breland Almadova extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a career-high five hits and four runs scored. Zack Swasey finished 4-for-6 with three runs and a career-high six RBIs and Jeff Van Doornum finished 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs.

Hawaii finished with a season-high 24 hits.

Collin Bennett, who finished 2-for-3 with two walks, had three at-bats in the sixth inning as the Rainbows sent 19 men to the plate.

Randy Yard got the start and allowed one run on five hits in 3 2/3 innings. Connor Little (4-4) allowed two unearned runs in 2 1/3 innings and Lenny Linsky pitched a scoreless seventh in a game called due to the 10-run mercy rule.

Hawaii will open tournament play on Thursday.

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