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Rainbows seize series from UCSB

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    Hawaii senior Scott Kuzminsky delivered in the top of the first inning against the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers on Sunday at Les Murakami Stadium.

The Hawaii baseball team showed Sunday it is not a pretender in the Big West Conference this season.

This Rainbow Warriors squad is a contender.

UH became the first team since last April to win a series against UC Santa Barbara, pounding the 15th-ranked Gauchos for a season-high 16 hits in a 12-4 blowout win at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Marc Flores homered and drove in a career-high four runs and the ‘Bows (14-13, 2-1) scored eight runs in the fourth inning to put away UCSB (19-5, 1-2) early.

The Gauchos were 16-2 in their previous 18 home games before losing twice this weekend.

"We were able to come out with great passion right out of the gate," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "The big inning we just kept getting hits. Even balls we didn’t hit well were falling that inning and it made you feel like it just might be our day."

That it was. Hawaii improved to 3-8 against ranked teams with a rare series win on the road. UH had won just two of its previous 11 series away from Les Murakami Stadium.

The eight-spot was UH’s first in one inning since an April 4, 2012, win over Grambling State.

Hawaii, which scored eight in a game only once all of last season, matched its season high with 12 runs. The ‘Bows pounded out 44 hits and 22 runs in the three-game series to improve its team batting average by 19 points to .244. Opponents are hitting .231.

"Outside of the start, (Austin) Pettibone had (Saturday), we jumped on all of their pitchers and swung the bats really well," Trapasso said. "This series was about our offense coming alive and putting pressure on early and often."

Seven of Hawaii’s nine position starters on Sunday had at least two hits, including third baseman Juliene Jones, who snapped an 0-for-35 drought with an RBI single in the fourth inning.

He added two more singles in the game to finish with a career-high three hits, two runs and two RBIs.

"Maybe his offensive woes were starting to affect him a little bit because he had one error, but probably should have been charged with three or four today," Trapasso said. "But it was really good to see him get off the schneid and get some hits because we are going to need him to swing it like he was earlier in the year."

Flores added his team-leading seventh double to extend his hitting streak to seven games, and he scored twice.

Freshman Marcus Doi, who started all three games in the series at designated hitter, went 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs to see his average climb to .378.

Doi played an entire series for only the second time this season.

"I don’t think you can underestimate the value he has being in our lineup and in the middle of the order," Trapasso said. "You saw him for the first time in a long time back in our lineup and putting him in the middle it made everything click. It was just one of those weekends where the hitting was contagious."

Catcher Trevor Podratz has seen his average climb 70 points over the past five games as he had a season-high three hits and scored twice.

Hawaii has won seven of nine and is 7-3 in the past 10 games since second baseman Stephen Ventimilia moved to hit leadoff.

Ventimilia was 2-for-5 with a run and two RBIs on Sunday and is batting .349 (15-for-43) since returning to the starting lineup in the Nevada series.

Lost in the offensive output on Sunday was six solid innings from starter Jarrett Arakawa (2-0), who allowed one earned run on five hits with no walks.

Arakawa lowered his ERA to 1.95 and is one of two UH starting pitchers with a sub-2.00 ERA.

Scott Kuzminsky, the reigning Big West pitcher of the week, allowed two unearned runs in the eighth inning and closed out the game with three innings of work, allowing two hits and no walks with three strikeouts to earn his first save.

Kuzminsky is one of six UH pitchers to earn a save this season.

Hawaii returns home for a crucial six-game homestand against two more of the Big West’s best in UC Irvine (18-9, 2-1) and No. 5 Cal Poly (23-4, 3-0).

The ‘Bows host the Anteaters in the first of three games on Friday night at 6:35.




W L Pct. GB W L
Cal Poly 3 0 1.000 23 4
UC Irvine 2 1 .667 1 18 9
Hawaii 2 1 .667 1 14 13
Long Beach State 2 1 .667 1 13 13
UCSB 1 2 .333 2 19 5
UC Riverside 1 2 .333 2 12 12
CS Northridge 1 2 .333 2 12 16
CS Fullerton 0 0 .000 11⁄2 14 10
UC Davis 0 3 .000 3 12 12

Hawaii 12, UC Santa Barbara 4
Cal State Northridge 6, Long Beach State 5
Cal Poly 9, UC Davis 1
UC Riverside 3, UC Irvine 1
*Wichita State 4, Cal State Fullerton 2
*Nonconference game

Saint Mary’s at UC Davis
UC Irvine at Pepperdine CS
Bakersfield at Cal Poly
Long Beach State at USC


Ventimilia 2b 5 1 2 2 Calica cf 4 1 0 0
Aliviado cf 5 1 2 1 Maris ss 4 1 2 0
Richartz lf 5 1 0 0 Epperson 3b 4 0 0 0
Flores 1b 5 2 2 4 Nesovic dh/p 3 1 2 0
Doi dh 4 1 2 2 Kuresa 1b 4 0 1 1
Hurley rf 5 1 0 0 Woodward 2b 3 0 1 0
Podratz c 4 2 3 1 Quinlan rf 3 1 1 1
Jones 3b 5 2 3 2 Fredrick ph 1 0 0 0
Wobrock ss 5 1 2 0 Newell lf 4 0 0 0
          Morrow c 2 0 0 1
          Gradford ph 1 0 0 0
Totals 43 12 16 12 Totals 34 4 8 4


HAWAII (14-13, 2-1 BWC) 200 800 101   12 16 2
UCSB (19-5, 1-2 BWC) 010 010 020   4 8 2

E—Jones; Wobrock; Maris; Woodward. DP—Hawaii 1; UCSB 1. LOB—Hawaii 7; UCSB?5. 2B—Flores; Nesovic. HR—Flores. HBP—Ventimilia; Woodward. SB—Quinlan. SB—Newell.

Arakawa (W, 2-0) 6 5 2 1 0 0
Kuzminsky (S, 1) 3 3 2 0 0 3
Mazza (L, 2-2) 31⁄3 7 8 8 1 3
Nesovic 2⁄3 3 2 1 0 0
Mahle 32⁄3 4 1 1 1 1
Hecht 11⁄3 2 1 1 0 2

WP—Hecht 2. HBP—by Mazza (Ventimilia); by Arakawa (Woodward). Umpires—(Plate): Ryan Bleiberg. (First): Dwayne Finley. (Third): Ruben Chavira. T—2:15. A—565.

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