Freshman Cade Smith pitched a three-hitter over 6 1/3 innings to lead Hawaii to a 6-1 baseball victory over Illinois State tonight at Les Murakami Stadium.
Smith started in place of Jackson Rees, who was scratched from this series because of a recurring nail problem on the index finger of his right (pitching) hand. Smith was making his first start after four relief appearances.
The Redbirds entered ranked No. 10 in the Division I RPI and averaging 9.6 runs per game. But Smith retired the first 11 batters he faced. Smith did not issue a walk, and had three-ball counts on three of 22 batters. He exited with a runner on second with one out. But reliever Kyle Hatton threw out Collin Braithwaite trying to steal third for the second out and then induced a flyout to end the threat.
Shortstop Maaki Yamazaki went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs for the ’Bows.
The teams meet at 6:35 p.m. Friday in the second of this four-game series.