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University of Hawaii baseball drops opener at UC Riverside

The Hawaii baseball team hit the road.

The road hit back harder.

UC Riverside smacked three home runs, including two by designated hitter Connor Cannon, for a 16-5 rout today at the Riverside (Calif.) Sports Complex.

The Highlanders’ first game in Riverside since March 5 proved to be a happy homecoming. They pounded 16 hits and coaxed nine walks against four UH pitchers.

UH freshman Aaron Davenport exited after 1 1/3 innings. His 10-batter appearance was the shortest of his rookie season.

He allowed five runs.

The Rainbow Warriors received little relief from their next two relievers. Li‘i Pontes surrendered three earned runs in 2 2/3 innings and Scott Bellina gave up five runs in a third of an inning.

The Highlanders broke it open early with five runs in the second inning.It was 8-1 when the Highlanders produced a seven-run fifth. Cannon’s grand slam punctuated that surge.

The Highlanders improved to 10-21 overall and 2-5 in the Big West. The ’Bows fell to 13-18 and 3-4. The middle game of this three-game series is Saturday at 3 p.m.

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