In a cameo appearance that turned into a starring role, Abbott Haffar allowed two runs in eight-plus innings to lead UC Riverside to a 4-3 baseball victory over Hawaii today at the Plex in Riverside, Calif.
The Highlanders had planned to “staff” the game, the vernacular for using several pitchers. But Haffar, in his third start after 13 relief appearances, spaced nine hits in eight innings. Haffar entered with a 4.54 ERA and 1.54 WHIP. But he walked only two and worked out of several jams. He exited after issuing a double to Daylen Calicdan to open the ninth.
The Rainbow Warriors scored two in in the ninth to close to 4-3. But with runners at the corner with one out, closer Jared Noonan induced Maaki Yamazaki to pop up to short and struck out Alex Baeza to end the game.
In losing twice in this three-game series, the ’Bows fell to 14-19 and 4-5.