Hawaii senior Alex Baeza scored three runs, the last on a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth inning, and the Rainbow Warrior baseball team opened the season with a 3-2 win over No. 15 Arizona State on Friday in Phoenix.
Arizona State jumped on UH right-hander Aaron Davenport for a 2-0 lead after two innings, but Baeza ignited the Rainbow rally with a home run to lead off the fifth inning. He scored the tying run on a wild pitch in the seventh and crossed the plate with the go-ahead run on freshman Aaron Ujimori’s sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth.
After giving up four hits over the first two innings, Davenport shut out the Sun Devils (2-2) on three hits over the next five and finished with seven strikeouts to one walk.
Freshman Austin Teixeira took over in the eighth in his UH debut and stranded runners on second and third. He stifled a two-out threat in the ninth to earn the win in UH’s first victory over the Sun Devils since 1993. Teixeira gave up two hits, walked two and struck out one in two innings of scoreless relief.
The series concludes with a doubleheader on Saturday, with the first game scheduled for 11 a.m. and the finale set for 3:30 p.m.