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Hawaii baseball gets back to winning ways

                                Hawaii pitcher Randy Abshier works against the CSU Northridge Matadors on May 4.
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Hawaii pitcher Randy Abshier works against the CSU Northridge Matadors on May 4.

Pitchers Randy Abshier, Itsuki Takemoto and Harrison Bodendorf combined on a six-hitter to lead the Hawaii baseball team to today’s 7-2 road victory over Long Beach State at Blair Field on the LBSU campus.

A day after their 11-game winning streak ended, the Rainbow Warriors answered back with a gritty pitching performance to even the Big West series at a game apiece.

Abshier allowed three hits and an unearned run in the first four innings. He extended his streak of not allowing an earned run to 22 innings.

Takemoto pitched a scoreless fifth inning to earn the victory.

Bodendorf, who was a consideration to start in Sunday’s series finale, replaced Takemoto at the start of the sixth inning. He struck out two in a 1-2-3 sixth. Bodendorf struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced. In the ninth, the Dirtbags placed runners on first and second with one out. UH coach Rich Hill then went to the mound.

“He was kind of telling me to take a breath, slow it down,” Bodendorf recalled. “It looked like I was working a little quick there. He told me to slow it down and attack those guys.”

Bodendorf induced John Newman Jr. to line out to deep right. He fanned Kyle Ashworth for his career-high 10th strikeout. Bodendorf also was awarded the four-inning save.

Asked what worked, Bodendorf said, “everything, honestly. Fastball, change and slider. It was good to have all three going. (Against) lefties I could do fastball, slider. Righties, throw ’em fastball, changeup.”

The ’Bows received a boost from the top third of the lineup. Jordan Donahue, Jake Tsukada and Austin Machado reached base in 11 of 15 plate appearances and scored five of the ’Bows’ runs. Tsukada and Machado each had three hits.

The ’Bows improved to 33-16 overall and 16-10 in the Big West. The Dirtbags fell to 24-26-1 and 9-17.

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