Star-Bulletin Sports


Friday, May 7, 1999


R A I N B O W _ B A S E B A L L



UH


Rainbows rally
in ninth to beat
San Diego St., 4-3

Hawaii's eighth consecutive
win on the mainland moves the
team closer to earning a spot
in the WAC baseball playoffs

Star-Bulletin staff

Tapa

There is no baseball strategy to counter a wild pitch.

Les Murakami of Hawaii and Jim Dietz of San Diego State put a combined 57 years of collegiate coaching acumen into play in the top of the ninth inning only to have the deciding factor be A.J. Samadani's wild pitch.

Corey Miller, who started the inning with a double to left field, scored the winning run, lifting the Rainbows to a 4-3 Western Athletic Conference victory in the opener of a three-game series at Tony Gwynn Stadium last night.

Hawaii's eighth consecutive victory on the mainland moved the 'Bows to within a game (12-13) of .500 in conference play and improved their overall record to 33-17. It was the only WAC game played yesterday and left UH a half game out of sixth place and one game out of fourth place.

Rah-Miel Mitchell, who doubled home UH's third run in the seventh, sacrificed Miller to third. It was Mitchell's first successful sacrifice bunt this season.

Before Sean Takamori came to bat, Dietz went to the mound to talk strategy with starter Jeremy Cook and his infielders.

After throwing a ball to Takamori, Cook faked a pickoff throw to third. Third baseman Matt Ricardy and shortstop Edgar Gonzalez turned and ran into foul territory as if Cook's throw was wild. It wasn't. He had the ball and was running toward third, but Miller never fell for the deception.

Takamori was then intentionally walked. Samadani replaced Cook and intentionally walked Michael Dartt, loading the bases for No. 3 hitter Jamie Aloy. Aloy never took the bat off his shoulder as Samadani struck him out on five pitches.

Scooter Martines, who fanned with the bases loaded in the seventh, took two balls. Samadani then threw a curve in the dirt that catcher Brandon Rogers partially blocked before the ball rolled slowly to the backstop, allowing Miller to score.

"The play wasn't even close," Murakami said.

The Rainbows' game-winning rally came after Rogers tied the score at 3-3 with his seventh home run in the eighth off Ian Jones. After Chad Chop singled, Randon Ho was summoned from the bullpen.

The junior left-hander ended the eighth with one pitch to Gonzalez (fly to center), then threw 15 pitches in a 1-2-3 ninth that included two strikeouts.

"Randon did a great job. It was fun watching him mow them down," said Dartt. "It was a tight game and it was intense, but it was a lot of fun to play in."

"I didn't want to give them too many fastballs. They seem to hit the fastball pretty well. I went with off-speed pitches. My curve was the best I've had in a long time and I was able to control it," Ho said.

Ho, tentatively scheduled to start tomorrow's game, earned his sixth win of the season, his second consecutive victory in relief.

"I didn't have any other closers," Murakami said. "I don't know who is throwing Saturday. I'm not saving anyone. We're playing one game at a time and the most important game is the one we're playing at the time. That's my philosophy for this series.

"Richard Snider pitched well. He just kind of ran out of gas when the No. 9 batter hit a ball to the wall and he walked the next guy."

Snider had his typical first-inning struggles, but survived by getting Ben Leuthard to fly out with the bases loaded. He settled down and retired 15 of the next 19 Aztecs before leaving in the seventh.

"I threw a lot of pitches in the first inning and that kind of killed the innings I was going to go," Snider said. "I was falling behind in the count in the first, but after that I was locating my fastball and mixing my other pitches in."

The Aztecs dropped to 13-12 in league play, 26-28 overall.

'BOW BUNTS: The win was the fourth consecutive one-run victory for UH. It's the first time that has happened in 1,590 games under Murakami. The 1975, 1979 and 1988 teams all won three consecutive one-run games at Rainbow Stadium ... Tracy Nakano's second-inning single extended his hitting streak to 15 games.

Tapa

WAC

	                Conference		     	Overall
Team			W	L	Pct.	GB	W	L	Pct.
xy-Rice			23	4	.852	--	46	10	.821
x-Texas Christian	18	8	.692	4	28	22	.560
Nevada-Las Vegas	13	11	.542	8	24	29	.453
San Jose St.		11	10	.524	9	22	23	.489
San Diego St.		13	12	.520	9	26	28	.481
New Mexico		12	12	.500	9	27	25	.519
Hawaii			12	13	.480	10	33	17	.660
Fresno St.		11	13	.458	10	30	27	.528
Brigham Young		8	15	.348	13	22	29	.431
Utah 			6	16	.273	14	18	26	.409
Air Force		3	16	.158	16	17	28	.378
x-Qualified for WAC tournament.

y-Clinched regular-season title.

New Mexico & San Jose St. played one tie game.

Yesterday's result

Hawaii 4, San Diego State 3

Today's games

Hawaii at San Diego State, 4 p.m.
Air Force at Brigham Young
Fresno State at Utah
Nevada-Las Vegas at New Mexico
San Jose State at Texas Christian

Tomorrow's games

Hawaii at San Diego State, 11 a.m.
Air Force at Brigham Young (2)
Fresno State at Utah
Nevada-Las Vegas at New Mexico
San Jose State at Texas Christian

Sunday's games

Fresno State at Utah
Nevada-Las Vegas at New Mexico
San Jose State at Texas Christian

Tapa

Hawaii 4, San Diego State 3

Hawaii		AB	R	H	BI	SDSU	AB	R	H	BI
Takamori rf	3	0	0	0	Womack cf/lf	3	1	1	0
Dartt 2b	4	0	1	0	Ramos 2b	4	0	1	1
Aloy 1b		4	1	1	0	Lockhart rf	5	0	0	1
Martines lf	5	0	0	0	Echelberger dh	3	0	0	0
Honma lf	0	0	0	0	Ricardy 3b	3	0	1	0
Nakano dh	3	1	1	1	Leuthard 1b	4	0	0	0	
Nogawa 3b	4	0	0	0	Montgomery cf	0	0	0	0
Wakakuwa c	4	1	2	1	Rogers c	4	1	1	1
Miller ss	2	1	1	0	Chop lf/1b	4	1	3	0
Mitchell cf	3	0	1	1	Gonzalez ss	4	0	1	0
Totals		32	4	7	3			34	3	9	3
Hawaii		010 001 101--4 7 1
San Diego State	000 012 000--3 8 3
E--Nogawa (9), Womack (7), Ramos (7), Gonzalez (16). LOB--Hawaii 9, San Diego St. 9.

2B--Aloy (16), Miller (3), Mitchell (5), Chop (5). HR--Rogers (7). SB--Takamori (31). SH--Miller (6), Mitchell (1), Ramos (2). SF--Nakano (5).

Hawaii		IP	H	R	ER	BB	SO
Snider		6.1	5	2	2	3	2
Jones		1.1	3	1	1	0	1
Ho (W, 6-3)	1.1	0	0	0	0	2
San Diego State	IP	H	R	ER	BB	SO
Cook (L, 6-11)	8.1	7	4	3	4	5
Samadani	0.2	0	0	0	1	1	
WP--Cook (3), Samadani (6). HBP--Ricardy (by Snider).

Umpires: Galbraith (Plate), Lopez (First), Gilmore (Third). A--238. T--2:40.



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