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Saturday, January 31, 2004



[ RAINBOW BASEBALL ]


art
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Josh Green was greeted at home plate by teammates after he hit a home run in the second inning to tie the game at 2 against Texas last night.


UH falls to No. 5
Texas in opener

The Longhorns come through
at the right times, while the
Rainbows squander chances


Texas executed when necessary, delivered key hits and played solid defense to defeat Hawaii 7-4 in the season opener for both teams before a crowd of 2,126 last night at Murakami Stadium.

The Longhorns, ranked No. 5 in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll, pounded out 14 hits, including a two-run, tie-breaking homer by Taylor Teagarden in the third inning. It was the second consecutive season-opening road win for the Longhorns, who have started a season away from home just three times since 1953.

"I think we were consistent offensively, especially through the first seven innings," said Texas coach Augie Garrido. "We did a good job with the role players and the other thing was we got key hits.

"They came back on us with two well-hit balls and we were able to respond with Teagarden's home run into the wind."

The Rainbows squandered good scoring opportunities in the fifth and sixth innings, collected just nine hits and were unable to put down a successful sacrifice bunt. The Longhorns succeeded all four times a sacrifice bunt was called.

"Texas is a very good ballclub that outexecuted us," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "I think we only had two ground-ball outs and you can't win that way."

The Longhorns scored single runs after two were out in the first and second innings.

Curtis Thigpen got Texas started in the first with a line double to left-center field that one-hopped the fence. He continued to third when UH left fielder Jaziel Mendoza hurried his throw to the infield and it bounced away from second baseman Isaac Omura. Teagarden followed with a run-scoring single to center.

Seth Johnston beat out a slow bouncing ball up the third base line with two down in the second, stole second and scored on Drew Stubbs' single to center. Stubbs tried to score on Dooley Prince's soft single to right, but the relay from right fielder Greg Kish to first baseman Andrew Sansaver to catcher Matt Inouye was in time to nail Stubbs and end the inning.

The Rainbows tied the score at 2 in the bottom of the second on two solo home runs over both fences in right field.

Rocky Russo sent the first pitch from Texas left-hander Justin Simmons on a towering flight path that carried the ball onto the road behind the stadium. Two outs later, Josh Green lined a 3-1 pitch over the same two fences.

Texas wasted little time in getting those runs back in the top of the third. Nathan Warrick singled to open the inning and took second on Thigpen's sacrifice bunt. Teagarden then blasted a 1-2 pitch from UH starter Ricky Bauer high into the night that landed on the road behind the left-center field fence.

The Longhorns threatened again in the fourth and knocked Bauer out of the game in the process. After getting J.D. Reininger to ground out on the first pitch, Bauer hit Johnston with his next pitch and gave up a single to right to Stubbs on his third pitch.

"I felt good in the bullpen. My arm was alive, but I couldn't get the ball down," Bauer said. "If you leave a ball up, they will expose it."

Trapasso called junior right-hander Stephen Bryant in from the bullpen to settle the game. He fanned Prince, gave up Warrick's bunt single that loaded the bases, then got Thigpen on a called third strike to end the threat.

"Ricky wasn't sharp at all," Trapasso said. "He cannot pitch in the top half of the zone. Every time we were in the top half, they hammered it."

The Rainbows failed to take advantage of a two-on, no-out situation in the fifth when Texas reliever Clayton Stewart walked Matt Inouye and gave up a single to Brian Finegan.

Sansaver was unable to sacrifice the runners up a base and Texas' third pitcher, Kyle Yates, retired Nate Thurber on a foul pop to first and Mendoza unassisted on a bouncer to first.

Hawaii managed a run in the bottom of the sixth, but wasted a golden opportunity to enjoy a big inning.

Russo walked to start the inning and moved to third on Kish's double down the left-field line. With the Texas infield playing back willing to surrender a run, Green hit a slow chopper toward short that Hollimon fielded but made no throw as Russo scored.

Inouye walked on four consecutive pitches to load the bases, but Yates fanned Finegan and Sansaver swinging to escape further damage.


Texas 7, Hawaii 4

Texas AB R H BI Hawaii AB R H BI
Prince rf 4 0 1 0 Finegan ss 5 0 2 0
Warrick lf 4 1 3 1 Sansaver 1b 4 1 1 0
Thigpen 1b 4 1 1 0 Thurber dh 3 0 0 0
Teagarden c 5 2 3 3 Mendoza lf 5 0 1 0
Spencer dh 4 0 1 0 Russo 3b 3 2 1 2
Hollimon ss 4 1 1 0 Omura 2b 5 0 0 0
Reininger 3b 3 0 1 2 Kish rf 3 0 1 0
Maroul 3b 1 0 0 0 Green cf 3 0 1 0
Johnston 2b 3 1 1 0 Inouye c 1 0 0 0
Stubbs cf 3 1 2 1

Totals 35 7 14 7 Totals 33 4 9 4


Texas (1-0) 112 011 100 -- 7 14 0
Hawaii (0-1) 020 001 001 -- 4 9 2

E--Mendoza; Inouye. LOB--Texas 9, Hawaii 11. 2B-- Thigpen; Reininger; Mendoza; Kish. HR--Teagarden; Russo; Green. HBP--Johnston; Inouye. SH--Prince; Thigpen; Spencer; Reininger; Sansaver. SF--Russo. SB--Warrick; Johnston. CS--Warrick.

Texas IP H R ER BB SO
Simmons (W, 1-0) 4 3 2 2 3 2
Stewart 0.1 1 0 0 1 1
Yates 3.2 3 1 1 2 6
Street 1.0 2 1 1 0 2
Hawaii IP H R ER BB SO
Bauer (L, 0-1) 3.1 8 4 4 0 2
Bryant 2.2 4 2 2 1 2
Wright 3.0 2 1 1 2 4

WP--Simmons. S--none. PB--none. BK--none. HBP--by Bauer (Johnston); by Yates (Inouye). Umpires--Gary Montalbo (home), Don Greman (first), Jim LeBeau (third). T--3:10. A--2,125.

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