GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
HPU's Colton Silva slid into second base as Cal State Chico's Robby Scott threw to first in yesterday's game.
Hawaii Pacific runs out of magic against No. 6 Chico State
The Garett Yukumoto era of Hawaii Pacific baseball got off to a quick start on Wednesday, when the Sea Warriors pulled off a major upset with a doubleheader sweep of Cal State Chico, ranked sixth in the nation in Collegiate Baseball's preseason poll.
Unfortunately for HPU, youth and inexperience on the mound continued to be a problem for the remainder of the series, with Chico winning the final four meetings, including a sweep of last night's doubleheader, 7-3 and 9-1, at Hans L'Orange Field.
The Sea Warriors went into Game 2 last night with hopes of splitting their season-opening homestand with the Wildcats, but were felled by an inability to work the strike zone efficiently.
HPU freshman right-hander Turhan Folse got the starting nod in the nightcap, but would struggle with command in his first collegiate appearance, walking five in 1 2/3 of an inning, allowing three runs to earn the defeat.
Chico State scored the first run of the game in the top of the first, when slugger Daniel Code lifted a one out fly ball to deep center to score leadoff man Joey Burke. Burke singled to left to begin the game, and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kurt Gottschling.
Code enjoyed a mammoth series for the Wildcats, going 9-for-19, with 11 RBIs in the six games.
The Wildcats struck for two more scores in the second after Folse issued back-to-back walks to the first two batters of the inning. Lorin Nakagawa followed with an attempted sacrifice, which turned into an infield single and run.
With runners at first and second and no outs, Nakagawa dropped a well-placed bunt between the mound and the third-base line. Folse fielded the ball, turned and threw over to first in an attempt to gun down Nakagawa, who beat the ball with a head-first slide.
Folse's throw squirted past HPU first baseman Jherell Miller, allowing Chad Williams to score the first run of the inning. Chico State scored later in the inning on a Folse wild pitch.
In all, Hawaii Pacific issued eight walks for the night.
Nakagawa, an alumnus of Moanalua High, finished 2-for-3, with an RBI.
Sea Warrior sophomore reliever Michael Kealoha replaced Folse with two outs in the inning and worked out of the jam by retiring Code on a chop back to the mound.
HPU also dropped yesterday's opener, 7-3, despite outhitting Chico, 12-8. Sea Warrior center fielder Brandon Sato led all hitters in that game with four hits in as many plate appearances.
The Sea Warriors continue their first season under Yukumoto Thursday with a doubleheader against North Georgia College and State, beginning at 4 p.m. at Hans L'Orange.