NCAA BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
Derek DuPree of Hawaii slid past Wright State catcher Aaron Garcia with one of the Rainbows' five runs yesterday.
’Bows bounce back
Hawaii must win twice today and once tomorrow to advance in the NCAA tourney
CORVALLIS, Ore. » The Hawaii Rainbows are in a familiar situation.
Next up: vs. Kansas, 10 a.m. today, Radio: KKEA 1420-AM
The Rainbows need to win two games today to keep their season alive and maintain their chances of advancing in the NCAA baseball tournament.
Hawaii (44-16) plays second-seeded Kansas (43-24) in an elimination game today at 10 a.m. Hawaii time. The Jayhawks were routed by top-seeded Oregon State 11-3 last night.
The third-seeded Rainbows extended their season yesterday with a 5-3 victory over the fourth-seeded Wright State Raiders in an elimination game at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
Ian Harrington, who pitched a complete game against Louisiana Tech last week in the Western Athletic Conference tournament to extend the UH season, duplicated that feat yesterday.
The junior left-hander did not allow a hit until the fifth and finished with a six-hit, no-walk, two-strikeout effort to improve to 9-3 this year.
"He (Harrington) spotted his pitches well," said Wright State's Justin Wilson. "We made adjustments once through the lineup. When we finally got to him, luck didn't fall our way, but that's baseball."
Harrington, who has made good use of his changeup the past month, said "the changeup wasn't the pitch for me today. I relied on the two-seam fastball more."
UH coach Mike Trapasso made one mound visit, in the seventh after the first two Raiders hit line-drive singles to left.
"Ian gets too competitive at times and tends to over-throw," Trapasso said.
Harrington added, "Typically, coach is the first one to let me know I'm over-throwing. The first clue is when the ball is getting hit to the outfield."
After Aaron Garcia's two-run homer pulled the Raiders to 5-3 with no outs in the ninth, Harrington retired the side on a grounder to third sandwiched between two long fly balls to center.
"Ian controlled the game right out of the gate," Trapasso said. "We're very happy with the way we played today. It was a complete game for us. I'm happy for the coaches and players because it is Hawaii's first regional win in a long time."
The Rainbows scored two runs in the third with some help from WSU center fielder John Kopilchack.
UH's Robbie Wilder, bottom right, received high-fives from teammates after hitting a home run against Wright State.
Robbie Wilder drew his 43rd walk of the season to start the inning. Derek DuPree then lined a one-strike pitch to center that Kopilchack attempted a shoe-string catch on but missed, and the ball rolled to the warning track.
Wilder scored and DuPree ended up at third with a triple. Justin Frash's sacrifice fly to left brought DuPree home with the second run.
Asked if he would have tried for the shoe-string catch, DuPree elicited chuckles from the assembled media when he said, "Yes, but I would have caught it."
Hawaii made good use of singles by DuPree and Frash opening the fifth. On Frash's two-hopper through the hole to right, DuPree slid safely into third as Frash continued to second on the throw to third.
Luis Avila's sacrifice fly to right-center scored DuPree, and Frash took third on the throw to the plate. Matt Inouye followed with a run-scoring double down the left-field line for a 4-0 UH lead.
Wilder upped the Rainbows' lead to 5-0 when he launched a 3-1 pitch over the right-field fence with two down in the sixth for his second home run of the season.
"The pitch was a fastball middle in," Wilder said. "It felt good to get the extra run. If the wind had been blowing the way it did Friday, it wouldn't have gone out."
That was the last pitch thrown by Wright State starter Erich Schanz.
Harrington sailed through the first six innings, allowing the Raiders (32-27) just one hit, a leadoff single by Amin Abusalem in the fifth.
Harrington threw just eight pitches in the seventh and five were hit hard.
Garcia lined a 1-0 pitch to left for a single. Abusalem slammed an 0-2 pitch to left-center, sending Garcia to third and bringing Trapasso to the mound for a chat with Harrington.
Wilson followed by smashing the first pitch in the ground, Frash knocking the ball down at third base and recovering in time to start an around-the-horn double play as Garcia scored.
Brian Shoup then lined a single to right on the first pitch, but Hamilton got out of the inning when Wilder, with his back on the left-field fence, caught Jeremy Hamilton's high fly.
Harrington retired the side in order in the eighth on three fly balls, then kept closer Darrell Fisherbaugh in the bullpen by getting the final three outs in the ninth after Garcia's two-run shot over the left-field fence.