’Bows get elimination rematch against Wolf Pack today
RENO, Nev. » Hawaii has lost four games in a row to Nevada at Peccole Park. If UH can't stop that trend today, its Western Athletic Conference tournament and season are over.
The Wolf Pack fell to San Jose State 5-1 in last night's final game, setting up today's rematch of Thursday's rout, in which Nevada pounded UH 11-1 in seven innings. The Pack also swept the Rainbows in a three-game series here two weeks ago.
"When you talk about playing Nevada at Nevada, sooner or later you hope the law of averages takes hold and we'll play a good game," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "We haven't played well here, but they've been the better team the four games. We'll look at it as an opportunity to eliminate the home team and go from there. But it starts with us playing well."
The Spartans got a quality start from right-hander Steven Vidal, who went 6 1/3 innings and allowed just five hits and one run. Loren Moneypenny and Corey Cabral finished up with hitless relief.
Nevada starter Rod Scurry struck out nine and walked none, but was hurt by two errors by third baseman Jason Rodrigues and Marcus McKimmy's homer and three RBIs.
Wolf Pack coach Gary Powers said playing UH isn't an advantage for his team now.
"At this stage it doesn't matter who you play. Our backs are against the wall, their backs are against the wall," Powers said.
Kyle Howe, who beat Hawaii with eight innings of six-hit pitching May 14, is Powers' starter today.
Sacramento State junior catcher Brett Tanigawa
said he was "lucky all day" after going 4-for-4 against Hawaii. As a team, the Hornets weren't as fortunate, falling 19-7 to the Rainbows and becoming the first team knocked out of the tournament.
"It would have been nice to win," the Moanalua High School graduate said. "But I'm happy because I know a bunch of Hawaii guys. I'm proud for them and I hope they go far."
Tanigawa, who had 49 at-bats going into the game, raised his batting average from .204 to .283.
Senior pitcher Chris Mols (Roosevelt) and junior infielder Taylor Watanabe (Aiea) did not play yesterday.
Arm and shoulder injuries have limited Watanabe's playing time.
"There were people ahead of me after I came off shoulder surgery, so I had to wait my turn," Watanabe said. "I just have to work hard to get back to where I was."
FSU wins Bulldogs battle
Top-seeded Fresno State ousted Louisiana Tech with a 4-2 come-from-behind victory.
LaTech's Ryan Rupert and FSU's Justin Wilson locked up in a scoreless duel before LaTech scored twice in the top of the sixth.
Fresno State (34-27) came back in the bottom half with a solo homer by Erik Wetzel and Steve Susdorf's two-run shot.
Brandon Burke pitched three scoreless innings for his fifth save. Wilson improved to 8-5, while Rupert fell to 5-4.
Fresno State plays San Jose State in a matchup of unbeaten teams today at 8 a.m.
Louisiana Tech ends its season at 35-24.
Hernandez an ironman
Hawaii catcher Landon Hernandez
has started 54 of UH's 58 games behind the plate this year.
He said another two today and possibly two more tomorrow if the Rainbows keep winning won't bother him.
"I've been catching all year, so the legs are in pretty good shape," Hernandez said after homering, doubling and driving in five runs yesterday, playing a day game after a night game.