Dirtbags drop ’Bows again
Long beach state dusts Hawaii
STORY SUMMARY »
There's nothing good about a six-game losing streak, but at least Hawaii doesn't have time to think about it.
vs. UAB tomorrow
No. 10 Long Beach State completed a three-game sweep of the Rainbows with a 8-4 win yesterday to drop Hawaii (5-9) to four games under .500.
Alex Myers and Vinnie Catricala combined for five of Hawaii's nine hits and drove in all four runs in the first three innings. The Dirtbags scored eight unanswered runs, including five in the seventh, to pick up the win.
The Rainbows have today off before getting right back to work against Alabama-Birmingham tomorrow at 6:35 p.m. Freshman Josh Slaats (0-1, 6.43 ERA) will get the start.
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RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Greg Garcia made the play at second to force out Long Beach's Jason Tweedy and start a double play yesterday.
Hawaii's inability to avoid that one costly inning resulted in another heart-breaking defeat.
No. 10 Long Beach State scored eight unanswered runs after falling behind early to complete a three-game sweep of the Rainbows with an 8-4 victory yesterday at Les Murakami Stadium.
A crowd of 1,418 watched the Rainbows (5-9) drop their sixth game in a row as the Dirtbags scored five runs in the seventh inning to come from behind for the second time in three days.
"It's disappointing that two innings cost us two games this weekend," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "We've got to find one guy to step up and close the deal for us, and if we do that, we win two games against a top-10 team."
The Dirtbags won the series opener on Friday after trailing 3-0 in the eighth inning. Hawaii jumped out to a 4-0 lead yesterday and led by two runs heading into the seventh, when it suffered another late-game collapse.
Hawaii used four different pitchers to get through the inning as the Dirtbags took advantage of two walks and two hit batters to score five runs. Shane Peterson and John Hill each had RBI singles to tie the game before a two-run single by Jason Corder gave LBSU a 6-4 lead.
Sam Spangler, who was credited with the loss, allowed all three batters he faced to reach base and Alex Capaul allowed the tying and go-ahead hits. Josh Schneider put an end to the nightmarish inning, but not before allowing a run-scoring single to Chris Nelson to make it 7-4. Corder, who finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs, tacked on the final run in the eighth on a single to score Taylor Krick.
"We've got to find some guys that will toughen up on the mound for us," Trapasso said. "Until we find that guy to step up, we'll continue to struggle."
Senior Harrison Kuroda found out he would make the first start of his career just prior to batting practice. He pitched very effectively though four innings as he allowed only one hit, but Long Beach State's offense caught up to him in the fifth.
After allowing a hit and two walks to load the bases, Nelson took a pitch into right field for a two-run single to make it 4-2. Kuroda battled back to strike out Danny Espinosa, but then walked his third batter of the inning to load the bases again. Jayson Kramer came on in relief and held the lead as he induced a fielder's choice by Ted Lemasters to end the inning.
"My mechanics got out of funk and I just threw too many pitches to two hitters," Kuroda said. "That's what (the Dirtbags) are going to do. They're patient at the plate and take pitches until something happens."
Vinnie Catricala put the Rainbows up 2-0 in the first with a two-run single to right that scored Jon Hee and Sean Montplaisir. Junior Alex Myers followed with his first hit as a Rainbow, but Catricala was thrown out at the plate on a throw from Dirtbags right fielder Jason Corder.
Myers made sure to bring Catricala home in his next at-bat, lacing a 1-0 pitch into left-center for a two-out double in the third. Hee, who led off the inning with a walk, and Catricala, who singled, both scored on the play to push Hawaii's lead to 4-0.
The Rainbows didn't score and only had three hits after the third inning.
"Their bullpen did a good job of shutting us down," said Myers, who was cleared to play just last week. "Right now we just want to come out and finish a game well."
The Rainbows won't have to wait long to try as they return to action tomorrow for the first of two games against Alabama-Birmingham before going on the road for a three-game set against UC Irvine this weekend.