UH, Louisiana Tech split doubleheader
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RUSTON, La. » The Hawaii baseball team has been able to avoid a letdown at Louisiana Tech, but still hasn't found a way to sweep a doubleheader.
The Bulldogs hit seven home runs, including four in the nightcap, as Louisiana Tech took the second game of yesterday's twinbill 14-4 after losing the opener 8-4 at J.C. Love Field.
The Rainbows have won the first two games in their last four series, but have lost the third game each time.
Vinnie Catricala is putting together a solid weekend, going 4-for-6 on the day with a home run. In three games against the Bulldogs, the sophomore third baseman has seven hits and five RBIs.
The Rainbows will try to win their fourth consecutive series on the arm of junior Matt Daly, who gets the start in today's finale at 8 a.m.
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RUSTON, La. » A power surge helped Louisiana Tech end a brutal conference losing streak.
The Bulldogs hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in consecutive games yesterday and split a doubleheader against Hawaii, falling 8-4 in the opener before coming back to win the second game 14-4 at J.C. Love Field.
Chris Kersten homered twice and had five RBIs in the nightcap and Kevin Winn's two-run single with two outs in the seventh gave the Bulldogs the 10-run lead needed to call the game early.
"We weren't meant to win that second game," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "We came out and assumed we would throw our gloves out there and play like we played (the last two games)."
The win snapped a 13-game WAC losing streak for the Bulldogs (17-24, 3-18). Hawaii (21-23, 13-10) missed out on a chance to even its overall record at .500 for the first time since March 7.
Kersten's first homer in Game 2 came at the back end of home runs by Jericho Jones and Albie Goulder in the fifth inning as the Bulldogs fought back from a two-run deficit to take a 7-4 lead.
Jones, Goulder and Clay Alexander hit consecutive home runs in the first game as the Bulldogs hit seven on the day.
"The first game you're like who cares, we won the game," Trapasso said. "In the second game, you're like wow, that's pretty impressive to do that twice."
Hawaii brought plenty of offense to the table in the first game, pounding out 15 hits and scoring runs in five of the first six innings.
Jeff Van Doornum put the 'Bows up 2-0 with a two-out, two-run double in the first. RBI doubles by Kevin Macdonald and Sean Montplaisir and run-scoring singles by Vinnie Catricala and Jon Hee put Hawaii up 6-0 in the fourth.
The Bulldogs tagged starter Nick Rhodes for the three home runs in the bottom of the inning, but Catricala answered with a home run in the fifth to get one back.
Rhodes had only faced one batter over the minimum before being chased for reliever Josh Schneider after allowing three straight dingers. Schneider allowed one run over 4 2/3 innings to pick up the win. He put the first guy on base in the ninth, and the Bulldogs loaded the bases before Matt Daly struck out Alexander to end the game.
The Rainbows continued to struggle in the second half of doubleheaders, falling to 1-8 in those games. However, they have a chance to win their fourth straight WAC series today, which is all that concerns Trapasso.
"I couldn't (care less) as long as we win the series," Trapasso said. "I'll take winning three out of four in a series any day."
Hawaii committed two errors in the first inning to help the Bulldogs jump out to a 2-0 lead. Hee's two-run single highlighted a four-run fifth inning for Hawaii to give it a 4-2 lead.
It was all Bulldogs from that point on, as Bates was chased after giving up a three-run homer to Jericho Jones to push the Bulldogs back in front 5-4. Freshman Alex Capaul entered the game and gave up home runs to both batters he faced as Louisiana Tech extended the lead.
Bates (0-1) struck out six in 4 2/3 innings and allowed three hits and five runs.
"It was disappointing because he shakes to pitches that were good to the hitters," Trapasso said. "He needs to trust his catcher and throw what the scouting report says to throw."
Kersten added a grand slam off of reliever Josh Slaats before Winn's two-run single ended the game.
|San Jose State
|New Mexico State
Hawaii 8, Louisiana Tech 4
Louisiana Tech 14, Hawaii 4
Nevada 4, Fresno State 1
Nevada 7, Fresno State 3
New Mexico State 5 Sacramento State 3
New Mexico State 11, Sacramento State 5
Washington State 7, San Jose State 5
Hawaii at Louisiana Tech, 8 a.m.
Fresno State at Nevada
New Mexico State at Sacramento State
San Jose State at Washington State