UH baseball team slams Gophers


POSTED: Friday, February 27, 2009

Below-freezing temperatures are no match for Vinnie Catricala's hot bat.

Catricala continued his excellent start to the season, going 2-for-5 with three RBIs as Hawaii defeated Minnesota 6-2 yesterday at the Metrodome in Minneapolis to win its road opener.


Kolten Wong doubled and scored two runs and every Rainbows hitter had at least one hit as Hawaii (2-3) tripled up on the Golden Gophers despite getting out-hit.

Game-time temperatures hovered around 20 degrees as UH made its way through the snow to the stadium. The 'Bows didn't have access to the Metrodome locker rooms, instead changing at the hotel and going straight to the field from the bus to play.

“;Just show and go,”; starting pitcher Jayson Kramer said. “;But thank (goodness) we're playing in a dome.”;

Kramer (1-1) earned his first win of the season, making the right pitches at the right time to gut out 52/3 innings. He allowed nine hits and walked two, but got the outs when he needed them, as Minnesota (2-2) stranded nine runners in the first six innings.

“;All my stuff was working in the bullpen, but then I got on the mound and it wasn't there anymore,”; Kramer said. “;I was able to bear down and didn't let them get that crooked number on the board.”;

The Golden Gophers tagged Kramer for a run in the first, but could have exploded for a big inning had Kramer not gotten Derek McCallum to ground into a double play with nobody out.

Matt Nohelty opened the game with a single and stole second. Michael Kvasnicka followed with an RBI single before McCallum's double play. Nick O'Shea and Kyle Knudson followed with singles to put runners at the corners before Kramer got Jon Hummel to fly out to center.

“;Double plays are a pitcher's best friend,”; Kramer said. “;Those hits in the first kind of scared me.”;

Minnesota starter Dustin Klabunde retired the first six batters, but ran into control problems in the third. Landon Hernandez opened the inning with a walk, but was picked off trying to steal second. After Sean Montplaisir flied out to left, Klabunde walked three straight batters to load the bases. Catricala, who entered the game hitting .500, made him pay with a two-run single to put the 'Bows up 2-1.

Hawaii broke a 2-2 tie with three runs in the sixth off losing pitcher Tim Ryan (0-1). The first four batters all reached base as Catricala led off with a single and advanced to third on an opposite-field double by Jeff Van Doornum. Kevin Macdonald and Christian Johnson followed with run-scoring singles and Montplaisir added an RBI double, but Johnson was thrown out at home trying to score on the play.

After issuing a two-out walk in the bottom of the inning, Kramer was replaced by Sam Spangler, who struck out Kvasnicka with two runners on.

Spangler earned the save by going the final 31/3 innings, allowing two hits and no walks while striking out five.

“;He was big-time,”; Kramer said.

Hawaii 6, Minnesota 2

Wong cf4210Nohelty dh4121
Garcia ss3010Kvasnicka rf5021
Catricala 3b5123McCallum 2b5020
Van Doornum dh4110O'Shea 1b5020
Macdonald 1b4111Knudson c4010
Johnson rf4011Hummel lf4000
Hernandez c3010Pettersen ss4110
Montplaisir lf4011Geason 3b3000
Morford 2b3110Albrecht cf2000
     Schultz ph1000
     Decker cf1010

E-Wong; Catricala. DP-Hawaii 1. LOB-Hawaii 6, Minnesota 11. 2B-Wong; Van Doornum; Montplaisir. HBP-Garcia. SB-Nohelty; McCallum; Knudson; Pettersen. CS-Hernandez.

Kramer (W, 1-1)5 2/392221
Spangler (S, 1)3 1/320005
Ryan (L, 0-1)2 1/353303
Lubinsky3 2/331103

Umpires-Andre Lanoue (Plate); John Priester (First); Jim Jackson (Third).

T-2:45. A-223.