UH reaches .500 with series-finale win


POSTED: Monday, March 09, 2009

Hawaii took a different approach to scoring in double digits, but the end result was just the same.

The Rainbows continued their hot streak at the plate, scoring at least 10 runs for the second straight game to close out Mississippi State 11-5 yesterday in front of a Les Murakami Stadium crowd of 1,485.

The Rainbows evened their record at 6-6 by taking the final three games of the series against the Bulldogs (8-4), ranked 26th by Collegiate Baseball.

Instead of cashing in on a big inning like they did in a 10-run fifth on Saturday, the Rainbows consistently applied pressure to the Bulldogs, scoring in six of the eight innings they came to bat.

Greg Garcia, batting leadoff for the third straight game, finished 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored. Kolten Wong, who dropped a spot in the order to second, added a two-run homer, the first of his collegiate career, as Hawaii pounded out 12 hits.

“;We know we're capable of having these kind of games, so it's a relief to know you can do it and then actually do it,”; Wong said.

The Kamehameha-Hawaii graduate hit .222 in his first 10 games in the leadoff spot. Since switching places with Garcia in the order on Friday, Wong is 4-for-12 with a homer and four RBIs while Garcia is 6-for-12 with seven runs scored and an on-base percentage of .600.

“;I wish I could take more credit for it, but it really wasn't anything other than making the move to try to get the guys more comfortable,”; Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. “;It really wasn't anything I put a ton of thought into other than switching them so Kolten could feel more comfortable.”;

Six seems to be Hawaii's magic number this season. Only once have the Rainbows given up six or more runs in a game, and they're 5-0 when they score at least six.

Freshman starter Matt Sisto ran into trouble in the middle innings yesterday and only lasted four, allowing three runs on seven hits. After Ryan Davis was unable to get out of the fifth inning, Josh Slaats got his first shot on the mound since blowing a save in the final game of last week's road trip against Minnesota.

Slaats came on with the 'Bows leading 7-3 in the fifth inning, but the bases were loaded. He struck out Jason Nappi for the second out, then walked Ryan Powers to score a run. Brent Brownlee came to bat with the bases still loaded, but Slaats got him to strike out on a check swing to end the threat.

He finished the rest of the game, going 4 2/3 innings total, allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts to pick up the win.

“;It's been a long week for Josh,”; Trapasso said. “;Tough for him to have to wait until the very last day of the next series to get out there again and he threw the ball very well. One double in the gap (in the fifth) and it's a tie score and we're in a dog fight, but he gets the strikeout. I couldn't be happier for him. He had a better look in his eye and was more aggressive.”;

The offense also picked him up by piling on the runs. Hawaii took advantage of leadoff walks in the fifth and sixth innings to put two more runs on the board. Shane Hoey, who finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, drove in Landon Hernandez with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Then in the sixth, Garcia scored on a wild pitch after leading off with a walk, one of six issued by the Bulldogs, who also committed four errors.

“;I was really proud of our guys to come back and scratch one the next inning after they scored four,”; Garcia said. “;That kind of took the wind out of their sails a bit.”;

Wong then put the final touches on an impressive weekend with a two-run homer over the fence in right field to make it 11-4 in the seventh.

“;I was hitting balls and they just weren't getting through,”; Wong said. “;I felt like it was my time and it came, so I'm real happy about that.”;

UH will try to move above .500 for the first time this season when it hosts Loyola Marymount for the first of a four-game series on Thursday.


Hawaii 11, Mississippi State 5
























Collins rf5110Garcia ss4331
DeLoach c2010Wong cf5112
Duffy c3111Catricala 3b5021
Adkins dh2110Macdonald 1b3110
Freeman ph/dh3110Van D'rn'm lf4110
Powers, C. 1b5011 Torigoe ph1000
Parks 3b5020Hernandez c2311
Butler 2b5031Johnson rf3100
Goforth cf1000Myers ph1010
Nappi ph/lf2110Koissian rf0000 
Powers, R. ss3001Hoey 2b4122
Brownlee lf/cf4011Roquemore lf4002
Crosswhite p0000Sisto p0000
Houston p0000Davis p0000
Bowen p0000Slaats p0000
Reed p0000



Mississippi St.0001300105134

E—DeLoach; Parks; Butler; R. Powers; Hoey. DP—Miss. St. 1. LOB—Miss. St. 10; Hawaii 9. 2B—Adkins; C. Powers; Garcia. 3b—Collins. HR—Wong. HBP—Hernandez. SF—Hoey. SB—Garcia; Catricala; Hernandez; Roquemore.

Mississippi St.IPHRERBBSO
Crosswhite (L, 0-1)277512
Houston110002Bowen2 1/312140
Reed2 2/332212
Slaats (W, 1-1)4 2/331115

Umpires—Billy Haze (Plate); Gus Rodriguez (First); Kevin Daugherty (Third).
T—3:29. A—1,485.