Hawaii rally sinks Loyola Marymount


POSTED: Saturday, March 14, 2009

Despite being shut down for much of the night, the Hawaii baseball team found a way to extend its winning streak.

Three walks, a pivotal error and a wild pitch allowed Hawaii to score three unearned runs in the bottom of the eighth inning without the benefit of a hit to erase Loyola Marymount's two-run lead.

Hawaii reliever Josh Slaats then snuffed an LMU rally in the ninth to seal the Rainbows' 3-2 win before a crowd of 1,551 at Les Murakami Stadium.

UH (8-6) picked up its fifth straight win by pulling out its second dramatic victory over the Lions (8-9) in as many nights despite being held to two hits.

The Lions' eighth-inning breakdowns spoiled a strong outing by LMU starter Ernie Cho. The senior right-hander entered the game with an 8.83 earned-run average, but he kept Hawaii off balance in limiting the Rainbows to two hits and striking out five over 72/3 innings.

Even after he was taken out after giving up three walks in the bottom of the eighth to load the bases, it looked like the Lions would escape with a 2-0 lead. But LMU shortstop Shon Roe's fielding error on Kevin Macdonald's slow roller up the middle allowed the tying runs to score.

A wild pitch by Lions reliever Jordan McClintick then brought Vinnie Catricala home with the go-ahead run.

“;Obviously we were lucky, but sometimes better lucky than good,”; UH coach Mike Trapasso said. “;We only had two hits the whole night and to score the three runs in the (eighth) without a hit is crazy, but you take 'em when they come.”;

The Lions hit the ball hard in the first two innings, but UH starter Nate Klein kept them off the scoreboard early despite giving up two doubles in the second. He wasn't so fortunate in the third. After Ryan Hawthorne singled with two out, Ryan Wheeler hammered an 0-1 offering over the center-field fence to give LMU a 2-0 lead. It was the fifth home run given up by Klein this season.

Cho went 42/3 innings without yielding a hit until Matt Roquemore chopped a grounder up the middle and was called safe on a disputed play at first for an infield single. Kolten Wong's double in the sixth accounted for the only other hit Cho gave up, but he stranded Wong at third to preserve the shutout.

Klein was taken out due to an injury with two out in the top of the sixth inning, and was relieved by freshman Connor Little. Trapasso said Klein will have an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of his injury.

Little kept the Rainbows within striking distance going into the bottom of the eighth, when the last three of Cho's six walks proved pivotal.

Cho walked Roquemore and Sean Montplaisir to lead off the inning and Greg Garcia's sacrifice bunt moved the tying runs into scoring position. But Roquemore was thrown out trying to score on Wong's chopper to Wheeler at first base for the second out. Catricala walked to load the bases, ending Cho's stint on the mound.

McClintick was brought in to face Macdonald, who singled in the winning run in the 10th inning on Thursday.

McClintick went ahead 0-2 before Macdonald's grounder kicked off Roe's glove, allowing Montplaisir and Wong to score to tie the game.

“;It wasn't pretty, but we got it done,”; Macdonald said. “;It was down and away. I just tried to put in play, and luckily the guy booted it and Kolten was running hard and we scored two.”;

McClintick's next offering went to the backstop, bringing Catricala home.

After Little gave up a walk and a single with one out in the top of the ninth, Trapasso summoned Josh Slaats from the bullpen for the second straight night.

Slaats' first pitch was held up by a 35-minute rain delay. UH catcher Landon Hernandez then threw out Jonathan Johnson trying to steal third and Slaats got Kyle Spraker to strike out swinging to end the game.

Little earned his first career win and Slaats, who was credited with the win on Thursday, earned his first save of the season.

The four-game series continues today at 6:35 p.m. with Jared Alexander (0-0) scheduled to start for Hawaii against LMU freshman Alex Gillingham (2-1). The finale is set for tomorrow at 1:05 p.m.


Hawaii 3, Loyola Marymount 2




Spraker 3b5000Garcia ss2000
Hawthorne lf4120Wong cf4110
Wheeler 1b4112Catricala 3b2100
Songco rf3020Macdonald 1b4000
Enos c4010Van Doornum dh4000
Gee dh4000Hernandez c3000
Bryan rf3010Hoey 2b3000
Simonitsch cf0000Roquemore rf2010
Bauer ph1000Montplaisir lf1100
Johnson 2b2000  
Roe ss4020 






Loyola Marymount002000000 -292
Hawaii00000003x -321



E-Roe; Cho; Montplaisir. DP-LMU 2, Hawaii 1. LOB-LMU 8, Hawaii 5. 2B-Songco; Bryan; Roe; Wong. HR-Wheeler. SH-Garcia. SB-Songco. CS-Johnson.




Loyola MarymountIPHRERBBSO
Cho (L, 1-2)72/323065
Klein5 2/372202
Little (W, 1-0)2 2/320031
Slaats (S, 1)2/300001



Umpires-Kevin Daugherty (Plate); Billy Haze (First); Gus Rodriguez (Third).

T-2:41. A-1,551.