'Bows swamp Coastal


POSTED: Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kolten Wong likes finishing home series in a big way.



















C. Carolina





        NEXT UP

        vs. SJSU on Friday




It wasn't a three-homer affair like the last time Hawaii wrapped up a four-game set at Les Murakami Stadium, but Wong went deep again as the Rainbows defeated No. 18 Coastal Carolina 4-3 yesterday to take three of four games in the series.

A tame Saturday afternoon crowd of 1,722 saw the 'Bows (16-9) hand the Chanticleers (19-7) their sixth loss in eight games on the power of Wong's bat and the pitching of freshman Connor Little.

Little, making the second start of his career, allowed hits to the first three batters he faced and had Hawaii's bullpen active in the first inning.

But he settled down to retire 15 of 16 batters he faced at one point and lasted into the seventh inning to give the 'Bows another quality start from their pitching staff.

“;He was the story of the game to go into the seventh inning like that and give us 90 solid pitches,”; Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. “;He made the adjustment and got locked in and battled his way through their lineup almost three times.”;

Josh Slaats replaced Little with two outs in the seventh after Tommy Winegardner's single snapped a string of 10 straight outs recorded by Little.

Slaats ended the inning with a strikeout and took a 4-2 lead in the ninth when Tyler Bortnick led off with a solo homer to pull the Chanticleers within one.

David Anderson, who homered earlier in the game, followed with a single and was on second base as the tying run with one out.

With Lenny Linsky warming up in the bullpen, Slaats hunkered down and struck out Winegardner and pinch hitter Chance Gilmore to end the game and earn his third save of the season.

“;He makes it interesting every time, but he's getting the job done, so we'll knock on wood that it keeps happening,”; Trapasso said.

The Rainbows continued their momentum from Friday's doubleheader sweep by jumping on Coastal Carolina starter Austin Fleet (3-2) for three runs in the first inning.

After the Chanticleers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning, Hawaii answered as Jeff Van Doornum doubled with two outs to score Greg Garcia, who led off with a walk. Wong then crushed the first offering he saw from Fleet over the fence in right-center for his team-high fifth home run of the season.

“;It's just fun playing at home in front of all these fans,”; said Wong, who was drafted by the Minnesota Twins last summer but chose to play college ball at UH instead. “;This is the one thing I've always wanted to do, and I have a chance now to play in front of all my family and friends and take advantage of it as much as I can.”;

Hawaii has won 13 of its last 16 games as it prepares to start Western Athletic Conference play next week against San Jose State.

With senior Jared Alexander out at the start of the season, the Rainbows had only two pitchers with more than one start in their careers, and one of them (Slaats) was the designated closer.

Going into WAC play, the 'Bows have shown a number of arms capable of carrying the load on the mound.

Those arms now include Little, who bounced back from a rough first start on the road against Portland to allow six hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings without walking a batter.

“;My first start was away, but being home in front of the home crowd was a big help,”; Little said. “;I felt like I was trying too hard at first, but I settled down and got myself in a rhythm and trusted my defense behind me.”;

The Rainbows have forced teams to beat them by limiting their walks. They only issued one free pass in the last two games and have only allowed 61 walks in 223 2/3 innings this year.

“;That's the main thing, we're not walking guys,”; Trapasso said. “;We're not beating ourselves, which gives us a chance. Our pitching hasn't been outstanding, but it's keeping us in games and we're making things happen.”;

The WAC opener against the Spartans is Friday at 6:35 p.m.


Hawaii 4, Coastal Carolina 3
























C. CarolinaABRHBIHawaii ABRHBI
Woodward rf4010Garcia ss3100
Noel cf4110Roquemore lf4000
Bortnick 3b4122Catricala 3b3020
Anderson 1b4121Macdonald 1b3111
Davis pr0000Wong cf4212
Witten dh3000Hernandez c4020
Rice ph0000Van Doornum dh3021
Wine gardner 2b4020Morford 2b3010
Iglesias c3000Johnson rf3000
Gilmore ph1000 
Bowman lf3000
Motter ss3000



Coastal Carolina100100001 380

E—Catricala. DP—Coastal Carolina 1; Hawaii 1. LOB—Coastal Carolina 4; Hawaii 5. 2B—Catricala; Macdonald. HR—Bortnick; Anderson; Wong. SH—Rice. SB—Noel 2. CS—Woodward.

Coastal CarolinaIPHRERBBSO
Fleet (L, 3-2)5 1/364430
Hessler1 2/320002
Little (W, 2-0)6 2/362203
Slaats (S, 3)2 1/321103

Umpires—Jeff Patterson (Plate); Phil Benson (First); Ramon Armenderiz (Third).
T—2:23. A—1,722.