LaTech stings Hawaii


POSTED: Friday, May 22, 2009

One swing made Hawaii's road to an NCAA regionals berth as hard as it gets.

Clint Ewing hit a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning as Louisiana Tech stunned a Les Murakami Stadium crowd of 2,578 with a 4-3 victory in the NAPA Auto Parts Western Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament last night.




WAC tournament


        at Murakami Stadium



» Nevada vs. Hawaii, 11 a.m.


» San Jose State vs. Fresno State, 3 p.m.


» Louisiana Tech vs. New Mexico State, 7 p.m.


Sam Spangler (5-3) worked his way out of jams in the seventh and eighth innings, but it eventually caught up to him in the ninth. Mark Threlkeld led off the inning with a single and stole second base before Ewing drove a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left-center to give the Bulldogs their fifth win over Hawaii at home this season.

“;I just got the pitch I was looking for and thank God I put the barrel on it and got it out of here,”; Ewing said.

Spangler came on with one out in the seventh and got out of the inning without allowing a run. The Bulldogs got the leadoff hitter to second on a single and passed ball in the eighth, but Spangler got two of his four strikeouts to turn the Bulldogs away one last time before Ewing's heroics ended it.

“;(Ewing) is not your typical nine-hole hitter,”; Louisiana Tech coach Wade Simoneaux said. “;(Spangler) was dealing and we tried to take his fastball away from him because that's his best pitch.”;

UH starter Jayson Kramer lasted 6 1/3 innings in his shortest outing of the season at home. He scattered 10 hits and gave up two runs (one earned) and didn't walk a batter.

Hawaii left 13 runners on base and loaded the bases in four different innings, but only came up with one run in those instances.

“;We didn't get the hits we needed, that's all there is to it,”; Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. “;Spangler was awesome; guy just hit a good pitch. That's the way it goes.”;

Ultimately, the Rainbows managed to take the lead in the eighth without getting a hit. Kevin Fujii led off the eighth with a walk and moved to third on a throwing error by Chris Kersten that allowed Greg Garcia to reach second base with one out.

John Anderson replaced reliever Mike Jefferson and immediately threw a ball in the dirt that reached the backstop, allowing Fujii to score.

“;We gave them one there and you can't do that against a good team like Hawaii, but we got away with it,”; Simoneaux said.

Ryan Morford started the game with a single and Garcia bunted him into scoring position with one out. Vinnie Catricala drew a walk and Kevin Macdonald was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Kolten Wong, who scored Morford on an RBI groundout.

LaTech tagged Kramer for two hits in three of the first four innings, but Kramer got out of all three jams with double plays from his defense.

The biggest play came from left fielder Sean Montplaisir in the fourth. Montplaisir made a running catch on a fly ball from Alex Williams and then threw a laser to catcher Kevin Fujii to nail Kevin Winn at the plate for the third out.

The Rainbows led 2-0 at that point as Matt Roquemore roped a triple to right field in the top of the fourth that bounced out of the glove of Patrick Thomas. Fujii then took the next pitch through the hole on the left side of the infield for an RBI single to double Hawaii's lead.

LaTech cut the advantage to one on a Thomas RBI single in the fifth. The Bulldogs then tied it in the sixth as Devon Dageford set the single-season school record with his 22nd home run of the year.

Hawaii (31-25) will try to avoid a quick end to its season with a game against Nevada this morning at 11. If the Rainbows win, they will play tomorrow afternoon at 3.

The Bulldogs will play New Mexico State tonight at 7.