Rainbows rally to extend season
POSTED: Saturday, May 23, 2009
A day after giving one away, Hawaii stole one right back to keep its season alive.
at Murakami Stadium
» San Jose State vs. Louisiana Tech, 11 a.m.
» Hawaii vs. Fresno State, 3 p.m.
» New Mexico State vs. San Jose State/Louisiana Tech winner, 7 p.m.
Vinnie Catricala's sacrifice fly scored Kevin Fujii in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Rainbows a 5-4 victory over Nevada yesterday in the NAPA Auto Parts Western Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament at Les Murakami Stadium.
Hawaii blew a ninth-inning lead for the second straight day, but rallied off Wolf Pack reliever Brock Stassi, who walked three consecutive batters before Catricala lifted a fly ball deep enough to right to score Fujii tagging up from third.
"He threw four straight balls, so I took that first fastball that was a good pitch to hit," Catricala said. "As soon as he got that one over for a strike I knew it was going to be an offspeed pitch and I saw the curve ball up, so I tried to get a pop fly."
The Wolf Pack had 12 hits to Hawaii's five and the Rainbows scored the game-winner without one in the 10th, but prolonged their season another day.
"We'll take it," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "You could tell early on we were hurting still from last night, but the fact that we take another lead into the ninth and they tie it, I think lesser teams mentally would let it get to them, but we didn't."
Matt Sisto started for Hawaii and battled through six innings, giving up three runs on eight hits. Nate Klein, appearing out of the bullpen for the first time all season, held the lead until the ninth, when Shaun Kort laced a two-out double to left-center to score Matt Bowman.
Bowman finished 3-for-4 and scored all four Wolf Pack runs.
"He hit a good pitch and drove it to the wall," Klein said. "They definitely have a good approach, but I knew they weren't going to get any more than that."
Nevada tagged Sisto for a run in the first, but the Rainbows responded with two in the bottom of the inning. After Catricala and Kevin Macdonald reached base with two outs, Kolten Wong came to the plate and hit a fly ball that fell between outfielders Nick Melino and Westley Moss.
Melino, playing in left field, looked to have plenty of time to make the catch, but a running Moss called him off and the ball dropped just in front of his outstretched glove for a two-run double.
"That's been the tale of the story for us the last three weeks of the season," Nevada coach Gary Powers said. "We haven't made plays when we've had opportunities to and it's always come home to haunt us."
Nevada put the leadoff batter on base in each of the first five innings. Bowman singled to start the first and third and doubled to open the fifth and wound up scoring every time.
But that'd be all Nevada could muster against Sisto, who stranded at least one runner on base every inning.
"He didn't have great stuff today really, but he managed the game well," Trapasso said. "He's mature for a freshman."
Hawaii will face three-time defending WAC champion Fresno State in an elimination game for both teams today at 3 p.m. If the Rainbows win, they'll play tomorrow at noon in a championship round game.
"It's doable," Trapasso said. "You're not done until you're done. All we talked about was being in the moment and getting one more game."
Trapasso expects Wong to play today after the freshman center fielder tweaked his hip on a swing to lead off the ninth. He walked off the field gingerly and finished the game, but was experiencing pain at the end of the game.
"I'm not too worried about him; he'll go out on that field on crutches," Trapasso said. "He's going to get treatment all day and we'll see how it feels (today)."
Jared Alexander (3-2, 7.52) is expected to get the start.
HAWAII 5, NEVADA 4
|Bowman 2b||4||4||3||0||Morford 2b||4||0||1||0|
|Moss cf||4||0||1||1||Garcia ss||3||0||0||0|
|Kort 1b||4||0||2||2||Catricala 3b||3||2||2||2|
|Jaquez 3b||4||0||1||1||Macdonald 1b||3||1||0||0|
|Melino lf||4||0||1||0||Wong cf||3||1||1||2|
|Henry pr/lf||1||0||0||0||Montplaisir lf||4||0||0||0|
|Stassi dh/p||3||0||2||0||Johnson dh||4||0||1||1|
|Hart rf||4||0||1||0||Roquemore rf||4||0||0||0|
|Simas c||3||0||0||0||Fujii c||3||1||0||0|
2 outs, 2 runners LOB when the game ended.
LOB—Nevada 11; Hawaii 5. 2B—Bowman; Kort 2; Wong. HR—Catricala. SH—Moss; Jaquez; Stassi; Hart; Garcia. SF—Catricala. SB—Bowman; Moss. CS—Catricala.
|Stassi (L, 6-5)||1 2/3||0||1||1||3||1|
|Klein (W, 3-4)||4||4||1||1||1||3|
Umpires—Joe Burleson (Plate); Danny Mascorro (First); Dave Yeast (Second); Chuck Lyon (Third).