POSTED: Sunday, May 24, 2009

The final day of the NAPA Auto Parts Western Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament will be played without the host team.

Hawaii's season came to a grinding halt as Fresno State put itself in familiar territory by pulling away from the Rainbows in a 10-3 victory yesterday at Les Murakami Stadium.

The three-time defending WAC tournament champions will have to win two games today to make it a four-peat. Hawaii ends its season with a 32-26 record.

“;We let it get away there in the eighth,”; Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. “;We've had a lot of games like that.”;

The Bulldogs pulled away with four runs in the eighth, but the real turning point came in the seventh with the score tied 2-2.

Hawaii starter Jared Alexander picked the right time to show off his All-WAC form of a year ago, putting together his best start of the season.

Even a blister that formed on his finger in the second inning couldn't stop him from tossing a season-high 6 2/3 innings.

He pitched into the seventh inning for the first time this year and gave up a one-out single to Isacc Vivas, who hit ninth in the Fresno State lineup.

Alexander was at 101 pitches for the game and set to face Danny Muno, who leads the Bulldogs with a .380 average. Admitting he was “;tired”;, Alexander stayed in the game to face Muno and served up a 2-1 pitch that Muno crushed over the center-field fence for the go-ahead runs.

“;It was an OK pitch, but I got behind in the count and had to make some good pitches to get strikes,”; Alexander said. “;It happens.”;

Muno, who added an RBI single in the eighth to finish 3-for-5 with three RBIs, noticed a different Alexander on the mound than the one who started the game.

“;His velocity was definitely dropping toward the end,”; Muno said.

Hawaii tried to answer in the bottom of the inning, but as was the case all tournament, and for much of the last month, the 'Bows failed to come through in the clutch.

“;For the first 40 games we were getting that clutch hit,”; said Vinnie Catricala, who finished 2-for-3 with an RBI. “;We couldn't get that clutch hit, and I think that's a big part of why it's been tough at the end of the year.”;

Fresno State then put it out of reach with four more in the eighth. Josh Slaats came on with runners on first and second and nobody out, and immediately was called for a balk to move them up. Pinch hitter Steve Detwiler followed with a two-run double, and a throwing error by Slaats allowed Gavin Hedstrom to reach base. Trent Garrison then ripped the next offering from Slaats deep to right for an RBI double and the rout was on.

“;We pitched as well as we could until the end and then going to the bullpen Slaats was awful and he couldn't make a pitch,”; Trapasso said.

Tom Mendonca, FSU's all-time home run leader, hit his 26th of the season in the first as the Bulldogs kept alive their hopes of a shot at defending their national title.

“;We're going to regroup and enjoy this for about 10 minutes, and then we'll be ready to go in the morning,”; Fresno State coach Mike Batesole said.

Three of Hawaii's eight hits came in the ninth inning to save the Rainbows from hitting under .200 for the tournament. They were 20-for-99 (.202) at the plate and scored 10 runs in three games.

“;We weren't able to do anything offensively,”; Trapasso said. “;Not only today, but the whole tournament.”;

San Jose State 14, Louisiana Tech 3, 7 innings

John Shaffer set the tone with a two-run homer in the top of the first inning and the Spartans eliminated the Bulldogs in a game shortened by the 10-run rule.

Shaffer added a two-run double in San Jose State's five-run fifth inning and Craig Hertler's bases-loaded triple highlighted a five-run seventh against a depleted LaTech pitching staff.

“;I was just trying to put a good swing on a pitch and help my team get out on the right foot,”; Shaffer said of his homer.

The offensive outburst gave Jack Adams ample support in just his fourth start of the season and gave the Spartans a little extra time to regroup before returning to play New Mexico State in the nightcap.


Fresno State 10, Hawaii 3

Muno 2b 5123 Morford 2b2000
Robinson lf5010Hoey ph 1000
Mendonca 3b4111Garcia ss 4011
Ribera 1b4020Catricala 3b3021
Soares pr0100Macdonald 1b4010
Johnson ph/1b1000Wong cf 4110
Gowens rf3310Montplaisir lf5010
Wise dh 3021 Van Doornum dh3001
Detwiler ph/dh2222Johnson rf 4000
Hedstrom cf4110Fujii c 3110
Garrison c5011Chevalier ph1110
Vivas ss 4122 
Totals 40101510Totals 34383

Fresno St.100100242 10151
Hawaii010010001 382

E—Ribera; Garcia; Slaats. DP—Fresno St. 1; Hawaii 1. LOB—Fresno St. 9; Hawaii 12. 2B—Muno; Wise 2; Detwiler; Garrison; Chevalier. 3b—Vivas. HR—Muno; Mendonca. SH—Hedstrom. SF—Muno. CS—Robinson.

Poytress5 1/342151
Escat (W, 1-1)1 1/310021
Harlan2 1/331113
Alexander (L, 3-3)6 2/394414
Linsky1 2/322221

Umpires—Bill Speck (Plate); Joe Burleson (First); Heath Jones (Second); Dave Yeast (Third). T—3:17.