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Saturday, March 18, 2000

R A I N B O W _ B A S E B A L L


Aloy sparks ’Bows
to sixth straight win

The senior left-hander scatters
11 hits as UH beats Fresno State, 9-4

By Al Chase


FRESNO, Calif. -- Blending its traditional short game with timely power hitting, the University of Hawaii baseball team won the opener of an important Western Athletic Conference series last night with No. 16 Fresno State.

The Rainbows (15-11, 6-1) continued their hot hitting and took advantage of shoddy infield play by the Bulldogs (19-6, 5-2) to earn a 9-4 victory in the first of a three-game series at Pete Beiden Field.

The teams entered last night's game tied for first place in the WAC. Not any more.

It was Hawaii's six consecutive victory and the Rainbows' 12th win in their last 14 games. The teams play again tonight and conclude the series tomorrow at 11 a.m. (HST).

The pitching duel pitted Hawaii's Jamie Aloy - 3-0 lifetime against the Bulldogs - against 6-foot-7 left-hander Tom Graham - 0-3 when facing the Rainbows.

The pair battled through four scoreless innings before the Rainbows broke through with a run in the fifth inning. Hawaii, hitting .373 against Graham in three previous games, then started to pull away with four runs in the sixth.

When Kramer Aoki walked on a 3-2 pitch to open the fifth, it was a given that Brian Bock would be asked to sacrifice. He did successfully.

Rory Pico then beat out a first-pitch bunt up the third base line and Sean Takamori followed with a perfect, first-pitch push bunt single toward second that scored Aoki.

"With no score, we just felt we had to get a man (Aoki) to second and put pressure on their defense,'' said UH coach Les Murakami. "We didn't know their defense would crack."

"They put a lot of balls in play, had some bunts with eyes and that always helps," said Fresno State coach Bob Bennett.

Kenn Wakakuwa's one-out single started a four-run UH uprising in the sixth. Patrick Scalabrini's double off the right-center field wall moved Wakakuwa to third.

With the Bulldogs' infield pulled in, Aoki fouled off two, full-count offerings from Graham before slapping a hard grounder toward the hole. FSU shortstop Josh Labandeira drove to his right to make the stop, but threw wildly home as Wakakuwa scored.

Bock, who struck out meekly in the third inning against Graham, followed with a three-run homer off the scoreboard in left-center field.

"He got me on a slider that I was way out in front of the first time," Bock said. "I just tried to stay back, keep my hands in and not look foolish again. The homer came on a slider over the plate."

The Rainbows loaded the bases on two infield choppers and Danny Kimura's bunt single in the seventh, but netted just one run on a passed ball.

The Bulldogs finally got a run off Aloy in the seventh on Brad Harper's RBI single, but Dave Hafiz was cut down at third to kill that rally.

Kimura's two-run triple that right-fielder Mike Bowling lost in the lights was the key hit in Hawaii's three-run eighth.

"We just played a bad game and Aloy pitched a good game,'' said Bennett. "You mix those two things together and it gives them the win."

Aloy is 3-0 lifetime against the Bulldogs. He got the first two outs in the eighth, but surrendered a home run to Brandon Gemoll. Aloy gave up three more hits before Gavin Garrick came in to retire the side.

"Jamie wanted to finish the eighth and we were going to bring Sean Yamashita in for the ninth, '' said Murakami, "but with Garrick already hot (warmed up), there was no sense wasting Yamashita."

The game ended when UH left fielder Scooter Martines threw out Labandeira at the plate following Nick Garcia's two-out single. It was a surprising move for the Bulldogs as the run meant nothing unless they stayed alive in the inning.

Rainbows 9, Bulldogs 4

HawaiiabrhbiFresno St. abrhbi
Takamori rf4111Creighton 2b5010
Baker cf5230Labandeira ss5020
Martines lf5010Acevedo lf5010
Kimura 1b5022Gemoll 1b4121
Wakakuwa 2b5130Garcia 3b5120
Scalabrini 3b5110Bowlin rf/cf 3210
Aoki c4201Hafiz dh4022
Bock dh4123HarHawaii000014130 - 9150
Fresno St.000000130 - 4132per c3021
Jackson pr/dh0000Guzman cf 2 0 00
Pico ss3120 Lopez ph1000
Aloy p0000 Myers cf0000
Garrick p0000 Papi ph1000

Tafoya rf0000

Graham p0000

Hernandez p0000

Fritz p0000

Hawaii000014130 - 9150

Fresno St.000000130 - 4132

E-Labandeira (14), Garcia (3).
LOB-Rainbows 8, Bulldogs 10.
2B-Scalabrini (3), Labandeira (7), Hafiz (1). 3B-Kimura (2). HR-Bock (1), Gemoll (4). SB-Takamori (12), Jackson (9). CS-Baker (1), Jackson (3). SH-Bock.

Aloy (W, 4-1) 7 2/3114414
Garrick1 1/320020
Sacramento St.
Graham (L, 3-3) 5 1/396518
Fritz1 2/331101

WP-Garrick. PB-Lusk. PB-Harper.

Umpires-Dan Pederson (plate), Rick Saxton (first), David Wiley (third). T-2:44. A-3,236.

WAC standings

Fresno State52.714196.760
San Jose State33.500158.652
Texas Christian 35.375818.307

Yesterday's results
Hawaii 9, Fresno State 4
Hawaii-Hilo 3, Texas Christian 2 (10 innings)

Today's games
Hawaii at Fresno State, 5 p.m.HST
Texas Christian vs. Hawaii-Hilo, noon, at Kona
Houston Baptist at Rice

Tomorrow's game
Hawaii at Fresno State , 11 a.m. HST


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