Hawaii catcher Brian Bock could only watch as Rice's Enrique Cruz scored one of the Owls' 11 runs yesterday.

Rice completes
sweep of Hawaii

The Owls score 11 runs
to pound the Rainbows

By Cindy Luis

Baseball, just like the weather, is unpredictable at Murakami Stadium.

It can be sunny one minute and raining the next. And, at any given time, the passing showers can turn into a downpour.

So went yesterday's Western Athletic Conference game between No. 2 Rice and Hawaii. There was calm before the storm.

Some 1,231 fans took the chance the weather would hold up for the finale of the three-game series. What they saw was a deluge of 15 hits rained down on the Rainbows by the Owls in an 11-1 rout.

Rice (19-1, 6-0 WAC) defeated Hawaii (13-8, 1-5) for the ninth consecutive time. The Owls have now won 16 games in a row and 13 straight WAC meetings dating back to last season.

"You don't learn anything from getting your butts kicked like that other than they are very good," said Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso after his team dropped its fourth straight game. "And if we play like we did today, not only will we get beat by anybody, but when we play a team like Rice, we'll get pounded. We've got to go back to work."

Hawaii takes today off before hosting Coastal Carolina tomorrow and Wednesday. The Chanticleers (18-4) saw their four-game winning streak end yesterday after splitting a doubleheader at Pepperdine.

The Rainbows expect to see a good team tomorrow. They saw a very good team yesterday, one whose only flaw was a controversial error scored on junior Austin Davis, playing in the infield for the first time since high school.

The Owls had committed just four errors in their previous 18 games and had a string of 51 2/3-innings without a miscue until yesterday's third inning. With Andrew Sansaver at first with a leadoff single, Brent Cook hit a sharp grounder to third that Davis misplayed, putting runners at the corners.

"I should have made the play," said Davis, the 2001 WAC Freshman of the Year as a left fielder. "It was a deserving error."

Davis, a shortstop in high school, was told Saturday night that he'd likely be at third after shortstop Paul Janish injured his foot in Saturday's game. Regular third baseman Craig Stansberry moved to short, putting Davis at the corner.

He more than made up for his error, going 4-for-4, including two doubles, with four RBIs and scoring twice. Davis' two-out RBI-single in the third jump-started a three-run outburst that helped Rice begin to pull away.

"I was pleased with how I did today," said Davis. "I thought I could have done a better job Saturday (2-for-4, 2 RBIs). Today was a big boost.

"Coming in here and getting a sweep of these guys is big. The fans are great and it's a tough place to play. So getting three here is big for us."

Hawaii continued to give up big innings. Besides three in the third, Rice also scored four in the fifth on four hits and a walk.

The Rainbows committed two fielding errors but a mental mistake cost them what would have been their first run. After Davis' error put Cook on at first and moved Sansaver to third with one out, Sansaver tagged too early on a long fly out to center by Rocky Russo and had to go back to third. Sansaver never scored as Josh Green hit into an inning-ending double play on the ensuing at-bat.

"That kind of sums up the weekend and the way we played," said Trapasso.

Ironically, the only Rainbow run was courtesy of two Owls -- two former Mid-Pacific Owls. Freshman second baseman Isaac Omura doubled in freshman designated hitter Matthew Inouye with one out in the seventh.

"I hit behind him (in high school), he was No. 2 and I was No. 3," Omura said of his former MPI teammate. "I'm used to seeing him on and needing a run.

"We learned that we can't play like we did and expect to win. We made too many errors. We've got to come out with our 'A' game if we want to win."

Josh Baker (5-0) picked up the win for Rice, scattering six hits over seven innings, walking two and striking out four. Rickey Bauer (1-1) lasted four-plus innings, giving up seven runs on 10 hits.

Rice 11, Hawaii 1

Rice AB R H BI Hawaii AB R H BI

Jorgensen cf 4 2 3 0 Finegan ss 3 0 1 0

Kolkhorst lf 4 2 1 0 Sansaver 1b 3 0 1 0

Sinisi 1b 5 2 3 1 Cook lf 3 0 0 0

Davis 3b 4 2 4 4 Russo 3b 3 0 0 0

Cruz 2b 2 2 1 1 Green rf 3 0 0 0

Bubela rf 5 0 1 2 Bock c 3 0 0 0

Pendleton dh 4 0 0 0 Jackson c 1 0 0 0

Emerson dh 0 0 0 0 Montgmry cf 3 0 1 0

Stansberry ss 5 0 1 1 Wightman ph 1 0 0 0

Ruchti c 4 1 1 1 Inouye dh 4 1 1 0

Skaggs ph 1 0 0 0 Omura 2b 4 0 2 1

Blackington c 0 0 0 0

Totals 37 2 9 2 Totals 40 18 19 17

Rice (19-1, 6-0) 103 041 020 -- 11 15 1

Hawaii (13-8, 1-5) 000 000 100 -- 1 6 2

E--Davis; Green; Omura. DP--Rice 2; UH 2. LOB--Rice 7, Hawaii 8. 2B--Jorgensen; sinisi; davis 2; Montgomery; Omura. HR--Ruchti. HBP--Kilokhorst; Cruz; Emerson;Sansaver. SH--Cook. SF--Cruz. SB--Cook. CS--Jorgensen.


Baker (W, 4-0) 7 6 1 1 2 4

Matheny 1 0 0 0 1 1

Aardsma 1 0 0 0 0 0

Hawaii IP H R ER BB SO

Bauer (L, 1-1) 4 10 7 5 0 3

Ponomarenko 2 2 2 2 2 1

Feck 1 0 0 0 0 0

McDowell 1 3 2 2 1 1

Carlsen 1 0 0 0 0 0

WP--none. S--none. PB--Bock. BK--none. HBP--by Bauer (Cruz); by Baker (Sansaver); by Bauer (Kolkhorst); by Carlsen (Emerson). Umpires--Don Greman (home), Mike Gilmore (first), Steven Mattingly (third). T--2:46. A--2,658.

UH Athletics

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