DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
UH's Brent Cook was safe at second as the throw got away from Air Force's Nelson Prouty last night.
Rainbows defeatIsaac Omura, who opened the door for Air Force to tie the score in the ninth, turned hero in the bottom of the 10th inning with a perfect drag bunt that scored Matt Inouye with the winning run.
Falcons in 10th
The win puts Hawaii in
the Easter tourney title game
against Western Illinois
By Al Chase
The victory sends the Rainbows (16-14) into tonight's 6:35 Rainbow Easter Baseball Tournament championship game against Western Illinois.
The Falcons (10-17), who kept the issue in doubt for the 1,201 fans with a three-run rally in the ninth, play Lewis-Clark State at 2:30 p.m. for third place.
Inouye began the 10th by beating out a high chopper to third for an infield single. Kevin Gilbride then pushed a sacrifice bunt toward second but beat it out for another infield single.
Schafer Magana then sacrificed the runners up a base and Omura's bunt allowed Inouye to score standing up ahead of the throw from AFA first baseman Adam Howes.
"It was ugly, but it was pretty. That's a big win for us after taking the lead in the eighth, then having them tie in the ninth. If we lost tonight the 'Why me?' attitude would get worse. Now maybe we can get rid of that feeling," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said.
"I thought Guy McDowell was the story of the game. He came in, held them and I feel terrible he couldn't close it out and get the win because of a little bad luck. Without him we wouldn't have won this game."
The Rainbows, stymied by an Air Force Academy freshman right-hander for the second consecutive night, finally found a way to break through that ceiling with a four-run, eighth inning rally, but were not able to hold the 7-4 lead.
"We're going through a time where anything that can go wrong will," said UH shortstop Brian Finegan. "We will get it out of our system and we'll get some breaks when we get back into league play."
The Falcons scored three unearned runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 7-7. They received life when UH second baseman Omura bobbled Nelson Prouty's one-out slow chopper for an error. He took third on Howes' double down the right-field line and scored on a wild pitch by McDowell.
Howes took third on the wild pitch and scored on Mike Rose's single to short. Pinch runner Nick Liegl moved to second on another McDowell wild pitch and scored when Josh Phifer singled to left on a 3-0 pitch.
Hawaii left-hander Justin Cayetano was not sharp and lasted just 86 pitches and four innings. He allowed seven of the nine Air Force hits, walked three and struck out four.
"Justin had no offspeed pitches for strikes. When we came inside, they stayed with the ball and hit it to right," said UH pitching coach Chad Konishi.
Hawaii pushed a run across the plate in the first inning that began with Finegan being hit with Jeff Tetrault's second pitch. Andrew Sansaver dumped a double into short right field near the line that moved Finegan to third. He scored on Brent Cook's groundout.
The Falcons responded with a pair of runs after two were out in the top of the second.
Derck Kasel walked on a 3-2 pitch and was credited with a stolen base after being picked off first when Sansaver's throw to second sailed into left field. Prouty's single to left advanced Kasel to third and Prouty continued to second on the throw to the plate. Howes lined a 2-2 pitch to center, scoring both runners.
The 'Bows got runners to second and third on Inouye's double, a walk to Gilbride and Magana's sacrifice bunt. But, Omura grounded out, third to first, and Phifer made a tremendous diving catch of Finegan's high drive into the left-field corner to end the inning.
The Falcons took a 3-1 lead in the third on Rose's leadoff single and Phifer's double down the left-field line.
Prouty's leadoff single in the fourth led to another Air Force run. He moved to second on a wild pitch, took third on a groundout and scored on Rose's two-out single to left.
Hawaii closed the gap to 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Inouye started the rally with a one-out walk and took third on a single by Gilbride. Inouye scored as Gilbride continued to third when right fielder Tony Shockley's throw went into the AFA dugout. Omura's two-out single to left brought Gilbride home.
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Hawaii's Schafer Magana, left, congratulated Matt Inouye after he scored against Air Force.
Guy McDowell replaced Cayetano on the mound to start the fifth inning and shut the Falcons down for the next four innings on just one hit. That hit came in the seventh by Phifer and sent Zach McAngus, who had walked on a full count, to third. However, the Falcons tried a double steal and the Rainbows turned it into a double play to end the inning.
The 'Bows tied the score on a weird play in the eighth after Cook was hit by the pitch on a 2-2 count. Josh Green then hit a hard grounder to Howes. He stepped on the bag for the putout of Green, but his throw to second bounced into left field, allowing Cook to race to third. When Phifer kicked the ball in left, Cook came on home.
When Brian Bock walked, that ended Tetrault's stint on the mound. Inouye greeted reliever Clayton Couch with a line double to left that scored pinch runner Tim Montgomery with the go-ahead run.
Singles by Omura and Finegan brought two more runs later in the inning for a 7-4 Hawaii lead.
Western Illinois 9, Lewis-Clark State 6: The Leathernecks (10-13) picked the perfect time to win their first game in the tournament. Overcoming a 4-2 deficit with a seven-run fifth inning, Western Illinois moved into today's championship game by stunning the Warriors (23-5) in yesterday's first semifinal game. This marked a complete turnaround for the Leathernecks, who were pounded 12-1 by LCSC on Thursday.
Tim Casey's two-run double to right-center field scored Ryan Cougill and Aaron Millliken to put the Leathernecks ahead 5-4. Blake Schultz added a two-run single later in the inning. Eric Martinez, Joe Rooney and Cougill also knocked in runs during the inning.
Right-hander Ricky McCool limited the Warriors to one hit over the final 3 1/3 innings to preserve the victory for starter Shay Butler.
The win halted Western Illinois' four-game losing streak.
Hawaii 8, Air Force 7
Air Force AB R H BI Hawaii AB R H BI Howes 1b 5 1 3 2 Finegan ss 3 1 1 1 McAngus 2b 3 0 0 0 Sansaver 1b 5 0 1 0 Tittle ph 1 0 0 0 Cook lf 4 1 1 1 Derchan 2b 0 0 0 0 Green rf 5 0 0 0 Rose cf 5 1 3 2 Bock c 3 0 0 0 Liegl prcf 0 1 0 0 Montgm'ry prcf 1 1 0 0 Phifer lf 4 0 3 2 Inouye cf/c 4 3 4 1 Detro c 5 0 0 0 Gilbride dh 3 1 3 0 Shockley rf 4 0 1 0 Magana 3b 2 1 0 0 Frost 3b 5 0 0 0 Omura 2b 4 0 2 3 Kasel dh 4 1 0 0 Prouty ss 5 3 2 0 Totals 41 7 12 6 Totals 34 8 12 6
Air Force 021 100 003 0 -- 7 12 3 Hawaii 100 200 040 1 -- 8 12 1
E -- Howes, Phifer, Shockley, Omura.
DP -- Air Force 2, Hawaii 1.
LOB -- Air Force 8, Hawaii 9.
2B -- Howes, Phifer, Sansaver, Inouye 2.
SH -- Gilbride, Magana 2, Omura.
SB -- Kasel.
CS -- McAngus, Phifer, Inouye.
Air Force IP H R ER BB SO Tetrault 7 1/3 6 5 4 3 3 Couch 1/3 3 2 2 0 0 Mears(L, 1-1) 1 2/3 3 1 1 0 1 Hawaii IP H R ER BB SO Cayetano 4 7 4 4 3 4 McDowell 4 2/3 4 3 0 1 4 Carlsen (W, 2-3) 1 1/3 1 0 0 0 0
WP -- Cayetano, McDowell 2.
HBP -- Finegan by Tetrault, Finegan by Tetrault, Cook by Tetrault, Magana by Couch.
BK -- Mears.
Umpires -- HP: Mike Evans, 1b: Don Greman, 3b: Gary Montalbo.
T -- 3:23.
A -- 1,201.
W. Illinois 9, LCSC 6
Western Illinois 001 170 000 -- 9 12 2 Lewis-Clark State 202 011 000 -- 6 10 2
Shay Butler, Dan Powell (6), Ricky McCool (6) and Tim Casey; Cam McCoy, Rob Williams (5), Kevin Welch (5), Ben Newton (7) and Tyler Best, Gavin Concepcion (7). W--Butler (2-2). L--McCoy (1-1), Sv-McCool (2).
Leading hitters--WIU: Blake Schultz, 2-6, 2 RBIs; Joe Rooney, 2-4, 2 RBIs; Ryan Cougill, 2b; Casey, 2-4, 2b, 2 RBIs; Nick Simmons, 2-5. LCSC: Micah Furtado, 3-6, Jose Rodriguez, 2b; Justin Fuller, 2-4, 2b.
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