Hawaii's Greg Kish slid across the plate in the third inning, giving UH a 3-0 lead over Alabama.

’Bows beat Tide
in opener

Hawaii needs just five hits
to defeat Alabama 4-1 in
the season opener
for both teams

The Hawaii Rainbows opened the 2005 season by making the most of five hits to defeat Alabama 4-1 last night at Les Murakami Stadium before 1,656 fans.

The Rainbows also took advantage of two wild pitches and a balk that moved runners into scoring position at very opportune times.

Ricky Bauer, who had the flu last weekend, pitched seven strong innings. The senior right-hander allowed six hits, walked no one and struck out three.

"I did all right. I left some pitches up and they hit them hard, but my defense kept me in it all through the game," said Bauer.

The Rainbows took some of the pressure off Bauer early by scoring three runs off Alabama starter Wade LeBlanc in the third inning.

Bauer retired the first nine batters, then surrendered a leadoff single to center by Emeel Salem in the fourth. Kody Valverde's ground single to left gave the Crimson Tide runners at first and second with one out, but Bauer got Evan Bush on a fly to left and fanned Gabe Scott on three pitches.

"Late in the game, the situation was if Ricky got into trouble we would go to the bullpen, but he kept making the pitches," said UH coach Mike Trapasso. "He is the reason we won. He kept those guys off balance, was ahead in his pitch count and didn't give up any freebies."

Junior right-hander Guy McDowell relieved to start the eighth inning. He hit a batter with two outs, gave up Valverde's third single, but retired Bush on a soft liner to freshman shortstop Joe Spiers.

Hawaii's Ricky Bauer, center, gets congratulations from teammates after the top of the sixth.

The Crimson Tide got a bloop single to center by Scott to start the ninth, but got a fielder's choice, a foul pop to first and a strikeout to end the game and earn the save.

Schafer Magana got UH's first hit, a one-out line single to center after fouling off five pitches in the bottom of the third inning. Spiers followed with his second consecutive walk.

Greg Kish then watched three consecutive pitches by LeBlanc hit the dirt with the second one bouncing far enough away from catcher Valverde to allow the runners to move up a base. Kish took two called strikes, then lined a two-run double into the right-field corner.

"The first three pitches were offspeed. As a hitter you want to wait for your pitch and the next two were good strikes," said Kish. "When it was 3-2, it was a better pitch for me to hit, a high fastball that caught more of the plate."

Kish took third on a balk. After Matt Inouye walked, Adam Roberts reached first on a fielder's choice, sacrifice bunt as Kish beat first baseman Zac Welch's throw home for a 3-0 lead.

The Rainbows picked up another run in the fifth when Spiers started the inning with a bunt single wide of first. He stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Kish's high bouncer to second.

The Crimson Tide got on the scoreboard in the sixth when Salem again opened with a single to center and, just like in the fourth inning, took second on Valverde's ground single to left.

Salem stole third and scored on Bush's groundout, but Bauer struck out Scott for the second time to end the inning.

"We're going to see more good pitching like we did tonight from Alabama. Their pitchers are the reason we hit so many fly balls and struck out too much," said Trapasso.

Kish added, "It's always nice to win the first game, but we have to keep the same focus and intensity. That is easy to say and hard to do."


Hawaii 4, Alabama 1

Alabama AB R H BI Hawaii AB R H BI
Salem cf 4 1 2 0 Spiers ss 2 2 1 0
Rice 2b 3 0 0 0 Kish lf 3 1 2 3
Valverde c 4 0 3 0 Inouye cf 3 0 0 0
Bush 3b 4 0 0 1 Roberts 1b 2 0 0 1
Scott dh 4 0 1 0 Avilla 1b 1 0 0 0
Welch 1b 4 0 0 0 Omura 2b 4 0 0 0
McCallister rf 4 0 1 0 Castaneda rf 4 0 0 0
Grooms lf 4 0 1 0 Russo dh 3 0 1 0
Iorg ss 3 0 0 0 Dupree pr 0 0 0 0
Lopez c 4 0 0 0

Magana 3b 3 1 1 0
Totals 34 1 8 1 Totals 29 4 5 4
Alabama 000 001 000 -- 1 8 1
Hawaii 003 010 00X -- 4 5 1

E--Valverde, Spiers. DP--Hawaii 1. LOB--Alabama 7, Hawaii 7. 2B--Kish, Russo. SH--Kish, Roberts. SB--Salem, Grooms, Spiers, Kish, Inouye.

Alabama IP H R ER BB SO
LeBlanc (L, 0-1) 4.1 3 4 4 3 5
Davis 3.2 2 0 0 1 5
Hawaii IP H R ER BB SO
Bauer (W, 1-0) 7.0 6 1 1 0 3
McDowell (SV, 1) 2.0 2 0 0 0 1

WP--LeBlanc 2. HBP--by McDowell (Rice). BK--LeBlanc 2, Davis, Bauer.

T--2:57. A--2,611.

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