Slaats, Rainbows stave off Oregon


POSTED: Sunday, March 22, 2009

Josh Slaats has already been through the agony of losing one two-run lead in the ninth inning this year.

He had no intention of doing it again.

The sophomore right-hander struck out Danny Pulfer looking with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and stranded runners on second and third after they reached there with one out in the ninth, giving Hawaii a 3-1 victory over Oregon yesterday to advance to today's championship game of the Rose City Invitational at PGE Park in Portland, Ore.

The Rainbows (12-7) will face the host Pilots, who routed Hawaii 13-2 on Friday.

“;I just want to see our guys go out and make better pitches and just play an all-around better game than what we did yesterday against them,”; Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said.

The Rainbows improved to 2-1 in the tournament on the arms of Slaats and freshman Matt Sisto.

Sisto worked seven innings, allowing seven hits and one run while walking none and striking out three.

He gave way in the eighth to Slaats, who got two quick outs before the Ducks (9-10) loaded the bases on two hits and a walk.

Slaats battled back to strike out Pulfer looking to end the inning, but found himself right back in trouble in the ninth.

A leadoff walk by Kenny Bartz and a Caleb Tommasini single put runners on first and second with nobody out.

Curtis Raulinaitis sacrificed the runners over, putting the tying runs in scoring position with one out. But again, Slaats held tough, forcing Mitch Karraker to fly out to shallow left and Colby Sokol to ground out to shortstop to end the game.

“;He made it interesting,”; Trapasso said. “;But he had good stuff and all that counts is he put up two zeros.”;

Slaats began the season with two rough outings, including a blown save in the ninth inning when Minnesota rallied for three runs to pull out a 5-4 victory three weeks ago.

Since then, he's found the stuff that made him a preseason All-Western Athletic Conference pick, going 2-0 with two saves in four appearances. He's allowed one run in eight innings while striking out seven during that span.

Slaats made a winner out of Sisto (2-1), who kept the Ducks off balance all afternoon. He only allowed one run, but more importantly, gave UH seven strong innings to help save a staff that's without starter Nate Klein in the middle of a stretch of five games in four days.

“;He's been good for us all year,”; Trapasso said of Sisto. “;Outside of his first start against UC Irvine, he was getting a little fatigued when he would get around the 70- to 80-pitch mark, but he wasn't fatigued tonight in the seventh when he got up to 90.”;

Hawaii generated all of its offense in the third inning, as the first three batters reached base. Ryan Morford opened with a single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Greg Garcia drove him in with a double and then scored on an RBI single by Kolten Wong to make it 2-1. Wong advanced to third on a groundout by Vinnie Catricala and Kevin Macdonald hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Wong to make it a two-run game.

Seven different Rainbows finished with one hit apiece.

Hawaii 3, Oregon 1

Garcia ss4111Tommasini lf5030
Wong cf4111Raulinaitis cf4000
Catricala 3b4010Karraker c5010
Macdonald 1b3001Sokol dh5000
Van Doornum lf4010Schmidt 1b3120
Hernandez c3010Hogan 2b3020
Roquemore rf3000Adamson 3b3000
Hoey dh3010Kreitz ph0000
Morford 2b2110Pulfer ss4021
     Bartz rf3000 

Hawaii003000000 -370
Oregon010000000 -1100

DP-Oregon 1. LOB-Hawaii 5; Oregon 12. 2B-Garcia; Karraker. HBP-Schmidt. SH-Roquemore; Morford; Raulinaitis; Hogan. SF-Macdonald. SB-Tommasini; Schmidt.




Sisto (W, 2-1)771103
Slaats (S, 2)230021 
Whitmore (L, 1-3)31/373301



Umpires-Kendall Snyder (Plate); Corky Fazio (First); Frank Neves (Third).

T-2:57. A-N/A.