Bulldogs top Rainbows in slugfest


POSTED: Friday, March 05, 2010

The Citadel used an aggressive approach to take the first of a four-game series against Hawaii.

But it didn't come without a sweat.

Nick Orvin went 3-for-5 with four runs scored and Matt Simonelli had three hits and four RBIs to lead The Citadel to a wild 12-8 victory over the Rainbows last night in front of a Les Murakami Stadium crowd of 1,072.

The Bulldogs (6-1) were aggressive on the base paths (five stolen bases) and attacked Hawaii with a lot of first-pitch swings to pile up 14 hits and score the most runs Hawaii has allowed in a game all season.

UH junior Greg Garcia went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs, including a two-run triple in the eighth inning as the Rainbows (4-5) tried to mount a late-game rally.

Trailing 10-6, Hawaii closed the distance with two outs. Sean Montplaisir started things with a base hit and pinch hitter Christian Johnson singled to right. Garcia battled The Citadel reliever Raymond Copenhaver before sending the 10th pitch of his at-bat to the wall in right-center to score two runs. Drew Mahaffey walked Kolten Wong to put the go-ahead run on base, but struck out Kevin Macdonald to preserve a two-run lead.

Each team used five pitchers, with Chris Boyce (2-0) earning the win for The Citadel. Hawaii starter Nate Klein allowed six runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings with two walks and three strikeouts and Alex Capaul (2-1) took the loss, allowing two runs in a third of an inning.

Wong finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and Collin Bennett was 0-for-3 to finish hitless for the first time in nine games this season.

The two teams traded runs in the early innings, as there were five different ties in the game. Orvin doubled off the glove of Breland Almadova in center field for a double on the game's first pitch and scored two batters later on an RBI groundout.

Almadova evened the score in the bottom of the frame, reaching base on a passed ball after striking out. Wong singled to right with one out and Almadova eventually scored on a balk by Bulldogs starter TJ Clarkson to tie the game 1-1.

Orvin continued his onslaught at the plate with a triple in the third and again scored on an RBI groundout. UH quickly answered in the bottom of the inning as Garcia delivered a solo home run over the fence in right to even things at 2-all.

The Bulldogs stretched their lead in the fifth as Brad Felder and Simonelli connected on back-to-back two-out RBI singles to make it 4-2. Orvin drew a two-out walk and Felder and Simonelli both connected on first-pitch swings to give The Citadel its third lead of the game.

The Rainbows took the lead with four runs in the sixth, highlighted by a Jeff Van Doornum two-run double that chased Clarkson. Wong led off with a single and Macdonald battled back from a 1-2 count to earn a seven-pitch walk. After Bennett fouled out trying to bunt, David Freitas ripped an RBI double just inside the bag at third to score Wong. Van Doornum followed with an RBI double that rolled to the wall in right to score Macdonald and Freitas to give UH its first lead.

The 'Bows tacked on another run when Montplaisir followed Pi'ikea Kitamura's single off Boyce with a sacrifice fly to right to score Van Doornum for a two-run cushion.

Hawaii couldn't hold the lead, as Klein was chased in the top of the seventh after surrendering a one-out RBI single to Felder. Capaul, who was lights out against Oregon, replaced Klein and gave up an RBI double to Simonelli to tie the game. Two batters later, David Greene connected on a two-run bomb over both fences in left field that put The Citadel back up by two.

Hawaii's Matt Sisto (1-1, 4.63 ERA) and Josh Slaats (0-0, 0.87) will start today's doubleheader games opposite The Citadel's Asher Wojciechowski (2-0, 3.00) and Matt Talley (1-0, 4.63). First pitch is scheduled for 3:35 p.m.