TEMPE, AZ (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawaii Rainbow baseball team (34-26) won an exciting 4-3 game over the No. 19 San Diego Toreros (36-21) in the first game of the NCAA Tempe Regional at Packard Stadium in Brock Ballpark on the campus of Arizona State Friday. Lenny Linsky (4-0) got the win, allowing no hits and just an unearned run. Matt Thompson (1-3) took the loss for USD.
David Freitas homered, going 1-for-4 with two RBI while Jeffrey Van Doornum added solo home run and two runs scored. Sean Montplaisir was 2-for-4 with a double and a run while Kevin Macdonald was 2-for-3 with a double while Greg Garcia added a 2-for-4 game. Matt Sisto pitched well in the start, allowing just two runs in 7.0 innings, striking out four with no walks, but got a no-decision.
USD got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second as Mike Ferraro hit a two-run home run to right field, putting the Toreros ahead 2-0.
That was how it stayed until the top of the sixth as Freitas hit a two-run bomb to centerfield, clearing the fence and the big hitter's eye behind it. He is just the 25th player to hit a homer that cleared what ASU calls the "green monster" in center, joining a list that includes players like ASU legends Barry Bonds, Mike Kelly, Brett Wallace and Ike Davis.
The Rainbows had another highlight reel moment in the bottom of the inning as Piikea Kitamura made a spectacular catch on a foul ball that was traveling into the Torero dugout on the third base side. Kitamura lunged over the railing and made a great catch before falling into the dugout. UH would then pick off a runner at second before Sisto got a flyout to end the inning and keep it at 2-2.
Van Doornum then added his solo blast in the top of the eighth, clearing the fence in right-center, pushing Hawai‘i ahead 3-2.
USD came back to tie the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth scoring an unearned run on UH's first error of the game.
Kitamura then came up big for the 'Bows in the top of the ninth. After USD intentionally walked Kolten Wong to load the bases, Kitamura was hit by a 1-2 pitch in the helmet, pushing UH ahead 4-3.
Linsky would then get the Toreros to go down in order in the bottom of the ninth. Although Punahou graduate Zack Kometani made it interesting, hitting a long fly ball to right with one out that Chase Koissian caught on the warning track.
UH will next face the winner of the Arizona State-Milwuakee game at 4:00 PM Hawaii time.