HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Collin Bennett recorded a season-high four RBI and Breland Almadova belted a pair of doubles, as the University of Hawai'i baseball team topped Saint Mary's, 7-5, on Saturday night at Les Murakami Stadium. The Rainbows improve to 21-13 while the Gaels drop to 15-17.
Piikea Kitamura batted 2-3 with two runs and two RBI, and Almadova added three hits and one RBI. Brenden Kalfus led the Gaels with two hits, one run, and two RBI.
UH won despite spotting the Gaels three first inning runs. A pair of Rainbow errors opened the door for Shawn O'Brien (1 H, 2 RBI) who smacked a two-RBI double to right field to help SMC to the early lead.
The whacky first continued in the bottom half of the inning when a pair of miscues by the Gael outfield helped the Rainbows tie the game at 3-3. Kaeo Aliviado (1 H, 2 R) hit a routine fly ball that was mishandled by leftfielder Cole Norton (1 H, 1 R). After Kitamura singled, Bennett hit a towering fly ball to right field, but Kalfus lost the ball in the lights and the hit ended up being an RBI triple. Almadova later doubled home Bennett to tie the game.
The 'Bows squandered a golden opportunity to take the lead in the fourth inning, but Stephen Ventimilia (1 H, 1 R) grounded into an inning-ending double play. UH finally broke through with three runs in the seventh inning when Bennett delivered a two-RBI base hit up the middle, scoring both Kitamura and Ventimilia to give UH its first lead at 6-4.
Arakawa earned the win in another fine outing to improve to 4-3. After watching the Gaels put three runs on the board in the first inning, he settled down and pitched seven complete innings allowing just one earned run with five strikeouts. Brent Harrison picked up his team-leading fifth save.
Ben Griset (2-4) was tagged with the loss, pitching 6.1 innings before being removed in the seventh inning for Ryan Brockett.
4,096 tickets were issued for the game with 2,921 fans coming through the turnstiles.
UH and Saint Mary's conclude their series with a Sunday doubleheader. First pitch of game one is set for 11:00 a.m. at Les Murakami Stadium.