HONOLULU – (Hawaii Athletics) Adam Hurley batted 3-3 and the University of Hawai'i Rainbow baseball team ended a 26-inning scoreless streak, but lost to No. 10 Rice, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon at Les Murakami Stadium. Rice improves to 4-2 on the season while Hawai'i continues to search for its first win, falling to 0-6.
Connor Little had Hawai'i's second strong pitching performance of the series. He tossed seven and one-thirds innings allowing one earned run on eight hits. Jordan Stephens pitched a complete game for the Owls, allowing one run on five hits with 10 strikeouts.
Ford Stainback did the damage for Rice, hitting 3-4 with one run scored. Shane Hoeschler and Keenan Cook each added one run and one hit.
Little found himself in an early third inning jam. He gave up a lead-off double to Skyler Ewing (1-4) then, after walking Blake Fox (1-3), loaded the bases on a Stainback single. Defense came to the rescue when Hoelscher grounded out to Pi'ikea Kitamura (0-4) who started a 5-4-3 double play to end the Owl threat.
Hurley led off the fifth inning with a base hit, but any hopes were dashed when Trevor Podratz (1-3) struck out into a double play. After he swung at strike three, Ewing gunned down Hurley who was attempting to steal second.
Rice ended the stalemate with a run in the sixth inning. Stainback led off with a double, and later tagged up from third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Christian Stringer. Little prevented any further damage when he struck out John Williamson (1-3) with runners on first and second for the third out.
The 'Bows finally got off the schneid with a run in the seventh inning. With Conner George (1-4, 1 R) on first base, Hurley ripped a pitch that Owl centerfielder Leon Byrd (1-4) mishandled, allowing George to run the bases and tie the game.
Rice responded just one inning later to take a 2-1 lead. Kitamura attempted to throw out a streaking Hoeschler at home but his throw sailed over Podratz's head. Hoeschler led off the inning with a double then advanced to third on a Michael Ratterree (1-3) pop up. Connor Teykl added another run when his RBI-single scored Cook.
Game three of the series is set for Sunday, 1:05 p.m. at Les Murakami Stadium.