SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.-Despite a strong offensive performance, the University of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors (12-23, 3-6 Big West) baseball squad suffered a sweep-completing loss at Cal Poly (14-18, 4-2 Big West) on Sunday (April 12) at Baggett Stadium, unable to overcome miscues as the Mustangs scored in bunches.
The Rainbow Warriors claimed the first lead for the third time this series, taking advantage of a first-inning leadoff walk of second baseman Stephen Ventimilia, who moved over on a Justin Calomeni wild pitch and Alan Baldwin sacrifice bunt. Ventimilia crossed the plate on the opening-inning run on a Kaeo Aliviado sacrifice fly to right field.
Hawai'i got off to a quick start in the second as well, with Marcus Doi lining the second pitch into right center, inducing a quick-hook pitching change for Cal Poly, bringing Michael Gomez in from the bullpen. The 'Bows capitalized on the opportunity, moving Doi over on a JJ Kitaoka sacrifice bunt, and sending him home on an RBI single to center field by catcher Chayce Ka'aua.
A single, a hit batsman and a walk on consecutive batters set the stage for Cal Poly to assume a lead in the third, with the first of four runs coming in forced on a Jarrett Arakawa balk. With a full count, Brett Barbier fired a two-out, two-run triple to right center, pushing CP ahead on the board. John Schuknecht lined another full count ball into right field to send the advantage to 4-2.
The four-run third inning drove Arakawa's pitch count, and forced a change, as Andrew Jones closed off the frame with a groundout to stop the scoring run.
The Mustangs broke the game open in the fourth, as two walks, one intentional, set the stage for a three-run home by Barbier, after Zack Zehner extended the lead on an RBI single.
The Rainbow warriors remained in the fight, capitalizing on Alan Baldwin's double in the fifth, designated hitter Alex Sawelson fired a shot up the middle to put Hawai'i back on the board and trim the deficit to five runs. Baldwin and Sawelson added a pair of RBI in the sixth to trim the CP advantage.
Each time the 'Bows pushed back, the Mustangs countered, scoring runs across three more consecutive frames to keep Hawai'i at out of reach, and shutting down the 'Bows across the final three innings of the 12-5 loss. UH reliever Quintin Torres-Costa snapped the scoring streak and kept the Mustangs quiet through two (2.0) innings of action, allowing a single hit.
Gomez (1-2) earned the win for the Mustangs, throwing 4.2 innings, allowing three (3) runs off 10 hits, walking two (2) and striking out three (3).
For the Rainbow Warriors, Arakawa (2-1) took his first loss of the season, starting off a seven-man outing. Arakawa threw 2.2 innings, allowing four (4) runs on five (5) hits, issuing one (1) walk with no strikeouts.
At the plate, the 'Bows were hardly without offense, ringing up a season-best 15 hits, but leaving 11 men on base. Sawelson aided the effort, going 3-for-5 with two (2) RBI, while Baldwin was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI, Ka'aua was 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
The Rainbow Warriors return to Honolulu for two weeks of home series, starting on April 17 with CSUN coming to Les Murakami Stadium. The Matadors are 21-13 (2-7 Big West) avoiding the sweep by No. 13 UC Santa Barbara with a 3-2, 13th-inning victory.