'Bows fall to Anteaters in series finale

'Bows fall to Anteaters in series finale

HONOLULU – Claiming the series win over UC Irvine (16-9, 1-2 Big West) on Saturday, the University of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors (13-15, 2-1 Big West) baseball team was outgunned from the opening batter in Sunday's finale at Les Murakami Stadium, as the Anteaters cut off UH's series sweep, dealing the 'Bows a 14-4 loss.

In spite of the loss, the Rainbow Warriors have claimed victory in seven of the last 10 outings.

After two days of starting off with the upper hand in two series-opening victories, it was UH that was pushed on the defensive. Retiring starter Alex Hatch after six batters and just 22 pitches, the Anteaters worked 15 batters through the plate in the first inning, collecting 10 runs on 10 hits before reliever Lawrence Chew could shut the door.

Knocked down, but not out, the Rainbow Warriors responded in the home half with two consecutive one-out walks, leading the way for Johnny Weeks to score from third as Eric Ramirez reached first on an error. The 'Bows trailed 10-1 at the end of the 41-minute first inning.

UH chipped away at the lead in the second as center fielder Matt LoCoco opened a big afternoon with an RBI single fired back at the pitcher's feet, and both Weeks and Jacob Sheldon-Collins logged RBI singles to the outfield, as six consecutive UH batters reached base to cut the lead to 10-4.

Chew kept the Anteaters off the board through the fifth inning, but UCI was able to tack up pairs of runs in both the sixth and eighth, growing the lead back to 10 runs.

Despite putting nine hits on the board, the 'Bows were blanked after the second frame, as UCI wiped nine UH runners off base across four double plays on the afternoon, protecting their lead and holding on for the 14-4 win, preventing UH from claiming its first series sweep of the year.

Hatch (2-3) took the loss for UH, allowing four hits, a walk and a hit batter for six runs.

Taking over for starter Cameron Bishop, Mitchell Miller (2-0) assumed pitching duties for UCI in the second and threw 4.0 innings for the win, giving up four hits and no runs, striking out three with one walk.

LoCoco paced the 'Bows with 3-for-4 hitting and a walk, registering one RBI and one run. Weeks was 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI, taking base on balls twice.

After an 18-game stretch that covered the entire month on March, the Rainbow Warriors go back on the road to meet up with UC Davis in Northern California. The Aggies (7-15, 1-2 Big West) earned a 13-12 victory over UC Riverside on Sunday to snap a five-game losing skid, but UCR claimed the series.