LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (HawaiiNewsNow) - The University of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors (18-20, 7-5 Big West) baseball team saw early pitching struggles that turned into a lopsided loss at Loyola Marymount (21-20) on Monday at George C. Page Stadium. The Lions scored 11 runs in the first three innings en route to a 13-2 LMU win.
The Lions created a tough third start for left-handed sophomore Patrick Martin, who surrendered a three-run first inning. After striking out the first two LMU batters, he hit the next two, setting Niko Decolati for a two-out, three-run homer with the wind to left center. Joe Christian extended the lead on a second long ball for the Lions, this time to right center in the bottom of the second for the four-run advantage.
With seven of the first eight LMU hits going for extra bases, the Lions added another seven runs in the third to blow the game open and push the Rainbow Warriors to their bullpen twice before senior Cody Culp cooled the Lions' bats.
Facing off with Pearl City, O'ahu native Codie Paiva as the opposing starter, the 'Bows put up blank frames across the first four innings. However, in the fifth, the offense gained some momentum. Catcher Chayce Ka'aua led off with a single up the middle and second baseman Ethan Lopez followed with an outfield single. Two batters later, center fielder Matt LoCoco cashed the pair in, firing a two-run triple into the right field corner.
The Lions brought the runs back in the bottom of the inning, rebuilding the lead to 13-2, but the UH bullpen combined to close out the remaining frames. Lawrence Chew, Isaac Friesen and Matt Valencia held LMU without a run and with only one hit through the final three innings.
Martin (1-2) took the loss, allowing four hits and six runs across 2.0 innings, striking out four with one walk.
Paiva (1-0) earned the win, going 6.0 innings deep with two runs on six hits, striking out seven.
At the plate, LoCoco led UH with a 2-for-3 performance and both RBI. Jacob Sheldon-Collins also went 2-for-3, while Lopez was 2-for-4 with a run.
The Rainbow Warriors remain on the mainland through the weekend, when they face off with UC Santa Barbara. The Gauchos (25-10, 5-4 Big West) remain ranked as high as 16th across various polls after taking a three-game sweep at Cal Poly last weekend.