NC State dominates 'Bows in series finale

NC State dominates 'Bows in series finale

After putting on a hitting display to even the series Saturday, the University of Hawai'i (1-2) baseball squad never found an offensive rhythm on Sunday, dropping the finale to the No. 6 NC State (2-1) Wolfpack, who grew a big lead against the UH bullpen.

After issuing only six total walks through the first two games, free passes presented a challenge for the Rainbow Warriors on Sunday, allowing seven batters to reach base on balls. Among those batters, four scored for the Wolfpack. Likewise, the Rainbow Warriors made no errors through the first two contests of the series, but tabbed three in the finale, creating room for three unearned runs.

The Wolfpack scored early on first-time starter Neil Uskali, with Evan Mendoza coaxing a leadoff walk in the second. Shane Shepard earned a walk of his own and NCSU capitalized on its first scoring position. Mendoza crossed the plate on an errant double play attempt, while Shepard came home on an RBI single from Joe Dunand.

Following the early trend, the Wolfpack would go on to score in doubles, putting up a pair of runs in the second, sixth, seventh and ninth. Both teams went heavy to their bullpens, but NC State capitalized with six runs scored off the relievers.

Collecting 11 runs on Saturday, there was only one hit for UH on Sunday, squaring balls but not finding gaps. The lone Hawai'i score was set up designated hitter Logan Pouelsen's leadoff walk in the eighth, with pinch runner Troy Kagukawa taking advantage of a pickoff error and a wild pitch to score the lone unearned run.

Center fielder Dylan Vchulek went 1-for-2 for the Rainbow Warriors, also walking twice.

Uskali (0-1) takes the loss after throwing 5.0 innings with three hits and one earned run, striking out four versus two walks. Tommy DeJuneas (1-0) was the winning pitcher for NCSU, going 5.2 innings with one hit, one strikeout and five walks.

The Rainbow Warriors return to action on Thursday, February 23, opening up a four game series with San Francisco. The Rainbow Warriors earned the series victory over the Dons, 2-1, last year on a neutral field in Goleta, Calif. The Dons (3-0) swept the series against Northern Colorado this week, but the finale was suspended in the ninth on Sunday for lack of light.