The University of Hawai'i baseball team (10-5) fought a see-saw battle with Sacred Heart (5-10) in Sunday's series finale at Les Murakami Stadium, producing clutch scores to earn the sixth consecutive victory and reach the best 15-game record since the 2012 season.
Just like the first three games of the series, the Pioneers pulled ahead of the Rainbow Warriors early. Once again, the Rainbow Warriors fought back and ultimately surmounted the challenge, albeit with the series' toughest fight on Sunday.
The game saw two ties and four lead changes, beginning with Anthony Capozziello's third-inning, two-run single, which gave Sacred Heart its largest opening gambit of the series.
Across the next two innings, the Rainbow Warriors made up the deficit, and then some.
Center fielder Dylan Vchulek led off the third with a single and stole second base, sparking the early rally as he crossed the plate during a double play. Josh Rojas led off the fourth and came around to score on a Logan Pouelsen sac bunt to even the score. Marcus Doi followed with the go-ahead run via an RBI double to the right center alley, scratching Alex Fitchett across for the first UH lead of the day.
The Pioneers knotted the score in the fifth and again in the sixth, but Hawai'i kept battling, tacking up two runs in the bottom of the fifth on Adam Fogel and Rojas RBI, later capping off the scoring in the sixth on a Vchulek RBI groundout for the 6-5 advantage.
Starter Jackson Rees carried the Rainbow Warriors the greatest distance, pitching 5.2 innings with six hits and two earned runs, striking out four. Taking the win in relief, it was Kyle Mitchell (1-1) who locked up the majority of the final frames, pitching 2.0 innings before Casey Ryan earned the save in the ninth with two strikeouts on three batters.
At the plate, Vchulek registered a 2-for-4 performance with one run and one RBI, while Marcus Doi hit 2-for-3 with an RBI.
With the victory, the Rainbow Warriors swept the Pioneers, 4-0, recording the first four-game sweep since NYIT in May 2014. Hawai'i has now won its last six games dating back to the Minneapolis trip to the 30th Dairy Queen Classic.
The Rainbow Warriors have a short turnaround this week, as the Indiana Hoosiers come to Les Murakami Stadium for a four-game series, beginning Wednesday and running through Saturday.
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