Despite a heroic ninth-inning rally to force extra innings, Indiana (9-7-1) was able to surmount the University of Hawai'i (10-8) comeback attempt on Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium, breaking the 5-5 tie with three runs in the 11th.
It was the Hoosiers who first found the board on Friday night, stringing together consecutive singles to set up a second-inning Tony Butler sacrifice fly, saved from more runs by an outstanding running catch by Dylan Vchulek.
The 'Bows came driving back with two outs in the home half, as Josh Rojas ripped a double down the right center alley for the first UH hit of the night. Three pitches later, Johnny Weeks sent his own double to the right center wall for an RBI and the 1-1 tie.
However, there wasn't much time to revel, as Indiana used a first-pitch Alex Krupa leadoff triple to pull ahead on the second pitch, a Matt Gorski RBI single. Ryan Fineman extended the lead to two runs on an RBI single up the middle.
Holding the Rainbow Warriors at bay after the second, Indiana tacked up another pair with two outs in the fourth, assuming a four-run advantage.
The Rainbow Warriors got things moving in a hurry in the bottom of the sixth, as Kekai Rios slipped a two-out single past the middle infield. Making his first start in nine games, first baseman Eric Ramirez made it count, hammering his first home run of the year beyond the wall just right of center.
It looked like the 'Bows' moment in the series had come in the bottom of the ninth, when Vchulek fired a shot up the middle, scoring Weeks and Ethan Lopez on the play. Lopez beat the tag at the plate for the tie run at 5-5 after coming in as a pinch runner for Logan Pouelsen, who hit a double to the center field wall. However, the 'Bows were halted at just the tie.
Although the 'Bows held the line through the 10th and struck out the opening batter of the 11th, Craig Dedelow sparked the Hoosiers to the extra inning, hitting the scoreboard with a home run to push Indiana ahead 6-5. Two more runs followed on a Austin Cangelosi RBI triple, assuming the game's final margin at 8-5.
For the Rainbow Warriors, Brody Hagel-Pitt (0-1) took the loss, throwing 3.0 innings with two strikeouts, scattering three hits with three runs. Starter Neil Uskali went 4.2 innings with six strikeouts. For Indiana, Lloyd (2-0) claimed the win, despite allowing the tie runs, throwing 3.0 innings.
For the eighth time in 11 games, Hawai'i reached double-digit hitting, racking up 11. Rios earned a 3-for-5 performance, scoring once, while Weeks also was 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run.
The Rainbow Warriors fall to 0-3 in the series and take on the Hoosiers on Saturday at 1:05 p.m. in the finale at Les Murakami Stadium.
Hawaii Athletics Release
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