The University of Hawai'i (12-8) baseball team got off to a great start to the San José State (9-11) series on Thursday night at Les Murakami Stadium, claiming the smooth 6-2 victory with a wire-to-wire win.
Starter Brendan Hornung set a quick tone on the mound, striking out the Spartans in order in the first. It was just the first of many steady innings for the right-handed senior en route to his second win of the year.
Meanwhile, on offense the Rainbow Warriors wasted little time in moving ahead of the Spartans, with center fielder Dylan Vchulek reaching via walk, and quickly moving to third on a stolen base with a pickoff error. Just two hitters into the lineup, Dustin Demeter sent Vchulek home for the 1-0 first-inning advantage.
Left fielder Adam Fogel followed up in the bottom of the second with a leadoff double, quickly scratched across by a Josh Rojas RBI double to the right field wall – the senior third baseman's seventh two-bagger of the year – taking the two-run lead.
The Spartans made the most of a tough start to the third inning, showing they were in Honolulu to battle; with small ball as needed. After back-to-back singles and an error, first baseman Shane Timmons scored from third on a Cory Olivett sacrifice bunt, trimming the UH lead.
The 'Bows were quick to get their advantage back, patiently working through a pair of Spartan relievers, drawing a pair of walks and a hit batter to set up a Kekai Rios RBI walk, pushing Johnny Weeks home for a 3-1 lead.
Although David Campbell added another SJSU run on a sac bunt in the seventh, the Rainbow Warriors went on the offensive in the home half and put the game out of reach. After Rios led off with a walk, Rojas tacked up another RBI with a single through the right side. Rojas followed Fogel through to the plate as right fielder Alex Fitchett roped a two-run double to the left field corner, extending the advantage to its final margin at 6-2.
Hornung (2-2) earned his second complete game win of the year, scattering 11 hits with seven strikeouts. He threw 88 pitches for his fourth-lowest career pitch total – however, the other three games were six-inning or less outings.
At the plate, Fogel led the 'Bows with a 3-for-4 performance, scoring twice. However, Rojas was 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI. Rios walked a career-best three times, hitting 1-for-2.
The Rainbow Warriors and Spartans return to action on Friday at Les Murakami Stadium. First pitch for the second game of the series is slated for 6:35 p.m.
Hawaii Athletics Release
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