HONOLULU – The University of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors (15-8) baseball team closed off the four-game sweep of San José State (9-13) with a clear statement in the finale, burying the Spartans in a 13-hit, 14-1 rout on Sunday at Les Murakami Stadium.
The Rainbow Warriors earned their fifth consecutive victory, extending their second-longest win streak of the year, en route to the best 23-game record for the Rainbow Warriors since the 2007 season. Hawai'i also secured its first season with two (four-game) series sweeps since 2014.
After logging just four hits in the game three victory over SJSU, it looked as though the Rainbow Warriors could have a low-hitting finale, held hitless in the first. However, Marcus Doi sparked the 'Bows with the first UH hit in the bottom of the second – an RBI double to the left field fence – setting off a three-run inning with RBI from Tyler Murray and Jordan LaFave; firsts for both freshman players.
Johnny Weeks added another in the third and Murray scored on a wild pitch in the fourth, providing UH with a five-run advantage – its largest shutout lead of the series.
After five scoreless innings by starter Jackson Rees, the Spartans finally converted on opportunities, after two walks set up Timmons for an RBI single in the top of the sixth.
Deep into the carousel of SJSU bullpen pitchers, the Rainbow Warriors exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth. Weeks jumpstarted the second UH push with a two-run single. Dylan Vchulek followed with another score on a wild pitch and Kekai Rios chipped in an RBI double straight down the third baseline.
Capping not only a huge inning, but also a phenomenal weekend, freshman first baseman Adam Fogel blasted a two-run jack into a 20 MPH headwind in left field for the 11-1 advantage – a career-first homer for the UH rookie.
The 'Bows weren't quite done with the Spartans, wrapping up a complete offensive effort with a three-run eighth inning, courtesy of an Alex Fitchett two-run double into the left field corner, and a season-first RBI single for backup catcher David Noworyta to make it 14-1.
Rees (3-0) carried the Rainbow Warriors through 8.0 innings, scattering five hits with three strikeouts and four walks. Despite only 83 pitches thrown, he handed off the ninth to Brody Hagel-Pitt, who knocked down each batter he faced to secure the 13-run victory – the largest win margin for UH since last season.
Seven UH starters collected hits, with five going for multiple, paced by a 2-for-2, two-run, three-RBI performance by Fogel. Weeks also went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs.
The Rainbow Warriors return to action at home next week in the final non-conference series. Hawai'i will meet another Mountain West foe, Nevada (7-17), which won its series this weekend against Air Force. However, the Wolf Pack were swept last week at San José State.
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