No. 14 Cal State Fullerton (27-15, 9-4 BWC) produced the stronger performance in Friday’s series-opening pitcher’s duel at Hawai‘i baseball (24-16, 6-7 BWC), carrying an early lead to a 3-1 win over the Rainbow Warriors.
The ‘Bows got a quick lesson on not giving the Titans an inch, as CSF converted a rare Brendan Hornung leadoff walk into a run in the first, as Scott Hurst crossed the plate on a Timmy Richards RBI single chopped high over third base.
After Hornung escaped every jam thrown at him for the next three frames, Hurst struck again for the Titans, leading off the fifth with a triple, scoring the second run on a Richards sac fly for the two-run advantage. Meanwhile, CSF starter Connor Seabold kept the Hawai‘i offense fully checked with the help of stalwart defense.
In the top of the sixth, Hornung crested 102 pitches, and earned his first clean inning of the game, sparking the ‘Bows in the process.
In the home half, second baseman Johnny Weeks snapped Seabold’s no-hitter with a double to the outer shade of the left field. After reaching third on a sacrifice bunt, he cashed in the opportunity, scoring on a wild pitch to tack up a UH run.
However, Hornung’s 103rd pitch didn’t fare quite as well, as Hudgins smacked it for a leadoff single, setting up a score on Hurst’s RBI single that would push the Titans ahead 3-1. It also sent UH to the bullpen for right-hander Casey Ryan, who cleared out the frame – putting away seven of the next nine batters to give UH a chance at a rally.
However, the offensive push for Hawai‘i never materialized, as Seabold (7-4) extended his steadfast performance through the eighth for the win, handing off to Brett Conine for his 10th save. Seabold struck out seven in the two-hitter.
Hornung (5-4) took the loss, throwing 6.1 innings with three runs on six hits, striking out three with three walks. Ryan threw 2.2 innings with two hits, no walks and a strikeout.
Weeks and Dustin Demeter earned hits for the Rainbow Warriors.
The second game of the series between the Rainbow Warriors and Titans is up Saturday night at 6:35 p.m. at Les Murakami Stadium.
Hawaii Athletics Release
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