HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Despite a ninth-inning rally, the Rainbow Warrior baseball team fell just short of a win against UC Santa Barbara in the series opener on Thursday afternoon. Hawaii fell to the Gauchos with their go ahead run left stranded on first base in the 4-3 loss.
UCSB strike first and led for most of the contest, recording their first run in the third inning and bolstering that lead with another in the fourth.
After six scoreless innings for U.H., Ethan Lopez finally broke Hawaii's dry spell. In his second hit of the day, Lopez evened the score with an opposite-field home run to right that was good for two runs and tied the game.
But Hawaii's momentum was quickly thwarted. The Gauchos responded quickly with consecutive RBI singles off of the 'Bows left-handed starter, Kash Koltermann, by Clay Fsher and Tommy Jew, once again giving UCSB a two run lead.
Down 4-2 in the final frame, the Rainbow Warriors looked to rally again with Lopez leading the charge for a second time. Lopez ripped an RBI single to left field against the Gauchos' right-hander, Alex Patterson. But, after UCSB went back to the bullpen for projected Saturday starter, Chris Clements, Hawaii's run was done. Clemens fanned two 'Bows leaving the game's tying run stranded on first.
In his first career start, Koltermann (0-1) went a career-long 6.2 innings with three runs on nine hits. Koltermann neither struck out nor walked any batters. For UCSB, Stevie Ledesma (7-3) went 8.0 frames with two runs on eight hits.
At the plate, Lopez went 3-for-4 and batted in all three of UH's runs.
The Rainbow Warriors and Gauchos return to action on Friday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium at12:00 p.m. HT (3:00 p.m. PT).