Wholesale changes to the Hawaii lineup tonight after another anemic performance in a 6-5 loss to New Mexico State on Thursday.
New Mexico State
Daniel Johnson, LF (.262)
Aaron Duran, 2B (.300)
Quinnton Mack, CF (.311)
Joseph Koerper, 1B (.388)
Jay Sheeley, RF (.182)
Brent Hermanussen, C (.303)
Michael Paulson, DH (.247)
Kyle Graf, 3B (.154)
Daniel Kennon, SS (.167)
RHP Riley Barr (0-2, 4.50 ERA, 22 IP, 16 K)
Marcus Doi, LF (.000)
Alan Baldwin, RF (.246)
Kaeo Aliviado, CF (.275)
Eric Ramirez, 1B (.284)
Alex Sawelson, DH (.257)
J.J. Kitaoka, 3B (.222)
Chayce Ka’aua, C (.204)
Conner Linebarger, 2B (.111)
Jacob Sheldon-Collins, SS (.210)
RHP Tyler Brashears (3-2, 2.59 ERA, 31 1/3 IP, 20 K)
Aliviado slides back down to his normal 3-spot he vacated when Ventimilia got hurt. The shocker to me is seeing Doi in left field. I know there’s pressure to win games and get the best offensive lineup on the field UH can right now, but he’s just coming back from an injury that has nagged him his entire career. I thought he’d at least ease back in strictly as a DH until at least conference play.
TOP 1: Brashears with a 26-pitch first inning that could have been worse had he not won an 11-pitch at-bat against Koerper with a strikeout. The walk to Duran was only Brashears’ fifth of the season in 32 innings.
BOTTOM 1: Doi leads off with a single back up the middle on a 3-2 count for his first hit of the season. UH doesn’t go with the sacrifice here and Baldwin pops out to short. Aliviado then hits into a 3-6-1 double play.
TOP 3: NMSU gets the first run when Koerper goes with a 2-1 pitch and punches it into right field for a two-out hit to score Kennon, who reached on an error by Linebarger at second. Kennon got on with a hard-hit ball that caught Linebarger on an in-between hop. It was a tough play, but it goes as an unearned run, meaning Brashears has yet to allow an earned run in his last 17 innings since he was dropped to No. 2 in the rotation.
BOTTOM 3: Leadoff double down the line in left for a double by Ka’aua. Team-leading fourth double for him. Sheldon-Collins draws a one-out walk and Doi strikes out on a ball in the dirt. Two outs, two on and Baldwin delivers for UH in a pressure spot. Two-run single after Sheldon-Collins took second on a wild pitch puts UH in front. ‘Bows in desperate need of that.
TOP 4: Much needed eight-pitch inning in the fourth by Brashears, who had thrown 69 pitches through three innings.
Brashears gets through six innings but he’s at 110 pitches so he’s probably done. No earned runs allowed. UH’s starting pitching hasn’t given up an earned run in three games (18 innings). Line now is 6-3-1-0-2-6.
Shows what I know. Brashears comes back out for the seventh and gets a first-pitch out. Graf works a seven-pitch walk after staring at about five strikes. A single inside the line in right puts runners on first and third and Brashears is done after 121 pitches. 6 1/3 innings he goes. Torres-Costa in to face Johnson, the leadoff hitter. Close 2-2 pitch is called a ball and QTC loses Johnson to a walk. Bases loaded. Torres-Costa gets a strikeout of Mack swinging and then pains a 2-2 pitch on the corner to get Koerper looking. He doesn’t like it. Two big strikeouts for Torres-Costa.
BOTTOM 7: Ramirez leads off with a double inside the bag at first off Koerper’s glove. He takes third on a wild pitch and then scores on a wild pitch by reliever Matt Stein to give UH the lead.
1-2-3 eighth for Torres-Costa, who records his third strikeout.
BOTTOM 8: Some much needed insurance runs put up by UH as Baldwin singles home LoCoco for a career-high three RBIs and Aliviado doubles off the wall to drive in Baldwin to make it 5-2. A sacrifice fly by Ramirez makes it three runs in the inning.
Torres-Costa goes 1-2-3 in the ninth and ends it with his fifth strikeout. Huge outing for him. Hawaii improved to 8-14.