It’s all hands on deck for the UH baseball team.
Senior Stephen Ventimilia is starting at second and hitting leadoff for the first time in 14 games. Also, catcher Steven Pollakov is getting his first action of the season after coming back from an elbow injury.
New Mexico State
Aaron Duran, 2B
Quinnton Mack, CF
Joseph Koerper, RF
Michael Paulson, 1B
Jay Sheeley, LF
Camerons Haskins, DH
Lucas Martinez, C
Kyle Graf, 3B
Daniel Kennon, SS
LHP Trey Higginbotham (0-2, 4.26 ERA, 19 IP, 17 K)
Stephen Ventimilia, 2B
Alan Baldwin, RF
Kaeo Aliviado, CF
Eric Ramirez, 1B
Marcus Doi, LF
Jordan Richartz, DH
Steven Pollakov, C
J.J. Kitaoka, 3B
Jacob Sheldon-Collins, SS
LHP Jarrett Arakawa (0-0, 1.29 ERA, 7 IP, 2 K)
TOP 1: Arakawa gets into a little trouble giving up a two-out single and walk but strikes out Sheeley to end an 18-pitch first.
BOTTOM 1: One pitch, one swing, one rip into left field for Ventimilia. Baldwin bunts him over successfully and Ramirez dumps a two-out hit into left to score him from third. Three hits in the inning for UH.
Arakawa continues to dazzle. He’s at 55 pitches through four scoreless innings allowing only one hit. He’ll probably get one more inning I’d guess.
BOTTOM 4: Higginbotham in trouble after back-to-back walks issued to Ramirez and Doi. Richartz with a perfect bunt to third and the throw is low at first. Everyone is safe. Pollakov drives in a run on a weak grounder to third. The Aggies should get out of the inning on Sheldon-Collins’ grounder to third but another bad throw allows a run to score and the inning to continue. Ventimilia works a walk and Higginbotham is done. Kyle Rutherford in with the bases loaded and two outs. Baldwin flies out to left. UH scores two runs without a hit.
Arakawa gets extended to 72 pitches in five scoreless innings, allowing only one hit. He’s given up one run and only five hits in 12 innings this season.
TOP 6: Matt Valencia in for Arakawa and gets two strikeouts in the inning.
BOTTOM 6: Finally some good swings for UH. Richartz jumps over the first pitch to rip a single into left. Kitaoka pulls a one-out double inside the bag at third to bring in Richartz from first. Sheldon-Collins finds a hole to drop a base hit into center and New Mexico State has to make a pitching change. Ventimilia adds a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0.
Valencia strikes out the side in the seventh. Very impressive two innings. Five strikeouts. He’s going to be one of the big three out of the bullpen in the Big West with Torres-Costa and Culp. Good sign for UH.
BOTTOM 7: Some more good ABs for UH. Kitaoka rips a two-out single back up the middle to score two runs for an 8-0 lead. Ramirez, Doi and Richartz all get their second hits of the game in the inning. Doi comes out for a pinch runner after beating out a grounder to short. That could have been the plan anyway for defensive purposes. Hope he didn’t hurt anything sprinting down the line. New pitcher and Sheldon-Collins with an RBI single back up the middle.
Hawaii scores three more in the eighth on four walks and an error. Kitaoka with a career-high four RBIs.
Chew in to get some work in the ninth. He gives up a leadoff double that scores on a sacrifice fly but leaves the bases loaded.
Hawaii now 9-15.