GAME 1: Hawaii 1, CSUN 0

Freshman Chayce Ka'aua has added an improved offensive game to his already stout defense behind the plate for Hawaii. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
Freshman Chayce Ka’aua has added an improved offensive game to his already stout defense behind the plate for Hawaii. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

Interesting weekend ahead for the Hawaii baseball team. After losing three to Cal Poly last weekend, blowing a 5-0 lead in Game 1 and a 2-0 lead in the seventh inning of Game 2, how will these Rainbow Warriors respond?

UH came back from three losses to UC Irvine with a sweep of UC Davis. The difference is, Hawaii played well against the Anteaters and not so much against the Mustangs. Hawaii is already in a big hole at 3-6 in the Big West. Can it avoid getting worse this weekend?

Things to watch this weekend:

>> Junior Alex Sawelson is currently on a 10-game hitting streak. He’s thrived in the designated hitter role, batting .339. He’s 18-for-42 (.425) during the hit streak with six RBIs.

>> Freshman catcher Chayce Ka’aua is batting .550 (11-for-20) over his last six games with eight runs and four RBIs and leads the team with seven doubles.

>> Shortstop Jacob Sheldon-Collins has hit safely in eight straight games, batting .407 (11-for-27) with six runs and four RBIs.

>> Friday night’s starter, L.J. Brewster, pitched into the seventh inning in six of his first seven starts but hasn’t reached a full six innings in either of his last two starts. Brewster has walked 20 in 25 2/3 innings in his last four outings. Hawaii is 1-4 in his last five starts after starting the year 3-1.

ICYMI: Today’s earlier post on two new recruits for 2016.


CSUN 22-13, 2-7
Ryan Raslowsky, 2B (.314, 6 2b, 20 runs)
Yusuke Akitoshi, SS (.315, 6 2b, 3 3b, 1 HR, 22 RBIs)
Justin Toerner, CF (.299, 9 2b, 2 3b, 1 HR, 16 RBIs)
Nolan Bumstead, 1B (.328, 2 2b, 5 runs)
Dylan Alexander, C (.230, 3 2b, 1 HR, 12 runs)
Chester Pak, RF (.278, 5 2b, 1 3b, 6 HR, 21 RBIs)
Elias Orona, LF (.371, 4 2b, 9 runs)
Albee Weiss, DH (.170, 4 2b, 3 HR, 13 RBIs)
William Colantono, 3B (.260, 5 2b, 11 RBIs)
RHP Calvin Copping (4-3, 3.33 ERA, 51 1/3 IP, 56 K)

Hawaii 12-23, 3-6
Stephen Ventimilia, 2B (.240, 5 2b, 1 3b, 14 runs)
Alan Baldwin, RF (.292, 4 2b, 2 3b, 1 HR, 13 RBIs)
Kaeo Aliviado, CF (.274, 6 2b, 1 3b, 4 HR, 24 RBIs)
Alex Sawelson, DH (.309, 4 2b, 13 RBIs)
Eric Ramirez, 1B (.308, 4 2b, 24 RBIs)
Marcus Doi, LF (.250, 2 2b, 9 runs)
Chayce Ka’aua, C (.278, 7 2b, 16 runs)
JJ Kitaoka, 3B (.216, 3 2b, 1 3b, 1 HR, 17 RBIs)
Jacob Sheldon-Collins, SS (.269, 3 2b, 1 3b, 7 RBIs)
RHP L.J. Brewster (4-3, 2.64 ERA, 58 IP, 37 K)

I’ve been told the scoreboard at the Les is going to show TV replays for the first time tonight. No controversial plays though. Isn’t that what you want the most, though?

TOP 1: Brewster sitting 84-87 with his fastball on the Oceanic gun. Weird start as Raslowsky appears to ground out to third but it’s ruled foul and he’s then hit with a pitch. He steals second and moves to third on a groundout but Brewster wins an 11-pitch battle against Bumstead, who grounds out to third. Brewster with a 25-pitch first.

BOTTOM 1: Leadoff single for Ventimilia as the hitting continues for UH. Bit of a surprise here but Baldwin gets the job done with a sacrifice bunt to move Ventimilia into scoring position. Aliviado then draws a four-pitch walk. After a Sawelson fly out, Ramirez walks on four pitches to bring up Doi. Looks like the catcher and pitcher get crossed up as a fastball hits the umpire right in the facemask and bounces away. Wild pitch scores a run before Doi grounds out up the middle to the shortstop. who had him played well.

TOP 4: Bumstead gets the first hit of the game for the Matadors with one out in the fourth. Sheldon-Collins makes a great diving grab up the middle and flips to Ventimilia at second for the force. Brewster ends it with his fourth strikeout. Best outing in a couple of weeks going for L.J. but his pitch count is up to 73 after four.

TOP 5: Orono with a perfect bunt up the first-base side to lead off with a single. He steals second with nobody out but Brewster gets a strikeout and two groundouts to keep the Matadors from scoring.

BOTTOM 5: Kitaoka’s one-out walk snaps a string of 11 in a row retired by Copping. Errant pickoff throw to first and Kitaoka is able to get all the way to third. Sheldon-Collins with a grounder in between third and short but Kitaoka holds and Sheldon-Collins is out at first. Ventimilia strikes out to end the inning.

Only noticed in the bottom of the fifth that assistant coach Carl Fraticelli is coaching third instead of Rusty McNamara. Will have to ask about it after the game.

TOP 7: Pak bunts for a single with one out but then CSUN decides to bunt him over to second for the second out. Weiss lifts a fly ball to right and Brewster gets a huge five-pitch inning. We might see him in the eighth now.

BOTTOM 7: Ramirez goes the other way to single to left to lead off. You’d think Hawaii bunts with Doi here but instead he’s swinging away and has to beat out a double play at first. LoCoco in to run for Doi. Ka’aua is out by a milisecond at first but LoCoco moves to second and Kitaoka works his second walk. Sheldon-Collins with a foul ball that hits off the ground and blasts the plate umpire right in the collarbone and he’s sore. That didn’t look good at all. He stays in. 0-1 count to Sheldon-Collins, who eventually grounds out to short. UH 0-for-6 with RISP.

Final line for Brewster: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K.

Torres-Costa in for the eighth inning. In his last six outings, Torres-Costa has allowed only four hits in 11 scoreless innings with four walks and 17 strikeouts. Torres-Costa gives up a leadoff single and a bunt moves Colantono to second but a strikeout and a groundout ends it.

Torres-Costa goes 1-2-3 in the ninth and Hawaii wins 1-0.