It was quite a day on the baseball diamond Friday for the Doi family.
UH outfielder Marcus Doi seems to be all the way back from injury as he had three hits against UC Irvine in a 2-0 loss. Doi has now played in six consecutive games after missing 16 with a groin injury and is hitting .471 (8-for-17) in his last five games after starting the year 0-for-13.
His younger brother, Grant, wasn’t half bad either in Mid-Pacific’s 2-1 win over Kamehameha in a battle of the two best teams in the ILH. Doi scattered seven hits and struck out five, giving up his only run on an RBI double by UH signee Kekai Rios, a catcher for the Warriors.
The older Doi is back in action today at 10 a.m. and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hitting cleanup in an attempt to break up the two lefties, Kaeo Aliviado and Eric Ramirez, who have been hitting 3-4. We will see.
>> Friday’s 2-0 loss to UC Irvine was completed in 1 hour, 49 minutes, which ties the shortest game in UCI history. As for UH, the media guide only lists the longest games played but I’d have to imagine it was indeed one of the shortest ever for a nine-inning game.
Hawaii 9-17, 0-1
Stephen Ventimilia, 2B (.275, 4 2b, 1 3b, 5 runs)
Alan Baldwin, RF (.241, 1 HR, 11 RBIs)
Kaeo Aliviado, CF (.283, 3 2b, 1 3b, 4 HR, 16 RBIs)
Marcus Doi, LF (.267, 4 runs)
Eric Ramirez, 1B (.275, 3 2b, 16 RBIs)
Alex Sawelson, DH (.244, 1 2b, 9 runs)
J.J. Kitaoka, 3B (.232, 3 2b, 1 3b, 13 RBIs)
Chayce Ka’aua, C (.219, 4 2b, 10 RBIs)
Jacob Sheldon-Collins, SS (.231, 2 2b, 11 runs)
RHP Tyler Brashears (3-2, 2.39 ERA, 37 2/3 IP, 26 K)
UC Irvine, 12-10, 1-0
Mikey Duarte, SS (.363, 10 2b, 15 runs)
Jonathan Munoz, 1B (.115, 1 HR, 5 RBIs)
Keston Hiura, CF (.353, 6 2b, 1 3b, 4 HR, 15 RBIs)
Cameron Bishop, RF (.250, 2 2b, 3 HR, 10 RBIs)
Andrew Martinez, DH (.293, 6 HR, 12 RBIs)
Jerry McClanahan, C (.239, 3 2b, 1 HR, 6 RBIs)
Wyatt Castro, LF (.250, 1 2b, 3 RBIs)
John Brontsema, 2B (.244, 1 3b, 1 HR, 6 runs)
Parker Coss, 3B (.259, 1 2b, 8 runs)
RHP Matt Esparza (4-1, 2.84 ERA, 38 IP, 34 K)
Doi indeed moves into the four hole. In my opinion, this is their best lineup.
Brashears will be the guy to watch early. He committed to UC Irvine out of high school but ended up at a junior college instead. He’s allowed one earned run over his last three starts (20 1/3 innings) but can’t get too hyped up to face the Anteaters. First inning will be interesting to watch.
TOP 1: Good at-bat by Baldwin, who goes down 0-2, takes a couple of tough breaking balls, fouls a tough pitch off and then reaches on an infield single. Baldwin takes off on a 1-2 pitch to Doi and swipes second and then takes third on the throwing error as the ball bounced off Baldwin and rolled into right field. Doi strikes out on a 3-2 breaking ball. UH makes him work through. 22 pitches for Esparza.
UH is 12-for-13 stealing bases this year.
BOTTOM 1: Munoz rips a single over the head of Ventimilia at second and Hiura draws a tough seven-pitch walk. Bishop, who had the RBI double in the first inning on Friday, grounds out to second for out No. 2, but UCI has two runners in scoring position. Brashears goes high and hard with the fastball to strike out Martinez and get out of it.
TOP 2: Sawelson rips a 2-0 pitch through 5-6 hole for a one-out single. UH tries a hit-and-run on a 2-1 count to Kitaoka, who grounds out to third, but Sawelson moves to second. Ka’aua gets to 3-2 but is caught looking at a really good breaking ball for strike three.
TOP 3: Baldwin rips a two-out triple inside the bag at third to give Aliviado a chance to drive a runner in. Aliviado drills a 3-2 pitch to the warning track in right but it’s caught. Still scoreless. UH still searching for that two-out hit.
BOTTOM 3: Brashears walks the No. 9 guy on four pitches to lead off. Duarte lays down a good sacrifice bunt but a bad call by the umpire, who says it’s foul. Instead, Duarte pops out to left and the runner holds at first. Munoz with his second single of the game to put a runner in scoring position with only one out. Coss goes on a 3-1 pitch and Hiura drills it into left field for an RBI single. Anteaters on the board courtesy of the leadoff walk. Ramirez makes a diving catch to rob Bishop of a hit and then doubles off Munoz at second. Inning over.
TOP 4: ‘Bows in business after Ramirez draws a one-out walk and Sawelson hits a ball tailing away from Hiura in center off his glove for a double. Second and third with one out. Kitaoka lifts a fly ball to center that is just deep enough to score Ramirez and UH is finally on the board.
BOTTOM 6: Leadoff walk to Munoz after Brashears, who had retired seven in a row, was ahead 0-2. Here we go again. UCI is 3-for-3 in the series scoring a leadoff walk and it’s the only runs it has all series. Ryan Cooper in to run for Munoz. First real big mistake defensively as Brashears gets the comebacker to the pitcher but throws it wide at second. Both runners safe. Brashears falls behind and grooves a 3-1 fastball that Bishop detroys into the gap for a two-run double. That’s it for Brashears. Kyle Von Ruden in with nobody out. UCI bunts the runner to third and McClanahan pounces on a bad pitch by Von Ruden for an RBI single. Castro gets ahead 2-0 and singles to right. Castro gets out of a double-play situation by stealing second but Von Ruden strikes out Brontsema looking at a curve. Coss with a two-out, two-run single to make it 6-1.
Brashears final line: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K.
TOP 7: J.J. Kitaoka leads off the inning with his first career home run. Jumped all over a fastball and pulled it over the fence in left field.
Kyle Davis in for Esparza to start the eighth.
Esparza’s final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.
TOP 8: Baldwin beats out a grounder to third for an infield single and he now has a career-high four hits. Aliviado rips a 3-2 offering back up the middle for his first hit of the series and UH has runners on the corners with nobody out. Doi draws a walk and the bases are loaded with nobody out. Closer Sam Moore in for the Anteaters. Ramirez greets Moore with a two-run single into right-center and it’s a two-run game. First and second nobody out with Sawelson up. Expecting a bunt here. Nope. Instead Sawelson swings first pitch and pops out to shallow center. Surprising. Kitaoka stares at three pitches for strikes for the second out. Ka’aua grounds out to third. Moore limits the damage.
Scoreless eighth inning for Cody Culp, who came in for Von Ruden. UH down to its last three outs.
TOP 9: Baldwin picks up his fifth hit with two outs to give Aliviado a chance. Aliviado takes a 2-0 pitch called a strike but looked outside. Aliviado flies out to center and that’s the game. UH (9-18, 0-2) loses for the 13th time in the last 17 games.
>> Baldwin records the first five-hit game by a UH player since Breland Almadova went 5-for-7 with four runs scored in a 24-3 win over New Mexico State on May 21, 2011.