One thing that Mike Trapasso-coached Hawaii teams have always preached is never letting one game mean more than the other.
But make no mistake, the season was on the line this weekend against UC Davis. A series loss would have put the Rainbow Warriors at either 1-5 or 0-6 in conference with a difficult road trip at Cal Poly looming. In other words, game over.
Instead, Hawaii has clinched the series with two really solid performances. The offense has come alive with 19 runs in two games and a superb outing Friday night by Tyler Brashears has kept the bullpen fresh for tonight when UH goes for the sweep. As I wrote about in last night’s game story, fifth-year senior Jarrett Arakawa will try to get Hawaii back to .500 tonight.
The top and bottom of the order have been great in this series. Chayce Ka’aua and Jacob Sheldon-Collins are a combined 8-for-14 with seven runs scored and five RBIs in the series hitting eighth and ninth. Stephen Ventimilia is 2-for-5 with three walks, three runs and three RBIs out of the leadoff spot and Kaeo Aliviado has driven in six runs from the three hole.
Might tonight we see the middle of the order—Eric Ramirez, Alex Sawelson and Marcus Doi—come alive? Lineups and in-game updates to follow below:
UC Davis 18-9-1, 3-2
Tanner Bily, RF (.227, 3 2b, 15 RBIs)
Tino Lipson, 2B (.348, 6 2b, 3 3b, 1 HR, 15 RBIs)
Nick Lynch, 1B (.396, 18 2b, 1 3b, 2 HR, 21 RBIs)
Austin March, LF(.314, 6 2b, 20 runs)
Izaak Silva, C (.340, 9 2b, 2 3b, 18 RBIs)
Mason Novak, DH (.278, 2 2b, 1 3b, 7 RBIs)
Alex Aguiar, 3B (.255, 1 2b, 8 RBIs)
John Williams, CF (.309, 5 2b, 11 RBIs)
Brad Pluschkell, SS (.343, 3 2b, 1 3b, 5 RBIs)
RHP Raul Jacobson (3-0, 2.44 ERA, 44 1/3 IP, 37 K)
Hawaii 11-19, 1-3
Stephen Ventimilia, 2B (.259, 4 2b, 1 3b, 12 runs)
Alan Baldwin RF (.276, 3 2b, 1 3b, 1 HR, 11 RBIs)
Kaeo Aliviado, CF (.284, 4 2b, 1 3b, 4 HR, 22 RBIs)
Alex Sawelson, DH (.272, 3 2b, 10 RBIs)
Marcus Doi, LF (.214, 7 runs)
Eric Ramirez, 1B (.265, 3 2b, 20 RBIs)
J.J. Kitaoka, 3B (.241, 3 2b, 1 3b, 1 HR, 16 RBIs)
Chayce Ka’aua, C (.237, 6 2b, 13 RBIs)
Jacob Sheldon-Collins, SS (.250, 2 2b, 1 3b, 15 runs)
LHP Jarrett Arakawa (1-0, 1.06 ERA, 17 IP, 9 K)
TOP 1: The Aggies strike quickly as Bily hits a leadoff double to left. UCD cashes in on March’s two-out single he dumps into left field on a hanging 0-2 curve and the Aggies score first for the second time in the series. March takes off for second but is thrown out by Ka’aua to end the inning.
BOTTOM 1: Jacobson, who has the best stats of UC Davis’ three starters so far, works a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Aliviado in three pitches.
TOP 2: Silva with a leadoff single between short and third and the Aggies have the leadoff guy on. Novak drops a bunt toward first and Ramirez fields it but the ball comes flying out of his glove as he tries to pag Novak running by. It’s an error. Aguiar moves the runners over and then Williams drills a fastball into left-center for a two-run single. Pluschkell hits into a 1-6-3 double play.
BOTTOM 2: Sawelson gets things going with a leadoff single. He moves to second on a passed ball. Doi strikes out but Ramirez reaches on an infield single off the pitcher. Kitaoka with a solid single up the middle to drive in Sawelson for UH’s first run. Ka’aua beats out a double play at first and it makes a huge difference as Sheldon-Collins continues his tear with a two-run double to left to tie the game at 3-3. ‘Bows have scored 11 runs in the second inning of this series.
TOP 3: Von Ruden was warming up in the bullpen as Arakawa looked like he might be really bothered by his shoulder, but he comes out in the third and goes 1-2-3 with two strikeouts. Great changeup to get Lynch swinging.
BOTTOM 3: Everyone is hitting for UH now. Baldwin and Aliviado lead off with base hits and Sawelson moves them over with a bunt. Doi works a walk and the pitch gets away from the catcher to allow Baldwin to score from third. UH takes the lead. Ramirez then hits an absolute bullet tailing away from the center fielder into the ally for a two-run double. Three runs on consecutive innings has UH on top.
TOP 6: Lynch with a leadoff single and scores on a one-out double by Silva to bring the tying run to the plate. Arakawa battled but you could tell he wasn’t himself tonight. He’s gone after 5 1/3 innings and in comes Torres-Costa. Novak stares at an 87 MPH fastball for strike three and Aguiar flies out to left as Torres-Costa gets the job done.
BOTTOM 7: Aliviado leads off with a ground-rule double the opposite way that hit fair and then bounced over the wall to the left of the foul pole. Sawelson singles into left but Aliviado holds on third. Smart move as Doi hits a grounder to the right side to bring in Aliviado to make it 7-4.
Torres-Costa is dealing as he’s only given up a walk so far. Interesting that since he walked those first two New Mexico State hitters a couple of weeks ago, he’s gone in four outings: 6 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K. Not bad.
BOTTOM 8: Ka’aua leads off with a double and scored on an insurance run when Baldwin beats out an infield hit and the ball gets away from the first baseman.
Torres-Costa finishes it off. UH gets the much-needed sweep of UC Davis to get to 12-19 and more important, 3-3 in Big West play.