Hawaii baseball: Rainbow Warriors pick up signature road win at Vanderbilt

Hawaii reliever Carter Loewen, seen here against Washington State on Feb. 20, tossed two innings of relief for a save at No. 2 Vanderbilt on Saturday. / Photo by Jamm Aquino, Star-Advertiser

The Hawaii baseball team has a chance to do something few thought they’d have a crack at — a series win at No. 2 Vanderbilt, the defending national champion.

Taking advantage of the scratch of ailing All-America starter Kumar Rocker, the Rainbow Warriors shook off some cold weather and turned to some solid pitching and timely hitting to take the middle game of the series, 3-1, on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn., and even up the three-game set 1-1.

It was the first UH win over a top-five opponent since the Rainbows beat No. 3/4 Cal State Fullerton 4-3 on April 26, 2013. (That was the opener of a three-game Big West series that UH would go on to lose at Les Murakami Stadium.)

UH (8-4) and Vandy (9-3) meet at 8 a.m. HST in the series finale on the SEC+ streaming service through ESPN.

The following was posted on the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s breaking news:

Three Hawaii pitchers combined on a six-hitter in the Rainbow Warriors’ 3-1 baseball upset of second-ranked Vanderbilt today at Hawkins Field on the Nashville, Tenn., campus.

Aaron Davenport worked out of several jams in pitching six scoreless innings for the ’Bows. Cade Smith allowed a run in the seventh inning, but escaped further damage when third baseman Dustin Demeter snagged a line drive for the third out. Leading 2-1 with the tying run on third in the Vanderbilt eighth, Carter Loewen struck out Parker Noland for the third out.

The ’Bows made it 2-0 in the sixth on Adam Fogel’s RBI single.

They added an insurance run in the ninth on Matt Wong’s opposite-field single to right to score Tyler Best from second.

Vanderbilt freshman right-hander Thomas Schultz started in place of Kumar Rocker, who was scratched because of what officials described as “soreness.”

The ’Bows improved to 8-4 and evened the three-game series at a victory apiece. The Commodores, whose eight-game winning streak ended, fell to 9-3.