Hawaii’s season-opening stretch of nine games in nine days continues Wednesday night with the first of five against Hofstra. The Pride are 0-3 after getting swept at No. 9 UCLA, losing by a combined score of 43-10.
Here’s our series preview that ran in today’s Star-Advertiser. (Subscription required)
Dalton Rouleau, SS (.364, 2 RBIs)
Steven Foster, CF (.400, 2 runs)
Brad Witkowski, 2B (.000)
Mat Annuziata, LF (.333, 2 2bs, 3 RBIs)
David Leiderman, 3B (.333, 1 2b)
Ryan Donovan, 1B (.333, 1 RBI)
Brian MacDonald, DH (.286)
Chris Weiss, C (.100, 1 2b)
Eric Ferguson, RF (.077)
RHP Alec Eisenberg (0-0, 36.00 ERA, 1 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K)
Stephen Ventimilia, 2B (.143)
Jacob Sheldon-Collins, SS (.133, 1 2b)
Kaeo Aliviado, CF (.143, 2 runs)
Alex Sawelson, 3B (.400, 2b, 4 runs, 3 RBis)
Eric Ramirez, 1B (.385, 3 RBIs)
Jordan Richartz, DH (.364, 1 2b, 3 RBIs)
Alan Baldwin, LF (.286, 1 RBI)
Chayce Ka’aua, C (.444, 1 2b, 3 RBIs)
Matt LoCoco, RF (.091)
LHP Andrew Jones (0-1, 10.80 ERA, 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K)
Ventimilia returns to the lineup after missing two games with the flu. Andrew Jones gets the start for UH. Hawaii will go with its regular rotation beginning Thursday in order to give the starters their normal days off.
Hofstra going with the old school Houston Astros look with the uniforms. Don’t know much about the Pride, other than they will be aggressive on the bases. Top five in steals per game each of the last three seasons in all of Division I.
Top 1: The great thing about this game being televised (besides having Pal and Jim up in the box, of course) is getting to monitor the velocity of the pitchers. Jones is coming back from Tommy John surgery in 2013. Rouleau is caught looking on an 87 MPH fastball for the first out and Jones has ramped it up to 89. Hofstra gets two out-out singles the opposite way but Jones comes back to strike out the side.
Interesting debate in the press box. Fly ball to left is dropped when the left fielder and center fielder collide. Sheldon-Collins heads for second on the play but is thrown out. I think it’s an error and an outfield assist, but the official ruling is simply a 7-4 putout no error. Agree? Disagree?
No hits for Hawaii through two innings. Still scoreless.
The Pride get a run in the third as Jones walks the No. 9 hitter to lead off. Rouleau with a base hit to center and a hit batter loads the bases with one out. Annunziata rips a hard-hit ball to first but Ramirez picks it and fires to second. Sheldon-Collins doesn’t throw back to first as Jones is slow to the bag to cover and a run comes in. 1-0 Hofstra.
Ka’aua works a leadoff walk in the bottom of the inning but UH can’t drive him. The ‘Bows execute the bunt to move him over and Ventimilia’s grounder to second moves him to third. Sheldon-Collins is hit by a pitch and Aliviado drills a 2-0 pitch right to the shortstop to line out.
Hofstra gets a one-out walk and single and puts the pressure on. First they try a double steal and Ka’aua goes to second. The runner is caught in a run down and Ventimilia chases him back to first. Then they catch the runner between third and home and Ventimilia goes to third on a bang-bang play but he’s safe. Close play. Now the runner on first takes off on the next play and is again in a rundown. Runner on third goes home and the throw goes home. Ka’aua chases him back to third but for some reason doesn’t throw it and everyone is safe. Fly ball gets a run in and then Foster steals third on a bad throw by Ka’aua, which allows him to then score. Rough half inning defensively there as Hofstra goes up 3-0.
Foster robs Ka’aua of a hit with a diving play in center. UH hitting some ropes but right at guys.
Aliviado finally breaks through against Eisenberg with a one-out single in the sixth for UH’s first hit. Runners on the corner with one out and Eisenberg is done. One hit allowed in 5 1/3 innings with two walks and three strikeouts. Right-hander Bowie Matteson on in relief. Sawelson swings at a first-pitch curveball and pops out to third. Ramirez ahead 3-0 but foul pops to third on a 3-1 pitch and Hofstra stays in front 3-0.
UH down in order in the seventh. Offense has hit some balls hard, but one hit against a non-rotation Hofstra pitcher isn’t good.
Leadoff walk issued by Hatch to start the eighth but Ka’aua throws out Annunziata stealing second. UH with six outs left to get some runs.
One-out singles by Ventimilia and Sheldon-Collins, who takes second as they try to throw Ventimilia out at third from center. Bad decision there. Aliviado with a soft grounder to short which brings in a run. A wild pitch brings in Sheldon-Collins to make it 3-2. Throw to third costs the Pride a run. We go to the ninth after Sawelson grounds out.
Cody Culp comes in for the ninth and throws four pitches. Baldwin with the diving catch in left to end it. Bottom of the ninth for the ‘Bows.
Lefty Kevin Weissheier in for the Pride. Ramirez starts off with a base hit to right. Matt Miller will pinch run. Richartz drops down a bunt. The throw to first is low but hits the 1B in the glove, who drops it for an error. Everyone is safe. Baldwin lays down a bunt which takes a funny bounce and he beats the throw. Bases loaded, nobody out for Ka’aua.
Ka’aua stares at three straight pitches and srikes out. Rough night for him. Couple of good curveballs from Weissheier. Jonathan Weeks to pinch-hit for LoCoco. Weeks hits into a 4-6-3 double play and Hofstra stuns Hawaii.
Analysis: Poor effort from the ‘Bows. Team came out with no fire after playing three really good games against Oregon. Tough game for catcher Chayce Ka’aua, who made a couple of freshman mistakes. It was also the fifth game in six days he’s caught so he’s getting thrown into the fire right away. He’ll be fine. It’s a learning process for him. Hofstra was giving up the run for an out there in the ninth, keeping the infield back, so just about any ground ball would have tied the game. Have to make contact there. Weeks has been put in a couple of tough spots pinch-hitting in the ninth inning of one-run games as a freshman. It’s a bad loss any way you slice it. You can’t get held to one hit in six innings against a non-rotation guy, no matter who the opponent is. Four more games in three days. Bats need to do something.