After two wildly different games, Hawaii and Pepperdine are back at it in Game 3 of an incredibly high-scoring series. Through two games, the Waves have outscored the Rainbow Warriors 24-16. A 16-1 Pepperdine win on Friday, matching the worst in Mike Trapasso‘s 14 years, will do that.
UH will turn to junior L.J. Brewster, who through two weeks has been its best pitcher, to try and take the series lead. Brewster, a converted third baseman, was one out away from a shutout before securing a complete game victory against Hofstra last week in seven innings. It will be a big day for him as I’m sure there will be a lot of scouts in the stands to see UH’s top draft prospect for 2015. If he shows four-pitch command with a fastball in the low 90’s, like he did against Hofstra, UH will feel good about its chances against the Waves.
First pitch is 11 a.m.
Jacob Sheldon-Collins, SS (.207, 2b, 4 runs)
Jonathan Weeks, LF (.222, 3 runs)
Kaeo Aliviado, CF (.286, 2 2bs, 3 HRs, 10 runs)
Eric Ramirez, 1B (.389, 2b, 11 RBIs)
Jordan Richartz, DH (.267, 2 2bs, 2 HRs, 10 RBIs)
Alan Baldwin, RF (.323, 2b, HR, 6 RBIs)
Chayce Ka’aua, C (.273, 2 2bs, 7 RBIs)
J.J. Kitaoka, 3B (.214, 3 runs)
Conner Linebarger, 2B (.000)
RHP L.J. Brewster (2-0, 2.19 ERA, 12 1/3 IP, 6 K)
Obviously major lineup changes for UH as it goes more offense with Weeks in left field and Baldwin moving over to right to replace LoCoco. Linebarger makes his second start of the season playing at second with Kitaoka moving to third and Sawelson getting the day off. Sawelson has really been in a funk, going 1-for-22 in his last six games.
Brandon Caruso, RF (.250, 2 2bs, 2 3bs, HR, 8 runs)
Hutton Moyer, 2B (.324, 4 HRs, 10 RBIs)
Brad Anderson, 1B (.171, 2b, HR, 8 RBIs)
Nick Costello, 3B (.438, 2b, 3 RBIs)
Kolten Yamaguchi, C (.278, 2b, 2 RBIs)
Chris Fornaci, DH (.308, 3 2bs, 8 runs)
Chase Lambert, LF (.182, HR, 3 RBIs)
Manny Jefferson, SS (.231, 2 2bs, HR, 6 RBIs)
Jeremy Goldenetz, CF (.600, 2b, 2 RBIs)
RHP A.J. Puckett (1-1, 5.27 ERA, 13 2/3 IP, 10 K)
No Aaron Barnett for a second straight game for the Waves.
Top 1: Sheldon-Collins hitting leadoff for the first time and starts with an eight-pitch at-bat before grounding out to second. Puckett with a couple of strikeouts in a 17-pitch first inning.
BOTTOM 1: Brewster starts off with a strikeout of Caruso. Moyer singles up the middle but Brewster gets Anderson to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to cap a 10-pitch inning. Nice start for L.J.
TOP 3: Puckett is perfect through three innings with four strikeouts.
BOTTOM 3: Brewster cruising until he hits Goldenetz, the No. 9 hitter, with two outs on an 0-1 breaking ball. Caruso and Moyer with consecutive seven-pitch walks to load the bases without a hit. After a mound visit from Trapasso, Brewster strikes out Anderson to get out of the jam. Brewster gets the out here that UH couldn’t get in the second inning on Friday. 25 pitches in that inning however.
TOP 4: Tough first road game for the freshman, Weeks, who has struck out looking twice in six pitches. Aliviado gets UH’s first hit with a two-out single to right field. UH executes a perfect hit-and-run as Aliviado takes off for second and Ramirez hits it right where the shortstop would have been. Instead, it’s a single and runners are on the corners. Richartz strikes out swinging for the second time and UH strands two.
BOTTOM 4: Four pitches, two outs. Brewster’s 0-2 pitch to Fornaci is hit into left field and he just barely beats the throw at second for a double. Lambert with a grounder to third and Kitaoka boots it for an error. Inning still alive. Brewster is ahead 0-2 for the fourth time this inning. Chopper to second and Jefferson beats the throw to first. An infield single allows Fornaci to score the first run. Goldenetz flies out to center. Pepperdine scores an unearned run. Meanwhile, Brewster threw 17 of his 18 pitches in the inning for strikes.
BOTTOM 5: Caruso leads off with a single. Moyer with a grounder to second but UH can’t turn the double play as Moyer is safe at first. Moyer takes off and swipes second and scores on a single up the middle by Anderson for a 2-0 lead. Brewster strikes out Yamaguchi looking to end it.
Brewster finds himself down 2-0 but has been commanding his pitches well. Seems like any count that goes more than a couple of pitches, he’s ahead 0-2. 28 of his last 31 pitches are for strikes.
BOTTOM 6: Brewster gets his sixth strikeout to start the inning. Was ahead 0-2 again. 10-pitch inning as Brewster gets his seventh strikeout to end it. This is still just his third career start. If he continues to develop over the season, watch out come May. He looks like Hawaii’s No. 1 guy. Keep in mind, he’s only been working out as a starting pitcher since the beginning of January.
With that said, Puckett has been amazing for the Waves. Career-high 10 strikeouts through seven innings with only three hits allowed. I’ve got him at 103 pitches.
BOTTOM 7: Career-high eight strikeouts for Brewster, who goes 1-2-3 in the seventh. Eight in a row retired since Anderson’s RBI single.
TOP 8: Three pop-ups by UH in a seven-pitch inning as the ‘Bows basically waste three of their last six outs. Puckett is on cruise control.
Brewster is done. I have him at 99 pitches. Another great outing though as he goes 7 IP allowing 5 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 8 K. Andrew Jones comes in.
Jones starts with a three-pitch strikeout of Anderson and whips through a perfect 1-2-3 eighth. Last chance for UH, which hasn’t had a hit since the fifth inning.
TOP 9: Weeks pops out to center. Aliviado grounds out to first. Ramirez grounds out to first. Puckett with a three-hit shutout with 10 Ks for the Waves (6-5). Hawaii falls to 5-7.