Hawaii got a much-needed win to open the Houston College Classic on Friday as four pitchers combined to allow only two hits in a 2-1 victory over Baylor.
L.J. Brewster made the jump from No. 3 starter to staff ace and continued to show he’s Hawaii’s best option on the mound, allowing two hits in 6 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts to improve his record to 3-1.
Hawaii walked six in the game, which is something I wrote about in Thursday’s paper. The ‘Bows got away with it thanks to some clutch pitching by reliever Matt Valencia, who struck out three in a row in the eighth after Josh Pigg walked the first two guys in the inning. Cody Culp worked a perfect ninth to earn his third save.
It was the kind of win UH hasn’t had this year. A well-pitched game between two teams that came down to a hit here or a hit there. UH won its first one-run game and won for the first time when scoring less than seven runs.
Third baseman Alex Sawelson, who is proving to be a streaky hitter, had it going today with three hits, including two two-out RBI singles that resulted in both UH runs.
Coach Mike Trapasso moved Kaeo Aliviado into the leadoff spot with 2B Stephen Ventimilia out and hit J.J. Kitaoka second. Matt LoCoco and Jacob Sheldon-Collins hit 8-9 in the order and LoCoco had two of UH’s seven hits. Alan Baldwin singled, walked and scored both UH runs.
UH is within two games of .500 at 6-8 and a victory over either Nebraska on Saturday or No. 13 Houston on Sunday means a winning trip to Texas, which would bode very well moving forward.