Hawaii Eliminated From WAC Baseball Tournament
Rodney S. Yap
The University of Hawai’i baseball team was eliminated from the Western Athletic Conference Tournament today, falling to Louisiana Tech 9-6 at Hohokam Stadium.
The Rainbows (30-25) saw their season come to a close with the loss, while the Bulldogs (25-27) stay alive in the tournament and will play Friday in Mesa, Ariz.
Stephen Ventimilia and Kaeo Aliviado both had solid days at the plate for Hawaii. Ventimilia had two hits and three runs, and Aliviado also posted two hits and added one run and two RBI.
Justin Gordey batted 4-4 with two runs and one RBI to lead the Bulldogs, who recorded 17 hits off UH pitching. Taylor Terrasas had two hits, one run, and two RBI, and Kody Neel added two hits and two RBI.
Matt Sisto (8-4), who hadn’t pitched in nearly two weeks, received the loss in his shortest outing of the season. He was lifted for Kyle Dowdy with no outs in the third inning and finished with a line of five runs on nine hits.
Phil Maton (8-5) earned the win for LaTech, working 6.1 innings allowing two earned runs on seven hits with six strikeouts.
The Rainbows showed signs of a big day with a run in the first inning. Ventimilia led off the game with a base hit. He then stole second and advanced to third when no one covered Bulldog catcher Kyle Arnsberg’s throw to second as the ball sailed into centerfield. Aliviado then drove home Ventimilia with an RBI double.
LaTech tied the game in the bottom of the first inning. Arnsberg (2-3, 2 R) led off the inning with a double, then was driven home two batters later on a base hit by Alex Williams (2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI).
The Bulldogs weren’t done as they dropped three runs in both the second and fourth innings to take an 8-1 lead. Four straight base hits led to the three second inning runs. Gordey knocked in a pair of LaTech runners then later scored on a Ryan Gebhardt (1 H, 1 R, 2 RBI) sacrifice. In the fourth inning, Gebhart doubled in a run then Terrasas delivered a two-RBI single.
The Rainbows made an attempt at a rally in the fourth inning. Both Breland Almadova (1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI) and Max Duval were hit by Maton pitches resulting in a bases loaded situation for Garrett Champion (1-4). Champion could not come up with the big hit though, striking out to end the threat.
UH made a game of it when it broke through with three runs in the seventh inning to cut the Bulldog lead to 8-5. After Pi’ikea Kitamura (1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI) doubled in Ventimilia for the inning’s first run, the ‘Bows plated another two runs in unconventional fashion. Almadova drew a bases loaded walk, then with the bases still loaded, Kitamura came home on a balk by Bulldog reliever Jamie Gilley.