Hawaii Lose Opener at WAC Baseball Tournament
By Rodney S. Yap
The University of Hawai’i baseball team fell to Fresno State, 8-2, in the opening game of the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Tournament in Mesa, Ari.
The loss drops the Rainbows into the losers bracket of the double-elimination tournament, where they will play Louisiana Tech today in a must-win game at 8 a.m. HST
Collin Bennett had three hits and a run scored to lead the ‘Bows, who entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed and now drop to 30-24 overall. Max Duval, Pi’kea Kitamura and Zack Swasey each collected a pair of hits.
Aaron Judge was a thorn in Hawaii’s side for Fresno State, hitting 4-5 which included a pair of doubles and a triple to go along with an RBI and a run scored. Patrick Hutcheson and Austin Wynns both had two hits, one run, and one RBI for the Bulldogs, who improve to 26-25 overall.
The Rainbows kick started things when Bennett belted an RBI-triple to the centerfield wall. Kitamura, who had just singled, came around from first base to score on the play.
After three scoreless innings by UH starter Jarrett Arakawa, the Bulldogs finally got on the board to tie the game. Judge doubled to lead off the inning, then was driven home on an RBI double Wynns. Hutcheson then put Fresno State ahead one inning later with a solo homerun over the right centerfield fence.
The wheels them came off for the ‘Bows, as the Bulldogs put six runs on the scoreboard in the sixth inning to take a commanding 8-1 lead. Jordan Brink and Jake Alvarez collected RBI base hits to help Fresno State to a six-run lead before Judge capped the big inning with an RBI-triple.
Arakawa, who was hoping to atone for last season’s WAC Tournament loss to Fresno State, did not have his best stuff and was lifted with no outs in the sixth inning. He was charged with four runs on eight hits, taking the loss to fall to 7-6 on the season.