SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Matt Cooper pitched his second complete game of the season, but it came in a loss as the University of Hawai’i Rainbow baseball team dropped its seventh straight game with a 3-2 loss at Cal Poly on Saturday night.
Cooper (2-4) became the second Rainbow pitcher to suffer a complete-game loss. Connor Little tossed a complete game in a 4-1 defeat to UC Irvine on Apr. 5. Cooper allowed two earned runs on four hits in his eight innings of work while also recording seven strikeouts, but suffered the defeat as Hawai’i fell to 7-24 overall and 2-6 in the Big West Conference.
Matt Imhof (4-1) recorded 11 strikeouts for Cal Poly (24-8, 6-2 BWC), allowing two unearned runs in seven and one-third innings for the win.
Imhof was having his way with the Rainbow lineup until the eighth inning when UH scored a pair of runs to come within one run of tying the game. Austin Wobrock, who had two hits and a run to lead the ‘Bows, tagged up from third on a Pi’ikea Kitamura (1 RBI) sac fly to score and cut the lead to 3-2. Cooper pitched a scoreless eighth inning to keep the deficit at one run, but reliever Reed Reilly retired the ‘Bows in order in the ninth for his ninth save.
Jimmy Allen had a hit and two runs for Cal Poly, who jumped on the ‘Bows early with a pair of runs in the first inning. Nick Torres (2 RBI) scored Denver Chavez (1-3, 1 R) on a sac fly to put the Mustangs up 1-0, then Allen scored on a Kitamura throwing error for the second run of the inning. UH had a season-high three errors.
Max Duval (1 R) began UH’s two-run eighth inning by drawing a walk, then advanced to second after Wobrock was hit by an Imhof pitch. Andre Real (1-4) then came to the plate and hit a deep fly ball to left centerfield that popped out of the glove of leftfielder Tim Wise. Duval scored on the play for UH’s first run to cut the lead to 3-1.
Hawai’i and Cal Poly will play their series finale on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. PT (10:00 a.m. HT).
*Courtesy of Hawai’i Athletics*