Rainbows open BWC series with loss to CSU-Northridge

Pi'ikea Kitamura // Hawaii Athletics
Pi'ikea Kitamura // Hawaii Athletics

HONOLULU – Conner George equaled a career-high three hits but it came in a loss as the University of Hawai’i Rainbow baseball team dropped its series opener to Cal State Northridge 4-1 on Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium.

The Rainbows (8-25, 3-7 BWC) returned home after a seven-game road trip and continued to struggle at the plate. George had three of UH’s five hits, with Andre Real (1 H, 1 R) and Pi’ikea Kitamura (1 H, 1 RBI) accounting for the other two.

Scott Squier (0-6) had five strikeouts through three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth. Nicholas Osuna (2 H, 2 RBI) scored a pair of runs on a base hit to give Northridge (20-17, 6-4 BWC) a 2-1 lead. Squier walked and hit a batter in the fifth inning before being lifted for Connor Little. Little worked five innings allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts in his first bullpen appearance of the season.

Jerry Keel pitched a complete game for Northridge, allowing just one unearned run on five hits with five strikeouts. Alexis Mercado did the damage for the Matadors, hitting 3-5 with one run and one RBI.

The ‘Bows opened the scoring in the third inning with their lone run of the game. Kitamura smacked a Keel pitch to right field with two outs to score Real from second.

Northridge answered back just one-half inning later and took the lead on Osuna’s two-RBI base hit. The Matadors then added to their advanatge with one run in the fifth inning, but could have scored more had Austin Wobrock not pulled off a stellar unassisted double play at shortstop.

With Keel in control, CSUN upped the lead to 4-1 when Nate Ring (1 H, 2 R), who had stolen second, scored on a Josh Goossen-Brown (1 H, 1 RBI) single through the left side of the Rainbow infield.

The ‘Bows and Matadors continue their series on Saturday at 6:35 p.m.

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