LONG BEACH, Calif. – Corey MacDonald recorded a career-high eight strikeouts and the University of Hawai’i Rainbow baseball team opened a four-run lead in the second inning and held on for a 5-2 win over Long Beach State on Saturday afternoon at Blair Field. The Rainbows (12-32, 7-13 Big West) improve to 4-2 in Big West Conference games on the road trip and will look to win their second league series on Sunday.
Marc Flores batted 3-4 with a run and an RBI. He doubled twice on the afternoon, his second scoring Kaeo Aliviado in the eighth inning to push the Rainbow lead to 5-2. Corey MacDonald (6-5) pitched six complete innings allowing one run on six hits and issuing just one walk. Lawrence Chew came on to start the seventh inning and picked up his second save of the season.
Jeff McNeil led the Dirtbags (23-25, 10-10 Big West) with three hits and one run with Juan Avila adding two hits and an RBI. Jake Stassi (4-3) went five and one-third innings for Long Beach State in the losing effort. He gave up four runs on five hits before being lifted for Ty Provencher in the sixth inning.
The ‘Bows struck early with four runs in the second inning. Only two balls left the infield with Stephen Ventimilia (1 H, 2 RBI) capping the big inning with a 2-RBI base hit to push the lead to 4-0. LJ Brewster (1 H, 1 R, 1 RBI) was issued a bases loaded walk and Austin Wobrock brought home Flores on an RBI ground out to shortstop.
Long Beach State scored its first run in the sixth inning, but two key strikeouts by MacDonald in what proved to be his final inning kept the Dirtbags from scoring a handful more. After hitting two consecutive batters, the second forcing in a run, he found himself in a bases loaded jam with just one out. MacDonald regained his composure and promptly struck out the next two batters to preserve the lead.
The Rainbows and Dirtbags conclude their series on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. PT (10:00 a.m. HT).