SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Matt Cooper tossed his second complete game of the season to lift the University of Hawai’i Rainbow Warrior baseball team to a 3-1 Big West Conference opening win over 10th-ranked UC Santa Barbara on Friday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Cooper (3-1) had five strikeouts through two innings and finished with nine on the afternoon. He allowed just the one Gaucho run on six hits and issued just two bases on balls against the Big West’s top hitting team.
Marcus Doi returned to the lineup for the first time in three weeks and didn’t disappoint. He led the ‘Bows (13-12, 1-0 BWC) with three hits, one run and one RBI including a single and run scored to put UH ahead in the second inning. Stephen Ventimilia added three hits of his own and Kaeo Aliviado had two hits and two runs scored.
Justin Jacome (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season for the Gauchos who fall to 17-4 overall and 0-1 in the Big West. Jacome allowed three runs on 11 hits in six and one third innings of work. Peter Maris and Joey Epperson each had two hits for UCSB.
The ‘Bows got their first run in the second inning when back-to-back singles by Trevor Podratz and Adam Hurley (2-4, 1 RBI) led to Doi’s run. They tacked on another run in the second inning when a Doi base hit scored Aliviado on a play at the plate.
UH got its third run in the fifth inning off consecutive doubles by Aliviado and Marc Flores (2-4, 1 RBI). Flores doubled down the left field line with two outs to score Aliviado from second and give Hawai’i a 3-0 lead.
UH and UCSB continue their series on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. PT (11:00 a.m. HT).