HONOLULU – Matt Cooper was on his way to a career-night but a key error on a routine fly ball turned the tides as the University of Hawai’i Rainbow Warrior baseball team lost 3-2 to No. 4 Cal Poly in a Big West Conference matchup on Friday night at Les Murakami.
Cooper and the ‘Bows up led 2-0 through two innings, but the momentum quickly shifted when Cal Poly scored two runs in the fifth inning to tie the game. Jimmy Allen (1 H, 1 R) led off the inning with a double then scored when Adam Hurley dropped a routine fly ball hit by Tim Wise (1 H, 1 R, 1 RBI) to right field. Wise later scored on a squeeze play to tie the game.
Cooper (3-3) suffered the loss in seven complete innings of work. He gave up two earned runs on six hits with eight strikeouts before being lifted for Quintin Torres-Costa to start the eighth inning. Matt Imhof (7-2) earned the win for Cal Poly (28-5, 6-1 BWC), allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.
The ‘Bows struck first when a bloop single by Marc Flores (1 H, 1 RBI) scored Ventimilia for the game’s first run. UH had a chance for more but Trevor Podratz‘s bases-loaded strikeout ended the inning with the ‘Bows scoring just the one run.
Hawai’i came back for more in the second inning when Aliviado’s run-scoring double put the ‘Bows ahead 2-0. Ventimilia legged out an infield grounder before stealing second base. Aliviado then slapped an Imhof pitch down the left field line to score Ventimilia from second.
Wise then gave the Mustangs their first lead one inning later. His base hit drove home Brian Mundell (1 H, 1 R) from second for what proved to be the gamewinner.
The ‘Bows and Mustangs retake the field on Saturday for game two of the series. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.
*Courtesy of Hawai’i Athletics*