Despite battling back and limiting further scoring, the University of Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (9-16) baseball team fell to Loyola Marymount on Wednesday (March 25) night at LMU’s George C. Page Stadium. The LMU Lions’ two-inning offensive outburst to open the ‘Bows’ lone 2015 midweek contest proved too much, with LMU holding on to win 9-3.
Making his first career start, Andrew Jones allowed the first inning leadoff batter to reach base on four straight balls. LMU made him pay with full count double down the left field line, and Tanner Donnels’ sacrifice fly put the Lions on the board. A second base hit provided the Lions with an RBI off a David Edwards line shot up the middle to leave the opening frame with a 2-0 lead.
Juliene Jones took over on the mound for the ‘Bows in the second inning of the whole-staff non-conference tilt, but he did little to settle down the Lions, who opened on consecutive hard-hit singles, with the third run scoring during a fielder’s choice for center fielder Austin Miller.
With J. Jones loading the bases, Alex Hatch took the reins in the second and a pitch left high gave right fielder Ryan Erickson the shot for a three-run double and the 6-0 lead. The Lions capped off the second inning with a 9-0 advantage, following further scores from Ted Boeke and Kent Burckle.
With the game slated as a whole-staff affair from the onset, the night’s fourth pitcher, Josh Pigg, started to cool off the LMU momentum, stranding a pair of runners and allowing no damage in the third. Eric Gleese followed in the fourth and fifth, allowing just a single hit, while striking out two (2), giving the ‘Bows a chance to settle in and get the offense moving.
LMU went with a different arm to open the fourth, bringing Kevin Glomb out of the bullpen to replace starter Sean Watkins. On a full-count, Glomb plunked leadoff hitter Kaeo Aliviado. The Rainbow Warriors were able to cash in a run on left fielder Marcus Doi’s RBI single into right center.
Going three straight innings with runners left on base and only one run scored, the ‘Bows were able to tack up some more in the seventh against Tyler Cohen, as Aliviado capitalized on an Alan Baldwin walk and Jacob Sheldon-Collins single, sending a two-run single into center field to trim the advantage to 9-3.
Although the ‘Bows weren’t able to encroach further on the Lions’ advantage, LMU wasn’t able to grow their lead, with the final five UH pitchers of an eight-man outing turned in a stalwart performance, allowing no runs after the second. The rotation of Pigg, Gleese, Cody Culp, Kyle Von Ruden and Quintin Torres-Costa allowed only five (5) hits, one (1) walk, and struck out five (5) Lions.
In addition, Aliviado heavily aided the pitching effort, making five base hit-robbing catches in center field to help hold the line for the Rainbow Warriors.
Hawai’i fought to the closing out of the night, and recorded 11 hits, with runners on base in six of the final seven innings. Baldwin and Sheldon-Collins each went 2-for-4, with Sheldon-Collins scoring a run. Aliviado was 1-for-4 with two (2) RBI and one (1) run scored.
The loss was recorded for A. Jones (0-3) with two (2) runs allowed in one inning of work. Gleese went the deepest for the ‘Bows, throwing two (2.0) complete frames, allowing one (1) hit and striking out two (2).
Watkins (1-0) earned the win for LMU, pitching three (3.0) complete frames, allowing two (2) hits and no runs, while striking out five (5).
With the lone midweek contest in the books, the Rainbow Warriors now turn their focus to the Big West opener, as UH travels to Anteater Ballpark to meet last year’s BWC College World Series performer, UC Irvine (13-10), in a three-game series, March 27-29. The first two games of the series will be broadcast on ESPN3.