The University of Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (21-32) baseball team wrapped up the 2015 season on Sunday, taking a loss to Pac-12 foe Arizona (31-24) at Hi Corbett Field. Though the ‘Bows answered early Arizona scores, the Wildcats engineered a big fifth-inning push to down Hawai’i, 8-1.
With redshirt senior Jarrett Arakawa making his final career start for Hawai’i, the Wildcats opened up with a surprising hit, as shortstop Kevin Newman put a shot out of left field for the first home run off Arakawa since 2012 for the 1-0 lead in the first. The Wildcats extended their advantage with a Joseph Maggi sacrifice fly in the second.
Slow starting against UA starter Bobby Dalbec, the ‘Bows got moving in the top of the third, trimming the deficit to a single run after Jacob Sheldon-Collins sparked UH with a leadoff single. Right fielder Matt LoCoco would come around to score on second baseman Stephen Ventimilia’s contact to center field. The deep ball tipped off the glove of the running fielder and was ruled a dropped fly, giving Sheldon-Collins the opportunity to put UH on the board for the 2-1 score.
However, the Wildcats were quick to respond, with Dalbec placing a homer narrowly above the out-line in right field for the 3-1 lead. Allowing two singles and collecting two outs in the fifth, Arakawa’s day and Hawai’i career ended in the fifth, but Arizona got to reliever Kyle Von Ruden, with four consecutive runs scored as RBI from Tyler Krause and Zach Gibbons, with Krause taking home after beating a rundown on a delayed double steal.
Gibbons added a sacrifice fly in the seventh to cap off the UA scoring with an 8-1 advantage. Although the ‘Bows had runners aboard in each of the final three frames, Dalbec teamed with Robby Medel to keep UH off the board.
Dalbec (3-7) earned the win for Arizona, going seven (7.0) innings with three (3) hits and one (1) run allowed, issuing a walk and striking out three (3).
Arakawa (3-5) takes the loss after a 4.2-inning outing, giving seven (7) hits, with five (5) runs, recording a walk and a strikeout. With Sunday’s start, Arakawa’s 50th, he moves ahead of Hawai’i legend Derek Tatsuno (1977-79), tying MLB alumni Bruce Walton (1982-85) and Scott Karl (1990-92) for sixth in the UH record book. He finishes with a 17-16 career record.
At the plate, Sheldon-Collins took charge, hitting 2-for-4 and bringing LoCoco home for the lone run. LoCoco was 1-for-2 with a walk on the day. A junior, Sheldon-Collins finishes on a huge hitting run, registering 19 hits across the last 12 contests of the season.
Much like Arakawa, a pair of classmates end their UH careers in the record book after the final weekend. Ventimilia recorded 12 assists, including three (3) double plays across three games, finishing his UH tenure with 486 assists, passing Jon Hee (2004-08) for ninth on the all-time list. Aliviado falls a single at-bat shy of Curt Watanabe (1976-79) with 797 for 10th in career at-bats.
Hawai’i concludes its season with a 21-32 record, while in Big West Conference play, the ‘Bows were 12-12, finishing .500 for the first time since joining the league. In addition to Arakawa, seven other seniors took the field for the final time as Rainbow Warriors—Aliviado, Eric Gleese, Andrew Jones, Stephen Pollakov and Ventimilia all saw action on Sunday, Juliene Jones and Jordan Richartz did not play.
Up next for Hawai’i is the 2015 MLB first year player draft, which will be held June 8-10.