The University of Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors baseball team took to the field on Saturday, going head-to-head against a bevy of former players in the annual Alumni Game, claiming an 11-1 victory over the former Rainbow Warriors.
The current Rainbow Warriors produced an impressive defensive performance, keeping the alumni team off the board until the eighth frame, while also making big strikes to get on the board with huge outbursts in the back half of the exhibition.
Junior right-handed pitcher Brendan Hornung made a sound debut in the Green and White, starting and pitching seven complete frames, striking out eight alumni, while only issuing one walk and one hit.
For the veterans, KHON2 Weekend Sports Anchor, Sam Spangler, who played for the ‘Bows from 2006-2010, pitched one shut out inning, allowing no hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Senior shortstop Jacob Sheldon-Collins got the current ‘Bows going early, recording a single in the first inning and stealing second.
In the bottom of the fourth, junior left fielder Marcus Doi put the Rainbow Warriors on the board, firing an RBI single up the middle with a pair of runners on board. Sophomore third baseman Johnny Weeks followed with a two-run double down the right field line, and sophomore catcher Chayce Ka’aua closed off a four-run inning with an RBI drive over the shortstop.
With one solid swing, junior right fielder Alex Fitchett crushed a rare left center home run beyond both fences for three runs and a 7-0 advantage.
Sheldon-Collins tacked on another in the seventh on a bloop RBI single into right field.
The alumni made their mark in the eighth as Josh Slaats (2008-10) gave the crowd a bow at first, chopping an RBI single through the left side, but that was it for the alumni on the afternoon.
In the meantime, the current ‘Bows expanded their edge, as late-game reserves tacked up some runs. Redshirt freshman David Noworyta logged a two-run single into shallow center, bringing home freshman outfielder Kobi Candorama and Weeks to reach double digits. Freshman catcher Kekai Rios followed for the 11-1 final lead after Sheldon-Collins reached on an error.
The current Rainbow Warriors logged 12 hits, while holding the alumni to one three. UH walked seven times and only issued two all afternoon, also making five steals.
The Rainbow Warriors open their season a week ahead of the rest of the nation, utilizing a Hawaii exemption, playing UH-Hilo on the Big Island at Wong Stadium, Feb. 13-14. UH will next be in Les Murakami Stadium from Feb. 19-22 to face New Mexico in the home-opening series.