‘Bows drop second straight to Cal Poly, loses series to open BWC schedule

The University of Hawai’i (19-11, 1-2 BWC) baseball team never got on track in Sunday’s series finale at Cal Poly (12-18, 4-2 BWC), dropping the rubber match and the series against the Mustangs with a 7-1 loss at Baggett Stadium.

After an overturned call took a Rainbow Warriors run off the board in the second, the scoreboard remained at zeroes until the bottom of the third. The Mustangs used a single and a double to score the game’s first run on a balk. Center fielder Alex McKenna followed with the first of his three hits and two RBI to close the frame and spark Cal Poly.

Cal Poly starter Bobby Ay kept the Rainbow Warriors at bay beyond the game’s midpoint. Despite walking five Rainbow Warriors, the right-handed sophomore no-hit Hawai’i up through the fifth, as shortstop Dustin Demeter logged the first UH base knock in the top of the sixth. However, it was the eighth before Hawai’i could tack a run on the board, bringing home Dylan Vchulek on an Alex Fitchett RBI fielder’s choice.

The Rainbow Warriors were not without opportunities on Sunday, leaving nine batters on base, including three in the final two innings. With four runs scored across the seventh and eighth, the Mustangs continued to keep UH at an arm’s length, setting up the 7-1 final margin.

With the loss, Cal Poly claimed the 2-1 series win, extending their overall Big West record against UH to 11-4.

Hawai’i starter Neil Uskali (4-2) threw 6.2 innings with four earned runs on nine hits, while Ay (1-3) went 7.1 innings in the win with five hits.

Of the five UH hits, second baseman Johnny Weeks went 2-for-4.

The Rainbow Warriors remain on the mainland for the coming week, as the six-game road swing continues next Friday at UC Riverside. The Highlanders (12-15) are 1-6 in Big West play after falling in a sweep this week at Long Beach State.

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