Garcia lifts Rainbows to baseball win in opener as UH splits with Oregon
Greg Garcia batted 3 for 5 and drove in the go-ahead run to ignite a three-run seventh and Hawai‘i beat No. 25 Oregon, 5-2, today in the first game of a doubleheader at Les Murakami Stadium.
The Rainbows (4-3) clinched the series by taking the third game of the four-game series that resumes later today. The Ducks (3-4) hope to avoid a series sweep in the second game, which is scheduled for seven innings.
David Freitas hit his first home run of his UH career in the sixth inning that gave UH a 2-1 lead and later his a sacrifice in the seventh that made it 5-3.
Alex Capaul (2-0) gave up the tying run in the top of the seventh, only to be bailed by the three-run bottom of the seventh from his teammates, in four-plus innings of relief of starter Josh Slaats. Lenny Linsky inherited runners at first and second with one out in the ninth, but retired the two batters he faced for his third save in as many games. Slaats went 4 1/3 innings, allowing a run, four hits and three walks with one strikeout.
Scott McGough allowed two runs, seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. But the Rainbows scored three off Ryan Fleckenstein (0-1) in two-thirds of an inning.
Hawai‘i took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third on a balk. Greg Garcia doubled to left-center with one out and went to third on Kolten Wong’s single to left. A balk scored Garcia and sent Wong to second.
Oregon tied it at 1 in the top of the fourth. Jack Marder led off with a single and stole second when Ryan Hambright struck out. Marder took third when J.J. Altobelli grounded out to second before Steven Packard walked. Danny Pulfer’s ground single to center scored Marder.
The Rainbows regained the lead in the sixth. With one out, David Freitas’solo home run to left put UH ahead, 2-1, and McGough was replaced by Alex Keudell. After C.J. Johnson flied out to left, Pi‘ikea Kitamura doubled to right-center. Keudell was pulled for the left-handed Ryan Fleckenstein to face the left-handed hitting Sean Montplaisir, who flied out to center.
The Ducks tied it in the top of the seventh when Pulfer led off with a double to right, took third on Mitch Karraker’s deep fly to right on a nice catch by right fielder Collin Bennett and scored on Curtis Raulinaitis’RBI single to left.
The Rainbows scored three in the to bottom of the seventh to retake the lead. Breland Almadova led off with a double to right and scored on Garcia’s single to center. Wong beat out a chopper to third for a single, sending Garcia to second. Kevin Macdonald reached first when Garcia was forced at third on a bunt to the pitcher. Fleckenstein was lifted for Madison Boer. Bennett’s double to left scored Wong and moved Macdonald to third. Fretias’ sacrifice fly to center scored Macdoald and sent Bennett to third before Johnson bounced out to the pitcher to end the inning.
OREGON 3, UH 0, 2ND GAME
Zack Thornton and Drew Gagnier combined on a two-hitter to help No. 25 Oregon beat Hawai‘i, 3-0, tonight in a scheduled seven-inning second game to salvage a split of a doubleheader and avoid a sweep of the four-game series at Les Murakami Stadium.
Thornton (1-0) went 5 2/3 innings, allowing no runs, two hits and two walks with five strikeouts for the Ducks (4-4). Gagnier added 1 1/3 scoreless innings for his first save.
Sam Spangler (0-20) went 3 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, five hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He also hit two batters. Connor Little added 2 2/3 scoreless innings and Jesse Moore added a scoreless frame for the Rainbows (4-4).
The Ducks broke the scorless deadlock with a three-run top of the fourth. With two outs, Shawn Peterson and Jett Hart hit successive singles and K.C. Serna was hit by a pitch to load the bases against Spangler. Pulfer walked to force in a run and reload the bases. Spangler was pulled for Connor Little.
Little hit Marder to force in a run and then threw a wild pitch to score another and advance the other runners to second and third. But Little stuck out Nick Wagner to end the inning.