UH-Hilo right-hander Travis Burleson delivered several quality performances as a freshman – but nothing like this.
Reliever John Kea took the reins as closer in 2018 and nailed down a program-record nine saves – none comparable to what he accomplished in his latest one.
The pitching lines that Burleson and Kea finished with Sunday must be viewed differently from what is considered above average. Look at them through the prism of just how nightmarish the previous 27 innings had been for Vulcans pitchers at Hans L’Orange Park in Waipahu, Oahu.
The sophomores applied a tourniquet to UHH’s pitching woes, lifting the Vuls to a 3-2 victory to avoid a sweep against Hawaii Pacific and halt a five-game losing streak.
The Sharks (10-3) won the first game Sunday 20-10, giving them 53 runs and 54 hits against UHH (3-6) in the first three games over the weekend.
Vulcans ace Dylan Spain didn’t appear in the nonconference series, so Burleson (1-0) went out and did what any good ace does. He stopped the bleeding, holding HPU down (five-plus innings, four hits, two runs) in what have must felt like a no-hitter to coach Kallen Miyataki.
John Bicos’ run-scoring single in the sixth put the Vulcans ahead, and Kea stranded the bases loaded in the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings for his first save of the season.
Burleson struck out one and walked two, departing after allowing a leadoff single in the sixth. Kea also worked around a double in the seventh, striking out one and walking one.
Mana Manago and RJ Romo collected two hits apiece for the Vuls, who scored 29 runs in the first three games but came up empty.
UHH didn’t score until the fifth, when Bicos walked and Manago singled with one out. Bicos tied the game on Marcus Calamese’s single to right, and Manago came home on a wild pitch.
Romo led off the sixth with a hit to spur the go-ahead rally.
In the first game, Calamese hit a three-run homer, but UHH starter Devan Elson (0-2) didn’t get out of the third, allowing nine runs (six earned).
At Holua Tennis Center
No. 10 UHH 4, UC San Diego 0
#28 Vaclav Slezak (UHH) def. Marc Isaia (UCSD), 6-1, 6-1.
#33 Alessandro Giuliato (UHH) def. Sahm Irvine (UCSD), 6-2, 6-0.
Martin Soukal (UHH) def. Neil Tengbumroong (UCSD), 6-4, 6-3.
Chun En Wu (UHH) vs. Zach Ermert (UCSD), 6-3, 3-4, unfinished
Luca Checchia (UHH) vs. Richard Han (UCSD), 6-7 (5-7), 1-1, unfinished
Alan Cincunegui (UHH) vs. Sreeganesh Manoharan (UCSD), 6-2, 3-3, unfinished
#12 Slezak/Giuliato (UHH) def. Manoharan/Ermert (UCSD), 6-3.
En Wu/Soukal (UHH) def. Tenbumroong/Isaia (UCSD), 6-2.
Checchia/Alan Cincunegui (UHH) def. Marius Ruh/Han (UCSD), 6-0.
UH Hilo 7, Chaminade 0
Marina Colvee (UHH) def. Catrina Liner (CUH) 6-2, 6-1.
Anouk van Hoek (UHH) def. Salamasina Te`i (CUH), 6-0, 6-1.
Carmelle Joyner (UHH) def. Elyssa Shirai (CUH), 6-0, 6-0.
Hina Nishida (UHH) def. Cai Yan Fang (CUH), 6-0, 6-2.
Irena Le (UHH) def. Tomomi Kohno, (CUH), 6-1, 6-1.
Gabriela Aguilar Lawlor (UHH) def. Caitlin Tatemichi (CUH), 6-0, 6-0.
van Hoek/Joyner (UHH) def. Liner/Te`i (CUH), 6-2.
Colvee/Le (UHH) def. Shirai/Fang (CUH), 6-1.
Nishida/Aguilar Lawlor (UHH) def. Kohno/Tatemichi (CUH), 6-0.