University of Hawaii baseball coach Mike Trapasso clearly wasn’t having any of it Saturday after his team was swept in a doubleheader at UC Irvine.
“The first game was an abomination to the craft of pitching and defense, ” Trapasso told Tribune News Service.
A spirited mid-inning rally not withstanding, matters didn’t get much better Sunday for the ’Bows in a result that is more common in football. The Anteaters belted 21 hits and sent UH to an early exit via a new league mercy rule, winning a slugfest 20-10 to complete a four-game sweep.
The ‘Bows (11-7, 3-5 Big West) head back to the islands on a five-game losing streak and will try to regroup ahead of a visit from UC Santa Barbara.
At least for now, they’ve seen enough of UC Irvine (14-7, 8-0), who tied an Anteater Ballpark record for runs against eight pitchers and had three players finish with four hits.
Long after starter Logan Pouelsen was pulled after giving up seven hits and five runs (four earned) in 1 1/3 innings, the ‘Bows scored seven times in the fifth – Waiakea alums Jacob Igawa (bases-loaded walk) and Safea Villaruz-Mauai (single) each drove in runs in the inning – to charge all the way back from an 8-1 deficit. UH actually took the lead in the sixth on Adam Fogel’s second home run of the season and Alex Baeza’s RBI double before the roof caved in.
Dillon Tatum’s two-run triple sparked a three-run rally for Irvine in the sixth, and it came up with six hits, three of them for extra bases, and took advantage of two errors, a balk and a walk to score eight times to activate the 10-run rule implemented by the Big West this season.
“I’ve never seen one like that,” Anteaters coach Ben Orloff said on the school’s website. “We’ve talked about our guys’ willingness to just continue to play regardless of circumstances and their will to win. A couple different games yesterday. Today you’re up 8-1 and its easy to think the game’s over and you blink and its 8-8 and then we’re chasing runs, so just our guys’ commitment to just play.”
UH’s sixth pitcher, Trevor Ichimura, took the loss, though his pitching line (one run, two hits, one inning) was prettier than some others. The ‘Bows combined to hit five batters and committed three errors. Making his third appearance of the season, Kamehameha-Hawaii alum Tai Atkins came on in the fifth and faced two batters, walking the first and hitting the second, but he wasn’t charged with a run.
Villaruz-Mauai was one of four UH players to finish with two hits. His single in the third scored Igawa (1 for 2, two runs, two walks), who doubled one day after hitting his first home run. Villaruz-Mauai (2 for 4) is 12 for 30 (.400) on the season and is tied for third on the team with 11 RBIs. Igawa is 10 for 29 (.345) with seven RBIs. Another former Waiakea standout, second baseman Stone Miyao, hit leadoff for the first time this season and was 0 for 4 with a walk.