Jacob Igawa was the University of Hawaii’s offense in the first game of a doubleheader against UC Santa Barbara.
That wasn’t enough to get the Rainbow Warriors off the schneid, but Igawa’s defense helped get them there in the second game. Tai Atkins walked the tight rope for his first career save, securing a 6-5 win Saturday at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu to halt a seven-game losing streak.
The score of the first game: Gauchos 5, Igawa 4. Trailing 5-0, the former Waiakea standout hit an opposite-field blast in the sixth, his second three-run home run in as many weekends, to finally put UH (12-9, 4-7 Big West) on the scoreboard in the series. It was shut out in Friday’s series opener. The cleanup hitter in both games, Igawa tacked on a run-scoring single in the eighth, but the comeback fell short and Cade Halemanu (2-1) was saddled with the loss, pitching just three innings.
The ‘Bows fell behind again when No. 28 UC Santa Barbara (17-8, 8-3) plated four runs off starter Austin Texeira. UH got going in the bottom of the second, turning three hits, — Tyler Murray hit an RBI double — three hit batters and a walk into a four-run rally to tie the game, and Logan Pouelsen (2-0), recently demoted to the bullpen, was stellar in relief, slowing the Gauchos down for five innings, striking out six.
Adam Fogel’s sacrifice fly gave UH its first lead of the series in the fourth, and Waiakea alum Stone Miyao hit a two-out RBI single to deliver a key insurance run in the fifth.
The ‘Bows stayed ahead thanks in large part to Igawa and Atkins, a two-time BIIF player of the year at Kamehameha.
UCSB finally got to Pouelsen for a run in the seventh, but Igawa threw out a runner at home from left field to preserve a 6-5 lead.
Atkins allowed a runner to reach third in the eighth, but got out of the inning with strikeout. In the ninth, a single and two hit batters loaded the bases, but Scotty Scott ventured near the warning track in right to secure the final out.
Miyao drove in two runs.
UH will try to gain a split of the four-game series at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.