The No. 24 University of Hawai‘i Rainbow baseball team (41-13) shut out the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (32-24) 8-0 in the first game of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament at Pete Beiden Field Thursday.
Steven Wright (11-2) got the win, allowing no runs on four hits with no walks while tying his career high with 13 strikeouts. Luke Burnett (3-6) took the loss for the Bulldogs.
Matthew Inouye went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs. Esteban Lopez added a 2-for-2 game with a double, a run and a RBI. Luis Avila was 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs while Elijah Christensen went 1-for-3 with a run and a RBI.
Christensen put the ‘Bows on the board in the bottom of the second inning, following a ground-rule double by Lopez with a sacrifice fly, scoring Inouye, to make it 1-0.
Inouye and Lopez then drove in back-to-back runs in the bottom of the fourth to push their edge to 3-0. Avila then blasted a home run far past the left field fence in the sixth to make it 4-0.
That would be more than enough for Wright, who didn’t allow a runner past first base until the eighth inning, when Brian Rike hit a ground-rule double to left field.
The Rainbows then broke it open in the bottom of the eighth. Inouye started the scoring with a RBI-double down the left line. Inouye then scored on an error before Joseph Spiers hit a two-run single down the right field line, giving them a 8-0 lead. Tyler Davis came in and pitched a perfect ninth inning to close out the victory.
Hawai‘i will now play the feature game today against Nevada at 4 p.m. (HST).
UH’s Hakala earns academic honors
University of Hawai‘i men’s volleyball player Lauri Hakala was named today to the 2006 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII Men’s At-Large first team. The team was selected by the College of Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The opposite hitter maintained a 3.88 cumulative grade point average, majoring in speech. The native of Pieksamaki, Finland, led the nationally ranked Warriors to a 23-5 overall record. Hakala, a 6-2 junior, averaged 3.97 kills per game with a .371 attack percentage. He added 1.03 blocks and 1.61 digs per game on defense.
He was a first-team all-MPSF honoree, posting double-figure kills in 22 of 28 matches and later picked up first-team American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America team hardware.