Kansas clips Hawai‘i, 9-6

The University of Hawai‘i Rainbow baseball team (43-16) fell victim to the Kansas Jayhawks (43-23) and their home run power, 9-6, in the first game of the NCAA Regional at Goss Stadium Friday. Matthew Daly (6-1) took the loss, his first of the year. Brendan McNamara (3-2) got the win while All-American Don Czyz picked up his 19th save of the year for the Jayhawks.

The Rainbows got bad news before the game as their All-American ace pitcher, Steven Wright, was a late scratch for the game with flu-like symptoms. Wright will likely miss the entire regional.

Jonathan Hee led the way at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run and a RBI. Matthew Inouye added a 1-for-3 game with a run and a RBI while Derek DuPree went 2-for-5. Robbie Wilder also was 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run while Elijah Christensen went 1-for-4 with a run and a RBI. Kristoppher Sanchez scored two runs.

Hawai‘i opened the scoring in the top of the first, as Inouye drew a bases-loaded walk to give the ‘Bows a 1-0 edge. UH looked to add to their lead, but Esteban Lopez grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases still loaded, keeping the lead at just one run.

Wilder hit a RBI-single in the second inning to push the lead to 2-0.

But Hawai‘i again squandered another opportunity, leaving the bases loaded at the end of the inning.

Kansas also loaded the bases in the bottom of the second, but UH was able to get out of the inning unscathed, keeping their edge at 2-0.

The Rainbows kept their offense going in the top of the third as Christensen and Hee drove in runs before Sanchez scored on a wild pitch to give UH a three-run inning, pushing their lead to 5-0.

The Rainbows will play today against Wright State at 10 a.m. (HST) in an elimination game.

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