RUSTON, La. — The University of Hawai‘i Rainbow baseball team (29-29) ran away with a victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack (32-25) 14-5 in the Western Athletic Conference Tournament at J.C. Love Field on the campus of Louisiana Tech yesterday, advancing to the winner’s bracket. Joshua Schneider (6-2) pitched well, allowing five runs in 7.1 innings to get the win. Kyle Howe (8-3) took the loss for Nevada.
Jeffrey Van Doornum had a huge game, going 3-for-6 with two home runs and five RBI. Brandon Haislet added a 4-for-6 game with a home run, a double and three RBI, while Jonathan Hee went 3-for-6 with a double, two runs and an RBI. Landon Hernandez added a 3-for-5 game with a run, with Matt Roquemore, Greg Garcia, Kevin Macdonald and Vinnie Catricala had two hits and two runs each.
Van Doornum got the Rainbow offense started, slamming a three-run home run off the scoreboard in right field, giving the ‘Bows a quick 3-0 edge. Hawai‘i then put up another big inning in the bottom of the second scoring three runs, highlighted by a deep two-run homer to left, pushing their lead to 6-0.
Nevada put up a run in the top of the third to cut it back to 6-1. But the Rainbows’ run parade kept going in the bottom of the third as Macdonald scored on an error before Roquemore drove in another, giving Hawai‘i an 8-1 edge.
The Wolf Pack got to Schneider a bit in the top of the fourth, scoring two runs on three hits to cut their deficit back to 8-3. But Hawai‘i kept hitting. Van Doornum started it up in the fourth with a solo home run, his second of the game. Derek DuPree then drove a two-run single up the middle to get UH’s lead to 11-3.
Van Doornum drove in another run in the seventh to get it to 12-3. UH had a chance to end the game by the 10-run rule in the seventh, but left the game-ending run on third, keeping the game alive. Nevada took advantage of the extra life, scoring two runs in the top of the eighth to get it back to 12-5.
The Rainbows again extended their lead to nine runs in the bottom of the eighth as Hee and Haislet drove in runs on back-to-back hits, pushing it to 14-5. Cory Kahn took care of the rest, pitching 1.2 no-hit innings to close out the victory.
The Rainbows will now face Fresno State in the game between the two undefeated teams at 6 a.m. HST.