(HAWAII ATHLETICS) – The BYU Cougars (4-2) snapped the perfect opening to the 2018 season for University of Hawai'i baseball (4-1) on Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium, pulling ahead in the 10th inning and stranding the tying run on second base for the 4-3 BYU win.
A 3-3 tie stood in the second game of the series for six innings, but a pair of consequential miscues in extra innings gave BYU the chance to edge ahead. After center fielder Mitch McIntyre singled up the middle off UH reliever Colin Ashworth, Brennon Anderson reached base on a fielding error during the first of a pair of BYU sac bunts. The second sacrifice moved two into scoring position and a full count walk loaded the bases. Right fielder Brock Hale capitalized with a sacrifice fly to right field, pushing the Cougars on top for the first lead since the third frame, 4-3.
Reliever Matt Richardson produced a full-count strikeout to minimize the damage, as the pressure shifted to Hawai'i. Heading to the home half, center fielder Dylan Vchulek led off with a single and right fielder Adam Fogel moved him over with a two-out walk. However, reliever Jake Suddreth struck out first baseman Eric Ramirez to end the perfect start with a man in scoring position.
With the happenings of the early innings, the finish wouldn't have been easily projected, as everything looked like it was coming up aces for the 'Bows in the second. Leading off the frame, Fogel launched a towering home run – his second this season – that easily landed on Lower Campus Road beyond the left field wall. Making his first start, designated hitter Logan Pouelsen followed up with an RBI double into the right center alley, with UH leaving the inning on a 2-0 advantage.
However, the Cougars fired right back, reeling off three runs in the top of the third, scoring on an RBI double, a wild pitch, and an RBI sacrifice bunt.
Leading off with a four-pitch walk, shortstop Maaki Yamazaki scored from third on a wild pitch, creating a tie that would stand the remainder of regulation play.
Six batters produced hits for Hawai'i in Friday's non-conference tilt.
Tossing 3.1 innings, Ashworth (0-1) took the loss, allowing three hits and a run, while striking out three. Starter Dominic DeMiero went 6.0 innings with six hits and three runs. The Rainbow Warriors employed four pitchers on the night to BYU's five.
With the series split 1-1, the Rainbow Warriors and Cougars return to action on Saturday afternoon for a doubleheader. The teams will play two full nine-inning games with first pitch slated for 12:05 p.m. at Les Murakami Stadium.