HONOLULU – The University of Hawai'i baseball team (22-19, 8-9 BWC) battled back from a late deficit to Cal Poly (21-24, 8-6 BWC) in Saturday night Big West action, falling just short of a ninth-inning comeback with the tie run on second base in the 10-9 Big West loss.
The Big West's top-hitting squad, the Mustangs kept the bats working in the first and were able to edge ahead early with a Samuelson RBI single in the first.
However, the 'Bows made an explosive reply in the home half, as sophomore right fielder Adam Fogel belted a two-out, three-run homer beyond the left field wall for his fifth dinger of the year and UH's first lead in 23 innings. After three scoreless innings, the 'Bows got on the board once again as Johnny Weeks brought home Maaki Yamazaki with a fifth-inning RBI single.
The UH insurance run woke up the bats for the Mustangs in response, shattering a solid outing for starter Cade Smith and then reliever Kyle Hatton, racking up seven runs in the sixth to take an 8-4 lead over the 'Bows.
Hawai'i wasn't going away quietly, using RBI singles by Alex Baeza and Yamazaki to steal back a pair in the home half of the inning. However, Cal Poly came back firing this time, reclaiming both runs via a RBI from a Bradlee Bessley double and a Scott Ogrin walk.
In the final two frames, Hawai'i made its final push, chipping off one run with an eighth-inning Dylan Vchulek RBI single and then drawing within one run thanks to ninth-inning RBI doubles from Eric Ramirez and Dustin Demeter. Representing the tie run, Demeter finished the game on second after reliever Taylor Dollard (2) collected an Ethan Lopez hot shot back at the mound to earn the save and quell the 'Bows comeback bid.
Hatton (2-2) took the loss on one inning of relief, while Andrew Alvarez (3-1) also went one inning for the win.
Tying a season-high 15 hits as a team, the 'Bows were led by Yamazaki and Kekai Rios, who each went 3-for-5 on the night. Both scored twice and Yamazaki tallied an RBI.
The Rainbow Warriors and Mustangs conclude the three-game series on Sunday at Les Murakami Stadium, with first pitch set for 1:05 p.m.