SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The University of Hawai'i baseball team (27-24, 11-13 BWC) closed the 2018 season with a victory on Saturday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium, spoiling UC Santa Barbara's (27-28-2, 10-14 BWC) Senior Day with a 10-6 win on a big bat-swinging day for the Rainbow Warriors.
In their bid to salvage the series, the Rainbow Warriors scrapped out a tug-of-war battle with the Gauchos on Saturday, battling back from an early deficit to tie the game in the sixth and again in the seventh. The 'Bows finally gained the upper hand as sophomore right fielder Adam Fogel unleashed a first-pitch, three-run homer to put Hawai'i on top for good.
It became obvious quickly that UH was in for a fight in the season finale. The Rainbow Warriors and Gauchos traded blows in the opening stanza, as Fogel logged an RBI single in the top half and Andrew Martinez countered with a leadoff home run in the home half, kicking off a 4-for-5 hitting affair for the freshman. Two more runs followed for UCSB to exit the first inning with a two-run advantage.
The third inning was more of the same, as shortstop Maaki Yamazaki homered to right field and the Gauchos countered with a two-out Tevin Mitchell RBI single
The Rainbow Warriors put the leadoff man aboard five times in the first six innings and it couldn't have been a bigger occasion than in the sixth frame, when Fogel came around to score the tie run on a double play ball.
Although the Gauchos slugged back in the sixth with a run, the seventh was a huge strike for the Rainbow Warriors, knotting the score with a Johnny Weeks RBI single and blowing the game open with Fogel's three-run blast.
The Rainbow Warriors went on to add two more in the eighth, courtesy of a Chayce Ka'aua RBI single and Johnny Weeks' RBI walk. Although UCSB was able to take its first run from senior reliever Matt Richardson (2-1) in the ninth, he knocked out the requisite three outs to secure the 10-6 win after throwing 3.1 two-hit innings, tabbing two strikeouts.
In likely his last UH appearance, junior Jackson Rees started the finale, throwing 5.1 innings to no decision.
At the plate, the Rainbow Warriors racked up 14 hits, paced by Fogel's 3-for-5, career-high four RBI, two-run outing. With eight on the year, Fogel finishes the year with the most home runs since Jeff van Doornum in 2010.
Yamazaki was also 2-for-4 and scored three times with an RBI. The 'Bows only struck out three times on the day.
With his 22nd sacrifice bunt in the first inning, Weeks also secured his spot in the UH record books as the single-season sacrifice bunt record holder, bypassing Michael Dartt (1999). Add that to his UH career record, which ends with Weeks' four-year career at 46.
With the win, UH finishes its season at 27-24, recording the second consecutive winning season.