Bats Fail the ‘Bows as Baseball Drops Rainy Season Opener to Wright State, 8-3

BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED FEB 18, 2023 | 1 A.M. HST

MANOA — As the “Manoa Mist” showered fans and players alike Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium, the Hawai’i baseball team fell to visiting Wright State, 8-3.

Harry Gustin got the opening day nod for the ‘Bows, as the sophomore left-hander took the bump Friday.

Gustin opened the game walking the first Raider batter, then gave up a 2-run home run to Wright State first baseman Julien Greenwell before retiring the next three batters in order. 

The ‘Bows would look to answer back in the bottom half of the opening inning, but a Kyson Donahue strikeout left a runner stranded on second base.

The Raiders continued their strong start, adding on two more runs in the top of the second inning after a Parker Harrison RBI double and an RBI fielder’s choice from Justin Reimer to extend the lead, 4-0.

Gustin was able to settle in, retiring five of the next eight batters he faced before being pulled after 3.2 innings of work. Trevor Ichimura came on in relief to escape a jam in the top of the fourth and pitched magnificently in his 3.1 innings the rest of the evening. 

UH recorded just two hits in the first six innings, then a base-running error in the 7th inning with two on and just one out ended a ‘Bows rally. As the rain continued to come down, the ‘Bows offense continued to slumber while they kept the Raiders from doing any further damage on the scoreboard. 

Zach Losey made his debut in the top of the 8th inning for the Rainbow Warriors but saw his control struggle in the elements and fell victim to bad luck with balls in play. Two walks, a bunt single and an E5 helped the Raiders push across another run to make it a five-run deficit for the ‘Bows. 

The Raiders added on three more runs after Losey was pulled in favor of Tyler Dyball, who could not escape the jam without allowing the inherited runners to cross the plate. When all was said and done, the ‘Bows entered the bottom of the 8th inning down, 8-0.

Hawai’i had some batted ball luck of their own in the bottom half of the frame, racking up back-to-back infield singles to put runners on the corners with one out. A wild pitch from Garret Simpson would help the Rainbow Warriors plate a run, but the Raiders would grab a pair of outs to escape the jam without further damage being done.

Sean Wiese had a nice start to his 2023 campaign, retiring all three Raiders batters he faced in a 1-2-3 9th inning appearance.

The ‘Bows looked to get a rally going in their final ups of the night, as a Kyson Donahue double followed by a Matt Wong infield single set up UH with runners on first and third with nobody out. 

Hawai’i cut into the lead with a fielder’s choice hit directly to the second baseman, plating another run. Stone Miyao singled to center field, and the ‘Bows had runners back on the corners with only one out.

Bronson Rivera hit a ground ball that looked to be a tailor-made double-play, but the hustle of Rivera extended the game as he beat the throw and another run scored to cut the deficit to five.

UH’s Zach Storbakken would go down swinging to end the game, as the ‘Bows dropped their season opener, 8-3.  

Notable Final Pitching Lines – 

Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors

Harry Gustin: 3.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, L 

Trevor Ichimura: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 K 

 Wright State Raiders

Jake Shirk: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 0 ER, 6 K, W 

The two teams will face off again on Saturday, February 18 at Les Murakami Stadium for a double-header with the first of the games taking place at 1:05 P.M. HST. 

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