HAWAII-HILO 6-5, GEORGE FOX 3-6: Bruins Gain Split of Twi-Night Twinbill with Vulcans
HILO, Hawai’i – After dropping the first game of a twi-night doubleheader with the NCAA Division II University of Hawai’i-Hilo Vulcans 6-3, the George Fox University Bruins bounced back to take the nightcap 6-5 in non-conference baseball Friday here at Francis Wong Stadium.
In the opener, the Bruins jumped to a 3-0 lead through four innings. In the top of the 2nd, Dan Winterstein singled, moved up on a sacrifice and a single by Seth Anderson, and scored on Jason Brown’s grounder to first. In the 4th, Eric Gantenbein and Taylor Hunter led off with singles, and Gantenbein scored when Kyle Kuenzi sacrificed and was safe on an error by pitcher Brian Shannon. Hunter later scored on Matt Wyckoff’s sacrifice fly.
Held scoreless by Bruin righthander Brian Davis through three innings, the Vulcans exploded for four runs, three of them unearned, to take the lead in the bottom of the 4th. Gary Jones scored the first run on a wild pitch, Jeff Hanna singled in two runs to tie it, and Ronel Trias scored the go-ahead run on an infield single with the bases loaded.
The Vulcans added two more in the 5th as Bruin reliever Todd Herbst struggled with his control. Bases-loaded walks to Hanna and Keoni Manago provided the insurance runs.
Shannon (1-0) picked up the win for Hilo with five innings of work, while Nathan Kekahuna threw two innings of one-hit ball for his first save. Davis (0-1) took the loss despite allowing only one earned run in 3.2 innings, but three Bruin hurlers walked nine in the game.
Winterstein had two of the Bruins’ six hits, while Hanna had two hits and knocked in three for the Vulcans, who also collected only six hits.
In the nightcap, the Bruins broke a 4-4 tie with two runs in the top of the 6th, then turned the lead over to the bullpen to preserve the win. Hunter started the winning rally by getting hit by a pitch and Wyckoff singled him to third off losing pitcher Christian Stephenson (0-1). Sheldon Otsuka relieved, and after Kuenzi walked to load the bases, Bo Thunell singled in one run, and Wyckoff scored on a wild pitch.
The Vulcans scored a run in the bottom of the frame off reliever Adam Weber on an RBI single by Shane Kessel, but Wyckoff came on with the tying run at second and snuffed the rally with two ground outs. Chad Jones gave up a double and a walk in the last of the 7th but got the final out on a grounder for his second save of the season.
The Bruins had built up a 4-1 lead through their first three at-bats. Thunell singled in Wyckoff for a run in the 1st, and Winterstein scored on Brent Trask’s ground out in the 2nd after singling, stealing second, and moved to third on a sacrifice. Todd Siler’s bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly by Kyle Seymour scored two more in the 3rd.
Hilo got one run off Shane Dalgleish (1-0) in the 2nd on a Matt Haasenritter sacrifice fly, then tied it 4-4 in the 4th with three runs. Peter Rodgers had an RBI single for one run, and Gary Jones singled in two more.
Dalgleish worked five innings, scattering eight hits and walking two with three strikeouts, to pick up the win. Four Hilo hurlers allowed eight hits to the Bruins and walked nine.
Wyckoff and Thunell each went 3-4 for George Fox, Wyckoff scoring twice and Thunell knocking in two. Rodgers was 3-4 and Kessel 2-3 for Hilo, collecting half of the Vulcans’ 10 hits.
George Fox (2-1) and Hawai’i-Hilo (1-3) will complete their four-game series Saturday with a single game at 2:00 p.m. Pacific time (12:00 noon Hawai’i time).