HONOLULU – A mistake-filled top of the first by Oregon was the only advantage Hawai’i needed in its 4-3 victory over the Ducks on Thursday night at Les Murakami Stadium.
In the first, Oregon (3-2) starter Tyler Anderson walked the leadoff batter, Breland Almadova, but looked to be out of danger after retiring the next two. He struck out Kevin Macdonald for the third and final out, but the ball got past catcher Eddie Rodriguez to keep the inning alive as Macdonald took first on a passed ball.
With runners at first and third, Collin Bennett’s infield single scored Almadova unearned for the game’s first run. Davis Freitas was then walked to load the bases, and a wild pitch allowed Macdonald to score from third as Hawai’i took a 2-0 lead. The ‘Bows (2-3) added the third run of the inning when Bennett scored on a J.J. Altobelli error. All three runs were unearned.
Anderson (1-1) took the loss after allowing four runs – only one earned – on four hits in five innings of action. The Las Vegas native struggled with control, walking six batters, but striking out eight.
Oregon responded to a three-run deficit scoring two in the third. Back-to-back hits, a single to left from Danny Pulfer and a double to right center from KC Serna, set up Marcus Piazzisi’s two-run single up the middle.
But, Hawai’i added the insurance run it would need in the fifth when Jeffrey VanDoornum hit a solo shot over the wall in right. It could have been a two-run tally after Freitas hit a one-out double, but he was picked off by Anderson and Serna before VanDoornum’s round-tripper.
The Ducks pulled within 4-3 in the seventh after back-to-back singles from Pulfer and Altobelli put runners on the corners. Blair Walters was then put in to relieve starter and Nate Klein, and the lefty coaxed Curtis Raulinaitis into a double play. Pulfer was still able to come home from third and score the Ducks third and final run. Serna kept the inning alive with a bunt single, but Piazzisi struck out to end the inning.
Klein (1-0) pitched six innings in the win and faced 26 batters, allowing three earned runs on seven hits, two walks and one strikeout.
Lenny Linksy tossed the eighth and ninth innings, holding Oregon hitless and striking out three.
Alex Keudell came on in relief of Anderson and gave a solid effort, holding Hawai’i scoreless on two hits and one walk. The Portland, native also struck out a career best seven batters, including striking out the side in the sixth.
Serna led the Ducks at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance while Altobelli was 2-for-4.
Oregon will play its second game of a four-game series with Hawai’I tomorrow. First pitch is set for 8:35 p.m. PST (6:35 p.m. HT).