March 31, 2012
HONOLULU - Eric Johnson went 2-for-3 while Anthony Kupbens struck out five in 7.1 innings of work, but the Hawai'i pitching staff held the UC Davis baseball team scoreless to claim a 4-0 win in Friday's game at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu.
The Aggies move to 11-11 on the year while the Rainbow Warriors improve to 15-12.
Despite striking out a season-high five batters, Kupbens gave up all four runs and allowed nine hits in the loss, dropping to 2-3 overall. Hawai'i's Jarrett Arakawa earned the win to improve to 3-2. He pitched eight complete innings, giving up just five hits and striking out five without a walk.
UC Davis' first hit of the game came in the third inning when Johnson singled into left field, then moved to third on back-to-back groundouts from Ryan Allgrove and Evan Heptig, but Kevin Barker fouled out down the left field line to end the inning and leave Johnson at third.
Arakawa retired the Aggies in order in the top of the fourth, then Hawai'i scored twice in the bottom half of the frame to take a 2-0 lead. Pi'ikea Kitamura led off with a single into right field, then came around to score on Collin Bennett's triple. Bennett would come home on Zack Swasey's ground rule double, before Kupbens got the final two outs of the inning.
UC Davis saw another scoring opportunity in the top of the seventh when Paul Politi reached first base on an error, then moved to second on a base hit by Scott Kalush, but Johnsin's fly ball and Allgrove's strike out ended the inning.
Hawai'i added another two runs in the bottom of the eighth when Breland Almadova singled to lead off the inning, moved to second on Kitamura's ground out, then scored after AJ Bayus hit a double into center field.
Ben Burke entered the game for Kupbens at that point, but walked the first batter he faced, then allowed Hawai'i pinch runner Conner George, who entered for Bayus, to move to third with a wild pitch. Swasey's RBI single brought in the final run of the game before Trevor Podratz hit into a double play to end the inning.
Down 4-0, UC Davis had a runner on with one out after Politi singled into right field, but Lipson struck out and Politi was thrown out at second to end the game.
Johnson's two hits were a team high as Brett Morgan, Politi, Kalush and Heptig each recorded one hit apiece.
Swasey led Hawai'i offensively, going 3-for-4 with two RBI while Almadova went 2-for-4 with a run.
The third game of the series begins on Saturday at 9:05 p.m. PDT.