Two Rainbow Warriors were solid at the plate as Hawaiʻi (13-17, 3-3 Big West Conference) picked up a 13-6 victory over conference rival UC Davis at the Les Murakami Stadium Sunday afternoon.
“You get that kind of production out of the six and the eight hole, chances are you’re going to score a lot of runs,” head coach Mike Trapasso said. “Those guys were super. Nobody works harder.”
Sophomore left fielder Daylen Calicdan (5-5, 4 runs scored, 1 RBI) and junior catcher Tyler Murray (3-3, 3 runs scored, 2 RBI) led the way as the ‘Bows clinched the season series against the Aggies. The teams had previously split the first two games of the series, with UH winning the first 9-5 while UC Davis picked up a 6-3 victory in game two.
Junior Logan Pouelsen got the start on the mound for Hawaiʻi. He had a strong performance, pitching 6.2 innings and giving up just three runs on the day. He retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced, including two 1-2-3 innings.
“I felt like everything was working today,” Pouelsen said. “I was pounding the zone, getting guys to roll over. They’re a good hitting club. Without my (teammates) I don’t think I would have been able to do what I did.”
After a no-hit first inning, the ‘Bows exploded out of the gate in the second inning. Junior designated hitter Brennen Hancock singled through the right side for Hawaiʻi’s first hit of the game. Calicdan and Murray each followed suit with a single apiece. Murray’s hit sent Hancock home for the ‘Bows’ first run of the game. With bases loaded, freshman center fielder Scotty Scott was then walked on a 3-1 pitch, sending Calicdan home for a run. Murray also made his way home when the Aggies catcher committed an error and a failed pickoff attempt, giving the ‘Bows an early 3-0 lead.
Pouelsen gave up his first run of the game in the fifth inning. Aggies designated hitter Conner Longrie singled to start the inning before making his way to third base on two UC Davis ground outs. Aggies left fielder Colton Evans then singled to send Longrie home. UC Davis scored another hit in the top of the sixth inning to cut the deficit to two points.
UH responded with a strong performance in the bottom of the sixth inning, racking up four consecutive doubles. Calicdan got things started with the first hit of the inning, a double to left center field. Freshman second baseman Dallas Duarte was the next man up, hitting a double down the right field line to send Calicdan home. Murray then doubled to left field as Duarte made his way home. The ‘Bows saved the “Best” for last. Freshman right fielder Tyler Best sent a well-hit shot to left center field for the ‘Bows’ fourth straight double. Best’s hit sent Murray home to round out a three-run inning.
UC Davis scored another run in the top of the seventh, but Hawaiʻi quickly extended their lead with a five-run seventh inning. Four UH hitters collected singles in the inning. Duarte was up first with a right field single, sending two runners home. Best singled to send Duarte home, followed by another RBI single from Scott. Last but certainly not least, senior shortstop Maaki Yamazaki singled through the right side to send Best home for the ‘Bows' fifth run of the inning.
Calicdan continued his strong day at the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning. His RBI double to left center field was his fifth in five at-bats. Duarte’s sac fly to right field was the icing on the cake as Hawaiʻi took a 13-3 lead.
UC Davis made a last-gasp ninth inning attempt to chip away at the double-digit deficit, picking up three runs against senior closer Dominic DeMiero. The lead proved to be insurmountable though, as DeMiero retired the last two batters of the inning to preserve the 13-6 victory.
The bottom of the batting order for Hawaiʻi had a standout performance, generating 13 of the team’s 15 hits as well as 9 of the team’s 12 RBIs.
“That’s huge,” Murray said. “The top of our lineup is great and they’re always getting the hits. But today, to have 13 hits for the six through nine guys is a huge step in the right direction.”
Calicdan, who came in to today’s game with a .279 batting average, now leads the team with a batting average of .319.
“I’m happier about the win today than (my personal performance),” Calicdan said. “This was one of the biggest games of the year for us, and going out and getting a win feels way better. I’m just glad I could help out today.
This win moves Hawaiʻi back to .500 in conference play. The ‘Bows will now head out to California for a three-game conference series against UC Riverside.
The series between Hawaiʻi and UC Riverside begins at the Riverside Sports Complex on April 12 at 3 p.m. HST.