HILO — Matt Hibbert provided something of a spark, but the bats of the other Hawaii Stars turned cold and harmless, scoring zero runs and managing a meager seven hits — none for extra bases — over two games.
The Sonoma Grapes pitching staff shut down the Stars and rolled to a shutout sweep, winning 6-0 and 4-0 in a North American Baseball League doubleheader on Saturday before 250 fans at Wong Stadium.
Sonoma starter Dustin Crenshaw pitched a six-hitter, struck out four and turned Hawaii’s bats rudderless in the 6-0 Game 1 win.
In the second game, Brandon Gregorich blasted a two-run homer off Cortney Arruda, one of the two locals to pitch, in the fifth inning. Arruda gave up two runs on two hits in 1 1⁄3 innings. Michael Kenui pitched a scoreless seventh, and Hawaii managed just one hit, Reece Alnas’ single in the sixth to snap a no-hit bid.
Hibbert took an 0-for-3 collar in Game 2. But otherwise he was hot the whole series. Hibbert batted .391 (9-for-23) in the six-game series against Sonoma County. He leads the NABL with a .465 batting average and went 2-for-3 in Game 1.
Still, it’s a team game, and he got thrown on the barbecue after the doubleheader drubbing was over. Manager Garry Templeton Jr. was no happy camper.
“Our position players didn’t come out to play,” he said. “Our pitching staff did an outstanding job.”
The Stars (7-5) split the six-game series with the Grapes (6-6). Hawaii next plays at the San Rafael Pacifics (7-3), starting with another six-game set on Monday.
“Our hitters have to go out and perform better,” Templeton said. “If our pitching staff continues to challenge hitters, we’ll be fine. San Rafael is in first place. We can’t give away any games.
“I thought overall we did good in the series. We didn’t do a good job of taking advantage when opportunities were presented to us. But our hitters did a good job in the games we won.”
Stars pitcher Dallas Mahan took the Game 1 loss while pitching a comlete game.
Ross Pomerantz, who went four innings, and Jeff Lyons, Rob Savarese and Marquis Pettis combined for the one-hitter. Lyons got the win and gave up the hit.