HILO — Starting pitching is much like marathon running — the objective is to outlast the other guy or field of competitors.
But in baseball, teammates and their fine play are often necessary, an experience that washed over Hawaii Stars pitcher John Holley.
Holley pitched well, but Tyler Pearson threw better and had fine help, and the San Rafael Pacifics pulled the plug on the Hawaii Stars 3-2 in a North American Baseball League game on Friday night at Wong Stadium.
The Stars (20-20) and Pacifics (26-14) play the fifth game of a six-game series at 5:35 p.m. today at Wong. Steve Raburn (2-1, 4.76 ERA) is scheduled to start for Hawaii.
“I try to go out and make pitches, and once they leave my hand I have no control,” said Holley, philosophical and still winless. “I thought everyone played well. We had a few errors, but it was a good baseball game, regardless of the outcome.
“I made the pitches I needed to make. I wish I could take a few back. But that’s the story of a starting pitcher. The wins are going to come.”
Like fellow starter Dallas Mahan (0-6, 3.46 ERA), Holley seems to run into a brick wall every time a victory is within smelling distance.
“Holley did a great job. He’s similar to Dallas and has a string of bad luck,” Stars manager Garry Templeton Jr. said. “He can’t get that monkey off his back to get that first win.”
Holley (0-2, 5.26 ERA) and consistency aren’t always the best of friends. The 2005 Pahoa graduate has 28 strikeouts against 28 walks in 37 2⁄3 innings; a 3-to-1 ratio is considered ideal.
However, Holley was in fine form against the first-place Pacifics, keeping tabs on his free passes. In nine innings, he allowed three runs (two earned) on 11 hits and just three walks, and he whiffed five.
“I felt good with my control. I wasn’t trying to throw it through a brick wall,” Holley said. “My slider was working, and for the most part most of my pitches.
“I told myself to make pitches, and it worked. I have a tendency to overthrow. I’ll feel good and try to make the perfect pitch. Tonight I trusted myself and stuck to my plan.”
Pearson (2-0, 4.38 ERA) pitched one-run ball over seven innings. He was on the lower end of the velocity scale, but he surrendered just four hits and one walk, and he struck out four. Julian Arballo cleaned up with two innings of one-run relief for the save.
For the most part, Holley matched Pearson and even exceeded him in pitching excitement (stranding 10 runners to the Pacifics’ eight), but the San Rafael right-hander’s defense was flawless. Hawaii’s defense was, well, not so good.
San Rafael’s three-run sixth inning featured two costly errors, a throwing miscue by catcher Adam Jacobs and a fielding one by second baseman Dion Pouncil, and a pair of hit batters.
Hawaii right fielder Steve Tedesco, also known as Mr. Hitting Streak, with his .311 batting average, missed only his second game of the season, maintaining his 17-game hot run.
Pacifics right fielder Maikel Jova, who had his 37-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-4 collar Thursday, jumped back on the bandwagon with a hard-hit single in the fourth, showing what makes him such a high-average hitter.
Jova went 2-for-4 and has a .374 batting average. Steve Boggs collected three hits, and Darrick Hale and Johnny Woodard each added two hits.
Arnoldo Ponce and Anthony Lopez each went 2-for-4 to lead the Stars, who stranded two on in the eighth and the tying run on first in the ninth, when Matt Hibbert struck out.
Pacifics 000 003 000 — 3 11 0
Stars 000 100 001 — 2 8 2