College baseball: Vulcans start strong, complete sweep of HPU


Senior Day for the University of Hawaii at Hilo baseball team will be important for more than just sentiment reasons. Don’t look now, but the Vulcans have a chance to finish the season on a high note.

Sean Nearhoof’s run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted UH-Hilo over Hawaii Pacific on Saturday in the opener at Wong Stadium, and Jordan Kumasaka was solid into the sixth inning in a 4-1 victory to complete the sweep.

The Vulcans (14-31) carry a modest three-game winning streak into today’s 3 p.m. doubleheader, which will mark the end of interim coach Kallen Miyataki’s first season.

In the opener, the visiting Sea Warriors (27-23) tied the contest in the top of the ninth inning. But the Vulcans put a pair of runners on in the bottom of the inning with two outs, and Nearhoof singled to right field to plate the game-winning run in the 4-3 victory.

Jordyn Ah Chong (2-4) went the distance for UH-Hilo to earn the win. He allowed four hits and three runs — two earned, while striking out three and walking one.

HPU reliever D. Christie, who went 2 1/3 innings, took the loss.

Nearhoof and Jonathan James each had two hits and an RBI to lead the Vulcans’ nine-hit attack. Chad Bolibol was the lone Sea Warrior to pair hits.

In the nightcap, UH-Hilo’s Austin Cusack broke a scoreless tie in the fifth with a run-scoring single, and Bryon Freitas brought in two runs with a hit.

Kumasaka (1-1) allowed three hits and two walks with a strikeout in 5 1/3 innings. Waiakea graduate Sheldon Shishido got two outs and Michael Slifer recorded his sixth save.

Hawaii Pacific’s Ryan Torres-Torioka, a Konawaena graduate, went a combined 1 for 5 on the day.

At Wong Stadium

Game 1

HPU 000 200 001 — 3 4 0

UH-Hilo 000 002 101 — 4 9 0

Game 2

Hawaii Pacific 000 000 1 — 1 5 1

UH-Hilo 000 031 x — 4 4 1