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
HPU 000 200 001 — 3 4 0
UH-Hilo 000 002 101 — 4 9 0
Hawaii Pacific 000 000 1 — 1 5 1
UH-Hilo 000 031 x — 4 4 1