Byron Freitas has been quick to make an impact for the University of Hawaii at Hilo.
The freshman shortstop went 4 for 5 in the Vulcans’ 10-9 victory against Northwest Nazarene on Tuesday, hitting safely in his first four college baseball games in Nampa, Idaho.
“He’s been promising for us and is really doing awesome,” UH-Hilo coach Kallen Miyataki said. “He’s provided us with a spark plug.”
The Vulcans (1-3) banged out 13 hits in the first game of the doubleheader, but the Crusaders won the second game 4-0 in an 83-minute, seven-inning affair.
“It seemed like it was over before it started,” Miyataki said.
Seamus Yoneshige, who nailed down a save earlier in the day, pitched well in defeat, allowing only one earned run on five hits in five innings with two strikeouts.
But Tyler Marsh (1-1) was strong for the Crusaders (3-10), yielding only three hits in six innings.
UH-Hilo’s bats came alive early in the first game as the Vulcans scored five times in the second inning — aided by two walks and two hit batters — and held on after jumping out to a 9-1 lead.
“We took the first four innings,” Miyataki said, “they took the rest.”
Freshman second baseman Edison Sakata was 2 for 5 with an RBI, Sam Kim hit leadoff and went 2 for 5 with an RBI and two runs scored, and right fielder Will Thayer drove in two runs.
Starter Jordyn Ah Chong lasted only three innings as UH-Hilo used six pitchers. Micah Nakasone got two outs for the victory.
The Vulcans have doubleheaders Friday and Saturday at Fresno Pacific.
“I think we’re getting better and our approach is improving,” Miyataki said. “It’s tough playing on the road. They hit the ball well at home.”
UH-Hilo’s Nyssa Aoki closed with a 5-over 76 to finish in a tie for third at the St. Edward’s Invitational in Austin, Texas.
Aoki was at 8-over 150, three shots behind the medalist, Linda Brown of Cal State East Bay.
St. Edward’s (623) won the team title, while UH-Hilo (625) was fourth.
Also for the Vulcans, Kristen Sawada (77) finished tied for ninth with a 155, while Kacie Harada (79) was tied for 15th at 156. Dayna Bersamin (165) and Erika Morihiro (170) complete the squad, while Jade Salvador (157) competed individually.