Davis, California – Hawai’i scored four times in the sixth inning to open a scoreless game and held on to beat CSU Bakersfield 7-4 on Saturday night in the opener of a three-game Big West Conference series at Hardt Field. The Roadrunners rallied for two in the seventh and one in the ninth but couldn’t complete the comeback, falling to 14-17 overall and 7-3 in conference action.
“Jaykob Acosta was excellent, but we made too many mistakes against a quality club and we know we can’t do that and win in this league,” the CSUB head coach said. Jeremy Beard. “I thought we could have fought a little more consistently at the plate as well, but you have to take your hat off to their starter who came out of a relief role on short notice and pitched really well tonight.”
Hawaiian right-hander Blake Koali’i Pontes made his first start of the season and pitched six innings, allowing just five hits and one earned run while striking out eight Roadrunners. Acosta went five, before running into trouble in the sixth and giving up four runs with two outs.
Aaron Casillas pulled Bakersfield within a run in the seventh with a two-run single. He finished the evening 3 in 4 and participated in three of the four rounds of the CSUB. AJ Miller drove in Roadrunner’s first race with his fifth homer of the season in the sixth.
Hawai’i had a pair of hits from Aaron Ujimori and Matt Wong, and a three-goal brace from Jacob Igawa to win its sixth straight game.
HOW DID IT HAPPEN…
T6 | Jacob Igawa scored a two-out double on the left center field spread to open a scoreless game and draw first blood for visiting Hawai’i. Matt Wong followed up a hitter later with a sharp single into center field to tackle Igawa and cap a four-run inning for the Rainbow Warriors.
B6 | Right-handed roadrunner AJ Miller responded in the bottom half of the inning when he hopped on a fastball for his fifth homer of the season, drawing the CSUB to 4-1.
B7 | Aaron Casillas cut a two-out single in the box against UH reliever Cameron Hagen to tackle a pair and make it 4-3.
T8 | Hawaii had two runs in the eighth to make it 6-3. Wong doubled in a run for his second RBI of the night and Aaron Ujimori drew a charged field goal.
T9 | Jordan Donahue walked with the bases loaded in the ninth to give Hawai’i a 7-3 lead. Center Cole Cabrera scored on the play.
B9 | Casillas landed his third hit of the night with a single to center field and made the final score 7-4.
• The Roadrunners lost the series opener for the second consecutive week, having opened the season 6-1 in the opening games. Last week, Bakersfield bounced back to win the series with UC Davis, making a pair of high-scoring decisions in games two and three.
• The Bakersfield pitchers hit six Hawaiian batters, tying a single-game school record set last season in Santa Barbara on May 29, 2021.
• CSUB fell to 7-3 in Big West play and 7-3 all-time against the Rainbow Warriors.
• Shortstop Aaron Casillas drove in three runs for the third time this season and the second time in the last three games. Casillas has seven RBIs in his last three outings.
ON THE BRIDGE…
The Roadrunners and the Rainbow Warriors will meet, Friday evening at 6:05 p.m. with left-handed Kellen O’Connor against Hawaiian ace Cade Halemanu. The two schools will wrap up their three-game series Saturday at 1:05 p.m., with a game that includes the second of five CSUB Baseball trading card giveaways — available to the first 250 fans — and a postgame, on-field Easter Hunt. eggs for all children 12 and under.