The top of the eighth and ninth innings Sunday in Long Beach, Calif., provided a pretty accurate snapshot of the University of Hawaii’s season.
Twice the Warriors’ baseball team got the tying run to third base. And each time that runner was stranded there as Hawaii went on to lose 3-2.
Kalei Hanawahine was 2 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored for the Warriors (12-33, 7-14 Big West), who lost two of three in the series.
David Hill pitched six solid innings and Jeff McNeil was 3 for 4 for Long Beach State (24-25, 11-10).
Matt Copper (2-7) threw well in defeat, allowing two earned runs in six innings of work. The junior right-hander struck out four and gave up six hits and two walks.
Juan Avila drove in two runs for the Dirtbags and McNeil scored twice. Jon Maciel secured his seventh save by retiring Austin Wobrock on a groundout with the potential tying run 90 feet away. Trevor Podratz led off the inning with a single.
In the eighth, Kaeo Aliviado reached on a two-out error and motored to third on Connor George’s single, but Marc Flores grounded out to end the inning against Ryan Millison.
Flores did start a two-run rally with a double to center in the second second, scoring on Hanawahine single. Hanawahine gave UH a 2-1 lead when he came home on a fielding error.
Hill (4-2) yielded two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk with two strikeouts.
The Rainbows will play their final home series next weekend against Cal Davis at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu.
UCLA’s Rachel Fattal scored four goals as the Bruins beat Hawaii 13-8 in the NCAA tournament third-place match in Boston.
Monika Eggens led the Rainbow Wahine with four goals and Amarens Genee added two.
In four NCAA appearances, Hawaii has finished fourth each time.
USC beat Stanford to win the title.