Well, at least it’s over now.
A year that started with losses in bunches ended with a mild slide.
The University of Hawaii baseball team finished its first Big West season with a 4-2 loss Saturday to Cal Riverside in Riverside, Calif.
Senior Piikea Kitamura went 3 for 4 for the Rainbow Warriors (16-35, 11-16 Big West), but junior right-hander Matt Cooper couldn’t get out of the fifth inning.
Kyle Boudreau collected the game’s only extra-base hit with a double to lead off the bottom of the fourth to spark a three-run rally for the Highlanders (14-32, 10-17), who won for the second straight day to deal UH its fourth loss in five leagues series.
Zach Varela improved to 5-0 with 5 2/3 solid innings, allowing two runs (one earned), six hits and a walk with two strikeouts. Varela may have been injured in the fifth on a comebacker. Trevor Frank took over in the eighth for Mark Garcia (1 2/3 innings) and worked 1 2/3-perfect innings for his 10th save.
Each team compiled seven hits, but Hawaii left a runner on base in every inning but the third and stranded 10 in all.
Kalei Hanawahine finished 2 for 3 and Marc Flores drove two in runs. His groundout in the top of the fifth scored Stephen Ventimilia, who led off with a single, to get Hawaii to within 3-2.
But after the first two Riverside hitters reached in the bottom of the inning on a walk and Bart Steponovich single, Boudreau ended Cooper’s day with a sacrifice fly. Jon Flinn came on and didn’t allow a run in 3 1/3 innings out of the bullpen.
Cooper (3-8), yielded six hits, four runs — three earned — with two walks and two strikeouts.
Clayton Prestridge and Steponovich each had two hits.
The Rainbow Warriors took a 1-0 run in the third. Kaeo Aliviado and Kitamura opened with singles and Flores hit a sacrifice fly.
Hawaii started the season with 10 straight losses, and the farthest it fell below .500 came during an April 28 shutout loss at home to Cal Northridge that left UH 9-29. It finished 7-6.