To say that Bennett Whitmore was successful by pitching to contact would probably be an understatement.
Whitmore didn’t need a strikeout to register eight shutout innings Sunday and the Stars managed just four measly singles against the San Rafael left-hander as they closed out the regular season with a 7-0 loss to San Rafael, Calif.
Hawaii starter Matt Stropoli (3-5) allowed five singles in the third and seven hits overall in three innings as Hawaii (26-38) lost two of three games in the series to the Pacific Association-leading Pacifics (52-17). The right-hander allowed four runs — three earned — with a walk and a strikeout.
Ready or not, here come the playoffs.
Hawaii moves across San Pablo Bay in Northern California to Vallejo and will face the last-place BayCal Lumberjacks (7-26) at 4 p.m. HST Wednesday, and with a win the Stars could advance to a best-of-three series Friday. Vallejo (22-31) is also in contention and the Admirals host Hawaii on Thursday. Vallejo and BayCal meet Tuesday in the unusual round-robin style format that will see two teams move on.
One bright spot for the Stars on Sunday was right-hander Reese Alnas, a former Kamehameha-Hawaii four-sport athlete. The third of six Hawaii pitchers on the day, Alnas struck out two batters in the fifth, and he still hasn’t been scored upon in 11 2/3 innings this season. Alnas has struck out more batters (10) than hits allowed (nine).
Pacifics leadoff hitter Price Kendall was 4 for 4, including an RBI single, and scored three runs, and Maikel Jova doubled and singled in finishing with three RBIs.
Mitch Levier singled in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
Whitmore (9-2) only walked one batter and won for the eighth time in nine starts.