Kurokawa’s gems breaks Vulcans’ slide
Jordan Kurokawa finished what he started, providing the ultimate relief for the University Hawaii at Hilo baseball team.
The sophomore right-hander tamed Azusa Pacific with a four-hit shutout Friday night, helping the Vulcans end a 17-game losing streak with 2-0 victory at Wong Stadium.
“It’s a huge win; we needed this to boost our morale,” said Kurokawa (3-5), who struck out six in the seven-inning complete game and worked around two walks and two hit batters.
The Vulcans (11-29, 9-20 Pacific West Conference) split a doubleheader for their first win since March 22 against Academy of Art. In that series, Kurokawa (3-5) threw a nine-inning complete game without allowing an earned run.
“This one is way better,” he said. “To do it at home and break the streak.”
UHH finished with just three hits, but two came as it scratched across two runs in the fifth. Zachary Hamasaki’s single followed Edison Takata’s walk to open the inning, and after an intentional walk loaded the bases, Jonathan James hit an infield single to put the Vulcans in front. Hamasaki scampered home on a passed ball.
Kurokawa hit a batter with one out in the seventh, but he induced Domenic Biagini to hit into a game-ending double play.
The Cougars (24-15, 17-10) combined for 29 hits in winning the first two games of the series before Kurokawa mowed them down. Jordan Brower singled to lead off the fourth for the Cougars, the last hit Kurokawa gave up.
“Everything was working,” said Kurokawa, a Maryknoll High (Oahu) graduate who features a fastball, curve and changeup.
Zach Hedges (4-3) worked five innings and yielded three hits and two runs (one earned) with six walks and three strikeouts.
In the opener, Daniel Martin hit a three-run double in the seventh off Sheldon Shishido to key the Cougars’ 5-3 comeback victory.
Right-hander Jordyn Ah Chong went six strong innings and allowed eight hits and two runs without a walk.
James went 3 for 4, including an RBI single as the Vulcans went ahead 2-1 in the sixth. Jordan Murai finished 2 for 3 with two runs scored and Kyle Watase also collected two hits.
In three innings of relief, Shishido (2-3), a Waiakea graduate, allowed four hits and three runs (two earned).
Azusa starter Josh Staumont (7-3) came within one out of complete, striking out eight.
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