While it was opening day for the University of Hawaii at Hilo, coach Kallen Miyataki said Northwest Nazarene carried the look of a team that had nine baseball games under its belt.
Beyond that, Miyataki used two words to describe the first two losses of his Vulcans coaching career: no excuses.
UHH was outpitched in both ends of a doubleheader Monday, falling 7-4 and 6-2 to Northwest Nazarene to open the Miyataki era in Nampa, Idaho.
“The defense played well, but pitching was probably the reason why we lost,” Miyataki said. “They had some timely hits and capitalized on some mistakes. They hit us hard some in the second game.
“We only have to look at ourselves.”
Sophomore right-hander Jordan Kurokawa took the loss in the second game, surrendering a two-run home run to Kaleb DeHaas as the Crusaders (2-9) scored four runs in the fifth. Kurokawa yielded six runs and seven hits with three strikeouts and three walks in five innings.
Earlier, junior right-hander Jeremy Dela Cruz left after allowing his second run in the fourth inning. Reliever Chris Hubocan allowed four runs in three innings of relief, and the Vulcans didn’t score until a four-run rally fell short in the ninth.
Waiakea graduate Korin Medeiros, a redshirt freshman, hit an RBI double, and Zachary Hamasaki and Jordan Murai added run-scoring singles.
“The kids were excited and nervous,” Miyataki said. “They’ll start executing better as we play more.”
In addition to Medeiros, Miyataki was pleased with how some of his underclassmen produced with their bats.
Freshman shortstop Byron Freitas collected two hits in the first game, while sophomore Keenan Nishioka was 2 for 3 in the second game and scored a run on freshman Edison Sakata’s single through the right side in the seventh.
However, both starters for Northwest Nazarene pitched well.
Colben McGuire (1-1) threw seven shutout innings, striking out six and allowing only five hits and two walks. Aaron Vaughn (2-1) scattered seven hits in going the distance in the seven-inning nightcap and gave up only one earned run with three strikeouts.
“They came at us and changed speeds,” Miyataki said.
The teams play another doubleheader today.
Women’s golf: UHH’s Nyssa Aoki was a stroke off the lead, carding a 3-over 74 at the St. Edward’s Invitational in Austin, Texas.
The Vulcans (312) were eight shots behind St. Edwards in the team race.
Kristen Sawada (78) was is tied for 14th, while Kacie Harada was another shot back. Erika Morihiro (81) and Dayna Bersamin (82) were also part of UHH’s fivesome, while Jade Salvador (81) played unattached.