Behind a stellar start from Kamehameha alum Li’i Pontes, the University of Hawaii baseball team evened its series against Cal State Northridge with a 3-0 victory on Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium.
After the Matadors routed Hawaii 14-2 on Thursday night, the ‘Bows turned the tide of the series behind Pontes’ effort, which included 6.2 shutout innings in which he scattered six hits and a walk with eight strikeouts over the course of 100 pitches.
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Hawaii improves to 23-21 overall and 14-9 in Big West Conference play, while CSUN drops to 27-20 overall and 15-11 in conference.
Kyson Donahue got the scoring started for Hawaii with a two-RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, while Jacob Igawa’s solo home run extended the lead in the sixth to complete UH’s scoring.
Lucas Braun got the loss for CSUN after giving up the first runs of the game in the fifth inning. In total, he struck out nine in 5.1 innings while giving up eight hits and two walks in 109 pitches.
Tai Atkins got the hold for UH after striking out the only batter he faced in the top of the seventh. From there, Buddie Pindel labored through 44 pitches despite recording just three outs before yielding to Dalton Renne, who preserved the shutout and notched the save.
Hawaii and CSUN will not play on Saturday due to multiple UH-Manoa commencement ceremonies taking place on campus. More than half a dozen UH baseball players will walk the stage and graduate.
The series finale between the ‘Bows and Matadors is set for Sunday at 1:05 p.m.