Behind timely hitting and a strong start by Li’i Pontes, the University of Hawaii baseball team took its series opener against Cal State Bakersfield 7-4 on Thursday evening.

Hawaii improves to 14-16 overall and 7-6 in Big West Conference play and extends its winning streak to 6, while Cal State Bakersfield drops to 14-17 and 7-3 in conference games.

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Thursday’s series opener was a pitcher’s duel through five innings, but Hawaii broke the scoreless tie in the top of the sixth inning on Jacob Igawa’s bases-clearing double off of CSUB starter Jaykob Acosta, who ended up getting the loss. On the next at-bat, Matt Wong drove in Igawa on a single to give UH a 4-0 lead.

Pontes got his first start of the year for UH and delivered with a victory, holding the Roadrunners to one run on five hits, eight strikeouts and no walks in six innings.

After Andy Archer recorded two outs but allowed two runs out of the bullpen in relief of Pontes, UH turned to Cameron Hagan, who did the rest of the pitching and recorded the save in 2.1 innings of work.

The ‘Bows and Roadrunners resume their three-game series on Friday, with first pitch set for 3:05 p.m. HST.