The University of Hawaii baseball team edged UC Riverside 5-2 on Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium, marking the first time during the 2022 season that the ‘Bows won a Big West Conference series opener.
Hawaii improves to 11-16 overall and 4-6 in Big West play, while UC Riverside drops to 4-23 overall and 2-8 in conference.
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After winning two of its most recent games on the road, Hawaii extended its winning streak to three and only used two pitchers in doing so. Starter Cade Halemanu lasted 4.2 innings, giving up two unearned runs, three hits and four walks with seven strikeouts. From there, Kamehameha alum Li’i Pontes shut the door and secured the victory with 4.1 scoreless innings in which he allowed three hits and walked one with four strikeouts.
Cole Cabrera and Matt Wong each hit solo home runs to lead UH offensively. For UCR, Jacob Badawi and Anthony McFarland had two hits each. Sergio Ramirez took the loss for the Highlanders after surrendering the go-ahead runs in relief.
The ‘Bows and Highlanders resume their series on Saturday at 6:35 p.m.