The University of Hawaii baseball team gave its sold-out ‘Legends Night’ crowd more entertainment than it could have hoped for, staging a dramatic 5-4 come-from-behind on Saturday night at Les Murakami Stadium.
Three unanswered runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, buoyed by true freshman and Konawaena alumnus Bronson Rivera’s go-ahead two-RBI single, propelled the ‘Bows to victory and back to .500 for the season at 19-19 overall, including 12-9 in Big West Conference play.
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Prior to Saturday’s game, the team held a “Legends Night” celebration in honor of past program pillars, including former coach Les Murakami, pitching legend Derek Tatsuno, and the 1980 team that finished runners-up at the College World Series.
After Cal State Fullerton took Friday’s series opener, the Titans dropped to 18-22 overall and 10-7 in conference games.
Hawaii starter Li’i Pontes got the no decision after going six strong innings in which he allowed just one run on three hits, two walks and six strikeouts.
With Saturday’s game tied at 0 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Rainbow Warriors took a 2-0 lead on Stone Miyao’s two-run home run. However, that lead was short-lived as Cal State Fullerton scored four runs in the top of the seventh.
The Rainbow Warriors took the lead again for good behind Rivera’s heroics.
Tai Atkins got the win out of the bullpen after tossing 1.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. After taking the mound to begin the ninth inning, Buddie Pindel got the save after retiring the Titans in order.
Caden Connor had a team-high two hits for CSUF, while Michael Weisberg took the loss on the mound after surrendering the lead in the eighth inning.
The ‘Bows and Titans conclude their series on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.