Despite losing hope of a shared Big West Conference championship on Friday, the University of Hawaii baseball team won its series against perennial contender UC Santa Barbara with a 8-5 victory at Les Murakami Stadium.
Hawaii improves to 28-20 overall and 17-12 in Big West Conference play, while UCSB drops to 35-19 overall and 18-11 in conference contests.
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After destroying UCSB 17-1 on Friday night, Hawaii threw a serious wrench in the Gauchos’ postseason hopes, a fear for UC Santa Barbara that became a reality on Friday when Cal State Fullerton clinched the Big West Conference’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid with a win over Cal Poly.
As for Friday’s game between UH and UCSB, the Gauchos jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning, but the ‘Bows steadily took the lead with runs in the second and third inning, followed by two runs in the fourth.
Randy Abshier got five innings out of his start on Friday, striking out nine while giving up three runs (two earned), three hits and two walks. Harrison Bodendorf did the rest of the pitching for UH with a four-inning save, striking out eight while allowing two walks, two runs (one earned) and two hits.
Hudson Barrett, who closed more games for UCSB than he had started in 2023, got the starting nod for the Gauchos and threw four innings, allowing four runs (three earned) with seven hits, three walks and seven strikeouts in getting tagged with the loss.
Offensively, Matt Wong had a game-high three hits for UH, while Stone Miyao added two hits, including his first home run of the year.
The Rainbow Warriors and Gauchos will wrap up their series on Saturday at 6:35 p.m. in what will also serve as the season finale for both teams. Afterwards, a handful of departing seniors on the team will be honored for UH.