Fresh off of an impressive three-game series sweep over Tulane, the University of Hawaii Baseball team returns to conference play this weekend at longtime Big West power Cal State Fullerton.
The Rainbow Warriors scored 15 runs against the Green Wave while allowing just three, with Harry Gustin and Randy Abshier both taking no-hitters into the sixth inning.
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Meanwhile, closer Connor Harrison continued to dominate. The junior picked up two saves in the series.
“I definitely have that chip on the shoulder,” Harrison said on Wednesday. “Just definitely coming in and just competing. That’s all I want to do. I want to be out there. I want to represent the state of Hawaii. I want to be the guy that they turn to turn the ball to late in the game and so I definitely go out there and give it all and give it my all.”
Harrison’s efforts against Tulane took his season save total to five, while his ERA dropped to 0.98 along. He has struck out 23 strikeouts in 18 innings despite not being a traditional flamethrower at closer, using an 85 mile per hour fastball to go with a loopy curveball to mystify hitters.
“That 66 mile per hour curveball I’ve got, I can flip that in whenever I need to and then throwing the fastball right out of it makes it seem that much faster,” explained Harrison.
Says UH coach Rich Hill: “It’s awesome. I was in San Diego during those Trevor Hoffman years, and he just had that filthy changeup. He could tell guys, ‘Hey, here it comes.’ And they still couldn’t hit it, you know? It just proves that that that typical closer role doesn’t have to be 95 plus power, arms walking guys striking a bunch of guys out. It’s all about being a great pitcher. And Connor thus far has been a great pitcher in the truest sense of the word.”
The Rainbow Warriors will get back on the field with the three game series against the Titans, who beat No. 12 ranked UCLA 15-5 on Tuesday.
Reigning Big West pitcher of the week Harry Gustin is slated to get the opening game start. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m. HST and will be streamed on ESPN+.