UC Irvine beats Hawaii for the first time in Big West’s premier baseball series

March 27 – Trenton Denholm tossed seven scoreless innings and UC Irvine made the most of their five hits in Friday’s 4-0 win over Hawaii at Cicerone Field at Anteater Stadium in Irvine, California.

The anteaters won the start of the four-game series between Big West’s top teams. The anteaters improved to 5-0 in the Great West and 11-7 overall. Hawaii fell to 3-2 and 11-4.

The game could get even more expensive for the Rainbow Warriors, who were without third baseman Dustin Demeter due to a sprained ankle. In the second inning, catcher Dallas Duarte suffered a subluxation of his right (throwing) shoulder as he dived back to the first in a pick-up attempt. Duarte is not expected to play the rest of the series. It will be evaluated today and after the arcs return to Honolulu on Monday.

Denholm, a right-hander, lived up to his reputation as one of the Big West’s top pitchers. Denholm didn’t go, hit three, and escaped several jams.

UH shortstop Kole Kaler was successful in the first inning with two outs and was then picked up by Denholm.

Duarte was the only one to take second place, then was doubled to third on the lineout by Matt Campos.

In the fifth round, Campos achieved a one-off single, but was relegated to second place in a double game with a strikeout throwout.

“In the last few games, having chances but not making the most of them has been an early topic,” said UH coach Mike Trapasso in a telephone interview. “We have to be able to get the hits when they count. It doesn’t take anything away from Irvine. They were better than us.”

UCI catcher Dillon Tatum shot a solo homer in the middle to give the anteaters a 1-0 lead in the third game.

In the fifth, the anteaters added three runs, one of which was earned. Nate Church made it home a run, and Adrian Dalma contributed a single with two runs.

UH’s Aaron Davenport suffered his first loss in five starts. It was his first loss since May 18, 2019. He hit six in five innings but gave up four runs, two of which were earned.

The story goes on

Davenport retired the first six batters and knocked out four of them. But after Davenport gave up Tatums Homer to start the third, he appeared to give up his fastball and rely on his curveball and move. Davenport threw 24 pitches in the first two innings, 60 in the next three innings.

“His secondary pitchers are great, but whoever you are, you are still throwing your fastball,” said Trapasso. “You’re not giving up on the fastball. You will find it.”

Trapasso stated it was one of the rare rounds Davenport did not show enough confidence in his fastball. “Sometimes,” said Trapasso, “he has to remember how good he is.”

Jake Hymel replaced Davenport to open the sixth, allowing one hit in three innings. Hymel went one and knocked out three. Hymel also worked out of a situation full of bases in the eighth. With two outs, the anteaters achieved a single, a walk and a hit batsman. But Hymel made Taishi Nakawake come to Kaler.

Today’s double header starts at 9 a.m. Cade Halemanu will start the first game and Austin Teixeira will serve in the second game.

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