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HPU takes three from Sonoma State

by Kyle Galdeira, Sports editor

The HPU baseball team improved to 8-5 on the season after splitting a six-game series with California State University-Sonoma Feb. 17-19 at Ke‘ehi Lagoon Field. The visiting Seawolves had been ranked 20th in the nation amongst NCAA II teams coming into the series.

The two teams proved to be evenly matched as the first five games were decided by one run and the final game was decided by two runs. The series consisted of three double-headers, and each team won one game per day.


In the final doubleheader, starting pitcher Pierce Manglallan earned the complete-game victory for HPU, giving up only six hits. The game was tied 1-1 until second baseman Bryan Daguio singled in a run in the fifth inning and put the Sea Warriors ahead for good. Left fielder Chase Nakamura also added two hits for HPU.

It took Sonoma State an extra inning to break a 1-1 stalemate in the series finale. The Seawolves put up two runs in the eighth inning and won 3-1. Right fielder Michael Kealoha drove in the lone Sea Warrior run with a triple in the second inning.

HPU battled back from a 4-1 deficit in the first game of the second doubleheader thanks to a four-run sixth inning. Relief pitcher Juan Guerra earned the 5-4 victory after pitching the final 3 2/3 innings and allowing three hits. Shortstop Grandon Costa was an offensive machine for the Sea Warriors, driving in three runs on three hits.

HPU lost the second game of the double-dip 2-1 despite catcher Jay Baptista’s second home run of the year. Southpaw starter Josh Guerra gave up both runs in the fifth inning and didn’t get enough help from the offense—only four hits—to win the game.

In the first doubleheader of the series, HPU took the first game 3-2 and lost the second 2-1. Mario Ramirez earned his second victory of the season thanks to a four-hit, complete game performance in game one. Center fielder Greg Benoit drove in two runs while designated hitter Jherell Miller doubled in another run.

Cruz Hatanaka suffered his third loss of the season despite allowing only six hits through seven innings in the second game. The Sea Warriors saw their sixth-inning rally end when Daguio was thrown out at third base by Sonoma State catcher Matt Frick.

Next up for HPU is NCAA I powerhouse Florida State University. The two teams will meet March 9 at Aloha Stadium for a nine-inning game.


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