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Baseball team boasts 19-8 record

by Ikena DuPont and Kyle Galdeira


The HPU baseball team improved to 19-8 on the year after sweeping a seven-game series with the Alderson-Broaddus College (West Virginia) Battlers Mar. 19-23 at Aloha Stadium. Sea Warrior pitchers Matt Burson, Ikena DuPont, Juan Guerra, Anthony Ganigan, Spencer Omalza, Josh Guerra, and Cruz Hatanaka each picked up wins against the Battlers, who fell to 1-20 on the season.

The first game of the series presented itself as the biggest challenge for HPU as they rallied to win 8-7 in extra innings. The Sea Warriors trailed the underdog Battlers 7-4 in the seventh inning with two outs when HPU rallied. Shortstop Grandon Costa singled and designated hitter Bryan Daguio walked, to set the table for first baseman Alika Kuraoka who hit a three-run homer on the first pitch he saw, to tie the game at seven apiece. Daguio singled in a run in the ninth to secure the 8-7 victory. Hatanaka, normally a starter, earned his first win of the season after allowing only two hits in four innings, in relief of starter Mario Ramirez, and striking out five.

The red-hot Sea Warriors took their 10-game winning streak on the road to California for a nine-day trip on which they played eight games. HPU played five games against California State University-Dominguez Hills, two against California State University-Los Angeles, and one with Biola University while this issue was being printed.

The Sea Warriors return from the trip to take on local rival University of Hawai‘i-Manoa in a nine-inning game April 13 at Les Murakami Stadium. HPU concludes its season against the Vulcans of UH-Hilo with two seven-inning doubleheaders April 16 and 17 at Aloha Stadium.

HPU took its series with Lander University, winning four games of six Mar. 11-13 at Aloha Stadium. The Sea Warriors split doubleheaders in the first two days with the seventh-ranked Bearcats from Greenwood, South Carolina, then stole the final two games in comeback fashion.

When HPU took on nationally ranked NCAA I powerhouse, Florida State, Mar. 9 at Aloha Stadium, the Sea Warriors stuck with the third-ranked Seminoles as Ramirez, Ganigan, and Pierce Manglallan held FSU to no hits through five innings. The Seminoles scored in the sixth and then pulled away in the seventh thanks to a three-run home run by pinch hitter Ruairi O’Conner that put FSU up 5-0.

Brandon Sato led the way for HPU with two hits. Chase Nakamura went 1-2 and Jherell Miller added an early double. Kuraoka scored the only run of the game for HPU on an RBI single by Costa, but it was not enough as the Seminoles took the nine-inning game 9-1.


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