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HPU baseball team struggles

by Kyle Galdeira, Sports Editor


HPU baseball struggled on its California road trip, managing only one win in eight games. The Sea Warriors were ranked eighth in the Western Region prior to leaving Honolulu and needed to move up to sixth to secure a spot in the playoffs. Now at 20-15, a postseason berth seems out of reach.

In the final game of the trip, HPU fell 6-5 to NAIA’s Biola University. Designated hitter Jherell Miller homered for the Sea Warriors providing a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh. However, the Eagles answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning and held on for the victory. Pierce Manglallan (3-3) got the loss in relief of starter Cruz Hatanaka.

HPU took on CSU-Los Angeles in a pair of seven-inning games April 4 at Reeder Field and lost both 10-7 and 7-5. The Golden Eagles scored seven runs in the second inning and never relinquished the lead in the first game. Sea Warrior second baseman Bryan Daguio, center fielder Greg Benoit and designated hitter Spencer Omalza drove in two runs apiece. Starter Ikena DuPont (1-1) took the loss.

In the second game, HPU loaded the bases in the final inning and catcher Jay Baptista hit a line drive to center field just short of the fence, resulting in a sacrifice fly, and the rally stalled with the tying run stranded on base. Baptista had a home run and three RBI, while Omalza homered for the second time in as many games.

The only HPU win of the road trip came in the fourth of a five-game series against CSU-Dominguez Hills April 1-3 at Toro Stadium in Carson, Calif. Hatanaka (2-3) picked up the win despite giving up three home runs in the seventh inning, and Josh Guerra earned the save in the 10-9 victory. Right fielder Brandon Sato and Benoit each had three hits, and second baseman Michael Kealoha drove in three runs.

The Sea Warriors suffered losses of 7-6 and 5-4 in the third and fifth games respectively. HPU amassed 31 hits and 25 runs in the first two games of the series, but it was not enough as the Toros swept the doubleheader 13-9 and 20-16.


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