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Duarte comes up big for Hawaii baseball

Apr. 27—1/1

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JAMM AQUINO / JAQUINO@STARADVERTISER.COM

Hawaii catcher DallasJ Duarte (8) hits an RBI single against the San Diego State Aztecs on March 22.

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Hawaii's DallasJ Duarte drove in three runs, the last with a tie-breaking RBI single in the 10th inning, in Friday's 4-3 baseball victory over UC San Diego at Triton Ballpark in La Jolla, Calif.

A crowd of 606 saw the 'Bows win the opener of a three-game road series to improve to 23-15 overall and 7- 9 in the Big West. The Tritons are 26-12 and 13-6.

With the score tied at 3 in the 10th, UH pinch hitter Sean Rimmer reached on an infield single to short.

On a bunt attempt, Kyson Donahue popped out to UCSD pitcher Izaak Martinez. Trying to double off Rimmer, Martinez unleashed a throw that sailed over first baseman Bradlee Preap's head. Rimmer sprinted to third on Martinez's first error of the season.

"He went back and re-tagged the bag and took off," UH coach Rich Hill said of Rimmer. "I wish I could say I sent him, but he put his head down and ran."

Jared Quandt pinch-ran for Rimmer. Duarte then grounded a single past shortstop Noah Sudyka to bring home Quandt with the decisive run.

Hawaii fans "have seen Dallas for five years, and he's been amazing," Hill said of Duarte, who opened as the designated hitter before moving to catcher in the eighth inning.

The 'Bows had taken a 3-2 lead on Duarte's two-run triple in the third inning.

With Austin Machado on second and Donahue on first, Duarte hit a drive that landed in front of diving center fielder Michael Crossland.

The ball rolled to the wall as both runners scored.

Duarte tripped and fell a foot short of the plate and was tagged out trying to stretch the play into an inside-the-park homer.

The Tritons tied it in the sixth on Emiliano Gonzalez's RBI groundout.

Four UH pitchers, in relief of starter Sebastian Gonzalez, combined to limit UCSD to two hits in the final five innings.

In the bottom of the ninth, with the score knotted at 3, Doyle Kane singled to left. Cooper Thacker pinch-ran for Kane, and the 'Bows countered with reliever Connor Harrison and second baseman Stone Miyao entering the game. Thacker advanced to second on Patrick Hackworth's sacrifice.

Hill then summoned freshman Brayden Marx to replace Harrison.

"He's a strikeout guy," Hill said of choosing Marx ahead of junior Danny Veloz. "He's got that high-velocity stuff. Danny's going to pitch to contact a little more. Marx can run it up there to 92, 93 (mph) with a power curveball. That's why we went with him there."

Marx got the final two outs of the inning.

After the 'Bows went ahead in the top of the 10th, Veloz was beckoned to pitch in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Miyao made an acrobatic catch.

"That's a credit to Coach (Lindsay) Meggs," Hill said. "He said, 'You want Stone in there?' And once that guy got on base (in the ninth), we brought him in. And he's been lights outs defensively his whole career here. It was great to see (the catch in the 10th)."

Marx earned the victory to improve to 2-0. Veloz's earned his second save.

Today's second game of the series begins at 11 a.m.. Randy Abshier is expected to start for the 'Bows.