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Hawaii baseball team puts up a fight in loss to No. 13 N.C. State

Feb. 24—In a Friday-night slugfest, 13th-ranked North Carolina State earned a 17-12 baseball decision over Hawaii at Les Murakami Stadium.

In a Friday-night slugfest, 13th-ranked North Carolina State earned a 17-12 baseball decision over Hawaii at Les Murakami Stadium.

A crowd of 2, 106 saw the Wolfpack amass 20 hits for the first time since May 2, 2021.

Left fielder Josh Hogue went 4-for-5, and third baseman Alec Makarewicz smacked a grand slam and a two-run homer.

"It was a good day, " said Makarewicz, who transferred from East Carolina last summer. "I kind of had to adjust to the (five-hour ) time change. I had to get those eyes focused in."

Right fielder Noah Soles and first baseman Garrett Pennington contributed three hits apiece for the Wolfpack.

"You can see why they're the 13th-ranked team in the country, " UH coach Rich Hill said. "The approaches at the plate were really, really good. They're extremely well coached. You can see why Coach Elliott (Avent ) has got over a thousand wins and is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. They have a complete team against righty-lefty matchups. They were really good at the plate."

Avent, in his 29th season at the Raleigh, N.C., school, earned his 1, 000th coaching victory during last week's series against VCU.

"That was a long one, " Makarewicz said of the 3-hour, 49-minute game. "It was back and forth. You just have to stay focused. Our guys stayed focus for a long time, and we did a good job."

The Wolfpack appeared to end the suspense in the seventh, scoring eight runs on eight hits to extend a one-run lead to 16-7. The 31-minute half-inning featured 47 pitches from three'Bows. NC State's top-of-the-lineup batters—Soles and Pennington—each drove in two runs during that surge.

But the'Bows added a run when shortstop Jordan Donahue doubled home Jake Tsukada in the UH seventh.

After the Wolfpack responded with a run in the top of the eighth, the'Bows scored four in the bottom of the inning to cut their deficit to 17-12. Kyson Donahue's second sacrifice fly of the game and Jared Quandt's two-run single sparked that inning.

The'Bows also scored four runs in the fifth when they closed within 8-7.

"We reeled them in within one run, " Hill said, "and we were right there with two outs and a runner on third base. The fight in this team was great. There were a lot of positives to take away from tonight."

Jordan Donahue singled to right and advanced to second when Elijah Ickes was hit by a pitch to open the UH fifth. St. John's transfer Austin Machado smacked a single to right-center to bring home Donahue. Ickes then scored on Dallas Duarte's double off the third-base bag and down the left-field line. Ben Zeigler-Namoa's run-scoring single chased starting pitcher Sam Highfill.

After reliever PJ Lambriola walked Matt Miura, Kyson Donahue hit into a double play that plated the'Bows' seventh run—and fourth of the inning.

Makarewicz hit two home runs to stake the Wolfpack to an 8-3 lead.

The'Bows had scored three runs in the first on two sacrifice flies, including one to deep short, and Miura's RBI double to left.

But in the top of the third, the Wolfpack loaded the bases on two infield hits and Jacob Cozart's single off the right-field fence. Then Makarewicz drilled a 1-1 pitch the opposite way for a line drive that barely cleared the fence in right.

"I was trying to keep it simple and drive the ball the other way, " Makarewicz said. "My first at-bat, I rolled over a ground ball. I was trying to make a quick adjustment there."

The Wolfpack added four more runs in the fourth. This time, Makarewicz, batting from the left side, pulled a two-run homer to right.

"It was a hanging changeup, " Makarewicz said. "I reacted to it. It worked out in my favor there."