Hawaii defeats UC Riverside for 10th straight victory

May 11—1/3

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Hawaii's Randy Abshier threw scoreless ball on Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium.


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UH's Jordan Donahue turned a double play.


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Hawaii's Austin Machado was called out at the plate on Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium.

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Termite-attracting humidity?

No sweat for the Hawaii baseball team, which repelled UC Riverside 8-2 at Les Murakami Stadium.

A Friday-night crowd of 1,731 saw the Rainbow Warriors win their 10th in a row, extending the NCAA's longest active streak, to improve to 31-15 overall and 14-9 in the Big West.

"We're built for this," UH coach Rich Hill said of the mugginess. "The elements, whatever they throw at us, we're good. Long days. Extra innings. Rain. Heat. We're all good."

For the second consecutive start, Randy Abshier did not allow a run, this time scattering four hits and walking none in 6 1/3 innings. Six nights earlier, Abshier pitched a one-hitter over seven scoreless innings against Cal State Northridge.

Against UCR, Abshier said, "It was the slider. Similar to last weekend, they kind of had some holes in their barrel. We're going to keep riding it. We're going to keep doing what we're doing. Fastball, slider, changeup. We'll see how far it takes us."

Abshier exited after allowing consecutive one-out singles in the seventh. Itsuki Takemoto struck out Mason Grace and induced Andrew Rivas to line out to second baseman Jake Tsukada to squash the seventh-inning threat. The Highlanders scored two runs in the ninth, but the 'Bows minimized the damage when center fielder Matthew Miura and right fielder Jared Quandt made sprawling catches.

In the dugout ahead of the ninth inning, Quandt told Abshier he wanted to make a diving play to end the game. "Line drive right to me, and I got a good read on it, and I was able to come through with it," Quandt said.

Abshier said: "That was a good little moment. He did call it. Good play. Respect. I'm glad he called that one."

Hill added: "We do a lot of visualization before every game, some outcome visualization, maybe that was part of it."

Catcher Austin Machado went 3-for-5, drove in three runs and set up a target for Abshier's slider.

"It was really fun with Randy," Machado said. "He did everything we wanted with him, and more. I had a good time catching him. ... He has a big-league slider. He can throw it at any time. It moves really well. It's a really, really good pitch."

Hill said: "I remember the first day I saw that (slider) in the bullpen. When he throws that hard and with conviction, that's a major league slider. If he could throw that for a strike, it's a devastating pitch. The last 12 innings, whatever that shutout streak is, Randy's able to dump that in there and throw it hard. And locate his fastball, too."

Abshier said in the sixth and seventh innings, when the air thickened, "it was a little hard to breathe. The air felt heavier than usual. Weather played a little bit of a factor. I was sweating a lot today. (The termites) were all over the mound, too. A weird little evening."

With two outs in the sixth, Abshier threw a called third strike to Zachary Chamizo, turned toward center field, and did a hand-pistols-in-the-air motion.

"It was a sporadic thing," Abshier said. "I'll pull out the finger guns maybe sometimes. Let the other dugout know I got their number a little bit."

The 'Bows jumped to a 2-0 lead after Jordan Donahue was hit by a pitch and Tsukada doubled to open the first inning. Machado followed with a two-run single up the middle.

The 'Bows added four runs in the third. Miura's two-run double to left-center extended the lead to 4-0. Quandt had an RBI double and then came home on Elijah Ickes' run-scoring single past diving shortstop Anthony Mata.

In the sixth, Tsukada drew a one-out walk, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Kyson Donahue's single to left for a 7-0 lead.