Blame it on the red-eye. The Hawai’i-Oregon game wasn’t called Monday night on account on rain, but on account of plane.
The Rainbows kept chipping away at the Ducks’ lead, coming back to tie the game at 1-1 and 2-2, and then pulling within a single run at 4-3. But that was where the comeback ended, at a prearranged curfew time, so that the Ducks could catch a midnight flight back to the mainland.
With the game called after eight innings, Oregon claimed a split of the four-game opening series with Hawai’i.
Ducks’ leadoff hitter Aaron Jones started the game with his second home run of the series and the ‘Bows never did get that run back before running out of time. Ducks’ starter Alex Keudell struck out nine in five innings.
Rainbows starter Jesse Moore worked his way out of trouble and induced a lot of ground ball outs, including four to second baseman Kolten Wong, in his four innings.
Wong manufactured the first Rainbow run by singling, stealing second, and then dashing home on a Jeffrey Van Doornum single.
Van Doornum scored the second run after his leadoff walk in the fourth. He stole second and took third when the throw bounced into center field, then scored on a Zach Swasey short stroke double to right.
Pi’ikea Kitamura scored the third run in the seventh with another leadoff walk. He moved to third on a Kolten Wong double, and came home on a Michael Blake sacrifice fly to deep right.
Wong and Collin Bennett both went 2-for-3 Monday, with Bennett getting one of his hits on a check swing that bounced up the middle. But the Rainbows just couldn’t come up with the clutch hit when they needed it Monday, stranding nine in the game.
Both Oregon’s George Horton and Hawai’i’s Mike Trapasso spread around the playing time, with 6′ 4″ Connor George getting a few innings at shortstop, and Easton Torigoe getting another pinch-hit at-bat for the Rainbows.
Blair Walters and closer Lenny Linsky also got some work, looking sharp with 1.1 innings each.
Thunderstorms drenched the field in mid-afternoon, and a light rain fell at the start of the game, but the predicted heavy rains stayed away from Manoa through the curfew.
The Rainbows face another nationally-ranked rival this weekend when #7 Texas comes to Les Murakami Stadium for three games Feb. 25, 26, and 27.