Rainbows take a 2-1 lead in 4-game series against Holy Cross

Proving frustration has an expiration date, the Hawaii baseball team rebounded for Sunday’s 7-4 victory over Holy Cross at Les Murakami Stadium.

A crowd of 1, 460 saw center fielder Matt Miura drive in four runs, Alex Giroux pitch three scoreless innings, and Itsuki Takemoto earn his third save with a hitless ninth inning.


A day after Takemoto’s two-run throwing error in the ninth factored in Saturday’s 6-4 loss, the’Bows took a 2-1 lead in this four-game series. The teams additionally faced off last night, with the results to be shared in Wednesday’s paper.

“So frustrating, ” Takemoto said of Saturday’s outcome.

On Sunday, Japan-reared Takemoto was summoned to pitch the ninth to protect a three-run lead. Takemoto induced a leadoff groundout, struck out Alex Sandell and, after being assessed a fourth ball because of pitch-clock violation, coaxed Jack Toomey into a game-ending grounder.

Takemoto said he relied on a “fastball … and fighting spirit.”

Takemoto added : “Just throw strikes, and we got the win. That was the most important thing.”

UH head coach Rich Hill said Takemoto was “feeling for it (on Saturday night ) for some reason. It’s why he’s in college. It’s lessons learned through the game of baseball, and more mental in life lessons than physical, bouncing back after adversity. How do you react to failure ? He answered the bell today. He was awesome.”

This freshman season, Takemoto has not allowed an earned run while striking out 12 in eight innings.

Giroux, the fourth of five UH pitchers, made his third appearance in five days, having pitched two innings against Hawaii Hilo on Wednesday and two in Friday’s series opener against Holy Cross.

“I felt good enough to go, ” Giroux said. “Coach asked me if I had three (innings ) in me. I told him I had five.”

In the seventh, Giroux walked Sandell, who then advanced on a wild pitch. Hill trotted to the mound. “I told him we’re going to push the reset button, ” Hill recalled. “Just walk around, breathe. Sometimes guys go out there quick, go 100 mph out there. I wanted him to have some space to relax.”

Giroux retired the next three batters to maintain the Bows’ 5-4 lead.

“He calmed me down, ” Giroux said of Hill. “He said, ‘let your stuff play, ’ and that’s what I did.”

Without full command of his changeup and curveball, Giroux relied on a two-seam fastball and cutter. “I made do with what I had, and got through it, ” said Giroux, who allowed two hits and struck out two before exiting after the eighth when his weekly pitch count reached triple digits.

Of Giroux’s seven innings of work in three games, Hill said, “He’s got one of those arms that can really bounce back. He really was the story of the game.”

Miura had an RBI single in the’Bows’ four-run seventh. Miura added a two-run single in the eighth.

“It’s been the same thing every day, ” said Miura, who is hitting.362 —a.140 improvement over last season.” I try to stay consistent with my routine. Just keep stacking days and things work out.”

Hill said Miura gained confidence—and an impactful swing — playing for the Cropdusters in an Olney, Md.. league last summer.

“I really needed Matt to play every day and develop confidence, ” Hill said of Miura’s summer placement. “In my opinion, he was the MVP of that league. It catapulted him to this. He brings a lot of tools to the table. He has a great mindset. The sky’s the limit for that kid.”

UH freshman third baseman Elijah Ickes went 2-for-4 and scored three runs, and shortstop Jordan Donahue had two hits and two runs.

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