The Matadors won a wild game 8-7 against Hawaii giving them five straight wins versus Big West opponents.
The game was impacted by the strong wind and helped both teams hit a combined eight home runs. In the end, the Matadors outlasted Hawaii because they only allowed two walks in the game which minimized the damage done by the home runs.
The home run derby began with the Matadors up 1-0 in the third inning with two home runs given up by starting pitcher Tei Vanderford, which gave Hawaii a 3-1 lead.
First baseman Albee Weiss answered back and tied up the game with a two run home run. The home run Weiss the first Matador player to hit 10 or more home runs in a season since 2010.
“I didn’t even know that,” Weiss said regarding his homeruns. “It is cool to reflect for a second here then go back to work. The home runs are mistakes you hit the ball hard and hop for a line drive down the middle and sometimes they get some loft.”
Hawaii took back the lead in the fifth with back to back solo homeruns, one of which was hit by third baseman Josh Rojas giving him two for the day and doubling his season total.
The Matadors got one back thanks to an RBI single by catcher Dylan Alexander, and in the sixth inning third baseman Nolan Bumstead hit a game tying homerun and put the game 5-5.
Later in the inning, right fielder Nick Sablock hit the deciding two run homerun which gave them a 7-5 lead.
“We wanted to continue play no matter the weather,” coach Greg Moore said regarding the comeback. “We just wanted to play good steady baseball and let the weather do what its going to do.”
After both teams exchanged runs, Hawaii got within one run thanks to a homerun given up by new pitcher Conner O’Neil.
O’Neil finished off the game with an easy 1-2-3 inning and getting the last six batters out securing the win.
“[O’Neil] found some rhythm within the game,” Moore said. “[O’Neil] did somethings with his fastball then he started to pitch off his slider late in the outing which helped him get back to that Connor rhythm.”