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May 24—In a mastery-to-mystery story line, the Hawaii baseball team’s rally was extinguished in a 3-2 loss to UC San Diego on Sunday at Les Murakami Stadium.

There would be lei and hugs but no victory for seven Rainbow Warriors in their final home game. The Tritons won three of four this weekend to claim their third series in a row and improve to 18-18 in the Big West. The’Bows, 24-22 overall and 16-20 in league play, need to sweep this weekend’s road series against Cal Poly to finish at.500 in league play.

The’Bows closed to 3-2 on Adam Fogel’s run-scoring single in the eighth. But the’Bows would not score again, leaving the bases loaded in the eighth and deserting a runner at third in the ninth.

“My thoughts are we didn’t score enough, ” UH coach Mike Trapasso said. “We didn’t get anything going offensively.”

The’Bows continued a collective slump that materialized following a bye weekend two weeks ago. In eight games ahead of the bye, the’Bows hit.354, averaged 7.8 runs, and went 7-1. After the bye, the’Bows hit.216, averaged 2.4 runs, and lost seven of eight.

“The way we were swinging it for two weeks, and then last week (against Cal State Northridge ) and this weekend, it’s disappointing, ” Trapasso said.

The’Bows’ offensive woes sabotaged two strong pitching performances this weekend. Cade Halemanu threw seven scoreless innings in a 4-2 loss on Saturday, and Logan Pouelsen did not allow a run in six innings on Sunday. Pouelsen exited after throwing 99 pitches—60 of them for strikes or to contact—and with UH ahead, 1-0, on Scotty Scott’s run-scoring infield hit.

“He was really gassed in the sixth, ” Trapasso said of the decision to replace Pouelsen.

In the UCSD seventh, Anthony Lucchetti reached on a one-out single. One out later, Tate Soderstrom pulled a Tyler Dyball pitch over the wall in right-center for a 2-1 lead the Tritons would not relinquish.

“He was trying to go away and threw it over the middle, ” Trapasso said of Dyball. “You give credit to the guy for hitting it out. That’s what happens when you’re not scoring. It just magnifies every mistake on the mound or defensively. And any mistake may cost you the game, and that’s what happened. It wasn’t an awful pitch. It got too much over the middle.”

The Tritons made it 3-1 in the eighth. Jackson Kritsch hit a drive over left fielder Scotty Scott for a double. Logan White followed with an RBI single to right.

Down 3-2 with two outs and the bases loaded in the eighth, UH freshman Jared Quandt grounded out to short.

In the ninth, Alex Baeza opened with a single to right. Naighel Calderon, who ran for Baeza, went to second on Stone Miyao’s sacrifice and sprinted to third on Tyler Murray’s fly out to deep right. But Matt Campos grounded out to end the’Bows’ 2021 home schedule.

Trapasso expressed empathy for Halemanu on Saturday and Pouelsen on Sunday.

“What can you say about it ?” Trapasso said. “(Pouelsen ) goes six scoreless innings. What more can you ask for ? It’s just a shame we have two guys go out and give us seven innings a zero and six innings a zero, and nothing to show for it. Just a shame.”

Trapasso added : “We didn’t get it done. They got the big hit when they needed it, and we didn’t.”

After the game, the’Bows honored seniors Pouelsen and Murray, as well as five juniors who already earned their degrees—Fogel, Campos, Baeza, Dustin Demeter and Calvin Turchin. After the pandemic abbreviated the 2020 season, the NCAA created an exemption to allow 2020 seniors to return for another year. Donors matched the scholarship amounts Pouelsen and Murray received last year.

During the post-game ceremony, Pouelsen was the last of the seven to be announced. It was the most emotional walk of his five-year UH career, which began when an elbow injury suffered in high school led to his release from a UCLA commitment. After embracing teammates and assistant coaches, Pouelsen approached Trapasso for an emotional hug.

“Coach Trap has meant a lot to me, ” Pouelsen said. “The coaching staff has meant a lot to me.”