Cal Poly's Cole Cabrera adds to Hawaii's woes with 2 walk-offs

·3 min read

May 30—Punahou graduate Cole Cabrera had two walk-off at-bats as Cal Poly swept Hawaii, 5-4 and 14-4, Saturday at Baggett Stadium in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

It was 4-all in the doubleheader's opener when Cabrera drew a bases-loaded walk in the ninth.

Cabrera's two-run double triggered the 10-run mercy rule in the seventh inning of the abbreviated second game.

"It's kind of crazy, " Cabrera said in a telephone interview. "This is a day I'll always remember. Two walk-offs in one day. It was pretty special to have my family at the games to celebrate along with my teammates. It's a cool feeling."

Cabrera's family members were among the 1, 045 spectators allowed to attend the doubleheader, which was limited to 33 % seating capacity because of COVID-19 protocols.

The Mustangs won the first three of this four-game Big West series. Today's regular-season finale begins at 10 a.m.

In the opener, the'Bows took a 2-1 lead on Jacob Igawa's RBI groundout in the fourth. The Mustangs regained the lead, at 3-2 in the sixth, with a little help from above. After Brooks Lee doubled to right, Tate Samuelson hit a towering fly to left that Igawa could not locate against the sun's glare. The ball dropped near Igawa for a triple, bringing home Lee with the tying run. Samuelson then scored on Taison Corio's sacrifice fly.

But the'Bows took a 4-3 lead in the ninth when Tyler Best scored on a passed ball and pinch-hitter Stone Miyao singled home Konnor Palmeira.

In the Cal Poly ninth, Corio doubled home Nick Marinconz to tie it at 4. Nick DiCarlo was walked intentionally. UH left-hander Tai Atkins was brought in. After inducing a lineout, Atkins hit Connor Gurnik to load the bases. Atkins' first two pitches to Cabrera were out of the strike zone. UH coach Mike Trapasso then replaced Atkins with Tyler Dyball.

"I love Tai to death, but he's had his struggles, " Trapasso said. "We had a better chance of Tyler Dyball coming in and throwing strikes over Tai Atkins."

Cabrera said he was not going to swing until Dyball threw a strike. Dyball threw a ball, then a strike to make it a 3-1 count, and then the walk-off pitch.

In the second game, UH's pitchers and fielders both struggled with their aim. Austin Teixeira walked four and allowed eight runs—four earned—in 2 1 /3 innings as the Mustangs built an 8-4 lead. The'Bows committed three errors, two on throws.

"We've been struggling defensively all year, " Trapasso said. "We can't play catch. We can't throw a ball a hundred feet."

The Mustangs moved out of reach with the six-run seventh. It was 12-4 when a wild pitch advanced Joe Yorke to third and DiCarlo to second. Cabrera drove a pitch from Connor Harrison, the third UH pitcher, to left-center to score Yorke and DiCarlo.

"I didn't know I walked it off, " Cabrera said. "I didn't know the score at the time. I was trying to get in the runs. I was trying to drive them in. It just worked out I got two game-winning plate appearances. I'm very humbled and pretty happy."

UH is 24-25 overall and 16-23 in the Big West. The Mustangs, who have won 10 of 11, are 30-25 and 20-19.

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