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person standing on a pitcher's mound throwing a baseball
UH President David Lassner throws out the first pitch prior to a matchup between UH Hilo and UH Mānoa on February 28.

A midweek baseball game between the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and UH Hilo on Hawaiʻi Island was not just another game. It was also a show of unity and the bond between UH campuses.

person walking off a pitcher's mound smiling
UH President David Lassner smiling after throwing out the first pitch.

The contest at Francis Wong Stadium on February 28 brought together a crowd of more than 3,200 fans, including local youth baseball players. Leadership from the UH System, UH Mānoa, UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College were also on hand.

“It was great to see the Hilo community, both Vulcan and ʻBow fans, come out and fill the stands at Wong Stadium to cheer on their teams,” UH Hilo Chancellor Bonnie Irwin said.

UH President David Lassner started things off by throwing out the first pitch, a one hopper to the catcher. When asked about how he fared, his response was succinct.

players in jerseys signing autographs
UH Hilo baseball players signing autographs prior to the game against UH Mānoa.

“The catcher did not have to move and the Hilo boosters had beer,” he said with a smile.

UH Hilo Athletics Director Patrick Guillen commended Lassner’s form, and confirmed that the catcher did not have to move. Guillen said the game was a positive for the UH Hilo athletics community, even though the Rainbow Warriors beat the Vulcans, 15-2.

“It was a GREAT night that brought our community together to pack the stands and cheer on our hometown teams,” Guillen said. “The Lincoln Wreckers, one of our local keiki teams, joined the squads on the field for a memory that will last a lifetime.”

player running past third base bag

With UH vs. UH, UH Mānoa College of Engineering Dean Brennon Morioka took advantage of the match-up and hosted an event for the college’s alumni industry partners on Hawaiʻi Island prior to the game.

“Shout out to UH Hilo Vulcan Head Coach Kallen Miyataki and Vulcan Assistant Kyle Wada for all their help in pulling off a great event,” Morioka said. “Also mahalo to both Coach Kallen and Coach Rich Hill for stopping by before the game to say hi.”

UH Mānoa’s Elijah Ickes went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a pair of doubles while drawing a walk. Kyson Donahue came off the bench and reached base all three times, including homering and driving in a run with a double. The Vulcans will have another shot at the Rainbow Warriors when they fly to Oʻahu for a game at Les Murakami Stadium on April 30.

seven people standing and smiling
From left, UH Mānoa College of Engineering Dean Brennon Morioka, Ned Huston (UH Hilo Chancellor Irwinʻs spouse), UH Hilo Chancellor Bonnie Irwin, Hawaiʻi Community College Interim Chancellor Susan Kazama, UH President David Lassner, UH Mānoa Athletics Director Craig Angelos and UH Hilo Athletics Director Pat Guillen
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