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Hawks rally to salvage tie

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Hawks rally to salvage tie

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With Tsuyoshi Wada and his sterling statistic line so far this year, one would think this game would be a cakewalk for the SoftBank Hawks. However, a four-run fourth inning put the Hawks in a tough spot. With the aid of the bullpen and some heroics from the Hawks' lineup, the home team managed to eke out a 4-4 tie in their first Interleague game against the Hiroshima Carp.

Seiichi Uchikawa was once again the offensive star of the day as he notched his fifth modansho of the season, rapping out two singles and clubbing his third home run of the season in the first inning.

Wada's one bad inning almost put the entire game on ice for the Hawks, as he easily had his worst outing on the young season. In just five innings, Wada gave up four runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and a hit batsman.

The fourth inning was the inning that almost gave the Carp the game. The first four batters reached with alternating singles and doubles to give Hiroshima a 4-1 lead.

SoftBank had a hard time solving Hiroshima starter Takeru Imamura, as he did a good job of keeping the home team off-balance after Uchikawa's first-inning home run. Imamura only gave up four hits and a run in six innings with three strikeouts. However, it was the bullpen that let down the Carp.

Mike Schultz, Hiroshima's own towering foreign righty, took over for the 7th and ran into birthday boy Nobuhiro Matsuda. The now-28-year old 3rd baseman hit a two-out home run, his 8th, to take the lead over Micah Hoffpauir and Takeya Nakamura in the Pacific League and also pul SoftBank to 4-2.

Hiroshima's bullpen trouble persisted in the 8th, as Takahiro Aoki could only get one of the outs he was assigned to get. With runners at the corners and nobody out, Honda got an RBI groundout, and after Hirofumi Ueno came in to try and shut the door, Uchikawa came through with his third hit to tie the game.

The Hawks finish up their first of two series this season against Hiroshima at Yahoo! Dome. DJ Houlton (4-1, 2.08) will take the mound for the Hawks while the Hiroshima starter is not set, but this time it could be Junpei Shinoda (2-2, 4.35).
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