Star-Bulletin Sports


Friday, February 19, 1999


H A W A I I _ P A C I F I C _ B A S E B A L L



HPU


Shockers bring
Sea Warriors back
to earth

UH up next for No.2 Shockers

By Jerry Campany
Special to the Star-Bulletin

Tapa

After splitting a doubleheader with nationally ranked Florida State last season and jumping out to a 12-5 mark this year, the Hawaii Pacific Sea Warriors were flying high -- until Wichita State got a hold of them.

The Shockers came into the game ranked No. 2 among NCAA Division I teams by Collegiate Baseball and pounded the NCAA II Sea Warriors, 17-2, yesterday at Rainbow Stadium.

Wichita State's top five hitters went 12-for-20.

"Before the game, some of our guys were talking like they could walk on water," Hawaii Pacific head coach Allan Sato said. "I'm disappointed, but we needed something like this to humble us."

Pitching was Hawaii Pacific's biggest question mark coming into the contest, but looked like it may be their biggest asset early. Kevin Hooper led off the game for the Shockers with a triple to center field and scored on a sacrifice fly before Sea Warriors' starter Kelton Otsuka settled down to retire the side.

Otsuka set the Shockers down in order in the second and started the third with a strikeout before the Wichita State hitters got a second look at him.

Another look is all it took. Hooper, Eric Absher and Jeff Ryan hit consecutive singles in the third to score two runs. A sacrifice fly by Pat Magness followed by a Brian Preston double into the left center-field gap chased Otsuka and put the Shockers on top, 5-0.

The Sea Warriors scored their first run in the bottom of the fourth when Kaina McCallum and Gabe Gerhardt blasted consecutive doubles over center fielder Justin McCarty's head to make it 5-1. But the Sea Warriors would get no closer.

Wichita State smoked a parade of Hawaii Pacific pitchers after that point, scoring 12 runs in the next five innings. Magness put the game out of reach at 10-2 in the top of the seventh when he hit the first of his two home runs, a shot down the right-field line that traveled out of the park and across the street.

Wichita State pushed its record to 6-1 after taking five of six from Hawaii-Hilo last weekend. The Sea Warriors dropped to 12-6 and travel to Hilo for a pair of doubleheaders this weekend.

As poorly as Hawaii Pacific performed on the field with one of the NCAA's elite teams, Sato has many positives to take away from the beating.

"Their pitching was as good as any we saw in Hilo," Wichita State head coach Gene Stephenson said. "They beat Florida State last year, so we knew they were capable of beating us. We had a good day, they didn't."

Stephenson was looking ahead to his team's upcoming series against Hawaii, but sees an encouraging future ahead for an Hawaii Pacific's program that seemed on the verge of becoming a legitimate Division I baseball school.

"I hope Hawaii Pacific becomes Division I. I know they are trying hard to do so," Stephenson said. "There are enough players in Hawaii to support two good division I programs, and just being a Division I school makes recruiting easier."

Tapa

HPU vs. Shockers

Bullet At Rainbow Stadium

Wichita State	104 022	512--17	17	0
Hawaii Pacific	000 110	000-- 2	9	0
Brandon Sloan, Greg Bauer (6), Tymber Lee (8), Marc Bluma (9) and Brian Preston, Brian Diggs; Kelton Otsuka, Palani Nunes (3), Brandon Bell (3), Gregg Tsugawa (7), Jesse Whittemore (8) and Deric Yanagisawa, Mark Sylvester. W--Sloan (1-0). L--Otsuka (3-1).

Leading hitters--WSU: Pat Magness 3-4, 3 rs, 5 RBI, 2 HR; Eric Absher 3-5, 2 rs, 5 RBI, 2 2b; Kevin Hooper 3-3, 4 rs, RBI, 2b, 3b; Brian Preston 2-4, rs, RBI, 2b. HPU: Gabe Gerhardt 2-4, 2b, 3b, RBI; Daric Stith 2-4, rs, 2b.



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