Star-Bulletin Sports


Monday, April 19, 1999


R A I N B O W _ B A S E B A L L



UH


Pitching unsettled for
big Rice series

By Al Chase
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

HILO - Questions remain about Hawaii's starting rotation for this weekend's important three-game series against Rice.

The Rainbows' weekend excursion to Maui and the Big Island left head baseball coach Les Murakami with no answers after right-hander Rich Snider opens the Western Athletic Conference series against the first-place Owls Friday at Rainbow Stadium.

Matt Wheeler made his starting debut against the Hawaii-Hilo Vulcans yesterday and came away with a 8-5 win. But the Vulcans made the 'Bows work for it before 1,281 fans at Francis Wong Stadium.

Corey Miller's throwing error on a routine grounder by UHH leadoff hitter Lane Takahashi in the bottom of the seventh opened the door for three runs as the Vulcans cut the UH lead to 6-4.

"We were cruising until that error," Murakami said.

"Corey is making an error a game and not hitting well enough to afford that."

Wheeler retired the first five Vulcans and should have made it six consecutive outs but center fielder Rah-Miel Mitchell dropped Scott Wallis' routine fly. Wheeler then walked Billy Rayl and hit Takahashi to load the bases.

But Wheeler induced Shaye Miura to ground out, ending the inning.

The next three innings passed without trouble for the senior right-hander, but he reached his pitch limit (100).

"I thought I started out pretty good. I had good location with the fastball and slider through the fourth or fifth inning, then started leaving pitches up," Wheeler said.

"Overall, Matt did a pretty good job. He showed me he can battle," Hawaii pitching coach Carl Furutani said.

Murakami also was pleased with Wheeler's effort through five innings, but added, "I hate to have him go against Rice in only his second start."

The UH skipper may not have a choice. Left-hander Dusty Bergman did not have a strong start against the Vulcans on Maui Saturday.

"He just couldn't locate and couldn't throw a breaking ball for strikes," Furutani said.

Kenn Wakakuwa enjoyed the return to the stadium where he played his prep ball by going 4-for-5 with an RBI. Jamie Aloy had three hits and his high bouncer through a drawn-in infield brought home two big runs in the eighth inning.

Michael Dartt's sacrifice bunt in the first inning was his 15th of the season, topping Ross Kagawa's single-season (1989) mark by one.

Hawaii 8, Hawaii-Hilo 5

Hawaii		AB	R	H	BI	Hawaii-Hilo	AB	R	H	BI
Takamori rf	4	2	1	0	Chu cf		4	1	0	0
Dartt 2b	2	2	1	0	Chaves ss	5	0	0	1
Aloy 1b		4	1	3	2	Yap 2b		5	0	2	1
Martines dh	5	0	0	1	Sanchez pr	0	1	0	0
Nakano lf	4	1	1	1	McCracken c	4	1	2	1
Honma pr-lf	0	0	0	0	Kaneshiro pr	0	0	0	0
Nogawa 3b	5	2	2	0	Yates 1b	5	0	3	0
Wakakuwa c	5	0	4	1	Johnson pr	0	0	0	0
Miller ss	5	0	1	1	Wallis 3b	5	0	1	1
Mitchell cf	5	0	0	0	Rayl dh		4	0	1	0
						Takahashi rf	3	1	1	0
						Miura lf	3	1	1	0
	Totals	30	1	4	1		Totals	43	17	21	15

Hawaii		400 000 220--8 13 2
Hawaii-Hilo	000 001 301--5 11 2
E--Miller, Mitchell, Yap, McCracken. DP--Hawaii 1 (Honma-Dartt), Hawaii-Hilo (Wallis-Yap-Yates) 1. LOB--Hawaii 10, Hawaii-Hilo 11.

3B--McCracken (2). SB--Takamori 2 (27), Dartt (11), Aloy (3). CS--Wakakuwa. SH--Dartt (15). SF--McCracken (2).

Hawaii		IP	H	R	ER	BB	SO
Wheeler (W,1-0)	6	3	1	1	1	5
Garrick		0.2	3	3	1	1	0
Mackenzie	0.1	2	0	0	0	0
Childers (S,3)	2	3	1	1	0	1

Hawaii-Hilo	IP	H	R	ER	BB	SO
Bell (L,0-7)	5	8	4	1	2	0
Allosada	2.2	5	4	4	1	0
Miyake		1.1	0	0	0	0	1
Mackenzie pitched to two batters in the eighth.

WP--Wheeler 3, Childers, Allosada. HBP--Takahashi and Miura (by Wheeler), Dartt and Nakano (by Allosada.

Umpires--Frank Tomaszewski (plate), Gary Montalbo (first), Warren Miyasaki (third). A--1281. T--3:18.

WAC

		Conference			Overall
		W	L	Pct.	GB	W	L	Pct.
Rice		18	3	.857	--	39	8	.830
Texas Christian	17	3	.850	-1/2	26	16	.619
Nevada-LV	10	8	.556	6-1/2	21	24	.467
San Diego St.	9	9	.500	7-1/2	22	21	.517
Hawaii		8	10	.444	8-1/2	28	14	.667
San Jose St.	8	10	.444	8-1/2	18	21	.463
New Mexico	9	12	.429	9	22	23	.489
Fresno St.	7	11	.389	9-1/2	24	25	.490
Utah		6	10	.375	9-1/2	18	19	.486
Brigham Young	7	13	.350	10-1/2	19	25	.432
Air Force	3	13	.188	12-1/2	17	23	.425
New Mexico & San Jose St. played one tie game.

Yesterday's results
Hawaii 8, Hawaii-Hilo 5
Fresno State 9, San Jose State 8
Rice 11, New Mexico 8
Texas Christian 18, Air Force 3



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