Friday, April 21, 2000
First pitch: Tomorrow and Sunday, 9 a.m.; Monday, 2 p.m., Reckling Park, Houston, Texas
RAINBOW BASEBALL PLAYBOOK
at Rice Owls
Coaches: Hawaii, Les Murakami, 30th season (1,073-564-4, .655); Rice, Wayne Graham, 9th season (361-174, .675).
Season: Hawaii (9-9 Western Athletic Conference, 22-22 overall); Rice (10-10, 25-19).
Series record: Rice leads the series, 7-2. The last times the teams played, UH won two out of three at Rainbow Stadium the first weekend of March.
Probable starting pitchers: Rice, Kenny Baugh, right-hander (7-2, 2.58 earned run average); Jon Skaggs, right-hander (7-2, 3.88), and Marc Gwyn, right-hander (4-6, 3.34) ... Hawaii, Jamie Aloy, left-hander (6-3, 4.19); Randon Ho, left-hander (5-6, 4.72), and Rich Snider, right-hander (6-7, 4.30)
Top position players: Rice Eric Arnold, shortstop (.375 batting average, 13 home runs, 47 runs batted in); Jason Gray, center fielder, (.285, 1 HR, 21 RBIs), and John Lukin, catcher (.283, 1 HR, 15 RBIs) ... Hawaii, Kenn Wakakuwa, catcher/second baseman (.367, 2 HR, 32 RBIs); Jamie Aloy, first baseman (.351, 12 RBIs); Scooter Martines, left fielder (.310, 17 RBIs), and Danny Kimura, designated hitter (.293, 42 RBIs).
Series keys: Since the start of the Rainbow Easter Tournament, the Rainbows; team batting average has dropped from .300 to .285, which is one reason they are 5-8 in the last 13 games. . Rice has quality starting pitching and the Owls' bullpen isn't as suspect as it was here in March ... If the Rainbows hitting, especially with men in scoring position, doesn't shape up soon, the frustration displayed in the dugout after the Fresno State series will continue to grow ... The 'Bows base running left much to be desired last weekend. Having three runners picked off second base.is NOT playing aggressive baseball. If the Rainbows can't do the little things, then the big thing-winning the WAC title-will remain a dream.
Interesting facts: The Rainbows are 0-for-Texas in WAC games since the league expanded, suffering three-game sweeps by Texas Christian last year and by Rice in 1998 ... Sean Takamori has the longest current UH hitting streak, seven games. During the streak he is batting .393. However, he is doubtful for the Rice series after injuring his left knee sliding into home in Sunday's game. He is expected back for the TCU series ... The Rainbows have not hit a home run out of Rainbow Stadium since April 16, 1999 when Wade Taguchi connected against Hawaii-Hilo's Jim Tanaka. That is 1,407 at bats ago.
On the air: All games live on KCCN (1420 AM).
RealAudio: 'Net broadcast Click Here
By Al Chase, Star-Bulletin