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Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, December 15, 2000

V U L C A N _ B A S E B A L L


Vulcans face
challenge of a
tougher schedule

UH-Hilo head baseball coach
Joey Estrella says his team
doesn't have much time to
prepare for opener on Jan. 18

Who, when and where

By Al Chase

Joey Estrella already had a four-game series schedule against Arizona and Loyola Marymount to start the 2001 season when the University of Washington called.

"I said, 'Oh my goodness.' "

The University of Hawaii at Hilo head baseball coach knew he only had those eight nonconference games to get his team ready for the Western Athletic Conference season, the Vulcans last as an associate member.

Now the Huskies would be coming right in the middle of the league season in early April.

The 36-game conference schedule is tough enough. It includes 24 games against NCAA tournament teams (Nevada, San Jose State, Fresno State and Rice) from a year ago.

The Vulcans open WAC play Feb. 9 against Nevada.

"It doesn't give us much time," Estrella said.

"Individual workouts went well in the preseason. When we started fall practice, we had four excellent days of practice, then the storm came and now I feel we're a week behind."

It will be a challenge for the Vulcans to better their 17-34 mark of a year ago, especially with the loss of starting pitchers Kaholo Rickard and Thomas Ford.

"Ben Siff will be solid and Anthony Bernal has looked good in the fall," Estrella said.

The Vulcans end the regular season with a home and home series against the Rainbows.

For the first time in several seasons the Vulcans will not play any games in Kailua-Kona.

The availability of the Kailua-Kona Ball Park and the advance time needed to get it up to standard for Division I were in question, so all home games will be played at Francis Wong Stadium in Hilo.

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2001 Vulcans schedule

Jan. 13: Alumni, 1 p.m.
Jan. 18: Arizona, 6 p.m. 19: Arizona (2), 4 p.m. 20: Arizona, 1 p.m.
Feb. 2: Loyola Marymount, 6 p.m. 3: Loyola Marymount (2), 1 p.m. 4: Loyola Marymount, 1 p.m.
Feb. 9: Nevada (WAC), 6 p.m. 10: Nevada (WAC), 1 p.m. 11:Nevada (WAC) 1 p.m.
Feb. 17: at Texas Christian (WAC).18: at Texas Christian (WAC).19: at Texas Christian (WAC).
Feb. 22: at Rice (WAC). 23: at Rice (WAC). 24: at Rice (WAC).
March 3: Rice, 6 p.m. (WAC).4: Rice, 6 p.m. (WAC). 5: Rice, 6 p.m. (WAC).
March 16: at Nevada (WAC). 17: at Nevada (WAC). 18: at Nevada (WAC).
March 22: Texas Christian, 6 p.m. (WAC). 23: Texas Christian, 6 p.m. (WAC). 24: Texas Christian, 11 a.m. (WAC).
March 29: San Jose State, 6 p.m. (WAC). 30: San Jose State, 6 p.m. (WAC). 31: San Jose State, 11 a.m. (WAC).
April 6: Washington, 6 p.m. 7: Washington (2), 1 p.m. 8: Washington, 1 p.m., Kailua-Kona.
April 12: Fresno State, 6 p.m. (WAC). 13: Fresno State, 6 p.m. (WAC). 14: Fresno State, 11 a.m. (WAC).
April 22: Hawaii Pacific (2), noon.
April. 28: at Fresno State (WAC). 29: at Fresno State (WAC). 30: at Fresno State (WAC).
May 3: at San Jose State (WAC). 3: at San Jose State (WAC). 4: at San Jose State (WAC).
May 11: Hawaii, 6 p.m. (WAC). 12: Hawaii, 1 p.m. (WAC). 13: Hawaii, 1 p.m. (WAC).
May 18: at Hawaii, 6:35 p.m. (WAC). 19: at Hawaii, 6:35 p.m. (WAC). 20: at Hawaii, 2:05 p.m. (WAC).
May 25-27: NCAA Regionals.
June 1-3: NCAA Super Regionals.
June 8-16: College World Series.

Home games at Francis Wong Stadium in Hilo.

Vulcan Athletics

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