Friday, February 9, 2001
Six games into the season, Hawaii acting head baseball coach Carl Furutani sees things he likes in the Rainbows.
Bows lick their wounds
By Al Chase
He also knows there is plenty of room for improvement, and that will come when the 'Bows (3-3) become more consistent.
The offense has produced, although not everyone is hitting up to his capability yet.
"Some of the young guys (are) getting better," Furutani said. "Chad (Boudon) has improved a lot. Tim (Montgomery) and Cortland (Wilson) have come along. They're making adjustments as far as pitch selection and in their swing. They aren't consistent yet, but you see it and that's the big thing."
Furutani has used nearly the same lineup each game. He is alternating catchers Jacob Flick and Brian Bock.
When Wilson caught a line drive with his bare right hand in the second UCLA game and it swelled up, a day off was necessary.
Before that, Furutani had decided to give Wilson a break at shortstop in the UCLA finale so that Lane Nogawa could get a game in the field.
Patrick Scalabrini should be back at third base after fouling a ball off his shin last Saturday.
"It swelled up so fast," Furutani said. "It was like a baseball, ugly. He asked me when I went out to the mound in the second inning if he and (first baseman Danny Kimura could switch off the next inning). He felt Danny would have better mobility. It's nice to have that flexibility."
Jeff Coleman has given UH strong performances in his two starting assignments.
Sean Yamashita went from five hitless innings against Cal State Sacramento to not finishing the first inning against UCLA.
UCLA's coaching may have been to blame. First, the Bruins were picking up Hawaii's signals, something Furutani didn't realize until nine runs had crossed the plate.
Then, UCLA coach Gary Adams told Furutani after the series that his staff had broken down the game tape of Yamashita's outing against Cal State Sacramento.
Gavin Garrett, meanwhile, has been roughed up in both his starts and needs to correct some mechanical woes.
"I met with Gavin and told him I'm going to start Chad Giannetti," Furutani said. "It's not that I'm burying him, but I don't want him to go out there and go through another situation like that. There are some things he needs to work on and he knows it.
"Gavin needs discipline on the back side to be able to stay on top of his pitches a little bit more and finish."
Middle relief will be the responsibility of Chris Quiroz, Matt Le Ducq, Ryan Yamamoto and Will Quaglieri.
"Chris and Matt could start for us, but they are filling an important role. We're getting to know what they can do for us," Furutani said.
"Yamamoto will be fine when he is more consistent. I need to find innings for Quaglieri. He's young with tremendous ability."
This weekend should be the debut of Wakon Childers, a potential closer who missed last season after having Tommy John surgery.
The senior right-hander pitched in the pen Monday, did long toss Tuesday and worked an inning in Wednesday's scrimmage.
"His slider was working and his change-up was good. He's back," said Furutani. "Curt Watanabe has done a real good job with Wakon's rehab."
Ka Leo O Hawaii