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Thursday, February 19, 2004



[ UH BASEBALL ]



’Bows play Vulcans
in 3-game series




Hawaii-Hilo at Hawaii

When: Tomorrow and Saturday, 6:35 p.m.; Sunday, 1:05 p.m.
Where: Murakami Stadium
TV: Tomorrow and Sunday live, KFVE, Channel 5
Radio: Tomorrow and Sunday live, KKEA, 1420-AM
Tickets: $6 Orange, Blue levels. $5 Red level. $4 seniors, children 4-18, UH students in the Red level.
Parking: $3



The Hawaii-Manoa baseball team will continue to work on executing the offense when the Rainbows host the Hawaii-Hilo Vulcans for three games at Murakami Stadium this weekend.

The 'Bows showed a lot of improvement in putting down sacrifice bunts the past four games, all victories. Coach Mike Trapasso wants to have the Rainbows run more and add the hit-and-run to their game plan.

"The hit-and-run depends on the runner at first base, how the hitter handles the bat and on the pitcher and his ability to be around the plate with his pitches. You need at least two of those to use the hit-and-run," Trapasso said.

Right now, the UH offense is predicated on executing and moving runners around the bases, one at a time if necessary. Against Hawaii Pacific on Tuesday night, the Rainbows were successful 91 percent of the time they had to execute various segments of their game the coaches chart.

This includes the sacrifice bunt, moving a runner into scoring position, bringing a runner home from third base with fewer than two outs and getting a "Rainbow Hit" -- a two-out, run-scoring hit.

"I love a big inning as much as anyone else, but we are not a big-inning club. We scored a run or two in five different innings Tuesday and at the end of the game you look at the scoreboard and say it was a blowout," Trapasso said of the 10-2 win.

"I would like to run a little more and be more aggressive. For now, when we get the leadoff man on in the early innings, we will move him over and hopefully get him around to score."

One thing that pleases Trapasso is the 'Bows' ability to score when they don't get the leadoff batter aboard.

"We're doing that better this year than we did last year," Trapasso said.

Isaac Omura has recovered from a sprained right ankle suffered in the series opener against Florida International and should play this weekend. Trapasso actually had the sophomore in the starting lineup against HPU, but changed his mind just before game time to give the ankle another day's rest.

Schafer Magana performed well while Omura was out. The junior from Taylorsville, Utah, was 4-for-9 (.444) with two walks and two RBIs while hitting in the nine hole.

"Schafer has solidified himself as a guy who is going to get out there and play instead of strictly being a backup role player," Trapasso said.

The UH coach also was pleased with the job Steve Bell-Irving did behind the plate against HPU. The redshirt freshman had to block a number of pitches in the dirt and has improved his ability to receive, according to Trapasso.

"The most important thing for a catcher is to catch the ball and not take strikes away from the pitcher," Trapasso said.

Note: Left-hander Mark Rodrigues will not be in the starting rotation any time soon.

"It has pretty much been determined he will miss the season," said Trapasso. "The results of the MRI are in, but no decision has been made yet of what course to take. The ligament is intact, but it is pulled away from the bone.



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