The former catcher is now a solid
pitcher for the Rainbow Warriors
Guy McDowell was primarily a catcher during his early baseball days in Pearl City and didn't make the switch to the mound until his sophomore year at Saint Louis.
The change proved beneficial because three years later he was one of Mike Trapasso's early signees in the Hawaii coach's first full recruiting class.
McDowell, a 6-foot-1 right-hander, was catching bullpen for the Saint Louis junior varsity team when one of his coaches made an observation and followed up with a suggestion.
"He told me I should be a pitcher," McDowell said. "He said I was throwing the ball back harder than the pitchers were throwing it to me. My sophomore year, I tried out for the varsity as a pitcher."
McDowell found it easy to remember his statistics from his first year on the mound. He pitched a total of five innings in two games. However, in his only start he and Sean Paiva combined on a five-inning no-hitter against University/Hawaii Baptist.
By his junior year, he was a starter for the Crusaders, although he did see some action as a reliever. He continued in both roles as a senior, but did not enjoy the same success he experienced as a junior.
"I struggled really bad," he said. "I wasn't very good. I had a good preseason, but when league started, it all fell apart."
Despite his assessment, he was a second-team coaches pick on the Interscholastic League of Honolulu all-star team at the end of the season and headed for a career with the Rainbows.
"That was an easy decision," said McDowell, who was not heavily recruited. "I used to always watch the UH games on TV. That was big. My dad (Guy) and I would watch all the time.
"I wanted to get a scholarship and go to college and UH offered me a good scholarship. My mom (Sin Ho) wanted me to stay home. I had a lot of family and friends advising me to stay home. Having new coaches helped a lot and coach Trapasso had a real prestigious history."
Said Trapasso: "Guy had a super freshman year. Give him credit for becoming a pitcher instead of a thrower. I remember the first time I saw him at Ala Wai. I was impressed with his arm strength and knew we had to have him."
The UH coaches did not discuss a specific role for McDowell during the recruiting process but told him they would develop him as a pitcher and that they saw a bright future for him at UH. Trapasso told McDowell during the fall of his freshman year that he would start out in the setup role, but that closer was a possibility.
McDowell did get two saves last year. He appeared in 17 games, pitched 25 innings and had a 3.96 earned run average.
This year he has a 2.64 ERA in 30 2/3 innings worked in 12 appearances.
"It doesn't really matter what role I'm in," McDowell said. "We have a great closer in Darrell Fisherbaugh. If I can set him up, it works out fine for the team."
McDowell, who admitted to feeling pressure when he entered a game last year, has his emotions under control this year. He takes the mound, knows what is expected and what he can do and just tries his hardest. He also credits pitching for the El Dorado (Kan.) Broncos in the Jayhawk League last summer with helping him mature and grow as a person.
"Right now, everything is about developing Guy's secondary pitches (slider, changeup) and his fastball command," Trapasso said. "He may have our best arm, is a tremendous worker, cares and has a lot of pride.
"Guy is the first one out of the bullpen, comes in at different times in the game and knows if Fisherbaugh pitches the night before, he assumes the close role. He is so valuable as a game settler. Opponents don't hit him and he throws strikes."
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Nevada at Hawaii
When: Today, tomorrow and Saturday, 6:35 p.m.
Where: Murakami Stadium
TV: All games live, KFVE, Channel 5
Radio: All games live, KKEA, 1420-AM
Tickets: $6 Orange, Blue levels. $5 Red level. $4 Seniors, children age 4-18, UH students in the Red level.
Probable starting pitchers
(24-15 overall, 8-7 WAC)
|RHP Ricky Bauer (Jr.)
|RHP Stephen Wright (Jr.)
|RHP Clary Carlsen (Sr.)
(23-20 Overall, 8-7 WAC)
|RHP Travis Sutton (So.)
|RHP Adam Colton (Jr.)
|RHP Ryan Rodriguez (Fr.)
Notes: The Rainbows and Wolf Pack have played 22 times, with Nevada holding a 15-7 edge. ... The Wolf Pack have won 11 consecutive games from UH. ... In the latest NCAA statistics, the UH team earned run average of 3.46 is 18th in the nation as is Matt Inouye's doubles per game average of 0.45. Stephen Bryant's ERA of 2.09 is 32nd in the country.