Rainbows hit the road looking for experience
This weekend the Hawaii baseball team makes its first nonconference road trip to the mainland since the 1979 season, a year before the Rainbows joined the Western Athletic Conference.
They will play a three-game series against the Loyola Marymount Lions of the West Coast Conference.
Rainbow coach Mike Trapasso scheduled the series for several reasons.
"We traveled OK last year. We were almost .500 on the road, but we want to do better than that," Trapasso said.
"I don't want our players to get too comfortable by staying at home forever. Last year the season was half over before we went on the road.
"I want us to prepare the same before a game and be ready. I want us to do it in gray uniforms, on grass and hitting first.
"It will be good for us to be in a hostile atmosphere and understand that is going to happen. I think our guys are really looking forward to the trip."
It is no coincidence that the 'Bows' (6-2) first WAC road trip is to Fresno State, where they have not played well in recent years. If the Bulldogs are playing well, they draw well and their fans are vociferous.
Trapasso will take two players who are not 100 percent physically. Matt Inouye has a muscle strain in his back under the rib cage and Kris Sanchez in not completely recovered from a pulled hamstring.
"Neal Santiago, our trainer, says Matt is doing much better and is probable for the weekend," Trapasso said. "Kris will go and he can pinch-hit."
The Lions (2-5) lost two out of three games to Arizona and Cal Poly and a single game to UC Irvine.
Trapasso's starting rotation remains the same. Right-hander Steve Wright (1-0, 1.93 earned-run average) pitches the opener, followed by left-handers Ian Harrington (0-1, 4.50) and Mark Rodrigues (1-0, 4.50).