Rain stole ’Bows’ tourney spotlight
The 2006 First Hawaii Title Rainbow Baseball Tournament will be remembered for the rain and wind that played havoc with the schedule every day of the five-day event.
» C, Adam Moore, UT-Arlington
» IF, Daniel Rieder, UT-Arlington
» IF, Curt Rindal, Washington
» IF, Justin Frash, Hawaii
» IF, Luis Avila, Hawaii
» OF, Matt Hague, Washington
» OF, Stephen Robison, Arkansas
» OF, Matt Inouye, Hawaii
» DH, Chris Hollensworth, Arkansas
» P, Nick Schmidt, Arkansas
» P, Justin Costi, Hawaii
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Tim Lincecum, Washington
Most Outstanding Player: Danny Hamblin, Arkansas
The weather messed up the Hawaii Rainbows twice, postponing night games that required the host team to play two games the next day.
Les Murakami Stadium manager Glenn Nakaya and his grounds crew did some amazing work to get the field in playing shape following numerous downpours, especially since the drainage is not what it used to be.
"I'm glad it is over from the way things went with the weather. The conditions we all played in were extraordinary. It is difficult to field balls on that wet turf and to throw soggy balls accurately," said UH coach Mike Trapasso after Saturday's tournament finale ended a little before midnight.
In that last game, the Rainbows (13-6 overall, 2-3 tourney) spotted the Washington Huskies (12-4, 3-2) a 6-0 lead in the top of the first inning of what was scheduled as a seven-inning game.
The 'Bows committed three errors in the inning, including two throwing miscues by freshman shortstop Nate Young that made five of the runs off UH southpaw starter Mark Rodrigues unearned.
"You expect physical errors when the conditions are that bad," Trapasso said. "The only mental error we made in the game was Mark not covering first base (on a slowly hit ball that was fielded by first baseman Kris Sanchez, but went for an infield single) in that inning. But, Mark falls off the mound the other way so it is difficult for him."
The 'Bows, who had eliminated UW from title contention with a 10-8 win earlier Saturday, came back in the night game to tie the score at 7-7 in the bottom of the seventh.
Adam Roberts' pinch-hit single to center scored Matt Roquemore, running for Landon Hernandez, and Eli Christensen, who had walked, to tie the score.
The Huskies got the winning run in the ninth for an 8-7 victory. Matt Stevens' one-out walk off Keahi Rawlins started the rally.
Jeff Soskins relieved Rawlins and got the second out, but Bradley Boyer sent a high fly to left-center field that went for a run-scoring triple when center fielder Derek Dupree couldn't come up with a diving, sliding catch.
It was the longest outing (3 1/3 innings) for Rawlins since having Tommy John surgery last year. He faced 14 batters, gave up one hit, walked two and struck out four.
"Keahi was good. He was aggressive and went right after the batters. He threw a lot of sliders and split-finger fastballs," said UH pitching coach Chad Konishi.
Four Rainbows -- Justin Frash, Luis Avila, Matt Inouye and Justin Costi -- were named to the all-tournament team.
The Arkansas Razorbacks (13-1 overall), No. 11 in the Baseball America poll, won the tourney with a 4-1 record.
"We're not happy that we went 2-3 in the tournament, but I am happy with our overall approach. We battled in all the games with the exception of Texas-Arlington," Trapasso said.
"If we continue to play the way we did this week, we won't have too many 2-3 weeks. I was pleased with the character this team showed this week."
The Rainbows, No. 24 in the Collegiate Baseball poll last week, have a five-game series against Western Illinois this weekend starting with a 6:35 p.m. game Friday.