’Bows shift focus to Vulcans after rain wipes out LaTech series finale
Heavy rains put the final damper on the Hawaii Rainbow baseball team's weekend, which was already clouded by uninspired play in two losses to Louisiana Tech.
Yesterday's Western Athletic Conference series finale against LaTech was canceled an hour before the 1 p.m. start time.
"I never like calling a game before the scheduled game time, but this was about as heavy a rain as I've seen here," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "We checked with the weatherman and Doppler radar and we would have needed 3 or 4 hours of sunlight for the field to be ready."
The game will be made up when the Rainbows play at Louisiana Tech, May 4-6.
"We are fortunate to have the return trip to Louisiana. It's not ideal, but it's better to play in sunny, dry weather rather than playing on the sponge we have," Trapasso said.
LaTech coach Wade Simoneaux will make the call on the date of the makeup game.
Hawaii has a nonconference game scheduled at Grambling State on May 2, the same day the Bulldogs are at Louisiana-Monroe for a nonconference encounter.
"Wade said he might be able to reschedule his midweek game, then we could play a four-game series," Trapasso said, "otherwise there will be a doubleheader in there."
The Rainbows had won 18 of 24 games entering the start of WAC play, but came out flat against the Bulldogs.
"We didn't even play like we are capable of against Western Illinois and it carried over. When you do that against a better team, you get the results we got. It was a very frustrating weekend," Trapasso said.
"You have to give some credit to Louisiana Tech. They played with a lot of confidence. We didn't play well Saturday, but should have won. When you give a 4-2 lead to Darrell Fisherbugh in the eighth, I'll take that any time."
The 'Bows (18-8) leave for the Big Island tomorrow for games against the Hawaii-Hilo Vulcans at Francis Wong Stadium. The teams play tomorrow at 7 p.m. and Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Hawaii leads the series 101-19, but playing the Rainbows has always brought out an increased level of fighting, competitive spirit in the Vulcans. The last time the 'Bows went to Hilo, in 2002, the Vulcans swept the four-game series.
"This is their World Series. We know that and I told our players that is the way it should be," Trapasso said.
"We have more important things to worry about and that is us. We are not playing well and we need to get back to work. I'm just hoping we can get those two games in."
Hawaii's starting pitchers will be Justin Costi (2-0, 5.94 earned-run average) tomorrow and Mark Rodrigues (2-1, 3.99) on Wednesday.
The Vulcans (9-16) split doubleheaders with Western Illinois, winning 8-6 and losing 1-0 on Friday, then losing Saturday's opener 8-4 before winning 3-1, with Tyson Usui and Vinnie Biggs combining for the victory.
The probable pitchers for the Vulcans are freshman right-hander Clayton Uyechi (2-0, 8.53) tomorrow night and senior right-hander Eddie Gutierrez (1-1, 4.88).
Both games will be carried live on KKEA 1420-AM