Rainbows face Dons to open final trip
The Hawaii Rainbows left Honolulu this morning on their last mainland trek of the season with the goal of extending this trip into June.
With final exams behind them, the Rainbows can focus on baseball starting with a nonconference game at the University of San Francisco tomorrow.
The 'Bows then finish the Western Athletic Conference season at San Jose State with three games starting Friday before moving on to Fresno State for the double-elimination WAC tournament (May 25-28).
San Francisco (36-19) claimed a share of the West Coast Conference title this past weekend by sweeping three games from Loyola Marymount.
Patrick McGuigan, a senior right-hander from Mid-Pacific Institute, won Friday's game with two innings of relief, then got the win as the starter yesterday.
"This game didn't look like too much a couple months ago, but now it looks like both teams could use the win when it comes to getting an at-large berth (to the NCAA tournament) if we don't win our conference tournament," said USF coach Nino Giarratano.
USF will host Pepperdine in a best-of-three series for the WCC title.
"The game may be more important for them because they have more losses (than UH). We still have to focus this time of the year on our league games," said Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso.
Left-hander Mark Rodrigues (3-1, 4.15 earned-run average) will start against the Dons, but other staff members also will throw an inning or two.
The Rainbows (37-12 overall, 14-6 WAC), idle this past weekend, dropped into second place, a half-game behind Fresno State (36-16, 15-6), as the Bulldogs swept visiting SJSU (33-21, 12-9) over the weekend.
"We have no control on what goes on in the other series and we don't care. It is not going to change what we have to do. We have to take care of business in every game," Trapasso said.
The Rainbows are as healthy as they could be at this point in the season. The flu has run its course and the nagging injuries had a chance to get better last week.
The starting rotation at San Jose State will be junior right-hander Steven Wright (9-2, 2.66), senior right-hander Justin Costi (7-1, 3.92) and junior left-hander Ian Harrington (5-3, 4.23).
The half-game difference in the standings is because of UH's last game at Nevada that was snowed out. It could mean the difference between FSU or UH finishing in first place and getting the top seed in the tournament if both teams win the same number of games this weekend.
Trapasso is not worried about UH's tournament seed.
"You have to play well, no matter who you are playing," he said.
The 'Bows have won 12 of their last 13 games since losing consecutive games at Fresno State. They are 13-2 on the road in 2006.
|San Jose State
|New Mexico State
Louisiana Tech 5, New Mexico State 1
New Mexico State 5, Louisiana Tech 4
Nevada 6, Sacramento State 3
Fresno State 9, San Jose State 8
Louisiana Tech 12, New Mexico State 8
Nevada 3, Sacramento State 2
Fresno State 9, San Jose State 8, 12 innings
Hawaii at San Francisco
Louisiana-Monroe at Louisiana Tech