Lefty Harrington likely starter in 'Bows' opener
Rodrigues is still waiting to hear if he's eligible to pitch
Left-hander Ian Harrington will probably start Hawaii's season-opening baseball game against Santa Clara a week from tomorrow, coach Mike Trapasso said yesterday.
Another senior lefty, Mark Rodrigues, would've gotten consideration, but Rodrigues is still awaiting clearance from the NCAA and can't practice with the team. UH petitioned for a sixth season of eligibility for Rodrigues because he missed two seasons due to injury.
"It's already forced us to change what we were planning on doing. We're probably going to start Ian on opening night and we'll see how things go after that," Trapasso said. "If Mark's not in the equation the first weekend it definitely makes us bring somebody out that we would like to be in the
bullpen. And that'll probably be (Matt) Daly or (Tyler) Davis."
Yesterday, UH compliance officer Bill Bryant said he didn't know when Rodrigues' petition would be answered.
"It's in the NCAA's lap," he said.
Harrington went 9-3 with a 3.99 ERA last year as UH won 45 games and advanced to the NCAA Regionals.
"It's definitely fun to think about what we accomplished last year, but we know it means nothing now," Harrington said. "We're coming into this season with a clean slate."
Harrington didn't throw much in the summer, but Trapasso said he's ready to go.
"He's fine. He threw a lot of innings in junior college and last year. For us summer ball's really not about building up innings or arm strength or anything like that. It was a good thing for him to take a little time off," Trapasso said.
Harrington has pitched well in the fall and so far this spring, the coach said. He was asked who else has looked good on the hill.
"The last outing both Daly and Davis were outstanding," Trapasso said. "(Senior lefty) Jeff Soskin has thrown very well. Our most consistent pitcher in the fall. Every outing he had was good and he's done that in his two outings so far in the spring. He's earning the opportunity to get in."
Alumni game free:
There's no charge for Saturday's alumni game at Les Murakami Stadium (parking is $3).
Trapasso said Harrington, Daly, Jayson Kramer and Craig Johnson will probably pitch for the Rainbows.
Justin Costi of last year's team and former Triple-A lefty Paul Ah Yat will be among the alumni pitchers.
Trapasso said he is considering moving the alumni game to the fall, as other programs have done recently.
The Rainbows' annual Grand Slam Celebration on Monday was a success, Trapasso said.
"It was phenomenal. We did some loose pencil work and it looks like we made $75,000 for the program. It was a wonderful night," he said.
After expenses, the money is used for equipment, recruiting and travel, the coach said.
Haislett in center:
JC transfer Brandon Haislett is the starting center fielder, at least for now.
Returning starter Derek DuPree is still coming back from a torn ACL. He said he is running better every day.
Trapasso doesn't want to rush him back.
"If he's back by March 1, I'll be pleased with that," Trapasso said.
Another center-field candidate, senior Jorge Franco, is dealing with turf toe.
"He'll be ready by next Friday," Trapasso said.
Cleared for practice:
JC transfer right-hander Derek Tarpacki is in school and cleared to practice. The Rainbows just need verification of his AA degree before he can compete.
"In the bullpen, he's got good stuff. Just watching him how he throws, he looks to be a short-relief guy," Trapasso said. "Very good against right-handers. High 80s, three-quarter-angle guy who gives you a lot of life."