Broncos ready for Hawaii warmup
Santa Clara opens its season vs. UH at Murakami tonight
Even teams from California come in from the cold when visiting Hawaii in January.
Santa Clara at Hawaii
When: Tonight, 6:35 p.m.; tomorrow and Sunday, 1:05 p.m.
Where: Les Murakami Stadium
TV: Sunday only, KFVE, Ch. 5
Radio: All games, KKEA, 1420-AM
Tickets: $7 in blue and orange sections; $6 (adults), $5 (seniors), $3 (students) in red sections. For this series, UH students can get a free ticket to each game by presenting their UH identification card at the stadium box office on game day or at Stan Sheriff Center Box Office in advance.
Starting pitchers and other notes: Santa Clara goes with sophomore lefty Matt Wickswat (9-2, 3.54 last year), freshman righty Nate Garcia and sophomore righty Justin Kuehn (3-6, 6.75), in that order. UH throws senior lefty Ian Harrington (9-3, 3.99), senior lefty Mark Rodrigues (4-2, 4.66) and is undecided for Sunday. ... UH was still awaiting eligibility clearance yesterday for right-handed starting pitcher Josh Schneider and right-handed reliever Derek Tarapacki. As of yesterday, coach Mike Trapasso was not counting on either being available to pitch this weekend.
"It's been down in the 40s and 50s, sometimes the 30s," Santa Clara baseball coach Mark O'Brien said earlier this week. "We're ready for some Hawaii weather."
Both lineups had better be ready for some good left-handed pitching in tonight's opener for the Broncos and Rainbows at Les Murakami Stadium.
Santa Clara's ace is sophomore Matt Wickswat. He went 9-2 with a 3.54 ERA with 66 strikeouts in 84 innings.
UH counters with senior Ian Harrington, who was 9-3 and 3.99.
"The guy we'll face on Friday is really good," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "Tremendous numbers from last year. Sounds like he's similar to an Ian Harrington. Mid-80s lefty that throws a lot of pitches for strikes."
After Wickswat, O'Brien is confident the Broncos have enough pitching depth for the three-game series.
"I'm not telling you we've got Ryan, Koufax and Gibson, but we only lost about five or six innings from last year's staff," O'Brien said.
The Broncos went 28-26 and finished fifth in the West Coast Conference last year.
The returnees include sophomore center fielder Matt Long (.336 and a College Baseball freshman All-American along with Wickswat last year) and senior second baseman Kevin Drever (.310).
"We're just like everybody else, anxious to get going," Wickswat said. "Opening up at Hawaii will be a great experience for us."