Volleyball matches bump baseball 'Bows off the television for WAC opener
Hawaii's Western Athletic Conference baseball opener Friday against Nevada and Saturday's game won't be televised, in favor of the UH men's volleyball matches against Lewis scheduled for the same evenings.
Sunday's baseball game, which does not conflict with a volleyball match, will be televised.
KHNL/KFVE president and general manager John Fink said volleyball ratings have been better than those for baseball.
"Right now, over the past five years, volleyball has been more popular," Fink said. "But baseball has been picking up, and the team has been doing very well."
The baseball team is 19-8 and the volleyball team is 5-13.
Most of the Rainbows' remaining nine home games after this week will probably be televised, Fink said.
"There was a time 15 years ago when we would do baseball (if there was a conflict)," Fink said. "We have opted to go where the ratings are. It's a no-win situation."
First baseman Kris Sanchez said being on TV is a mixed blessing, anyway. It makes videotape available to opponents for scouting purposes (and few opponents are ever on TV). Some UH players use it to try to find flaws in their own technique.
"TV doesn't mean a whole lot to a lot of guys on the team. To some guys it's a chance to come in the next day and watch film and see how they were swinging, maybe some pitch mechanics," Sanchez said. "We get enough exposure. If more fans come out (because it's not on TV) that's great. Either way, we're going to be on the field playing a game."
KHNL/KFVE televises around 100 UH sports events each year.
Hee's No. 1
Second baseman Jon Hee
became UH's fifth leadoff batter of the season last weekend. He went 5-for-12 with a .500 on-base percentage from the top spot and coach Mike Trapasso
said he will likely keep him there for now.
"You gotta do what you can do to help the team. I guess that's where coach wants me, at least for now. I'm fine hitting there," said the junior from Mid-Pacific, who last batted leadoff when he was a 10-year-old Little Leaguer. "I don't feel extra pressure, I feel the same. Just take more pitches, see what kind of pitches he has, whatever, and try to get on, get things started."
Hee went 78 errorless chances to start the season before letting a grounder go by him Sunday.
"I try to take a lot of pride in playing defense," he said.
EZ does it
Trapasso said yesterday Evan Zimny
is UH's starting right fielder, regardless of pitcher. The left-handed hitter was recently benched four games, but came back strong with four doubles in two starts Saturday and Sunday.
"We gave him some time off because he was struggling a little bit. If he struggles against lefties we'll play Jorge (Franco). Hopefully he'll keep hitting."
Franco and Matt Roquemore, who made a nice running catch on a deep fly in left Sunday, could see more time as defensive substitutions.
"Roquemore can play defense. He and Franco can play some defense on the corners," Trapasso said.
Center fielder Brandon Haislet
has UH's longest ongoing hitting streak, at seven games. ... Hawaii pitching has not allowed more than three runs in a game in its last 12 outings.