Hawaii’s Alexander figures it out early
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The University of Hawaii baseball team has a surprise opponent in the Coca-Cola Classic, which begins Thursday in Surprise, Ariz.
Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Ariz.; Thursday through Saturday; First two games live on KKEA 1420-AM
Northern Illinois was added to the four-team field yesterday and will face the Rainbows in the opener on Thursday at 1 p.m.
Hawaii (4-3) will face nationally ranked Arizona State on Friday and then play a doubleheader against Michigan and Portland on Saturday.
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It's not hard to figure out the reason for Jared Alexander's early-season success.
The JC transfer from Cosumnes River College in Sacramento has won both his starts for the Hawaii baseball team this season and hasn't given up an earned run in 14 2/3 innings.
He's given up the second-most hits on the team with 12, but the difference is in free passes, where Alexander has only allowed two walks and hasn't hit a batter.
"It all starts with his fastball command," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "He's only a mid 80s guy, but it's an easy thing when you can throw three different pitches for strikes and that's what he has been doing."
Junior Matt Daly has been quite the opposite. Opponents are hitting a paltry .158 off the hard-throwing right-hander, who is averaging more than one strikeout per inning.
Of the six runs he has given up, four have come off of walks and he has issued eight in 12 innings.
In 65 innings, the Rainbows have walked 36 batters and hit 10 more.
Zimny coming around
is beginning to show the form that made him the all-time career batting average leader at Cosumnes River College, the same school teammates Alex Bates
, Alexander, and Brandon Haislet
The senior right-fielder started two of the four weekend games and finished the series 5-for-9 with three RBIs to raise his average to .429. He had a career-high four hits in Friday's series opener.
"Everything we did (all week) was geared towards getting our swings going," Zimny said. "I just keep on working (on my swing)."
Zimny struggled all last season for the Rainbows, hitting just .234 while starting 42 games.
Six of freshman Jeffrey Van Doornum
's eight hits have been for doubles. The right-hander has shown opposite-field power as well, sending most of his doubles off the wall in right field.
Van Doornum has hit mostly in the five-hole, but got his first taste of the clean-up spot on Sunday.
No other Rainbow has more than three extra-base hits.
Shortstops a hit ... finally
It took seven games, but the Rainbows finally got a hit from the shortstop position.
Freshman Greg Garcia recorded his first collegiate hit with a single in the fourth inning of Sunday's 11-3 loss to San Francisco. Prior to that, Garcia and Nathan Young were a combined 0-for-17.
Garcia's hit ended up being the third out of the inning as Landon Hernandez was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second.
Help on the way?
JC transfer Alex Myers
, who has yet to be cleared by the NCAA, could become eligible by as soon as the end of the week.
The Cabrillo Community College standout has had issues with his transfer work, but could be "as good an offensive guy as we've got," according to Trapasso.
Also, pitcher Alex Bates, who has been limited with tendinitis in his shoulder, threw a couple sessions last week and felt "a little discomfort."
Trapasso hopes to have him ready to go for the WAC opener against Fresno State.