Pitching a problem for UH
Any momentum the Hawaii baseball team gained from its competitive battle against No. 1 Arizona State last Friday was quickly put to rest 24 hours later.
Hawaii finished the Coca-Cola Classic with back-to-back blowout losses to No. 8 Michigan and Portland.
The Rainbows allowed 26 runs in the two games and neither starter, Alex Capaul or Josh Slaats, made it out of the fourth inning.
They allowed a combined 15 hits and 12 runs in five innings. Seniors Harrison Kuroda, Josh Schneider and Cameron Wheeler weren't much help out of the bullpen, as they allowed at least four runs each.
"You can't go two games like we did on Saturday and feel anything but disappointment," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "Going to the bullpen was just pouring gasoline on the fire. We just didn't show anything."
Since opening the season 4-1, the Rainbows have dropped five of their last six to fall below the .500 mark for the first time this season at 5-6.
Spangler, Garcia on track
The only good thing that came out of Saturday's doubleheader sweep was the play of freshmen Sam Spangler
and Greg Garcia
against the Wolverines.
Garcia needed seven games before recording his first collegiate hit and was 1-for-15 for the season before going 3-for-4 with a double and home run in the loss.
Spangler, who walked five and only recorded four outs in his only start this season, didn't give up a run in 2 1/3 innings of relief work and showed command of all his pitches.
"You were able to see a couple of positives in that first game," Trapasso said. "We got Greg swinging the bat well and what was really fortunate for us was Sam Spangler came in and found his release point and worked some things out."
Spangler lowered his ERA from 11.57 to 5.79.
Alexander shines on
More impressive than Jared Alexander
's 0.00 ERA going into his start against the Sun Devils is his 0.43 ERA after it.
Alexander faced arguably the best hitting lineup in the country and kept his team in the game by allowing just one earned run over 6 1/3 innings.
Trapasso hopes Alexander can be a model for the rest of the young freshman pitchers to follow.
"They need to watch Jared Alexander throw 84 to 87 (mph) and go three straight starts where he has been outstanding," Trapasso said. "Even though you have big-time stuff, at this level you have to be able to pitch and locate secondary pitches any time in the count. Jared's been able to do that."
Roquemore getting a look
Sophomore outfielder Matt Roquemore
had just three at-bats all season before starting the final three games of the tournament in right field.
He went 3-for-10 with two walks over that span and is being given a chance to win a starting job, according to Trapasso.
"He can throw. He can bunt. All he has to do is be consistent with the bat," Trapasso said. "We'll see what happens."
Hawaii embarks on a stretch where it will play 13 games in 16 days beginning Friday with a three-game home set against Long Beach State. The Dirtbags (5-2) are ranked 11th in the Baseball America poll and just finished a three-game sweep of No. 20 Wichita State.