Rainbows to wrap up nonleague schedule
After a disappointing weekend, Hawaii has one last chance to hit Western Athletic Conference play on a positive note.
But like everything this season, it won't be easy.
The Rainbows will wrap up a brutal stretch of nonconference games with one against No. 19 San Diego at 6:35 tonight at Les Murakami Stadium.
"They're right there," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso answered when asked how San Diego compares with the other top-ranked teams Hawaii has faced. "They have played one of the best schedules in the country next to Long Beach (State)."
San Diego freshman Kyle Blair was named West Coast Conference pitcher of the week yesterday after a 16-strikeout performance against Hawaii-Hilo.
The Rainbows are coming off a brutal three-game sweep at the hands of UC Irvine, which jumped four spots to No. 9 in this week's Baseball America poll.
Hawaii was outscored 36-7 and gave up 48 hits in three games.
"There's nothing you can learn from last weekend," Trapasso said. "It was a situation of a very good team playing just out of their minds. Nothing we could do worked in our favor. Honestly, you just forget about it and move on."
With the WAC opener against Fresno State just two days away, the Rainbows will use tonight's game as a chance to get some guys on track heading into conference play.
First baseman Kevin Macdonald has seen his average fall to .164 and catcher Landon Hernandez is down to .214. Brandon Haislet has gone 5-for-28 in his last seven games and Jon Hee went 1-for-13 against UC Irvine to see his average drop to an even .300.
"You can't really draw anything from one game," Trapasso said. "You just want to play better and try to get some guys swinging that haven't been swinging well. We're looking at getting a lot of pitchers to get some work in, too."
Senior Josh Schneider will get the start, but Trapasso doesn't expect anyone to throw more than two innings. Schneider is also scheduled to start the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday against the Bulldogs.
Injury bug hits
Hawaii will be without designated hitter Ryan Asato
and shortstop Greg Garcia
this week after both suffered injuries against the Anteaters.
Asato suffered a badly pulled hamstring, while Garcia sprained his ankle lunging for the bag at first base trying to beat out a bunt attempt.
Both guys will not play through the Fresno State series and their status for the road trip next week that begins at Sacramento State is questionable at best.
"It's unfortunate, but it gives guys like Nate Young a chance to step up and hopefully we'll have Alex Myers in there ready to go," Trapasso said.
Daly headed for relief
Junior Matt Daly
, who has started four games this year and is 3-2 with a 4.82 ERA, has been moved back to the bullpen for the time being.
Daly has struggled all year with his command and lasted just four innings in his start on Saturday against UC Irvine. He leads the team with 31 strikeouts, but has allowed 20 walks in 28 innings.
Still waiting on Bates
JC transfer Alex Bates
has a big couple of days ahead of him if he wants to pitch for the Rainbows this season.
The junior from Cosumnes River Community College threw balls from 120 feet with no pain yesterday and will attempt to throw off the mound for the first time tomorrow. If he feels good after that, then he'll be able to increase his workload in hopes of getting out on the field in the near future.