Rainbows have no worries
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In baseball, seasons run much longer and teams play many more games than any other major sport.
It's part of the reason why most coaches don't sweat the result of every game, focusing instead on progressing each day and positioning the team to play its best at the right time.
Today at No. 13 Stanford at 3 p.m.; KKEA 1420-AM
Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso knew there would be learning curves with his young and inexperienced pitching staff. He's liked what he's seen, which is why he still believes the Warriors can turn around a season in which they are 9-19 at the halfway point and sitting in last place in the Western Athletic Conference.
"The fact that we've gone seven or eight games now where we have pitched well bodes well for us because that was our main concern," Trapasso said. "Now we've got to go out and continue getting hits and make it happen with guys on base."
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Is there any hope for a Rainbows baseball team suffering through its worst stretch of games since Mike Trapasso's first year as coach?
Hawaii hit the halfway point of the season on Sunday by dropping its sixth in a row while extending its road losing streak to 10 games.
The 9-19 record represents Hawaii's worst start since 2002; the same year Trapasso took over as head coach. Hawaii was also 9-19 after 28 games that season and wound up finishing 5-25 in the Western Athletic Conference.
Yet Trapasso, now in his seventh season, hasn't seemed overly concerned after any particular defeat. After Sacramento State, who entered last weekend's series 6-14, completed a four-game sweep of the 'Bows, his optimism still hadn't wavered.
"There is no question in my mind the worm is going to turn," Trapasso said. "It's the only way to approach this."
The Rainbows showed signs of hitting their way out of a vicious offensive slump by recording at least 10 hits in their last three games.
The pitching, which was Trapasso's biggest question mark entering the season, has performed admirably. Jared Alexander has been effective as the team's ace and senior Nick Rhodes and freshmen Alex Capaul and Josh Slaats have put together quality outings in the last two weeks.
But is it enough to think Hawaii can turn things around in the next two months?
"I've had no doubts from the get-go," Trapasso said. "We've got guys who are good players. We've got several players on this team who went to the regional championship."
The Rainbows open the second half of the season today with a game at No. 13 Stanford. Thanks to a bullpen that threw 16 innings over the weekend, Matt Daly may find himself starting yet again.
At this point of the season, it may smell of desperation to give a start to a guy who has walked 28 in 33 innings. Trapasso wouldn't guarantee he's giving Daly the start, but he knows getting the hard-throwing right hander on track is vital if the Rainbows are to salvage the rest of the year.
"I'm leaning toward starting Daly again," Trapasso said. "He needs to get back out there and start pitching like the guy he's supposed to be. We need him to lead the way for us if we're going to turn this around."
Hawaii has seven weeks between now and the start of the WAC tournament to do so.