Alexander won’t accompany Hawaii on N.M. road trip
Questions abound on the mound for ‘Bows
STORY SUMMARY »
A day after saying Jared Alexander would accompany the Hawaii baseball team on its road trip to Las Cruces, N.M., coach Mike Trapasso announced the junior right-hander won't be on the 26-man travel roster.
"We figured it'd be better for him to stay here and rehab instead of rehab on the road," Trapasso said.
An MRI on Alexander's injured right elbow, suffered in the sixth inning of Friday's game against Sacramento State, came back negative, but the severity of the injury has yet to be determined.
Alexander's absence comes as Hawaii prepares for its final WAC series of the season at New Mexico State in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the conference.
Freshman outfielder Sean Montplaisir, who hurt his shoulder at Louisiana Tech, also won't make the trip.
FULL STORY »
Jared Alexander's absence for Hawaii's upcoming series at New Mexico State has left the Rainbows baseball team with a lot of unanswered questions.
Hawaii (24-25, 16-12 WAC) at New Mexico State (24-27, 11-13)
tomorrow and Friday, 2 p.m.; Saturday (2), 9 a.m. TV: None
Radio: KKEA 1420-AM
The 'Bows were scheduled to arrive in Las Cruces this morning for their final WAC series of the season against New Mexico State that begins tomorrow.
As of yesterday afternoon, Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso hadn't settled on any of his starters for the four-game series.
"I've got until (tomorrow) to decide," Trapasso said.
Senior Nick Rhodes and juniors Matt Daly and Alex Bates will likely take the mound in three of the four games, but in what order is anyone's guess.
As for the fourth starter, Hawaii has a multitude of candidates, including senior Josh Schneider and freshmen Josh Slaats and Alex Capaul.
Schneider has started five games this year, including the final game in last weekend's tilt against Sacramento State.
Slaats has made six starts and Capaul four, but neither has made one in the last three weeks.
Whatever Trapasso decides, the one thing he is sure about is that he isn't looking at one particular person to pick up the slack. Everybody is going to have to chip in.
"It's going to be a staff effort that we're going to need to win the series," Trapasso said. "Everybody who gets a start is going to have to do the best they can and try to go five, six, seven innings and the guys coming out of the bullpen are going to have to come in and keep the ball down."
It won't be easy as New Mexico State's Presley Askew Field is one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the league.
The Aggies enter the series second in the league in home runs and boast two of the top five power hitters in conference play in Joseph Scaperotta and Marcus Quade.
Scaperotta, who leads the league with nine home runs in WAC games, hit two against the Rainbows at Les Murakami Stadium last month.
The Rainbows took three of four in the series and held the Aggies to 15 total runs, which will be hard to duplicate on the road.
"You can definitely expect more offense," Trapasso said. "That's what you're going to get out of this ballpark. I just hope that we're as offensive as they are."
Hawaii is tied for third in the WAC in hitting with a .293 average in conference games. Seniors Brandon Haislet and Jon Hee are 1-2 in hits and Haislet is seventh in average (.393) and tied for first with 12 doubles.
Hawaii has gotten a big boost from the middle of its order recently as Vinnie Catricala and Kevin Macdonald are coming off a big weekend against the Hornets and are both batting over .300 in the WAC.
Catricala had his 15-game hitting streak snapped on Saturday, but has hit over .460 in the last two series.
Freshman Greg Garcia has also provided a spark, hitting .394 since returning from a sprained ankle last month, and has hit second in the order in Hawaii's last two games.
"We're going to keep doing what we've been doing," Trapasso said. "I like the way we've been swinging and I think we'll be in good shape offensively."
The opening game will begin at 2 p.m. Hawaii time.