Alexander pitches through struggles


POSTED: Friday, April 17, 2009

Even though he's healthy, preseason Western Athletic Conference pitcher of the year Jared Alexander might not start this week.

The senior right-hander is not penciled in for this week's starting rotation, although the starter for Sunday's series finale against Sacramento State has not been decided.

“;If he's the freshest guy we've got come Sunday, he'll start that game, but I'm just going to go into it and wait and see,”; Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said.

Hawaii's gone with a wait-and-see approach most of the season in the final game of a series, but since he became healthy enough to pitch, Alexander has been penciled in as a sure-fire starter.

It's been a rough senior season for the 6-foot-3 California native who quickly ascended to the top of the rotation a year ago as the staff's ace.

He was 7-3 with a 3.27 ERA before an arm injury cut his junior season short. He made his debut this year a week late and was near perfect in his first two outings, tossing eight innings of no-hit ball with no walks and six strikeouts.

But since getting lit up at Portland, Alexander hasn't gone more than four innings in any of his five outings and has allowed 24 runs in 13 innings.

“;Jared will get things turned around,”; fellow senior Jayson Kramer said.

Nate Klein will start the second game of tomorrow's doubleheader as the Rainbows (21-12, 4-3) welcome the Hornets (20-14, 1-3) to Les Murakami Stadium for a four-game series beginning tonight.

The 'Bows took three of four against the Hornets at home last year, but were swept at Sacramento State earlier in the season that forced them to dig their way out of a 2-6 start in league play.

“;That woke us up,”; Kramer said. “;But that's one of the series I remember the most from last season because they swept us.”;

Kramer gets the start in tonight's opener and will have reigning WAC hitter of the week Kolten Wong leading an offense that piled up 30 runs in three games last weekend against the Wolf Pack.

The 'Bows could be without reliever Connor Little, who had the nail on his big toe ripped off on Monday and wasn't able to wear a shoe until yesterday. However, left-hander Sam Spangler might see work this weekend as the pulled muscle in his back suffered last week isn't as serious as first thought.




Rainbows Scouting Report

        Sacramento State (20-14, 1-3 WAC) at Hawaii (21-12, 4-3), 6:05 p.m. today, 3:05 p.m. tomorrow, 1:05 p.m. Sunday. TV: KFVE, Ch. 5 (Sunday); Radio: KKEA, 1420-AM

» Inside Sacramento State: The Hornets took three of four against Utah Valley in a nonconference series last weekend before dropping a weekday game to San Francisco.
        » Chart climber: Junior Tim Wheeler has 50 RBIs this season, moving him into third on the school's career list with 120. He's 16 away from breaking Will Fitzpatrick's school record (135).
        » Little Crosby: Senior Blake Crosby, the younger brother of Oakland A's shortstop Bobby Crosby, has an 18-game hitting streak.





Leading Hitters


Blake Crosby.41129337
Tim Wheeler.391391250
Justin Lamb.26713726


» Inside Hawaii: Coming off second series loss of the season, dropping two of three games at Nevada last weekend.
        » Molten Kolten: Freshman Kolten Wong earned the WAC hitter of the week award after going 12-for-18 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in four games.
        » Pivotal series: The Rainbows only have one more WAC series at home after this weekend and still face trips to contenders Fresno State and New Mexico State in the coming weeks.




Leading Hitters


Vinnie Catricala.34125423
Kolten Wong.33630728
Landon Hernandez.27520616