Hawaii in key road series at Fresno State


POSTED: Thursday, May 07, 2009

A couple of wins against Fresno State would mean a lot less scoreboard watching the final week of the regular season.

After a four-game sweep at the hands of Louisiana Tech last weekend, the Hawaii baseball team finds itself just 1 1/2 games ahead of Fresno State and Sacramento State for last place in the Western Athletic Conference.

The Rainbows begin their final WAC series of the season today against the Bulldogs in Fresno, Calif., before finishing the season at home next week vs. Utah Valley.

As the only team to complete WAC play this weekend, anything less than a split would mean Hawaii's chances at missing the WAC tournament it hosts in two weeks would be left in the hands of other teams as it plays a nonconference series against the Wolverines.

“;There's no panic with our guys,”; Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said by telephone yesterday. “;We've played well most of the year and haven't played well the last couple of weeks.

“;Obviously this past weekend the bottom fell out, but there's no panic. Our guys are prepared to play well again.”;

The Rainbows (27-20, 9-10) finish WAC play against the Bulldogs (19-9, 6-10), who haven't come close to showing the form that won them a national championship last year.

Fresno State split against league-leading Nevada last weekend, taking the final two games of the series after losing 10 of its first 14 conference games.

“;We've seen Fresno struggle but always get hot at the right time,”; Trapasso said. “;I'm preparing for a typical Fresno team that is very good.”;

The status of Jeff Van Doornum is up in the air after the sophomore missed the last three games with soreness in his shoulders.

Van Doornum, who has played outfield and designated hitter this season, is hitting .234 with two homers and 15 RBIs this season.

“;I didn't want him swinging for about four or five days,”; Trapasso said. “;His shoulders are shot and he's swinging with one hand.

“;He'll swing some batting practice (today) and we'll see if we can settle him down a little bit for the stretch run here.”;