Rainbows reeling before WAC tournament time


POSTED: Monday, May 18, 2009

The atmosphere of this year's senior day festivities had an awkward feeling to it.

For one, the bitter taste of a punchless 10-2 loss to Utah Valley in the final game of the baseball regular season was a tough one to take.

But even as seniors Jared Alexander, Ryan Morford, Shane Hoey, Jayson Kramer and Landon Hernandez were presented with leis and adorned in appreciation by a Les Murakami Stadium crowd of 1,538, the finality of their last regular-season home game wasn't as strong as it normally is.

Not with the Western Athletic Conference tournament being held here beginning in three short days.

“;It's bittersweet,”; Morford said. “;It's nice and all that, everyone is here and supporting us, but this doesn't feel like the end and we're not looking at this as the end. We know what we've got to do and it starts with Louisiana Tech.”;

The Rainbows, who finished the season 31-24 and one game under .500 in WAC play, are the fifth seed and will take on the second-seeded Bulldogs in the final game of the first day of the tournament on Thursday at 7 p.m.

They'll need to have short memories entering the tournament in order to forget about the final two games of this weekend's series against the Wolverines. After a dull 12-1 loss Saturday night, Hawaii showed even less life in yesterday's finale, tallying a total of three hits against a team whose starting pitcher entered the game with an 11.97 ERA.

“;Two of the worst games we've played all year,”; Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. “;We looked spent and lethargic all weekend.”;

Kyle Beecher (3-3) and three other Wolverines stifled Hawaii's offense despite allowing six walks and hitting two batters. When Hawaii got on base, three double plays slowed any momentum to fight back from an early 4-0 hole.

Utah Valley's Chris Benson followed hitting for the cycle Saturday with three more hits and four RBIs yesterday, and Jake Rickenbach finished 3-for-4 with two doubles, two walks and three runs scored.

“;Our energy level wasn't where we want it, but we know when the WAC tournament rolls around we're going to be pumped for it,”; freshman Kolten Wong said. “;Not taking away anything from Utah Valley, but when you know you're supposed to win, it's especially frustrating to lose.”;

The Rainbows showed the most fire when Cole Anderson hit a ball over the fence near the left-field foul pole in the seventh. Third-base umpire Tim Vessey called it a home run, drawing a reaction from Hawaii catcher Kevin Fujii, who immediately started talking to the home-plate umpire.

After Trapasso came out to argue, the umpires came together and ruled the ball foul. Anderson lined out to right two pitches later, but Jace Brinkerhoff singled to score a run and the Wolverines continued to pile up runs against six different UH pitchers.

The 'Bows finally put some offense together in the bottom of the inning, but after Christian Johnson's RBI single scored Wong, Shane Hoey bounced into another double play, ending any hopes of a big inning.

“;Sometimes the breaks just don't go your way,”; Wong said.

Alexander (3-2) started the game for Hawaii, but couldn't make it out of the third inning, allowing eight hits and four runs to take his first loss since March 20.

“;He didn't have much,”; Trapasso said. “;Step forward, step back, I don't know, but he's got to pitch well for us next week.”;

Hawaii won't practice today and tomorrow as Trapasso urged his team to stay away from the ballpark for a full two days.

“;I told them go to the beach, go to a movie, just don't let me see you here,”; Trapasso said. “;We'll just try to get away from it, clear our heads and we'll tee it up on Thursday.”;

Top seed San Jose State will face sixth-seeded Nevada for the fifth time in six days in the first game on Thursday at 11 a.m. Three-time defending WAC champion Fresno State will take on fourth-seeded New Mexico State at 3 p.m.


WAC Standings

San Jose State157.681 39-18
Louisiana Tech1311.542 328-20
New Mexico State1212.500 441-15
Fresno State1212.500 428-27
Hawaii1112.478 4 1/231-24
Nevada1013.434 5 1/225-29
Sacramento State814.364 727-27

Utah Valley 10, Hawaii 2
San Jose State 9, Nevada 3
» Game 1: San Jose State vs. Nevada, 11 a.m.
» Game 2: Louisiana Tech vs. Hawaii, 7 p.m.
» Game 3: Fresno State vs. New Mexico State, 3 p.m.
» Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 11 a.m.
» Game 5: Winner Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3, 3 p.m.
» Game 6: Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 3, 7 p.m.
» Schedule dependent on number of team's left after Friday's games
» Championship, 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., if necessary


Utah Valley 10, Hawaii 2


Rickenbach ss4330Morford 2b3010
Anderson cf6221Garcia ss4000
Brinkerhoff 3b4121Catricala 3b2000
Burgess rf6120Macdonald 1b3000
Benson lf6234Wong cf3100
Kallunki 1b5022Montplaisir lf3100
Arendse c5030Johnson rf3011
Hinckley dh1000Hoey dh3001
Doxey ph/dh2000Fujii c3010
Jones 2b3111      

Utah Valley20200310210181

E—Johnson. DP—UVU 3, Hawaii 1. LOB—UVU 13, Hawaii 6. 2B—Rickenbach 2; Brinkerhoff; Benson. 3B—Benson. CS—Jones.

Beecher (W, 3-3)622241
Nelson1 2/300020
Ayoso1 1/300000
Alexander (L, 3-2)2 2/384413
Spangler2 2/312242
Kuroda2 1/362200

WP—Ayoso; Alexander; Spangler; Capaul.
HBP—by Beecher (Johnson); by Beecher (Montplaisir).
Umpires—Kevin Sweeney (Plate); Patrick Riley (First); Tim Vessey (Third).
T—3:21. A—1,538.


Utah Valley 12, Hawaii 1


Rickenbach ss2200Morford 2b4000
Anderson cf5220Garcia ss4010
Brinkerhoff 3b5000Catricala 3b3000
Burgess rf4320Macdonald 1b4010
Benson lf4444Wong cf3010
Kallunki 1b5022Van Doornum rf1000
Arendse c4111Montplaisir lf2110
Hinckley dh5012Johnson dh3010
Jones 2b5000Torigoe ph1000
     Roquemore rf/cf3000
     Hoey ph1000
     Fujii c2000

Utah Valley20020102512120

E—Garcia. LOB—UVU 6; Hawaii 7. 2B—Benson; Hinckley; Garcia. 3B—Benson; Montplaisir. HR—Benson. HBP—Arendse. SH—Fujii. CS—Kallunki.

Smith (W, 8-4)8 1/3511310
Moore1 1/321110

Umpires—Tim Vessey (Plate); Kevin Sweeney (First); Patrick Riley (Third).
T—3:03. A—2,797.