Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, January 29, 1999

R A I N B O W _ B A S E B A L L


Bats come alive
for 4-0 ’Bows

The Hawaii baseball team
continues its early season
success by beating Cal

By Al Chase


Several Rainbow batters upped their production from last week in support of Jamie Aloy and three relievers on a wind-swept, rainy night at Rainbow Stadium.

The four Hawaii pitchers combined to deliver 103 pitches to California batters and 79 of those offerings were strikes.

And, in a baseball game that was close until the Rainbows scored four sixth-inning runs, UH remained unbeaten in four games with a 9-3 victory over the Golden Bears.

Matt Wheeler, Lars Hansen and Darin Baker each had three hits with Wheeler and Hansen each contributing three RBIs. Michael Dartt ended an 0-for-8 start with his first two hits of 1999.

Wheeler, the incumbent third baseman with a strong throwing arm, isn't fighting for his position and has more confidence at the plate this season. Hansen and Kenn Wakakuwa will share starting duties behind the plate. Their offensive output could determine who sees more action later in the season. Baker is fighting for starting job in center field.

"Last summer, for the first time in my life, I lifted weights hard every day and that continued here this fall," Wheeler said. "I feel a lot different, especially at the plate. Even if I'm jammed, I feel I can get the ball out of the infield and I feel I can turn on the ball this year."

He tripled in the first Hawaii run in the second inning. Then, after Cal (0-2) rallied to narrow the gap to 5-3 with two runs in the top of the sixth, Wheeler bounced a two-out, two-run single to right in the bottom of the inning.

"I went up there guessing. If he (Jason Ball) throws a slider on the first pitch, I'm going to right," the 6-foot, 190-pound senior said. "I didn't want to get deep into the count and see a slider."

After pinch hitter Tracy Nakano walked, Hansen tripled into the right-field corner to bring home the final two 'Bow runs.

"I'm just having fun, staying relaxed and not trying to carry the load. I just want to do what's needed to help us win," Hansen, a 6-2, 215-pounder senior, said.

A year ago, Hansen got off to a fast start at the plate, but feels he put pressure on himself to do even better and it had a reverse effect. His batting average tumbled.

Then he injured his back and probably prefers to forget the last half of 1998.

Baker, a transfer from Lassen College, said he had no experience using a wood bat before coming here and finds pitchers at the Division I level are better at hitting their spots. He took his 3-for-4 night in stride.

"Everything is game by game. I've just got to come out tomorrow and see how it works out," said Baker, a 6-2, 172-pounder.

Aloy threw 73 pitches (30 less than last week) in working into the seventh, but the junior left-hander admitted the rain delays (three totaling 36 minutes) made it difficult to keep his momentum.

"I thought about taking him out after the sixth, but decided to leave him in until they got someone on base," UH head coach Les Murakami said. "It wasn't an easy game. They played well, especially on defense. They just didn't hit."

Aloy issued his only walk to the second Cal batter in the seventh. Ken Mackenzie came in to end the inning on eight pitches.

Freshman right-hander Chad Giannetti made his UH debut in the eighth and freshman left-hander Aaron Pribble finished with a one-two-three ninth.

"The two freshmen did well. They threw strikes," Murakami said. "This is what I want to do with the young kids, give them and inning here, an inning there."

On the negative side, the 'Bows had two runners picked off base by Cal reliever Jon Cuccias and in neither case was the steal sign on.

Jason Williams, everybody's freshman of the year in 1998, knocked in all three Cal runs.

'BOW BUNTS: Dartt is 5-for-5 in stolen bases and the 'Bows are 10-for-12.


Box Score

Rainbows 9, Golden Bears 3

California					Hawaii
		ab	r	h	bi			ab	r	h	bi
Hernandez cf	4	0	0	0	Takamori rf	4	2	1	0
Williams ss	4	2	3	0	Dartt 2b	2	1	2	1
Conley 3b	0	0	0	0	Wakakuwa 1b	3	0	0	0
Nady 3b-ss	4	1	1	0	Aloy p-dh	5	1	1	0
Tonis c		3	0	1	3	Wheeler 3b	5	2	3	3
Meyer rf	4	0	0	0	Childers lf	3	0	1	0
Sark 1b		4	0	1	0	Nakano ph	0	1	0	0
Gifford dh	3	0	0	0	Honma lf	1	0	0	0
Hoover 2b	3	0	0	0	Hansen c	5	1	3	3
Robertson 2b	0	0	0	0	Miller ss	4	0	1	0
Johnson lf	3	0	0	0	Baker cf	4	1	3	1
	Totals	37	5	11	4		Totals	29	6	10	4

California	000	102	000--3
Hawaii		030	204	00x--9
DP--Cal 1 (Dennis-Williams-Sark). LOB--Cal 4, UH 11.

3B--Williams (1), Tonis (1), Wheeler (1), Hansen (1). SB--Takamori (1), Dartt 2 (5), Wakakuwa (2). SF--Tonis (1).

Dennis (0-1)	4	11	5	5	2	5
Ball		1-2/3	2	4	4	1	4
Cuccias		2-1/3	2	0	0	2	0
Aloy (W, 2-0)	6-1/3	5	3	3	1	3
Mackenzie	2/3	0	0	0	0	0
Giannetti	1	1	0	0	0	1
Pribble		1	0	0	0	0	0
WP--Ball (1), Aloy (1). HBP--Takamori and Dartt (by Ball), Wakakuwa (by Cuccias).

Umpires--Tomaszewski (plate), Montalbo (first), Le Beau (third).

T--3:01. A--984 (turnstile), 2,192 (tickets issued).

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin