Saturday, February 20, 1999

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


By George F. Lee, Star-Bulletin
Home plate umpire Keoki Torres restrains Wichita State
head coach Gene Stephenson as he argues with
first base umpire Gary Montalbo.

Rainbows do
the ‘shocking’

No. 25 Hawaii upsets No. 2
Wichita State in a baseball game
filled with fireworks

By Al Chase


The storm passing over Hawaii dumped the seemingly required Manoa showers on Rainbow Stadium last night, but there was no lightning in the sky.

The lightning struck on the field.

The first bolt occurred when Wichita State's Pat Magness deposited a Jamie Aloy fastball 390-plus feet over the right-field wall. It was the first home run in a Rainbow game this season.

Then Hawaii assistant coach Les Nakama thought Magness was trying to intimidate home plate umpire Keoki Torres by making a safe sign with his hands after being called out on strikes in the fourth inning. Nakama's lengthy discussion led to his ejection.

In the eighth inning, a sinking line drive to right by Eric Absher was ruled by first base umpire Gary Montalbo to have been caught by Sean Takamori. That call eventually led to WSU head coach Gene Stephenson being ejected.

In between, the No. 25-ranked Rainbows (11-2) took advantage of two infield miscues by second-ranked Shockers (6-2) to score all their runs in a 4-2 victory before the largest crowd (2,405) of the season.

"If we played normal defense tonight they don't score. That's all we had to do," Stephenson said. "We turn that double play 99 times out of a 100. We didn't do it tonight. We're going to make that play over there at third 99 times out of a 100, OK.

"You can't come here and play these people head up this time of the year and make those kinds of mistakes and survive. We didn't do some base running things we should have but those things are not going to show up in the book."

The Shockers held a 2-0 lead when the 'Bows loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning on Matt Wheeler's single, a walk to Corey Miller and Darin Baker's single.

Sean Takamori then hit a bouncing ball that WSU second baseman Kevin Hooper bobbled, allowing Takamori to reach first and Wheeler to score. Michael Dartt followed with a single to center to score Miller and Baker.

"I just wanted a hit. I wasn't even thinking about where to hit it," said Dartt. "I was looking for an off-speed pitch, but he (WSU starter Ben Christensen) threw a fastball."

The insurance run came in the seventh when Baker singled and took second on a wild pitch with two outs. Dartt hit a bouncer to WSU third baseman Koyie Hill, but his throw to first landed in the third row of the stands as Baker scored.

"I think when their third baseman looked up, he saw Dartt way down up the line and hurried his throw," UH head coach Les Murakami said. "Michael is so important to us. He's finally learned how to hit with two strikes. He's playing to the top of his level and he'll do it every time."

Aloy, who said he didn't have his best stuff, finally got some run support. He lasted six innings, gave up all five WSU hits, walked one and fanned seven.

"I felt he was tiring and I felt he didn't deserve to get a loss," Hawaii head coach Les Murakami said. "It was such an emotional game. I knew he was drained. I'm happy with the job our relievers did. It's going to be a war. They're going to come after us and we'll go after them."

"I hope we'll come out tomorrow with a little fire in our butt," Stephenson said. "I'll also say this. We're going to come here for the Easter tournament because that's the only fair shake we're ever going to get. We didn't deserve to win because we made the mistakes. You have to play perfectly here because you saw what the umpires do. The call is not a catch out there. The replays clearly show that. No one goes after a ball with his glove down and comes up with it and it's a catch.

"And, nobody throws somebody out for saying nothing. I never said a word. He threw me out from here (first base) when I'm walking up to talk to the home plate umpire. Yet, here's the wonderful thing, they send out some assistant to argue balls and strikes. He (Torres) told him six times, 'one more word and you're gone.' I counted them. He never threw him out and I get thrown out for never saying a word."

Stephenson was observed pointing to his eyes with both hands while looking toward Montalbo while walking toward home plate.

"They're a good ballclub here. They're going to have problems on the road because they're not going to get that kind stuff," Stephenson said. "I'll promise you that. They need to have unbiased umpires out here every time they play so there is some kind of semblance so when they go into league they can win on the road.

"Again, we lost because of two misplays. We didn't lose because of the umpires, but there was a chance."

Rainbows 4, Shockers 2

Wichita State					Hawaii
		ab	r	h	bi			ab	r	h	bi
Hooper 2b	4	0	0	0	Takamori rf	3	0	0	1
Absher cf	4	0	0	0	Dartt 2b	4	0	2	2
Ryan ss		4	0	0	0	Wakakuwa 1b	4	0	0	0
Magness 1b	3	1	1	1	Nakano dh	3	0	0	0
Preston c	4	0	1	0	Martines lf	4	0	0	0
Hill 3b		4	0	0	0	Hansen c	3	0	1	0
Abram rf	3	1	1	0	Wheeler 3b	4	1	1	0
Wright ph	1	0	0	0	Miller ss	2	1	1	0
Hayes lf	3	0	0	0	Baker cf	3	2	2	0
Schoenhofer lf	0	0	0	0	
Blasi dh	2	0	2	1	
Totals		32	2	5	2	Totals		30	4	7	3
Wichita State	010	010	000--2
Hawaii		000	030	10x--4
E--Hill (3), Aloy (2). LOB--WSU 5, UH 6.

2B--Blasi (1). 3B--Abram (1). HR--Magness (4). SB--Miller (3).

Christensen (L, 0-1)	5-1/3	5	3	3	3	5
Drumwright		2-2/3	2	1	0	1	4
Aloy (W, 3-2)		6	5	2	2	1	7
Garrick			1	0	0	0	0	1
Jones			1	0	0	0	0	1
Snider (S, 5)		1	0	0	0	0	1
WP--Drumwright (2), Garrick (1). HBP--Blasi (by Garrick).

Umpires--Torres (plate), Montalbo (first), Ormita Beau (third).

T--2:44. A--2,405 (tickets issued 3,196).

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