Thursday, May 13, 1999
Star-Bulletin file photo
Jamie Aloy will be key to the Rainbows' effort to
slide safely into the WAC tournament with a pair
of wins against the Lobos this weekend.
In There, or
In the battle to qualify for next week'sBy Al Chase
WAC baseball tourney, the 'Bows can
take control of their own destiny by
taking two of three in this weekend's
home series against New Mexico
The mathematics can be simple for the University of Hawaii entering the regular-season ending baseball series against New Mexico at Rainbow Stadium this weekend.
If the Rainbows win at least two games, they can pack their bags for next week's Western Athletic Conference postseason baseball tournament at Fresno, Calif.
The last time Hawaii reached the tournament was 1992.
If the 'Bows only win one of the three games, their destiny will be determined by the results of two other important series being played in California.
A quick review of the WAC standings shows Rice and Texas Christian have qualified for the tournament as the top two seeds. Seeding of the six qualifying teams is based on the final league standings.
Brigham Young, Utah and Air Force are out and do not play any of the six teams battling for the final four tournament spots.
However, San Diego State (14-13 conference) travels to San Jose State (13-11) and Nevada-Las Vegas (14-13) plays at Fresno State (13-14). Those three-game series will command close attention if New Mexico (14-13) wins two of the three games from Hawaii (13-14).
Why? For the 'Bows to qualify with just one victory this weekend, the following would have to happen (out of 16 possible scenarios): San Jose State would have to sweep San Diego State and UNLV would have to defeat Fresno State twice.
The Rainbows' season is over if the Lobos sweep.
Hawaii received considerable help from Utah last week when the Utes rallied for a 4-2 victory over Fresno State in their series finale. The loss left the Bulldogs tied with UH for seventh place in the WAC standings, but the 'Bows hold the tiebreaker advantage.
The other tiebreaker advantage Hawaii has is with San Diego State.
Right-hander Rich Snider starts for UH tomorrow and Dusty Bergman gets the nod Saturday.
"After that, I don't know," UH coach Les Murakami said. "I can't save guys. I can't be thinking down the line. They are probably thinking the same thing. It's just as important for them.
"This week, our pitchers have got to do the job. (New Mexico is) hitting .351. That means they hit no matter where they go."
BANQUET NOTE: The baseball awards banquet Monday at the Hawaii Prince Hotel will start one hour earlier in case the team leaves that night for the WAC playoffs. Cocktails start at 5 p.m., the dinner at 6 p.m.
WACConference Overall Team W L Pct. GB W L Pct. xy-Rice 23 4 .852 -- 46 10 .821 x-Texas Christian 19 10 .655 5 29 24 .547 San Jose St. 13 11 .542 8 25 24 .510 New Mexico 14 13 .519 9 29 26 .527 San Diego St. 14 13 .519 9 27 29 .482 Nevada-Las Vegas 14 13 .519 9 25 31 .446 Hawaii 13 14 .481 10 34 18 .654 Fresno St. 13 14 .481 10 32 28 .533 Brigham Young 10 16 .385 12 24 30 .444 Utah 7 18 .280 15 19 28 .404 Air Force 4 18 .182 16 18 30 .375x-Qualified for WAC tournament.
y-Clinched regular-season title.
New Mexico & San Jose St. played one tie game.
San Diego State at San Jose State; Utah at Brigham Young
New Mexico at Hawaii, 7 p.m.; Nevada-Las Vegas at Fresno State; Rice at Air Force; San Diego State at San Jose State; Utah at Brigham Young