Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, May 19, 1999

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


’Bows likely need
two wins for spot
in regionals

WAC coaches seem to agree
that Hawaii's power rating gives it
the best chance of getting a bid
without winning the tourney

By Al Chase


FRESNO, Calif. - None of the six tournament coaches is thinking much past today's opening round games in the Western Athletic Conference baseball tournament.

Yet, at a gathering last night put on by host Fresno State, there was a lot of discussion about how many WAC teams would get into the NCAA tournament, which starts next week.

No. 1 ranked Rice (48-11 overall) will get a berth regardless of its performance here.

New Mexico head coach and NCAA baseball selection committee member Rich Alday receives the weekly official power ratings from the NCAA.

"We would like to get two teams. The only problem, outside of UH, is everyone else is around .500 and their power ratings are a bit low. It would be easier to get a second team, if Rice does not win." The WAC champion receives an automatic bid to the regionals.

Hawaii head coach Les Murakami thinks the Rainbows have to win at least two games in the tournament to be a strong contender for a regional bid.

Texas Christian head coach Lance Brown thinks if a team plays for the championship, it should get a bid.

"Hawaii might even get in if they are in the top three because of their power rating," Brown said. "When Hawaii got in (the WAC tournament), that meant the rest of us that don't have good overall records, almost have to win it to go.

"If Hawaii (36-18) wins a game or two, it's going to be hard for the NCAA to turn them down."

Fresno State head coach Bob Bennett says Hawaii should go on the basis of its record and that TCU (29-24), based on its conference record should be considered.

"I think the WAC should get three teams, maybe even four now that the field has expanded to 64 teams."

San Jose State (28-24-1 overall), Nevada-Las Vegas (27-32) and New Mexico (29-28-1) would only advance to the NCAA tournament as WAC champions.


The Horned Frogs are in their second consecutive WAC tournament. They were 0-2 last year ... TCU is much better in day games (27-16) than night games (2-8) and has played .500 ball in WAC road games (7-7) ... Brown is in his 13th season and has a 395-356 record.


Today's starting pitcher Rich Snider faced TCU twice as a reliever earlier in the season. He gave up seven hits, walked three and fanned two in 3° innings ... UH is 1-5 vs. TCU ... As Murakami feared, when the weather is dry and hot (88 degrees when UH practiced yesterday), the balls fly out of Pete Beiden Field ... The 'Bows' 36 wins is the most in a season since 1992 (49-14), the last time they qualified for the tournament ... UH is 17-9 in day games, 19-9 in night games ... Scooter Martines has 22 multi-hit games, Jamie Aloy and Sean Takamori, 21 each.


Measures 330 feet down each foul line, 370 to the power alley and 400 to straightaway center ... Seats 6,575 including 3,575 theater-style, seats ... Playing surface is natural grass.


"When we joined the WAC, Larry Hayes (Texas Tech head coach) called me and said he would be thinking of me as I flew over Lubbock (Texas) on those long journeys," TCU head coach Lance Brown said. "I told Larry I'd be thinking of him as I walked through Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and sat on the beach at Waikiki. It sure beats going to Waco (Texas) or College Station (Texas), if you know what I mean."

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