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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, June 13, 2000

C O L L E G E _ S P O R T S

Hawaii’s Paki Lum
doing his part for USC

By Kalani Simpson
Special to the Star-Bulletin


OMAHA, Neb. -- When a USC pitcher shows signs of tiring, Paki Lum gets ready. And when a pitcher gets in real trouble, Lum springs into action.

OK, he's the bullpen catcher.

But Lum, a freshman from Aiea and Kamehameha Schools, is having a great time going along for the ride with the Trojans at the College World Series.

"Just stoked," Lum said, grinning in the USC dugout at Rosenblatt Stadium. "I don't know. I don't know which words to say. Just happy to be here.

"I remember watching it, that's why. Watching it when they (USC) won in '98 and just hoping we would get here."

A promising outfielder in USC's highly touted 1999 recruiting class, Lum played in only three games this season (with two hits, for a nifty .400 average). He began taking on more positions and they're starting to think of him as a utility player, he said.

Lum's doing whatever it takes to play and he might become a catcher next season. So for now, he helps out in the bullpen.

At the College World Series, that's not a bad place to be. While his teammates are in the dugout, Lum and the bullpen are out among the people, and Omaha typically embraces anyone in a uniform. Monday, in a 6-4 win over Florida State, the Trojans played before a crowd of more than 19,000.

A few fans along the right-field line made sure to say hello.

"The Omaha people, they love it, that's why," he said. "They don't really rag you, it's just that they're happy to be here, they're happy to watch the ballgame.

"You don't get those one-liners and stuff."

As a College World Series celebrity, Lum also has signed his share of autographs.

"Yeah, plenty," he said.

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