Thursday, January 25, 2001
Rainbows itchingA process that began last fall, the blending of Rainbow veterans and newcomers, is complete.
to open season
It's doubtful Hawaii and its
opponents will have a fenced-
in feeling this year
By Al Chase
Acting head coach Carl Furutani and his assistants have sorted out the starters and reserves.
It's time for the 2001 University of Hawaii baseball team to play ball. The Rainbows open the season tonight at 6:35 against Cal State Sacramento.
Rainbow Stadium has a new look as Big Blue is now Baby Blue, 15 feet closer to home plate and two feet shorter.
The consensus among the alumni last Saturday was changing the fence will make games different.
Who: Hawaii vs. Cal State Sacramento.
What: 2001 baseball opening series.
When: Tonight and tomorrow night at 6:35; Saturday at 1:05 p.m.
Where: Rainbow Stadium.
Tickets: Between $4 and $6.
Radio: All three games on 1420-AM.
RealAudio: 'Net broadcast Click Here
TV: Saturday and Sunday games on KFVE.
It's already obvious a line drive hit to the alleys will be doubles instead of triples. And how many of those high fly balls will land on the other side of the fence instead of being caught at the warning track as in past seasons?
The fence was moved in at the request of head coach Les Murakami, who thought it would make games more exciting.
The Rainbows have nine nonconference games to find out just how exciting they will be before opening Western Athletic Conference play Feb. 15 against Nevada.
Here's a look at the Rainbows position by position:
Catcher: Brian Bock and Jacob Flick will share the position. Both have made tremendous strides offensively and defensively according to Furutani.
"We're going to call the game, not because they aren't capable, but because of the responsibilities we put on them. We want to lessen their burden," Furutani said.
First Base: Danny Kimura has recovered from a hand injury that hampered him late last season and has taken ownership of the position. He is the top returning RBI man.
Second Base: Gregg Omori and Matt Purtell. Omori sat out last season after transferring from the University of San Francisco. He is the team's best pure hitter and can play first base. Purtell is a scrappy, intelligent player who takes control in the field.
Third Base: Patrick Scalabrini is bigger, stronger and faster said Furutani.
"He has more bat control. He is our No. 2 hitter, like a pro No. 2 hitter with pop," said Furutani.
Shortstop: Cortland Williams, a freshman, has all the tools, range and a good arm.
"He will make mistakes, but we have to accept that," Furutani said. "We have to make sure we make him comfortable."
Lane Nogawa is available to fill in at all infield positions.
Outfield: From left to right, it is Chad Boudon, recovered from shoulder surgery, Derek Honma or Shane Chan and Tim Montgomery.
Boudon will bring power to the lineup. Honma and Chan have the speed to cover center.
"Montgomery is the real deal who can flat out play," said Furutani
"He can run, hit and has a true right fielder's arm."
Pitching: Jeff Coleman, Sean Yamashita, Gavin Garrick, Chad Giannetti, Will Quaglieri, Chris Quiroz and Matt LeDucq will audition in the nonconference games for spots in the starting rotation.
Coleman throws in the low 90s and has a change-up and good breaking ball. Yamashita has recovered from elbow surgery and is becoming more consistent.
Garrick has improved the mental part of his game, says Furutani, while Giannetti has gotten over the hump at times and needs to stay there.
Quaglieri has a live arm. He redshirted as a freshman at Purdue last season. Quiroz is a transfer from UC Santa Barbara and relies on a variety of pitches.
LeDucq is the only left-hander among the group.
"He doesn't throw hard, but he changes speeds well and knows how to pitch," Furutani said.
The set up men are Ryan Yamamoto and Aaron Pribble. Bryan Lee is the closer for now.
Wakon Childers, who is coming off Tommy John surgery, is being treated very carefully in the early going. He throws hard, has a slider and change-up and could fill any one of the three roles.
Scooter Martines also is coming off surgery to his left shoulder. He's been cleared to play, but can't dive or slide yet.
"This team here is a very special team. It's a feeling you get when you're out there with the players," Furutani said.
"A lot of things don't have to be repeated. A lot of things don't have to be said. It's just the way they go out there and get things done."
Head coach: Les Murakami (11).
No. Player Pos Year 1 Arthur Guillen OF So. 2 Lane Nogawa IF Jr. 3 Tim Montgomery OF Fr. 5 Ryan Yamamoto P Jr. 7 Shane Chan OF Jr. 9 Patrick Scalabrini IF Sr. 10 Matthew Purtell IF Sr. 12 Nate Jackson OF So. 15 Chris Quiroz P Jr. 17 Grant Sato P Jr. 18 William Quaglieri P Fr. 19 Kevin Gilbride OF So. 20 Gavin Garrick P Sr. 21 Danny Kimura IF Sr. 22 Derek Honma OF Jr. 23 Kramer Aoki C Jr. 24 Sean Yamashita P Jr. 25 Chad Boudon OF Fr. 26 Jeff Coleman P Jr. 27 Jacob Flick C So. 28 Greg Omori 2B Jr. 29 Bryan Lee P So. 30 Matt LeDucq P Jr. 31 Chad Giannetti P So. 33 Cortland Wilson SS Fr. 34 Jean-Paul Gauthier P Jr. 36 Wakon Childers P Sr. 39 Ryan Anderson C Fr. 40 Aaron Pribble P Jr. 44 Scooter Martines OF Sr. 70 Brian Bock C So. Gary Ahu Jr. IF Fr. Ikaika Faraon P Fr. Craig Johnson OF/1B Fr. Ian Jones P Sr. Ryan Monico OF Fr.
Acting head coach: Carl Furutani (32).
Assistants: Les Nakama (4), Thomas Gushiken (6), Dave Murakami (8).
Players without numbers most likely will redshirt this year.
Ka Leo O Hawaii