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Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, February 28, 2001

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


Murphy weighs
his options

Georgia Tech assistant
Trapasso also reported to be
candidate for UH job


By Al Chase

This is not an attempt to get inside Arizona State head baseball coach Pat Murphy's mind, nor a reflection on the University of Hawaii's pursuit of a top coach to take the reigns of the baseball program next season.

The thought of becoming the next UH baseball coach intrigued enough people that more than 70 applied for the position.

It's easy to understand why a coach with local ties would apply.

The same holds true for assistant coaches or a successful head coach from a smaller school looking to move up.

The question is: What does the Rainbow job have to offer Murphy that isn't already available at Arizona State?

Sure, there is the lure of the Aloha State with all those things that prompt people to claim it's paradise.

Certainly the idea of revitalizing a baseball program that experienced national prominence for a number of years would be exciting. It would be a challenge to produce a product that would have fans filling the seats again.

Rainbow Stadium is still one of the best college baseball facilities in the country, although some deferred maintenance needs to be addressed soon.

The Western Athletic Conference had the sixth highest RPI baseball rating in the country last year. That may not be up to Pac 10 standards, but is respectable.

However, there have been major improvements to ASU athletic facilities, and Packard Stadium, home of the Sun Devil baseball team, is scheduled to share in the prosperity soon.

ASU is in the fourth year of a $300 million Capital Improvement Campaign. The athletic department's share was $30 million. But the response has been so positive, the goal is now $400 million, with athletics getting $40 million.

A new practice infield and a half-million-dollar batting cage are in place for the baseball team.

A 1,800-seat women's soccer stadium, a new softball stadium, a new tennis center with office space and locker rooms are done and the track has been resurfaced.

Work on the outside of Packard Stadium is scheduled to begin in 2002.

There will be sky boxes with elevator access, a new press box, a players' lounge, a walk of fame with statues of ASU standouts and increased seating to 6,000.

What was once a dry, rock-filled river behind the left-field fence that only caused problems during flash-flood season is now a 2-mile, tree-lined lake used for all possible water recreational activities.

Tourism officials see this as being one of the top 10 winter destinations in 10 years.

It's certainly a pretty picture for any ASU recruit who comes to the Phoenix area thinking everything is desert.

In the ASU baseball media guide, Murphy says, "Sun Devil baseball is the nation's greatest college tradition. I'm honored and proud to be a part of it."

There is no indication from anyone associated with ASU that Murphy has worn out his welcome.

He works with one-year contracts, with a present base salary of $130,000. It's not known how much he receives in total compensation.

The salary range for the UH head coach is $51,000 to $75,000 but can be higher with Board of Regents approval.

That's a lot for Murphy to weigh, if, as speculated, he is UH's choice for the position.

Another applicant: According to a story in yesterday's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia Tech assistant coach Mike Trapasso is a finalist for the UH job.

"He deserves an opportunity," Tech head coach Danny Hall said.

Trapasso is in his seventh season as Tech's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.




@ San Jose State Spartans

Bullet First pitch -- 3 p.m. tomorrow, 5 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday, at Municipal Stadium, San Jose, Calif.

Bullet Coaches -- Hawaii: Carl Furutani, first season (7-8, .467); Sam Piraro, 15th season (461-350-4, .568).

Bullet Season -- Hawaii: 7-8 overall, 2-4 Western Athletic Conference; San Jose State: 7-6-1 overall, 2-3 WAC.

Bullet Series -- Hawaii leads, 21-16 overall, but San Jose State holds an 11-2 advantage at Municipal Stadium. Last meeting -- The Spartans won five of the six games played last year. The only UH victory was a 9-2 win, March 25, at Rainbow Stadium.

Bullet Probable starting pitchers -- Hawaii: Right-hander Jeff Coleman (Jr., 1-2, 3.68 earned run average); right-hander Sean Yamashita (Jr., 0-1, 4.12); right-hander Chad Giannetti (So., 1-2, 5.06). San Jose State: Right-hander Chris Sherman (Sr., 1-2, 3.12); left-hander Tim Adinolfi (Sr., 2-2, 5.21); right-hander Andy Cook (So., 0-0, 6.75).

Bullet Top position players -- Hawaii: Left fielder Chad Boudon (Fr., .394, 3 doubles, 4 home runs, 11 runs batted in); third baseman Patrick Scalabrini (Sr., .360, 5 2b, 1 HR, 8 RBIs); right fielder Tim Montgomery (Fr., .318); second baseman Gregg Omori (Jr., .306, 6 2b, 8 RBIs). San Jose State: Left fielder Junior Ruiz (Jr., .408, 3 HR, 13 RBIs); second baseman Gabe Lopez (Jr., .368, 2 HR, 10 RBIs); first baseman John Fagan (Sr., .341, 10 RBIs); shortstop Ryan Adams (Jr., .318, 3 HR, 12 RBIs).

Bullet Keys -- Just before the Rainbows got into their rented vans to head back to the hotel after being swept by Fresno State, Furutani told the players he didn't want the vans to be like a morgue."I'm not going to allow yourselves to beat yourself up. We've got to keep our heads up," he said. ... The Rainbows need to eliminate the little mistakes like dropping foul pop-ups, missing the cutoff man on throws from the outfield and running the bases with the head down.

Bullet Also of note -- The Rainbows have won just one conference game in 12 attempts at Municipal Stadium. ... Hawaii returns home after Saturday's game and hosts undefeated WAC leader Rice for three games next week.

Bullet On the air -- All games live on KCCN (1420-AM).

Bullet RealAudio: 'Net broadcast Click Here

Al Chase, Star-Bulletin

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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