Star-Bulletin Sports

Friday, April 6, 2001



Hawaii rolls into WAC
with a new attitude

By Al Chase

The University of Hawaii has developed a winning attitude the past two weeks, sweeping three games from San Jose State to square that account, then finishing as runner-up in the Verizon Easter Baseball Tournament.

The Rainbows return to Western Athletic Conference action tomorrow at noon in the opener of a three-game series against Fresno State at Rainbow Stadium.

Hawaii has won eight of its last 10 games, but stands just 6-12 in WAC play. The Rainbows need to keep that winning formula if they want to move into the upper half of the conference standings. A good series against FSU also would go a long way toward preparing them for a six-game road trip to Texas when the current homestand ends Monday night.

When: 12:05 p.m. tomorrow, 2:05 p.m. Sunday, 6:35 p.m. Monday
Where: Rainbow Stadium
TV: Live, KFVE
Radio: Live, 1420-AM
RealAudio: 'Net broadcast Click Here
Tickets: Orange, Blue levels $6; Red level $5; Ages 4-18 and 65 and over $4; UH students $4.
Parking: $3

"You can sense the players feel good about themselves. If they make a mistake, they aren't hanging their heads anymore," UH acting head coach Carl Furutani said.

"They have learned how to overcome adversity. They may lose a heartbreaker, but they come back the next day and play just as hard. You have to give credit to the ball players."

Earlier this year, Furutani said on several occasions the mistakes the Rainbows made were correctable. He feels the constant repetition the players have experienced to this point in the season is a reason there are fewer and fewer mistakes.

The Bulldogs, who defeated St. Mary's, 12-2 Monday, swept the three-game series from the Rainbows at Pete Beiden Field the last week of February.

"We talked to the players about how they didn't play close to what they are capable of doing in that series. It left a bad taste in our mouths," Furutani said. "What we want to do this weekend is prove we are a better team now."

Furutani will go with the same three starting pitchers, Jeff Coleman, Wakon Childers and Sean Yamashita. Childers and Yamashita flip-flopped because Yamashita told the coaches he needed another day of rest to maintain his normal routine between starts.

"We talked to all three. Jeff said he was ready to go and Wakon said the switch wouldn't bother him," Furutani said.

The injured list continues to grow for the Rainbows. Junior outfielder Derek Honma had surgery Monday to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Freshman left-hander Ikaika Faraon had ACL surgery on his right knee last Tuesday. He originally injured the knee playing basketball for Molokai High School and had surgery, but tore the ACL again during Christmas break.

Senior outfielder Scooter Martines, who had hoped to play this year after off-season shoulder surgery, will redshirt. Senior right-hander Gavin Garrick, who severly sprained his right ankle jumping into the dugout during the Texas Christian series, also will redshirt.

Freshman infielder Gary Ahu's chronic lower back pain has him back in rehabilitation and junior infielder Lane Nogawa (hamstring) is day to day.

Probable starting pitchers

HAWAII (16-18, 6-12 WAC)

RHP Jeff Coleman (Jr.) 3-4 3.54 53
RHP Wakon Childers (Sr.) 1-0 4.00 14
RHP Sean Yamashita (Jr.) 2-4 4.35 45

FRESNO STATE (23-15, 7-8 WAC)

RHP Zach Minor (Sr.) 6-3 3.61 58
LHP Ben Fritz (So.) 2-4 4.41 44
RHP Nick Moran (Jr.) 2-5 3.65 45

Notes: The Rainbows and Bulldogs have met 68 times, with FSU holding a 40-28 edge. FSU has the edge in Honolulu, 25-21. ... Earlier this year, the Bulldogs swept a three-game series in Fresno, Calif., by scores of 6-2, 6-5 in 11 innings and 8-4. ... UH acting head coach Carl Furutani is in his first season and has a 16-18 career record. FSU head coach Bob Bennett is in his 33rd season and has a career mark of 1,252-722-4.

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