Star-Bulletin Sports

Sunday, October 21, 2001



Rainbows work 12 innings

By Al Chase

The Hawaii Rainbow baseball team concluded three weeks of fall practice yesterday with a 12-inning intrasquad game on what coach Mike Trapasso called "scout day."

All local major league scouts were invited to bring their notebooks and timing guns and observe 60-yard time trials, fundamental work and 12 pitchers.

Trapasso would like to carry 32 or 33 players and said, "Whether or not we get there remains to be seen." There were 38 players when individual workouts began in September, so some cuts will be made.

"The one thought that keeps coming to mind is the work ethic of these kids. It has been extraordinary. Whether this translates into more wins than losses, I don't know," Trapasso said. "The question now is how well they will perform in a competitive situation when there are fans in the stands and another team in the first base dugout.

"People think you set your lineup in the fall. That doesn't happen until the first 10 or 15 games in the spring. Fall practice gives you an idea of the talent level, but not the performance level."

First and third base were open positions going into fall practice. Gregg Omori, who had a two-run double yesterday, will play first. His arm is healthy, Trapasso likes his solid defensive play and he will hit third.

Brent Cooke, a junior who transferred from California, is the leading candidate at third base and projected to be the No. 2 hitter in the lineup.

"I like his competitiveness and he has tremendous baseball instincts. You want to have him in the lineup," Trapasso said.

The starting middle infielders could come from returnees Cortland Wilson or Lane Nogawa, both with a pair of singles, or newcomers Julian Russell, Jason Carlson, Shafer Magna or Danny Mocny, who had two singles and an RBI double.

Trapasso is confident the infield will be strong defensively.

Brian Bock is the starting catcher, with relief provided by junior college transfer Grady Symonds.

Returning outfielders Chad Boudon and Art Guillen have had good falls and Trey Richards was 4-for-5 yesterday with a double and two home runs over the left-center field wall.

Guillen, who has the tools to be the leadoff batter, singled twice, stole a base and laid down the only successful sacrifice bunt yesterday.

Tim Montgomery, Kevin Gilbride and Scooter Martines return, along with redshirt freshman Craig Johnson, who singled twice yesterday. Derek Honma is still rehabbing his right shoulder.

Twelve pitchers worked yesterday with varying success. Sean Yamashita, Bryan Lee, Will Quaglieri, Matt LeDucq and Jason Piepmeier had one-two-three innings.

"Pitching is the interesting thing right now," Trapasso said. "Our pitchers will have to be more consistent. They will have to know their roles. I believe in this, I don't want them to be surprised.

"I think we will be capable of keeping us in the game. The pitchers have to throw strike one and be able to throw the change-up or curve for strikes. I'm not big on velocity. If guys have average stuff, then they have to have command and know how to locate, know how to pitch."

Trapasso said the offense will have to make things happen, that the Rainbows won't be a juggernaut at the plate.

With full-team workouts finished, about half the squad will continue with individual workouts for a couple of weeks, then shut down to concentrate on academics and conditioning. The other half begins the latter now.

'Bow bunts: Right-hander Gavin Garrick has left the team. The fifth-year senior will graduate in December and told coach Trapasso it was time to move on. ... Construction will start in two weeks on renovation of the coaches office with a target completion date of Jan. 4. ... A new scoreboard was ordered last Tuesday. The hope is it will be ready for the season opener.

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