Hawaii's Isaac Omura forced out Wichita State's Logan Sorensen last night. His relay to first was not in time. The Rainbows improved to 7-1.

’Bows draw
first blood
against Shockers

Montgomery backs up solid pitching
with a big homer as Hawaii improves
to 7-1 with a win over Wichita State

Cook plays all over -- and plays well

By Al Chase

The opener of the Hawaii-Wichita State baseball series was everything the 1,720 fans at Murakami Stadium could expect last night.

The game was tight for eight innings, featuring solid pitching, timely hitting, offensive execution much of the time with the outcome in doubt until Tim Montgomery launched a pitch from Reuben Kerbs in the bottom of the eighth inning to provide UH with three insurance runs.

Wichita State (7-1) had battled back from a 4-0 deficit to cut the UH lead to 4-3 in the seventh. The Shockers threatened big time in the top of the eighth, but Rainbow reliever Clary Carlsen escaped.

Nursing the slim lead, the Rainbows (7-1) got the insurance runs they needed on Montgomery's two-out blast on a 1-2 pitch from WSU reliever Kerbs.

The final score was 7-3 Hawaii, the Rainbows' sixth consecutive win.

"He (Kerbs) had a pretty good breaking pitch and I thought he might come back with it," said Montgomery. "I just wanted to stay on the pitch. It was a slider or slurve."

Carlsen delivered a 1-2-3 ninth inning to pick up his third save of the season.

"I have got to tell Tim thanks here pretty soon. That took the pressure off," said Carlsen.

"I kind of got into trouble in the eighth and they were taking advantage (stolen bases) because I wasn't varying my time to the plate. Tonight, the changeup was great. It stayed down in the zone."

The starting pitchers, UH's Chris George and Wichita State's Mathew Jakubov, had things under control in the first two innings.

Wichita State's first batter, Nick Blasi, singled to right on George's third pitch in the first inning but was wiped out when Brandon Green grounded into a double play four pitches later. George gave up a one-out double to Shawn Smarsh in the third, but retired the next two batters.

Jakubov, a sophomore right-hander, was touched for a one-out single in the second by Andrew Sansaver, but fanned the next two Rainbows to end the inning.

Jakubov started his own trouble in the third when he hit Montgomery with a 1-2 pitch to start the inning. Isaac Omura sacrificed Montgomery to second and he took third when Brian Finegan beat out a slow hopper up the third-base line for an infield single. Brent Cook brought Montgomery home with a perfect safety squeeze.

Another one-out double, this time by Logan Sorensen to the left-center field alley in the fourth, had George working from the stretch position once again. He struck out Cody Clark, then walked Phil Napolitan, but ended the inning by getting Mark Johnson on a first-pitch popup to second.

The Rainbows went to the long ball to take a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Rocky Russo lined a double to the left-center-field wall to start the outburst. Sansaver followed with a line triple into the right-field corner to score Russo. After Nick Ponomarenko popped up, Brian Bock unloaded on Jakubov's first pitch and drove it over the second wall in left for a two-run homer.

The Shockers put a run on the board in the fifth when Nick McCoola singled to center to start the inning. He moved to second and third on groundball outs and scored on Green's line single to right.

Wichita State head coach Gene Stephenson and assistant Jim Thomas looked on from the dugout last night.

Sorensen walked to start the sixth and stole second base as Clark fanned on a 3-2 pitch. Napolitan sent a soft liner to right center that UH right fielder Josh Green caught on the run and fired to Finegan, covering second, in time to double off Sorensen, ending the threat.

WSU cut its deficit to one run in the seventh and knocked George out of the game in the process.

On Johnson's hard grounder to short to open the inning, Finegan threw wide of first for an error to open the door for the Shockers. McCoola walked on a full count. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, but George retired Smarsh on a called third strike. However, on a 3-2 pitch, Blasi bounced a ball up the middle for an infield, run-scoring single. When Green lined a single to left scoring McCoola on George's first pitch, UH head coach Mike Trapasso went to the bullpen.

"My mechanics were a little off tonight," said George, who fell behind in the count more than usual. "I tried to make a pitch when I needed to and that seemed to work."

Hawaii 7, Wichita St. 3

Blasi, cf 5 0 2 1 Finegan ss 4 0 1 0
Green, 3b 5 0 2 2 Cook, 1f 2 0 1 1
Moffitt, rf 5 0 0 0 Green, rf 4 0 0 0
Sorensen, 1b 2 0 1 0 Ponomarenko, dh 2 1 0 0
Clark, c 3 0 0 0 Russo, 3b 3 2 2 0
Erstad, ph 0 0 0 0 Sansaver, 1b 3 1 2 1
Waddell, pr 0 0 0 0 Bock, c 4 1 1 2
Muich, c 0 0 0 0 Montgomery, cf 3 2 1 3
Napolitan, 1f 3 0 1 0 Omura, 2b 3 0 0 0
Johnson, dh 4 1 0 0 George, p 0 0 0 0
McCoola, ss 3 2 1 0 Carlsen, p 0 0 0 0
Smarsh, 2b 4 0 1 0
Jakubov, p 0 0 0 0
Kerbs, p 0 0 0 0
Totals 34 3 8 3 Totals 28 7 8 7

WSU (7-1) 000 010 200 -- 3 8 0
Hawaii (7-1) 001 300 03X -- 7 8 1

E -- Finegan. LOB -- WSU 9, Hawaii 5. 2B -- Sorensen, Smarsh, Russo. HR -- Bock, Montgomery. SH -- Cook, Sansaver, Omura. SB -- Blasi, Green, Sorensen, Waddell, Napolitan, Cook.

Jakubov 5 6 4 4 0 4
Kerbs 3 2 3 3 4 3
Hawaii IP H R ER BB SO
George 6.1 7 3 2 4 8
Carlsen 2.2 1 0 0 1 5

W -- George (3-0). L -- Jakubov (1-1). S -- Carlsen (3). HBP -- Montgomery by Jakubov. Umpires -- HP: Mike Evans, 1b: Jim LeBeau, 3b: Ryan Arasato. T -- 2:46. A -- 1,720.

UH Athletics

Wachita State University Athletics


Cook plays all over
-- and plays well

By Cindy Luis

One of these days, Brent Cook will find a home.


From one game to the next, the senior utility player is never quite sure where Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso will pencil him in the lineup.

Third base? Center field? Designated hitter? Cook was used at all three spots in playing all 54 games last season.

Second base? Trapasso has used Cook there for a game, as well as at third once.

So for now, Cook is hanging out in left field at Murakami Stadium, doing whatever is asked of him. Moved up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order last night, Cook came through as the Rainbows (7-1) won their sixth straight, 7-3 over previously undefeated Wichita State (7-1).

His surprise safety squeeze in the bottom of the third inning scored Hawaii's first run. It was the second bunt of the inning -- the first was Isaac Omura's sacrifice that advanced Tim Montgomery -- and Cook pushed the bunt perfectly to the right side of the mound to score Montgomery for the 1-0 lead.

"It's something we work on all the time in practice and it was the right situation," said Cook. "With runners at first and third and one out, it's the right situation. And I got a good pitch to do it on.

"It's a big part of our game, our small game, I don't think a lot of teams know that. It's a great play to use, especially in a situation like that."

Cook didn't get much action last night, touching the ball once on a grounder by Logan Sorensen with one out in the fourth.

"It's a little boring sometimes," said Cook, "but I played infield the past couple of games. Where I play doesn't matter as long as we keep on winning. We're getting the key hits and our pitching has been outstanding. We're getting it done.

"I don't know where I'll be playing, so I bring my outfield and infield gloves every day and wait until Coach puts up the lineup and I go from there. As long as I can help the team win, that's all I care about. As long as I'm in the lineup, it doesn't matter where I play. The important thing is to remember to bring both gloves."

Cook's versatility isn't just in baseball. He played both ways as a football standout at Monte Vista High in Danville, Calif., at running back and defensive back. Trapasso said it's not often a coach would have the luxury of a Brent Cook.

"He's going to play every day," said Trapasso. "And at times when we want to do something else or give somebody a break, then 'Cookie' is the guy that can go to third or second.

"Every now and then you get a guy like him, but they are few and far between. He's a luxury. He doesn't care as long as he knows he's going to play. And he knows he's going to play. He's our captain. He's our catalyst. He makes us go."

Cook finished 1-for-2 with a walk and that all important RBI-sacrifice bunt.

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