Rainbows to test pitching
depth against Hornets
The Hawaii baseball team takes a mini-break from Western Athletic Conference competition with a two-game series against Sacramento State tonight and tomorrow night at Murakami Stadium.
This is the kind of opportunity UH coach Mike Trapasso looks forward to each year. Midweek games allow him to use players who have not seen much action. This is especially true with the pitching staff.
Two pitchers who will be counted on in the future get the starting assignments. Sophomore right-hander Keahi Rawlins pitches the opener tonight and freshman right-hander Steven Wright starts tomorrow.
"This will be a series based on pitching depth, whether or not we have it, or a series of who can outscore the other team," Trapasso said.
Both teams used their starting rotation over the weekend. The Rainbows, who won their second consecutive WAC series, fared much better than the Hornets, who were swept by UC Santa Barbara by a combined score of 31-7.
Sacramento State brings a four-game losing streak to town. The Hornets have been outscored 51-12 during the losing streak, which comes on the heels of a four-game sweep of Pacific when Sacramento State piled up 42 runs.
Part of the reason is John Acha, who is hitting .338 with a team-leading eight home runs and 30 runs batted in, has been out of the lineup with an injured right index finger. He may be available for this series.
The other top Hornet hitters are Jack Arroyo (.350) and Craig Johnson (.328), who has four homers and 28 RBIs.
The 'Bows' leading hitters are Greg Kish (.373), Matt Inouye (.361) and Brian Finegan (.336).
Trapasso also wants to get center fielder Robbie Wilder back in the lineup and have Inouye, who leads the Rainbows with 12 multi-hit games, catch at least one of the games.
Otherwise, the lineup Trapasso has been using has produced wins and he is not about to tinker with success.
After tomorrow's game, the 'Bows do not play again until they open a conference series against Louisiana Tech on April 16 at Murakami Stadium.
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Sacramento State at Hawaii
When: Today and tomorrow, 6:35 p.m.
Where: Murakami Stadium
TV: Both games live, KFVE, Channel 5
Radio: Both games live, KKEA, 1420-AM
Tickets: $6 Orange, Blue levels. $5 Red level. $4 Seniors, children age 4-18, UH students in the Red level.
Probable starting pitchers
||Keahi Rawlins (So.)
||Steven Wright (Fr.)
SACRAMENTO STATE (19-19)
Pitchers to be announced
Notes: The Rainbows and Hornets have played 50 games, with UH leading the series 36-14. ... Last year, UH swept a three-game series here and won a midweek game at Sacramento State. ... Hornet coach John Smith is in his 26th season and has a 743-693 career record.