Rainbows up against
Cougars for 4-game series

The Hawaii Rainbows open their third consecutive four-game series tomorrow when they host Washington State of the Pac-10 at Les Murakami Stadium.

Washington State at Hawaii

When: Tomorrow, Friday and Saturday, 6:35 p.m.; Sunday, 1:05 p.m.
Where: Les Murakami Stadium
TV: Tomorrow, Friday and Sunday, live, KFVE, Ch. 5
Radio: Tomorrow and Sunday, live; Friday and Saturday, joined in progress following men's volleyball, KKEA 1420-AM
Tickets: $6 orange and blue sections; $5 red section; $4 seniors, and $3 students age 4-18.
Parking: $3

The Cougars (5-5) lost two of three to Sacramento State to start the season, then traveled to Hammond, La., and took two of three from Southeastern Louisiana before splitting four games with Portland last weekend. WSU won the first game in all three series.

"I don't know too much about them, but I know they will be competitive and play with intensity because of Don (Marbut, WSU's first-year coach)," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "Just knowing who they have signed the last couple of years tells me it will be a good series."

Zach McAngus, the Kamehameha graduate who played here as a freshman with Air Force in 2003 before transferring to WSU, leads the Cougars with a .415 batting average.

The Rainbows started becoming more productive offensively against Pacific last week, upping the team batting average from .226 to .255.

Trapasso was pleased with the team's progress.

"Overall, we swung the bats pretty good last weekend. Our strikeouts were down, but still too high (vs. Pacific). When you add up the walks and hit by pitch, then the ratio was about even. Our approach with two strikes was better. We are encouraged, but not satisfied," he said.

"The focus is scoring runners from third base with less than two outs. Our percentage is less than 50 percent. That is one of those things that gets you beat."

The Rainbows (5-3) are 11 for 23 (48 percent) in that situation this season while their opponents have been successful 73 percent of the time.

Hawaii will go with the same starting rotation, all right-handers, starting with Ricky Bauer (1-0, 2.63 ERA) tomorrow. Stephen Bryant (1-1, 1.64), Colby Summer (1-0, 3.18) and Justin Costi (0-1, 2.57) follow.

The Hawaii bullpen had another solid weekend, allowing nine hits and three earned runs with six walks, 16 strikeouts and a 1.72 ERA in 15 2/3 innings.

"Our pitching was outstanding. Our defense was beyond good, it was outstanding across the board," Trapasso said. "It's just that our execution rating was not good. It was 34 Sunday (in a 2-1 loss) and you don't win those games.

"We starting to see life from Matt (Inouye) and Isaac (Omura), guys we know can hit. We need Greg (Kish) to get going. He is at .194, even though he leads the team in runs batted in."

Note: The four-game series against Washington State is "Family Weekend" and up to two children will be admitted free with each purchase of an adult ticket. The "children" classification includes high school-aged youngsters and under.

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