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Magana makes most
Washington State at HawaiiWhen: Today, tomorrow and Saturday, 6:35 p.m.; Sunday, 1:05 p.m.
Where: Les Murakami Stadium
TV: Today, tomorrow and Sunday live, KFVE, Channel 5
Radio: Tomorrow and Sunday, live; Friday and Saturday, joined in progress after men's volleyball, KKEA, 1420-AM
Tickets: $6 orange and blue sections; $5 red section; $4 seniors; $3 students 4-18, UH students in red section
A shortstop all through high school in Taylorsville, Utah, and for one year in junior college, Magana's sidearm throwing motion caused too much strain on his right arm. One doctor recommended Tommy John surgery. He went home to Utah and got a second opinion.
"The doctor at home didn't think I needed surgery, so I rested all summer. Since then, everything has been fine, no trouble at all," said Magana, who has changed his throwing motion to over the top.
Although he had value as a player who could handle every infield position and was healthy, the 2003 season saw Magana finish with just 73 at-bats in 29 games.
"I started my sophomore year, struggled and lost my opportunity. It had a lot to do with my swing. I've changed it quite a bit since. Hitting has a lot to do with confidence and I didn't feel comfortable with my swing," said Magana.
With a new swing, Magana made the most of the second chance last year and hit .270, a big improvement over his .219 batting average in 2003.
"I thought I had a good year. I did whatever I could. I was just glad to get another shot last year," said Magana, who is an art major but plans on being a fireman back home after graduation.
"I had a better approach, knowing when to swing hard and when not to and protect the plate with two strikes. I try to let the pitch go deep and take the ball the other way. I foul off what I don't like."
What gets Magana in trouble at the plate is when he thinks too much about his swing.
"When I hit the ball good, I'm not thinking about putting this arm here or that leg there. Too much analysis is no good," said Magana, who is tied with Joe Spiers for the team batting lead at .412 after eight games.
"Schafer has earned everything he is getting and you have to respect that," said UH coach Mike Trapasso.
"If he doesn't play for a couple of games he comes in my office and says he can do the job, that he is working his butt off. I tell him that is a prerequisite, but I love a player that has that fire and passion."
Magana says his goal for each game is to give everything he has and do what he can to help the team win.
"You never know when your career might end. I play every game like it is my last," Magana said.
He started this year at third base and will share the position with Jonathan Hee.
Recruited as a shortstop, Magana likes the challenge at the hot corner.
"It's more reaction. The ball gets to you quick on the turf. I like to react to the ball and see what I can do," said Magana.