Rainbows and Sea Warriors
in all-Oahu baseball clash

The Hawaii baseball team is home for four games starting tonight against Hawaii Pacific. The homestand continues with a three-game, Western Athletic Conference series against the Rice Owls this weekend.

Hawaii Pacific
at Hawaii

When: Today, 6:35 p.m.
Where: Les Murakami Stadium
TV: Today, live, KFVE, Channel 5
Radio: Today, live, KKEA, 1420-AM
Tickets: $6 orange and blue sections; $5 red section; $4 seniors, and $3 students age 4-18, UH students in the red section.
Parking: $3
Notes: The Rainbows lead the series 25-2. Last year UH rallied in the late innings to edge HPU 8-7. ... Isaac Omura leads the 'Bows with 20 multiple-hit games. The next three are Joe Spiers (17), Matt Inouye (11) and Rocky Russo (10).

The Rainbows (16-20) want to play off their first road win last Sunday at Nevada to continue playing good baseball and get back into the conference title hunt.

The Sea Warriors (20-15) finish their regular season with doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday against Hawaii-Hilo at Aloha Stadium.

Grandon Costa leads the Sea Warriors with a .394 batting average. Brandon Sato is next with a .327 average. Greg Benoit's 37 RBIs are tops on the team.

The Sea Warriors have a team batting average of .321 and a team earned-run average of 5.58. They are 18-7 at home and 2-8 on the road.

HPU coach Allan Sato will start junior left-hander Josh Guerra (3-1, 4.67 ERA).

"Up until about a week ago, it was turning into a great season," said Sato, who has resigned his dual positions as coach and assistant athletic director, effective at the end of the season.

"We were ranked as high as eighth in the region, but we went 1-6 against California's Division II schools on the road and that is who we are rated against. It didn't work out. But, for morale sake and pride, the players are not down. They want to play and do well. It still can be a good season."

The Bows' have 20 games left, including 18 in league. Since no other team has stepped up to dominate like Rice did the past eight seasons, the championship is up for grabs. UH and Louisiana Tech are tied for fifth, four games out of first place.

"We talked with the players a lot about how we dug ourselves a hole because we haven't played well, but there is no reason why we can't win out, win each WAC series," said UH coach Mike Trapasso. "Why not? This is the same team that beat Florida State and Louisiana-Lafayette. Is it going to happen? I don't know.

"We started showing signs of coming out of things offensively last weekend. We did it in conditions Sunday because it was relatively normal. There was a slight breeze blowing in, but it wasn't a factor. It was a baseball game in Reno, not PlayStation baseball."

Trapasso will go with the same pitching philosophy he used against San Francisco on the road last week.

"Johnny Whole Staff will pitch," said Trapasso. "Ricky Bauer will start and go two or three innings."

Bauer is 2-2 with a 4.36 ERA. The senior right-hander will be making his 50th career start, tying him with Bruce Walton and Scott Karl for fourth place on the all-time list.

This week's starting rotation against Rice remains the same as the past two weeks, with Stephen Bryant opening Friday night. Bryant (4-3, 3.19 ERA) will be out to break a three-game losing streak. He is followed by Colby Summer (1-3, 4.69) on Saturday and Justin Costi (1-3, 3.78) on Sunday.

Note: The Rainbows will be without senior outfielder Greg Kish indefinitely. The team thought he had strained ribs, but he was diagnosed with two broken ribs and will get a complete bone scan tomorrow.

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