Sunday, January 21, 2001
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Posted on: Sunday, January 21, 2001

Alumni rally past Rainbows in ninth, 5-4

By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

It wasn’t so much about winning as much as it was about evaluating in yesterday’s annual University of Hawaii Alumni baseball game.

The Alumni rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth to edge the 2001 Varsity, 5-4, before a Rainbow Stadium gathering of 604, who waited one hour, five minutes for the start because an earlier scrimmage between the UH junior varsity and Sacramento State lasted longer than expected.

Jeff Coleman, a potential starting pitcher, threw two perfect innings against the Alumni team. Coleman is a transfer from Mount San Antonio College.

Cory Lum • The Honolulu Advertiser

Jamie Aloy’s force play scored the tying run and Franz Yuen’s flare single to left-center scored Mitchell Miyoshi with the go-ahead run off Rainbows’ closer Bryan Lee. The runs were unearned because of a throwing error by third baseman Patrick Scalabrini.

"We needed something like this," acting coach Carl Furutani said. "(It would have been) good if we could win, but you know what? The game was more important. The experience going out there and doing things, facing certain situations, that was real good for us. We’ll learn from that and be OK. I’m not so much worried about the win or loss. I’m just worried about the little things."

Moku Paiva struck out the side to get the save for the Alumni.

"I was just trying to throw strikes, hoping they wouldn’t hit me because they’re in better shape than I am," said Paiva. "I was trying to out-guess them."

Before the game, Alumni pitcher Mark Olmos gave an invocation that included a prayer for UH coach Les Murakami, who is rehabilitating from a stroke he suffered Nov. 2. Later, Murakami’s family made an appearance on the field, with daughter Kris speaking on behalf of her father and family, thanking the fans for their support during the ordeal.

The Rainbows used eight pitchers. Potential starters Jeff Coleman, Sean Yamashita, Gavin Garrick, Chad Giannetti and Chris Quiroz allowed two hits, a walk and an unearned run in six innings. Coleman, the starter, pitched two perfect innings, while the others pitched one inning each.

Ryan Yamamoto (one-third inning, two runs, one earned), Aaron Pribble (12/3 innings) and Lee (one inning) pitched the final three innings.

The Alumni used nine pitchers, including Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand Paul Ah Yat, for one inning each. Eugene Myers, who pitched one scoreless inning of relief, was credited with the win.

Leading the varsity was newcomer Gregg Omori, who started at second base and finished up at first base. The former Iolani all-state infielder, who sat out last season after transferring from San Francisco, was 3-for-5 with two doubles, including one to left off the new outfield wall. He also had a two-run single in the sixth that snapped a 1-1 tie.

"Last year, I just sat and watched," he said. "I was really ready to play this year."

Hawaii center fielder Derek Honma was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a stolen base.

The new wall, similar to the original and painted the same shade of dark blue, is 15 feet closer to home plate. The original dimensions were 340 feet down the lines, 380 to the alleys and 400 to center. The new wall is 10 feet high, two feet shorter than the original, which is still standing and partially visible from the stands. The retired uniform jerseys along the old left field wall were moved to the same positions on the new wall.

Except for Omori’s double, no other fly ball reached the warning track. Omori does not think the new dimensions will force hitters to think long-ball all the time.

"It’s in the back of people’s minds," he said. "It’s just a matter of getting used to it."

The Rainbows open their season with a three-game series against Sacramento State starting Thursday.


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