Rainbow baseball roster
|Unlike years past, pitching won't make or break UH's season. Still, it remains a key factor. Starting candidates are, from left, William Quaglieri, Chad Giannetti, Gavin Garrick, Matt LeDucq, Jeff Coleman, Chris Quiroz and Sean Yamashita.
Gregory Yamamoto The Honolulu Advertiser
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
In recent years, pitching has been the question mark at the outset of a University of Hawaii baseball season. This season is no different.
But unlike the past, pitching will not have to bear the burden. Not under acting head coach Carl Furutani.
"We need everybody to carry their load," Furutani said. "It will take a real team effort. I feel our guys are working hard at that."
To be sure, the fielders must make the routine plays and the hitters and base runners must execute.
Last year, 19 runners were either picked off base or caught stealing during a pickoff attempt. Opponents were picked off only nine times.
|Longtime UH baseball assistant Carl Furutani takes over for his mentor, Les Murakami, who is recovering from a stroke.
Gregory Yamamoto The Honolulu Advertiser
Also, the Rainbows were successful on 71 percent of their sacrifice attempts (40 of 56), compared to 81 percent (31 of 38) by the opposition.
Offensively, the team will be more versatile, Furutani said.
"We have power, youre going to see us handle the bat in certain situations," he said. "Youre going to see us run."
The outfield wall is closer, but that doesnt necessarily translate to more offense. With a shrunken field, it might be harder to score from first base on hits to the alleys or down the lines. The Rainbows failed to hit a fence-clearing home run last season. They did have two inside-the-park homers, which might be neutralized by the smaller outfield.
The season-opening three-game series against Sacramento State, starting tomorrow, should reveal the effects of the new dimensions.
Then, there are off-the-field matters. With head coach Les Murakami rehabilitating from a Nov. 2 stroke, the season will start without the Father of Rainbow baseball. Murakami announced last May that his 31st season would be his final.
"I dont think that kind of pressure is going to hamper them," Furutani said. "I think theyll go out there, play hard. And yes, they want to do well for Coach Les, but thats not going to make them overplay or make mistakes they shouldnt. Right now, they know that this is Coach Les last year. This is the year they want to go out and do a good job. Well be fine."
Rich Snider, Jamie Aloy and Randon Ho combined for 47 of 56 starts last season, but all have completed their eligibility.
Seven pitchers are out to prove they should be in the rotation. Returnees Gavin Garrick, Chad Giannetti and Sean Yamashita join freshman William Quaglieri and junior college transfers Chris Quiroz, Jeff Coleman and Matt LeDucq as candidates.
Giannetti (0-3, 5.20 ERA) and Garrick (1-1, 4.93) are the "veterans." They made five and three starts, respectively, last year. Yamashita (4-1, 2.93) served as last seasons closer, picking up four of the teams six saves.
Of the newcomers, LeDucq is the only left-hander.
Although only three pitchers can be termed actual starters, Furutani said that does not mean they will be viewed as being ahead of the other four. Furutani will employ inning and pitch count limits early in the season in order to give everyone a chance to prove themselves.
"I wont stretch them more than four innings at the beginning, so youll see a lot of guys getting opportunities," he said.
Bryan Lee (0-0, 3.52) is pegged as the closer. All of his 151/3 innings last season came in relief.
Also, Wakon Childers, a medical redshirt last season after elbow surgery, has been sharp and might get opportunities to close or even start. Childers said his slider is his best pitch, but noticed his fastball has become "live and well."
"Im just happy to be back with the guys," he said.
Left-handers Ryan Yamamoto and Aaron Pribble also pitch in relief.
Hows this for a fun fact: In 30 seasons, the Rainbows never had a player who earned a letter whose last name began with "Q." And now they have two, Quiroz and Quaglieri.
Redshirt freshman Jacob Flick and sophomore Brian Bock will share starting time. Both have shown significant improvement in their defense, as far as game management and blocking pitches. "Their arms are looking real good," Furutani said.
Bock started 28 games last year, but only 16 at catcher. He batted .250 with 12 RBIs.
Backups are Kramer Aoki (18 starts last year) and redshirt freshman Ryan Anderson.
The infield is new up the middle, but the same at the corners.
Returning are third baseman Patrick Scalabrini and first baseman Danny Kimura. They can hit for power, not necessarily home runs, but doubles.
Kimura (.297) led the team in doubles with 11 and tied three others with three triples. He also had a team-high 43 RBIs.
Scalabrini (.289) arrived from Seminole junior college last year with power potential, but ended with a .358 slugging average.
The middle infield is new. Freshman Cortland Wilson gives the Rainbows a true shortstop, but an unproven bat. Gregg Omori, a transfer from University of San Francisco, will share time at second base and designated hitter with Matthew Purtell.
Omori batted third in the alumni game, stroking two doubles and a two-run single.
"Weve always said Gregg is the best pure hitter weve got," Furutani said. "At the beginning when we scrimmaged each other, he struggled a little bit. But he got his eyes back, got his stroke back. Hes swinging the way hes supposed to. Hopefully, hell keep that throughout the year."
Omori was a freshman All-American at San Francisco and followed that by batting .326 as a sophomore before deciding to return home, where he was an Advertiser all-state selection at Iolani in 1997.
Purtell batted .164 last year, but found a way to get on base (nine walks, six hit batsmen) for a decent .338 on-base average. He is pegged in the leadoff spot and is expected to be a threat on the bases (4-of-6 in steals in 19 games last year).
"I like that spot," Purtell said. "I like being the table setter."
Lane Nogawa, who made 20 starts at shortstop, eight at second base and two at third, is a versatile backup.
Pribble, primarily a pitcher, also can play first base and swings a decent bat. He was 8-for-21 in six starts, four as a DH and two as a first baseman. His bat was discovered at Texas Christian in April, when an undisclosed number of players were suspended for one game, forcing Murakami to use Pribble at DH. Pribble responded with two hits.
The outfield is new in left with medical redshirt freshman Chad Boudon and right with true freshman Tim Montgomery. They flank returning part-time starter Derek Honma.
The Rainbows lost the fearlessness of center fielder Nate Jackson, who is expected to have surgery on his fractured left foot. Jackson, a starting safety in football, was 12-of-16 in steals. On defense, he never met an outfield wall he didnt like.
They also are without, for an unspecified length of time, left fielder Scooter Martines. He is recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder, which hampered him throughout last season. Two seasons ago, he led the team with 46 RBIs.
Honma gives the Rainbows a reliable glove and arm. He led all outfielders with five assists and made no errors in 54 total chances.
Boudon played seven games last year before a shoulder injury forced him out. He batted fifth in the alumni game and it is hoped he can provide power hitting.
Other outfielders are Shane Chan and junior-college transfer Arthur Guillen.
25-Sacramento State, 6:35 p.m.
26-Sacramento State, 6:35 p.m.
27-Sacramento State, 1:05 p.m.
1-UCLA, 6:35 p.m.
2-UCLA, 6:35 p.m.
3-UCLA, 12:05 p.m.
9-Louisville, 6:35 p.m.
10-Louisville, 1:05 p.m.
15-*Nevada, 6:35 p.m.
16-*Nevada, 6:35 p.m.
17-*Nevada, 1:05 p.m.
21-at Sacramento State, noon.
24-at *Fresno State, 5 p.m.
25-at *Fresno State, 11 a.m.
26-at *Fresno State, 5 p.m.
8-*Rice, 6:35 p.m.
9-*Rice, 6:35 p.m.
10-*Rice, 1:05 p.m.
17-*Texas Christian, 12:05 p.m.
18-*Texas Christian, 2:05 p.m.
19-*Texas Christian, 6:35 p.m.
23-*San Jose State, 6:35 p.m.
24-*San Jose State, 2:05 p.m.
25-*San Jose State, 2:05 p.m.
Rainbow Easter Baseball Tournament
26-Wichita State vs. UC Santa Barbara, 9 a.m.; Lewis-Clark State vs. Hawaii Pacific, noon; Hawaii Pacific vs. Kita-Kyushu, 3 p.m.; Centenary vs. Hawaii, 6:30 p.m.
27-Wichita State vs. Hawaii Pacific, 9 a.m.; Kita-Kyushu vs. Wichita State, noon; Centenary vs. Lewis-Clark State, 3 p.m.; UC Santa Barbara vs. Hawaii, 6:30 p.m.
28-Kita-Kyushu vs. Centenary, 9 a.m.; Centenary vs. UC Santa Barbara, noon; Lewis-Clark State vs. Hawaii Pacific, 3 p.m.; Wichita State vs. Hawaii, 6:30 p.m.
29-UC Santa Barbara vs. Hawaii Pacific, 9 a.m.; Lewis-Clark State vs. Wichita State, noon; Centenary vs. Hawaii, 3 p.m.; Kita-Kyushu vs. Hawaii, 6:30 p.m..
30-Hawaii Pacific vs. Centenary, 9 a.m.; Wichita State vs. UC Santa Barbara, noon; UC Santa Barbara vs. Kita-Kyushu, 3 p.m.; Lewis-Clark State vs. Hawaii, 6:30 p.m.
31-Centenary vs. Wichita State, 9 a.m.; Kita-Kyushu vs. Lewis-Clark State, noon; Lewis-Clark State vs. UC Santa Barbara, 3 p.m.; Hawaii Pacific vs. Hawaii, 6:30 p.m.
April 1-White Division semifinal #3 seed vs. #2 seed, 9 a.m.; White Division championship, #2/#3 seed winner vs. #1 seed, noon; Green Division consolation, #4 seed vs. #3 seed, 3 p.m.; Green Division championship, #2 seed vs. #1, 6:30 p.m.
7-*Fresno State, 12:05 p.m.
8-*Fresno State, 2:05 p.m.
9-*Fresno State, 6:35 p.m.
14-at *Texas Christian, 8:05 a.m.
15-at *Texas Christian, 8:05 a.m.
16-at *Texas Christian, 10:35 a.m.
19-at *Rice, 2 p.m. 20-at *Rice, 2 p.m.
21-at *Rice, 8 a.m. 27-Oregon State, 6:35 p.m.
28-Oregon State, 6:35 p.m. 29-Oregon State, 2:05 p.m.
3-at *Nevada, 10 a.m.
4-at *Nevada, 9 a.m.
5-at *Nevada, 9 a.m.
11-at *UH-Hilo, 6 p.m.
12-at *UH-Hilo, 1 p.m.
13-vs. *UH-Hilo at Kailua-Kona, 1 p.m.
17-*UH-Hilo, 6:35 p.m.
18-*UH-Hilo, 6:35 p.m.
19-*UH-Hilo, 2:05 p.m.
25-27-NCAA Regionals, TBA.
1-3-NCAA Super Regionals, TBA.
8-16-College World Series, Omaha, Neb.
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