Rainbows won't take Hornets lightly
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
The Sacramento State baseball team was picked to finish ninth in the nine-team Big West Conference, but don't expect the Hawai'i Rainbows to enter the weekend series overconfident.
WHO: Sacramento State (0-0) vs. Hawai'i (1-3)
WHEN: 6:35 p.m. tomorrow, 6:35 p.m. Saturday, 1:05 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Les Murakami Stadium
TV: Only Sunday's game will be televised live on K-5
RADIO: All games will be broadcast live on KCCN 1420 AM.
"I've had all kinds of nice responses from people," UH coach Mike Trapasso said. "But from our standpoint, we can't be happy at 1-3. There are no moral victories. All that matters at the end of the day are real victories. That's what we have to strive for."
Trapasso said the Rainbows need to play with the same passion this week as they did against the Seminoles. But the Rainbows must get their offense going early and their starting pitchers lasting a little longer.
Opening day starter Bryan Lee, who will pitch tomorrow's opener against the Hornets, allowed two runs in eight innings against Florida State. But the other starters freshmen Ricky Bauer and Jason Piepmeier, and senior Ryan Yamamoto could not get past the third inning.
Only the right-handed Bauer, who lasted 2á innings against Florida State, will remain in this weekend's rotation. He will start Sunday's finale.
Meanwhile, senior left-hander Aaron Pribble (1-0), who was credited with UH's win with a scoreless inning of relief, will start Saturday. Pribble had the second longest outing of any other UH pitcher against Florida State. He pitched 7¡ innings of relief, striking out eight and walking none, after replacing Piepmeier on Sunday. Piepmeier lasted one-third of an inning.
The Rainbows have other issues to settle, especially on offense. Florida State's starting pitching had a lot to do with containing the UH offense until late in the game. Leadoff hitter Arthur Guillen must keep the ball on the ground because speed is his asset. The middle of the order needs to break out. First baseman Gregg Omori is 1-for-17 and designated hitter Scooter Martines 2-for-11. The Seminoles did not offer them anything good to hit, but it's not likely the Hornets pitchers will be as effective.
Catcher Brian Bock (.333), third baseman Brent Cook (.312) and second baseman Lane Nogawa (.308) are off to strong starts.
Defensively, Trapasso is pleased that the Rainbows are making plays and committed only two errors in the four games.
Tentative starting pitchers for the Hornets are right-handers Kevin Marzion tomorrow, Marshall Plouffe Saturday and Chris Kinsey Sunday.
Among the returning starters for the Hornets are shortstop Bobby Ciani (.323), catcher Joe Evans (.284) and outfielder Mario Celillo (.293).
Notes: An exhibition game against Matsusaka of Japan scheduled for March 12 has been canceled, UH announced yesterday.
Oral exam: Hawai'i-Hilo (1-14-1) will try to snap a four-game losing streak against yet another formidable opponent in Oral Roberts (1-2), a preseason favorite to win its fifth consecutive Mid-Continent Conference title.
Tomorrow's series opener starts at 6 p.m. with a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday starting at 1 p.m. and a single game at noon Sunday. All games are scheduled to be played at Wong Stadium.
Last week, the Vulcans won their first game of the season against the San Diego State Aztecs (5-1), who are picked to finish either first or second in the Mountain West Conference.
Kaliko Oligo leads Hilo with a .320 batting average and Nalei Sooto has four home runs and seven RBIs with a .255 batting average.