Trapasso 'proud' despite 2-3 week
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Nationally ranked Hawai'i might have lost 3 of 5 and finished third in its four-team First Hawai'i Title Rainbow Tournament, but coach Mike Trapasso couldn't have been more proud of his players' performance.
The Rainbows (13-6), ranked 24th by Collegiate Baseball before this week's rankings were released today, ended the tournament with an 8-7 loss in extra innings to Washington (12-4) in the last game of the tournament late Saturday night at Les Murakami Stadium under rainy and blustery conditions. The Huskies finished 3-2 for second place; they lost a chance at the tourney championship when they dropped an earlier game Saturday to UH, 10-8, giving No. 11 Arkansas (13-1) the tourney title at 4-1.
"I was really proud of our guys," Trapasso said. "There's a lot of adversity with the weather (during the tournament). The only disappointment for me was the UT Arlington game (a 15-9 loss). We stunk up the joint in that game. While you're not happy about going 2-3 on the week, if we continue to play with that kind of character and toughness, we won't go 2-3 most weeks, I hope."
In Saturday's 8-7 loss, the Rainbows rallied from a first-inning, 6-0 deficit, tying the game at 7 in the bottom of the seventh of the scheduled seven-inning game. Adam Roberts' pinch-hit, two-run single tied the game at 7, but Elliott Cribby (2-1) retired eight of the last nine batters he faced to stop UH.
A run-scoring triple by pinch hitter Bradley Boyer in the top of the ninth won it for the Huskies.
UH put itself in the hole by committing a season-high six errors, half of which accounted for six unearned runs. Two two-base throwing errors by freshman shortstop Nathan Young aided UW's six-run first inning against UH starter Mark Rodrigues in which five of the runs were unearned. Young also made a third error that led to another unearned run. But to Trapasso, they were forgivable errors.
"The physical errors, you can't get upset with the conditions the way they were," Trapasso said. "Both teams were throwing balls all over the place." (UW had three errors.)
A pleasant surprise was the 3 2/3 innings of hitless relief by Keahi Rawlins (0-1), like Rodrigues, also recovering from elbow surgery.
"Keahi's outing was nothing short of phenomenal when you look at what he's been through the last couple years," Trapasso said. "He hasn't thrown more than one or two innings in our practices all year. Here he comes and gets into the fourth (inning of work) and does a great job."
Hawai'i's doubleheader with Washington was necessitated by Friday's rainout. The rain also contributed to treacherous field conditions.
Trapasso said he was impressed with stadium manager Glenn Nakaya and 12 student grounds crew members for prepping the field for each game.
"The real MVP of this tournament is Glenn Nakaya," Trapasso said. "For us to be able to get all of the games in this weather is amazing."
The Rainbows will play a five-game series, which includes a scheduled doubleheader, starting Friday against Western Illinois.
Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at firstname.lastname@example.org.