Short series good for 'Bows
BY Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
There will be something missing when the Hawai'i baseball team returns to action tonight at Les Murakami Stadium: one game.
The Rainbows (14-11) will take on Gonzaga (10-13) in a three-game series.
That's right, three games.
"That will be kind of nice, not having to play four games," UH coach Mike Trapasso said.
Before UH left for its first road trip last week, its first five series of the season were four-game sets. It's somewhat of a break for the Rainbows, who have been without starting pitcher Nate Klein the last two series. Zach Gallagher has filled the void admirably. He will return to the bullpen for this series.
The Rainbows will go with their three regular starting pitchers, except for a change in order from last week.
Josh Slaats will pitch the series opener tonight. He has been the most consistent starter at 2-1 with a 1.29 earned run average. He has 31 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Matt Sisto, who pitched and won the third game of the Cal State Fullerton series, will start tomorrow night's second game.
Sam Spangler will be moved to Sunday's afternoon start.
"Sisto's history is he's a little more effective at night and Sam's actually been effective in the day time," Trapasso said.
Aside from the strategic advantage, Trapasso also would like build depth in the bullpen. With Klein still likely out of next week's Western Athletic Conference season opener against Fresno State, Gallagher will return to the rotation, leaving the pen with one less reliable arm. So Trapasso would like freshman Trent Allianic to get some innings.
"He's throwing well and making some adjustments," Trapasso said. "He just needs innings. He's the next guy in line to get going to fill that role, the bridge guy (to the closer)."
Connor Little also is making adjustments, but Trapasso said he won't use the two just for the sake of it.
"It just depends on what the situation is," Trapasso said. "With the three-game series, we'll have a little more depth that will allow (Alex) Capaul to be the first guy out."
Having pitched Monday, Gallagher will probably not be available until tomorrow, Trapasso said.
The Bulldogs, the defending West Coast Conference champions, come in averaging 7.3 runs per game and .294 team batting average.
"I'd love three complete games out of our starters, but looking at our scouting reports that we got on Gonzaga, that's not likely," Trapasso said. "They're a very good offensive club. It will be a good test for our pitching."
Outfielder Mark Castellitto is batting .364 and leads the team with eight home runs and is tied for the team lead with 26 RBIs. He was named National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association national player of the week on Monday.