Rainbows open baseball season with alumni today
BY Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
The 2010 Hawai'i baseball team will make its debut today in the annual Alumni game.
First pitch is 1 p.m. at Les Murakami Stadium.
Alumni who played from as far back as 1975 (Ben Flores) to as recent as last season (Jayson Kramer, Jared Alexander and Vinnie Catricala) are among those expected to participate.
There are two active pros among the Alumni. Besides Catricala, who played for the Seattle Mariner' rookie club at Pulaski (Va.), Jon Hee is coming off his first full pro season from High-A Salem (Va.) in the Boston Red Sox organization.
"I was happy to end the season in High-A," said Hee, who began the year at Low-A Greeenville (S.C.). "It was my first full season. It was a grind, for sure, but you just fight through it."
Hee played in 113 games, 87 at High-A club, where he hit .233 with 15 doubles and three home runs. He said he saw action at first, second and third base, as well as one game in left field.
Hee said he reports to spring training March 12.
Meanwhile, fans get to see the 2010 team.
Among the key returnees are sophomore Kolten Wong, who makes the transition from center field to second base; senior first baseman Kevin Macdonald, who hit 14 home runs last year; junior shortstop Greg Garcia (.265, five triples); junior outfielder Sean Montplaisir (.291); and senior outfielder Matt Roquemore (.281).
Newcomers to watch are freshmen outfielders Breland Almadova and Kalani Brackenridge, and third baseman Pi'ikea Kitamura.
The Alumni game is one precursor to the Feb. 19 season opener against Oregon State. On Monday, the UH Baseball Grand Slam Celebration will be held at the Stan Sheriff Center from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It is a fundraiser for the baseball program.