Rainbows take on Titans today
By Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Hawai'i resumes its Southern California road trip at perennial power Cal State Fullerton in a three-game series beginning today.
First pitch today is 4 p.m. Hawai'i time and the game can be heard on ESPN 1420 AM.
The Rainbows (12-9) are on a five-game winning streak, while the Titans (10-10), favorites to win the Big West Conference, are coming off a Tuesday loss to Loyola Marymount after sweeping a three-game series at Washington.
By Boyd's World Ratings Percentage Index, the teams are nearly even with UH at 30 and CSUF at 31. But the Titans' strength of schedule is No. 1, while the Rainbows' dropped to No. 26 after they swept four from Air Force. The Titans opened the season ranked fourth by Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America.
CSUF's Goodwin Field is no band box like some of the Western Athletic Conference's parks.
"In general terms, it's a bigger park, similar to our stadium and similar to Blair Field," UH coach Mike Trapasso said.
The Rainbows open the series with right-hander Josh Slaats (2-0, 0.40 earned run average), a two-time WAC Pitcher of the Week. Left-hander Sam Spangler (2-3, 3.67) will start tomorrow and right-hander Matt Sisto (2-3, 6.33) is slated for Sunday.
The Titans will counter with all right-handers in Noe Ramirez (3-1. 3.75) today, Daniel Renken (2-2, 4.81) tomorrow and Tyler Pill (1-3. 3.96) on Sunday.
The Titans have one of the better players in the country in junior shortstop Christian Colon, a U.S. National teammate of UH's Kolten Wong last summer. Colon (.284) leads the team with five home runs. Outfielder Gary Brown (.457) and first baseman Nick Ramirez (.277) are tied for the team lead with 16 RBIs.
Nick Ramirez also is the team's closer with three saves.