It’s been five years, but it still feels strange that Hawaii, outside of football, is not in the same conference as Fresno State, Nevada or San Jose State. It also doesn’t seem right that UH has less equity than those other schools in the Mountain West because of its football-only affiliation.
It would be interesting if UH’s men’s teams competed in the Mountain West while the women remain in the Big West (sort of how it was done a long time ago with the WAC-Big West arrangement).
For now, we can only imagine that possibility when UH plays Nevada in a four-game baseball series beginning tonight at Les Murakami Stadium. The ‘Bows swept San Jose State last week.
Here’s what to watch:
> Pair of aces: Brendan Hornung and Dominic DeMiero have sub-2.00 ERAs. Hornung has walked only three in 46 2/3 innings while averaging 9.91 strikeouts per nine innings.
> I am third: The past five weeks, the ‘Bows have used a four-pitcher starting rotation. Next week, Big West play opens with three-games series. Neil Uskali and Jackson Rees are competing for the third spot. Final auditions are this weekend: Rees is scheduled to pitch on Saturday, Uskali on Sunday. This will be Rees’ first evening start. The ‘Bows are 5-0 in Rees’ five Sunday-afternoon starts, averaging 8.0 runs of support.
> Gold-glove value: One of the best offseason moves was Josh Rojas’ switch from second to third. “In 23 games, you can see the runs he’s saved us with his defense have made him a pretty valuable player for us,” coach Mike Trapasso said. “The kid is hitting .300, so he’s getting more than his share of hits. But even in games when he might not get a hit, he’s invariably making one or two spectacular plays. If a guy is in scoring position, those plays are saving runs.”
> Odds are even: Trapasso can’t remember, this late in a season, an even ratio of walks/hits batsmen and strikeouts. But the ‘Bows have drawn 99 walks and been beaned 25 times while striking out 124 times. What’s more impressive: striking out once every 6.2 at bats or being hit by a pitch 1.1 times per game? In 53 games last year, the ‘Bows struck out once ever 4.9 at bats and were beaned 28 times.