Hawaii baseball has never been picked especially high in the Big West. It’s also true that Mike Trapasso’s teams have outperformed their perceived status the last several years.
The Rainbow Warriors were picked to finish sixth in the 2019 coaches poll announced Wednesday.
It might not sound like much, but that matches the highest league prediction in UH’s seven years of Big West baseball. It’s the third time UH was picked there, along with its first two seasons in the league, 2013 and 2014.
In six previous years of play, UH exceeded its preseason Big West prediction four times — the last four years. It fell below expectations the first two years. It has never finished right where it was predicted.
The Big West has been a nine-team league since the Rainbow Warriors joined, with the exception of the first season, when it was 10; Pacific played out its final year then left for the West Coast Conference.
UH’s best finishes to date came in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, when it was fifth and in a tie for fourth, respectively, with 12-12 records both years.
Here’s UH’s year-by-year preseason prediction since joining the Big West, followed by their league record that season and actual placement.
2019: Sixth / ??
2018: Seventh / 11-13, Sixth
2017: Eighth / 10-14, T-Fifth
2016: Seventh / 12-12, T-Fourth
2015: Seventh / 12-12, Fifth
2014: Sixth / 6-18, T-Eighth
2013: Sixth / 11-16, Seventh
The Rainbows open up nonconference play on Feb. 15 against Portland at Les Murakami Stadium.