Hawaii baseball: Rainbow Warriors tuned up for trip to Vanderbilt

Aaron Davenport greeted his teammates at the dugout after his start against Washington State last Friday. / Photo by Andrew Lee, Special to the Star-Advertiser

If the opportunity to play the defending national champion wasn’t enough, the Hawaii baseball team gets to spend some time in the country music capital of the world.

UH (7-3) opens a three-game series at No. 2 Vanderbilt (8-2) on Friday. The Commodores’ Hawkins Field is located in Nashville, Tenn., making this one of the longest road trips in program history, and a rare opportunity for Mike Trapasso’s team.

It is the first time since 2004 UH is facing the defending national champ. That year, they faced 2003 champ Rice in the WAC.

Vanderbilt boasts preseason All-American Kumar Rocker, a top MLB prospect who threw a no-hitter in the Commodores’ super regional appearance last year.

The games will be broadcast on SEC+ and on ESPN Honolulu. Specific game times can be seen in the UH schedule below.

Our Stephen Tsai caught up with some of the Rainbow Warriors before they boarded the team bus for their flight out on Tuesday night, and gauged some of their interest in playing a top team — and their interest in country music.

Third baseman Dustin Demeter:
“We’re just super excited. It’s a fun city, is what I hear. Good place to be, good food, good people. We’re super excited. Can’t wait to play baseball over there.”

First baseman Alex Baeza:
“I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah, so we listen to a lot of country music back home. So excited to get out there to expand my horizons a little bit and listen to more country music.”

Starting pitcher Logan Pouelsen:
“It’ll really show how good we are. Get a nice mind-set coming out of this weekend. … Getting on the road is always the best, you know, getting away. It kind of mixes the mojo up a little bit.”

Starting pitcher Aaron Davenport:
“It’s going to be a pretty awesome atmosphere. I don’t know if they’re gonna be as good as our Rainbow Warrior fans, but it should be pretty close.”

Record: 11-6 overall, 0-0 Big West

2/7/2020Hawaii HiloLMSW, 5-4
2/8/2020Hawaii HiloLMSW, 6-4
2/14/2020North Dakota StateLMSL, 1-3
2/15/2020North Dakota StateLMSW, 10-2
2/16/2020North Dakota StateLMSW, 11-3
2/17/2020North Dakota StateLMSW, 8-0
2/20/2020Washington StateLMSL, 2-6
2/21/2020Washington StateLMSW, 4-2
2/22/2020Washington StateLMSW, 4-3
2/23/2020Washington StateLMSL, 5-6
2/28/2020at VanderbiltNashville, Tenn.L, 1-5
2/29/2020at VanderbiltNashville, Tenn.W, 3-1
3/1/2020at VanderbiltNashville, Tenn.L, 5-7, 11 inn.
3/5/2020OregonLMSW, 6-4
3/6/2020OregonLMSW, 13-5
3/7/2020OregonLMSW, 7-6
3/8/2020OregonLMSL, 2-13
3/13/2020Chicago StateLMS6:35 p.m.
3/14/2020Chicago State (DH)LMS1:05 p.m.
3/15/2020Chicago StateLMS1:05 p.m.
3/18/2020TowsonLMS6:35 p.m.
3/19/2020TowsonLMS6:35 p.m.
3/20/2020TowsonLMS6:35 p.m.
3/21/2020TowsonLMS6:35 p.m.
3/25/2020at San FranciscoSan Francisco2 p.m.
3/27/2020at UC Santa Barbara*Santa Barbara, Calif.5:30 p.m.
3/28/2020at UC Santa Barbara*Santa Barbara, Calif.4 p.m.
3/29/2020at UC Santa Barbara*Santa Barbara, Calif.1 p.m.
4/3/2020Cal State Northridge*LMS6:35 p.m.
4/4/2020Cal State Northridge*LMS6:35 p.m.
4/5/2020Cal State Northridge*LMS1:05 p.m.
4/9/2020Cal Poly*LMS6:35 p.m.
4/10/2020Cal Poly*LMS6:35 p.m.
4/11/2020Cal Poly*LMS6:35 p.m.
4/15/2020at Cal State BakersfieldBakersfield, Calif.6 p.m.
4/17/2020at Cal State Fullerton*Fullerton, Calif.TBA
4/18/2020at Cal State Fullerton*Fullerton, Calif.TBA
4/19/2020at Cal State Fullerton*Fullerton, Calif.TBA
4/21/2020at PepperdineMalibu, Calif.3 p.m.
4/24/2020at UC Irvine*Irvine, Calif.6 p.m.
4/25/2020at UC Irvine*Irvine, Calif.6 p.m.
4/26/2020at UC Irvine*Irvine, Calif.1 p.m.
5/8/2020UC Riverside*LMS6:35 p.m.
5/9/2020UC Riverside*LMS6:35 p.m.
5/10/2020UC Riverside*LMS1:05 p.m.
5/12/2020at NevadaReno, Nev.6 p.m.
5/15/2020at UC Davis*Davis. Calif.TBA
5/16/2020at UC Davis*Davis. Calif.TBA
5/17/2020at UC Davis*Davis. Calif.TBA
5/21/2020Long Beach State*LMS6:35 p.m.
5/22/2020Long Beach State*LMS6:35 p.m.
5/23/2020Long Beach State*LMS6:35 p.m.
Home games played at Les Murakami Stadium
All times Hawaii time; schedule subject to change
*—Big West Conference game


  1. Patti February 26, 2020 6:36 pm

    Good Luck ‘Bows! Enjoy the experience and Nashville. Stay warm.

  2. Matt February 26, 2020 9:43 pm

    What’s funny about this is that Hawaii hasn’t probably faced Vanderbilt in over 20+ years. Last time Hawaii faced Vandy was in 1981.

    Oh jeez…now when you look at it, make that almost 40 years since Hawaii and Vandy faced off. Hawaii does lead the series 18-2, but probably wouldn’t take it for granted. Not sure how they will fare well against Vandy in this generation. Keep in mind, they are last year’s reigning college baseball champions, and I’m sure that this is something they should mindfully respect when facing them.

    Come to think of it, last time Hawaii won against an SEC team was against a then No. 13 LSU in Baton Rouge, winning game 1, 4-2 on March 9, 2018. As for winning a series, that’s a different story. Last time that happened was against a then No. 26 Mississippi State in 2009, 3-1 in the series after dropping the opener on March 5, but eventually winning the remaining 3 days following that.

    But yeah, is this the time UH can break the series losing streak against Power 5 foes? I think it’s possible, but they have to play with poise and with confidence. Last time Hawaii won a series against a Power 5 opponent was against Pac-12 Oregon in 2010, winning the series 3-1 at that time on Feb. 25 – 28 in which did drop game 2 of the DH. Let’s see what happens in this series and hope for the best.

  3. H-Man February 28, 2020 10:01 pm

    Well, Hawaii got tuned up by Vandy 5-1. Wahine lost to Oregon St tonight by same score.

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