Hawaii third baseman Alex Sawelson was lifted for a pinch runner in the eighth inning of Friday’s 2-1 win over Baylor in the Houston College Classic.
After the game, coach Mike Trapasso said it wasn’t a situational move to put a faster runner on base in the late innings. Sawelson was struggling with a hip flexor that started to nag him worse and worse as the game wore on.
“I’m a little concerned,” Trapasso said. “We’ll see how it feels (Saturday).”
Sawelson went 3-for-4 and drove in both of Hawaii’s runs with two-out hits. Through 11 games, Sawelson has been a streaky hitter at the plate. He started the season 0-for-7 before a 6-for-8 stretch in the final two games of the Oregon series. He had only one hit in his next 24 at-bats but now has four hits in his last five ABs. For the season, he’s hitting .250 (11-for-44) with a double and six RBIs.
UH is already without outfielder Marcus Doi, who has missed the last 10 games with a sports hernia, and second baseman Stephen Ventimilia, who has missed six games total and the last four with a knee injury. The hope is both are back by the start of conference play.
In other news, freshman right-hander Ben Mora has withdrawn from school and is no longer with the team because of a personal matter. Mora appeared in one game against Hofstra and allowed four hits and two runs in 2/3 innings. Trapasso was high on Mora entering the season and hopes he will be back next season.
“We love Ben and would love to bring him back (next year),” Trapasso said. “Right now the most important thing is for him to be with his family.”