The timing couldn’t have been any better.
Freshman Jonathan Weeks had started 10 games early in the season for Hawaii at three different positions. He filled in at second base for injured starter Stephen Ventimilia and in left field for Marcus Doi, who was out with a groin injury. He also started the two games Jacob Sheldon-Collins missed at shortstop.
Weeks had gotten noticed in the fall with his bat and Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso tried to find a spot for him in the lineup. He was thought highly enough of that he was called on to pinch-hit in the first series of the weekend against Oregon in the ninth inning with the tying run on third trailing by a run.
Weeks had moderate success, posting consecutive multihit games against Hofstra. He also went 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs and two RBIs in a game against Oklahoma.
Once Ventimilia and Doi returned healthy, Weeks headed for the bench, where he has spent nearly all of the Big West season.
With third baseman JJ Kitaoka struggling (errors in four consecutive games, .186 BA in conference play), Weeks was called on Friday night to make his first start at third since Feb. 21. Making it even more meaningful was it came at Blair Field against Long Beach State. Just a year ago, Weeks was playing for Millikan High in Long Beach, Calif.
He came up big against his former team with RBI singles in both the seventh and eighth inning as Hawaii came from behind to beat the Dirtbags 7-4. It was the first time in 24 games that UH won a game when trailing after the seventh inning and Weeks was a big reason why.
“The thing that impressed me the most on his two hits is he let the ball get deep and served it into right field,” Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. “Two line drives into right field which is just what you’re looking for. That’s the only way you’re able to hit the guys he got the hits of off.”
Weeks’ first hit knocked LBSU starter Kyle Friedrichs out of the game after 6 1/3 innings. In the eighth inning, his single off Ty Provencher with two outs scored an insurance run to put Hawaii ahead 6-4.
It was Weeks’s second two-RBI game of the season.
“I thought it was a big lift for him to get two hits that both scored runs for us and he made a couple of nice plays at third base,” Trapasso said. “I was happy for him because he’s from Long Beach. He’s a hometown boy. He had a lot of family and friends at that game.”
They should stick around for the rest of the weekend as Weeks should see more playing time at third. If he continues to produce the way he did on Friday night, those family and friends might want to start planning a road trip to Riverside for next weekend’s series as well.