Hawaii baseball: Can UH ride ‘Bowmentum’ up the standings?

Hawaii infielder Maaki Yamazaki slid into second base against Cal State Fullerton in the opener of last week's series. / Photo by Jamm Aquino, Star-Advertiser

The power of “Bowmentum” cannot be underestimated, according to those who hang about the Hawaii clubhouse.

The Rainbow Warriors (16-20, 6-6 Big West), who are coming off a rousing 2-1 series win over always problematic Cal State Fullerton, reside in fourth place in the nine-team conference at the midpoint of the league schedule.

Could the season’s signature moment to this point — Logan Pouelsen’s walk-off home run in Game 2 of that series — be an inflection point to success?

“That’s all we can talk about in the locker room, ‘Bowmentum,’ riding all that,” first baseman Alex Baeza said on Tuesday, ahead of today’s nonconference matchup at San Diego to open an eight-game road trip. “Good energy, good flow from this weekend, and taking the right steps forward toward next weekend.”

UH is certainly better off than some of its conference brethren in a sport that does not feature a conference tournament — the regular-season champ is awarded the league’s NCAA tournament berth in baseball. But the ‘Bows have a lot of work to do to be that team, as UC Santa Barbara (8-1), Cal Poly (10-2), and UC Irvine (8-4) stand in their way.

UCSB and Cal Poly remain on the schedule, including the Mustangs to complete the two-week trip (six conference games) that UH just embarked on.

Tenth-ranked UCSB, which comes in for the final home series May 17-19, has been particularly impressive, going 31-5 overall, while Cal Poly (19-18 overall) has put it together for conference play. UH already faced Irvine at home, going 1-2. Updated: May 19

ConferenceOverall
W-LPct.W-LPct.
UC Santa Barbara18-3.85744-7.863
UC Irvine15-6.71434-16.680
Cal Poly15-6.71426-27.491
Cal State Fullerton11-10.52425-25.500
Hawaii8-13.38120-27.426
Cal State Northridge8-13.38122-30.423
UC Davis9-15.37519-29.396
UC Riverside7-14.33318-34.346
Long Beach State5-16.23811-41.212

If UH won each series 2-1 the rest of the way, the ‘Bows would be 14-10 in conference. That pretty clearly won’t get it done; Mike Trapasso’s group will have to pull off some sweeps, especially against the teams ahead of them.

Optimism remains in the form of one word — “Bowmentum.”

It’s hard to dispute its magic in the face of this:


It was just Pouelsen’s second homer of the season, and first since Feb. 23 against Iowa. He came into the game batting .214.

Impressively, “Bowmentum” has gone multi-lingual.

Today’s contest at USD (3 p.m. HST) is followed by this weekend’s series at Cal State Northridge (noon Friday, 10 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday).

COMMENTS

  1. cappie the dog April 24, 2019 9:28 pm

    San Diego had a RPI of 69.

    Men’s volleyball gets the headlines. This was a pretty impressive win. I wish this game was played on Tuesday instead of Wednesday. Isn’t Tuesday normally the day Hawaii plays these stand-alone games?

    Interesting team.


  2. cappie the dog April 24, 2019 9:31 pm

    Kirby Yates is arguably the best pitcher in MLB.


  3. cappie the dog April 26, 2019 7:20 pm

    One down.

    Is Thomas available?

    Pitched on Wednesday.


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