Extra innings: UH baseball

You will get more of my thoughts on the University of Hawaii baseball team’s just-completed season in Monday’s column in the paper.

Here’s what didn’t make it into the column due to length:

It is telling that the four pitchers who started 10 or more games are the four team leaders in ERA. The bullpen never got it together with any consistency.

The Fire Mike Trapasso crowd (of which I was once a card-carrying member) doesn’t take a couple of things into consideration.

One, while 6-18 and last in the Big West is unacceptable, 22-31 overall is much better than 16-35 last year.

Two, injuries were again a huge problem. This time, a healthy freshman Marcus Doi would’ve made a big difference throughout the lineup, as well as defensively. Losing Lawrence Chew in the bullpen and Jarett Arakawa, Andrew Jones and Quintin Torres-Costa coming back perhaps too quickly from missing most or all of last season made for a shaky overall staff lacking relief depth.

It would’ve been interesting to see if Tyler Young, coming off labrum surgery, could’ve helped UH win more games if the senior catcher had played in more than 11 of them — and not just because of his .417 average in 24 at-bats. Young nailed 29 percent of guys trying to steal, significantly better than all three of UH’s other catchers.

Catcher is an extremely important position at all levels of baseball. And even in college ball where coaches call the pitches, the catcher sets the tone for the entire defense, especially the man on the mound. This is especially true in the current small-ball era. Catcher by committee is far from ideal, especially when receiving and throwing skills are inadequate.

It was a downer of a season for everyone, including the head coach.

“Nobody is more disappointed about this season than I am,” Trapasso said. “We have to get better. And I believe we will.”


  1. Sickman Fraud May 25, 2014 6:25 pm

    Every losing program have their excuses or reasons. How many years of excuses and reasons does the BaseBows program have to endure before the university rid itself of mediocrity. I would love to see Coach Trap succeed but I just don’t see it.

  2. jalansky May 25, 2014 9:57 pm

    Besides his hitting, one of the things I was looking forward to watching this season was Marcus Doi running the bases. I thought he was exceptional in that respect in high school. Correct me if I’m wrong, but for a catcher, Tyler Young was also a great base runner. In small ball, speed on the base paths is a major asset, not only in terms of winning games but of bringing excitement to the way it’s played. I don’t hear excuses from Coach Trapasso, just telling it like it is. And I agree with him: we have to get better and we will get better.

  3. Mark Kazuo Bradley May 25, 2014 11:31 pm

    I agree that the past two seasons have been very disappointing, and that perhaps the time has come for a change. Given that UH should be more competative, and that Coach Trapasso has had previously successful seasons, the recent past is even more disappointing.
    Recruiting has always posed unique challenges for all UH sports, and pitching has proven to be a unique challenge as well, going back to Coach Les Murakami’s tenure. Yet, the empty seats do tell the story-financially, all UH sports need to fill as many seats consistently, otherwise, the red ink will overflow.
    Coach Trapasso is a good man, and has done much for the UH sports program. Unfortunately, sometimes being a good person just isn’t good enough. And, this is one of those unfortunate times.

  4. jeezy33 May 25, 2014 11:42 pm

    8 of 22 wins are against new york tech and wagner.
    Injuries happen everywhere. You still have to recruit better all around for depth … not just hit on less than handful of recruits per class. The team has 0 identity. Doesn’t execute bunts, hit and runs, squeeze, steals like other teams in conference. Holding runners are a part of the game and hawaii clearly doesn’t practice it.

  5. Dave Reardon May 26, 2014 12:13 am

    They didn’t play Wagner this year. And five of the six recruits who were drafted went pro. Yes, they should’ve had better “Plan B” recruits in the wings, but easier said than done.

  6. dabowman May 26, 2014 7:25 am

    #5, Dave I agree with you but you are responding to the “know it all” poster.

  7. islandman May 26, 2014 7:49 am

    No. 4 meant Albany, when i glanced at the schedule. UH started off okay vs. UCSB, but then got killed at home, six straight.

  8. Annoddah Dave May 26, 2014 8:37 am

    DR: Baseball is the only team sport where defense (including pitching) cannot score points. UH had some decent pitching, except for bull pen which was spotty at best. Offensively, it was a struggle…maybe a better hitting coach is part of the answer.

  9. Guy Ogawa May 26, 2014 8:40 am

    Aloha Dave,

    I don’t disagree or agree with it. I’ve, for the most part, stopped following a program I fell in love with at the age of 14. The past era teams, found ways to win despite injuries, mediocrity, strong opposition, etc. I’ve seen that in the teams of the last 13 seasons but not as consistently. However, ask anyone who had played the sport and they’ll tell you that luck comes into play! Baseball players are very superstitious. Sometimes no matter how good a player/team is, maybe it/they just aren’t lucky enough! I can give you many examples but the easiest is myself! If anyone knows me, knew what kind of player I was in high school, how else did I survive my 4 years at UH.

    Many people are calling for Trap’s removal! If the AD wants to give him an extension that’s their right but mediocrity will only work so much! UH fans support the players, come out to see really the “only game in town”, but losing is like a sickness and too many years of that makes a hard sell for recruiting, attendance and community support! Maybe really change the nickname fully back! “LET’S GO BOWS!

    Just wanted to voice a different side.

  10. Derek May 26, 2014 9:07 am

    Personally, it’s time for a change. Forget his overall record. Last year, 0-16 to start the season. This year, last place in the conference. On top of that I hear the stories about my friends and UH season ticket holders also complaining about the coaching and the coach. One example, a former UH baseball player’s son who is local wanted to play for UH out of junior college. By all accounts, the player is a good player and wanted to come home to play for the home team. The coach said no. The player was recruited by other major teams and eventually signed with Arkansas who is a fixture at NCAA regionals. Wouldn’t you want to invite Hawaii players to play for the home team, if they can help the team? Wouldn’t that help fan attendance? I for one, stop going to UH baseball games. It’s too frustrating, can’t execute, can’t hit, etc. etc. etc. I still watch on the tube, however. And another thing, the record this season is very deceiving, it should have been worse. New York Tech and Albany count for 8 of the wins. Those 2 teams must be one of worst teams in college. Hawaii baseball fans deserve a better product. Most importantly, what does Les Murakami think?

  11. jeezy33 May 26, 2014 10:15 am

    5. Ok Dave, you get my point… Albany, Wagner, same crap…. 1 class doesn’t define your team… 3 classes together does. So what about the prior year and the year before?
    And through the draft, how many of those guys were going to help the bullpen? 0. Blake Taylor was a projected top 2 rounder from day 1 so you can line up all these reasons you want but signing him or a Kodi Medeiros is a 1000-1 chance to get them in school anyway.

    2012: starters- aliviado, ventimilia, squier.
    Podratz is an okay back up catcher. No defense, no speed. Chew is a solid situational reliever. Everyone else didn’t pan out.

    2013- Starters – Marc Flores, Matt Cooper, Scott Kuzminsky, Adam Hurley, Austin Wobrock
    QTC has been plagued by injuries but still hasn’t proven much at D1 yet. Wobrock a solid defensive guy but can’t hit.

    When you’re cutting 3 FR after 1 season, there is an obvious flaw in your recruiting..

  12. jeezy33 May 26, 2014 10:51 am

    For a blog that is praising the UH starting pitching, how can you leave out the fact that Hawaii will basically be starting over considering Cooper, Squier, Kuzminsky are gone. So not only will Hawaii struggle hitting next year losing Flores and Hurley, the pitching will lose their top 3 pitchers from this past season and expect some newcomers to come in and duplicate it…. The future actually looks worse when you look at the big picture.

  13. islandman May 26, 2014 11:03 am

    Hope Gleese can keep up the good pitching he showed in the last two games.

  14. Lowtone123 May 27, 2014 10:33 am

    Can’t blame injuries on not winning. Every program has to deal with them. Maybe they had more than their share of them but at the end of the day it’s just excuses. Fact is, injuries only show your depth (or lack of it , in this case) and that goes back to recruiting and that is on the coach. The bullpen was horrible and the offense lacked timely hitting. Maybe Trap doesn’t deserve to go but he needs to turn it around…soon.

  15. Manoa Mist May 27, 2014 12:36 pm

    I ain’t pro or anti-Trap but Benji the AD been making some odd comments regarding baseball. He says UH needs better facilities and video recording equipment. UH has better facilities than most Big West schools – my point being that maybe Benji the AD doesn’t know sports at all. Maybe he just a bean counter.
    As for Trap, he did get UH into the NCAAs a couple years in a row not too long back. But I also think you shouldn’t get a three-year contract as a reward after two consecutive last place conference finishes.

  16. islandman May 27, 2014 10:02 pm

    No. 15,

    From UH website : ” Between degrees, he served as general manager for the Redwood Pioneers, a minor league baseball team affiliated with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and then was director of operations for the Cleveland Indians. After receiving his master’s degree, Jay became the assistant athletics director at Fairfield before moving on to the Pac-10. ”

    Also, Scott Robbs commented that the Big West schools can get more recruits from California easier than UH through lower in-state tuition and less stringent entrance requirements.

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