HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i baseball team (25-20, 9-9 BWC) will host its final home series of the year this weekend at Les Murakami Stadium, welcoming Long Beach State (24-27, 9-9 BWC) to town for Senior Weekend. The three-game Big West series runs Friday-Sunday, May 18-20.
As the ‘Bows close out the final homestand, on Sunday UH will bid aloha to 12 graduating seniors in their final contest at Murakami Stadium, while also producing a graduation ceremony for those who missed Commencement last week due to the road series at Fresno State.
The Rainbow Warriors are coming off a series win at Fresno State (2-1), bringing out the bats in both wins, including nine huge extra base hits. The ‘Bows are hitting .270 on the year with an average of 8.8 hits and 4.4 runs per game.
Shortstop Maaki Yamazaki’s batting surge over the past two months has been phenomenal. The Tokyo, Japan junior hasn’t dipped below .300 in the last 13 games and leads the team in three areas with a .323 average, 54 hits and 30 runs scored. He’s also registered multi-hit games in the last 7-of-13 outings.
Although he ran into a challenging series in Fresno, catcher Kekai Rios remains a crucial offensive component for the ‘Bows, batting .305 with 20 runs and 15 RBI. Adam Fogel is hitting .289 and leads the team in RBI (32), doubles (16) and home runs (6), while also scoring 25 times.
Injuries have hampered the ‘Bows pitching in the second half of the season, but UH’s 4.28 ERA remains in the upper tier of the NCAA (94th) and Hawai’i ranks 24th nationally in walks per game (3.11). Right-handerJackson Rees will lead off the rotation, as always, and holds a 3.59 ERA and 4-2 record, striking out a team-high 53 batters. Closing up games this weekend, Dylan Thomas remains one of the best closers in the country, holding a staff-leading 1.30 ERA, 3-1 record and the NCAA’s fourth most saves (13).
One year removed from the Big West crown and a Super Regional appearance, the Dirtbags had a rocky start to the year against some very tough opposition, but have won six of their last seven, including two Big West series. Hitting just .248 as a team, utility center fielder Clayton Andrews is a proven leader with 11 extra base hits, 26 RBI and 29 runs. Second baseman Jarren Duran leads the team with 59 hits and 37 runs, batting in 16.
Pitching is always a strength for the Dirtbags and the crowd at Murakami Stadium can expect to see that on display this weekend. LBSU ranks third in the BWC with a 3.82 ERA, also led by Andrews with a southpaw 2.37 ERA and team-high 100 strikeouts. Left-hander Zak Baayoun ties for the BWC victory lead with an 8-2 record and 3.54 ERA, adding 79 strikeouts. LBSU allows an average of 8.5 hits and 4.5 runs, while typically scoring 4.3 of their own.
One of the more surprisingly limited series in UH history, LBSU leads 15-7 since the first meeting in 1979. The ‘Bows and Dirtbags met only seven times before UH joined the Big West in 2013. The ‘Bows lost all three on the road last year, and are 2-7 at home vs. LBSU in the BWC era.
After closing things out at home, the Rainbow Warriors wrap the 2018 regular season on the road at UC Santa Barbara, May 24-26.
University of Hawai’i Games 46-48
What: Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors (25-20, 9-9 BWC) vs. Long Beach State Dirtbags (24-27, 9-9 BWC)
When: Friday, May 18, 6:35 p.m. HT
Saturday, May 19, 6:35 p.m. HT
Sunday, May 20, 1:05 p.m. HT
Where: Honolulu, O’ahu (Les Murakami Stadium)
Television: All three games of the series will be televised on Spectrum Sports.
Live Streaming: Telecasts will appear on BigWest.tv.
Radio: All games will be broadcast live on the radio with Jim Leahey and Scott Robbs. The first two games will air on ESPN Honolulu 1420 AM, while the home finale will air on NBC Sports 1500 AM. Neighbor islands can listen live to the first two games on KNUI on Maui, KHLO in Hilo, KKON in Kona and KTOH on Kaua’i.
Audio Webcast: www.ESPN1420am.com | www.NBCSportsRadioHawaii.com
Live Stats: Live in-game stats will be provided by Hawai’i Athletics throughout the series at the links listed below.
|Game 1||Game 2||Game 3|
Promotions: First Insurance Company of Hawaii is the game sponsor on Friday and Saturday. The first 500 fans through the gate will receive a baseball jersey shaped towel (Friday) and a baseball sling (Saturday). University of Hawaii Federal Credit Union is the game sponsor on Sunday for “Senior Day” and will distribute team photos prior to the game, and honor the departing seniors following the game with commemorative plaques. Fans are encouraged to wear white UH apparel for Senior Day. Friday’s (May 18) contest will be followed by an autograph session on the field. On Saturday (May 19), Little League teams or groups that have purchased a group rate ticket package are invited onto the field to stand alongside the UH baseball players for the National Anthem & Hawaii Pono’i prior to the game (Check-in 30 min. prior to first pitch on Saturday near the Big West Conference logo on the ground level). Sunday Funday(May 20): Ticket Package 1 – $25 for family of four (two adults and two youth); Ticket Package 2 – $40 (four adults). Each ticket package includes four (4) upper level tickets, four (4) hot dogs, and four (4) bottle soda/water (while supplies last). Tickets can be purchased online, by calling 944-2697 (option 2), by walking up to the Les Murakami Stadium on game day or in advance at the Stan Sheriff Center Box Office.