To say that the 2011 edition of the University of Hawaii baseball team has a way of finishing things is an understatement. After closing out their home season and senior day game with a thrilling come from behind 9-8 victory over San Jose St., this team has proven itself to be wild finishers.
On Sunday it was an error by the Spartan second baseman that brought in 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth with 2 outs and Hawaii trailing by 2 runs. Another game it was an opponents wild pitch. Regardless of the circumstances, this is Hawaii baseball. Over the years, particularly during the Les Murakami years when baseball was king, the Ranbows would always have their share of come from behind wins. Remeber the ninth inning of a game in the late '80's against San Diego St.? a friend and I debated the year but I do know that Jeff Vierra was pitching and Hawaii trailed by multiple runs going into the ninth. Back then the Aztecs were a team you wanted the Bows to beat. They did so then and continued the come from behind tradition into the 90's.
With the men's volleyball team losing in the first round of the MPSF playoffs and the Wahine softball team elimnated in 2 games in their WAC tournament, the baseball Bows are the last hope of the spring season for Hawaii fans. A last hope that we can follow a Hawaii team into late May or possibly June.
Remember, it is a long time until football season starts.
The good Hawaii teams had great pitching. In baseball, you need good pitching. But this year there really is no star on the staff. The star is Kolten Wong. I'm sure he could pitch if needed. But the pitching staff has been the key to their success this year going into the final regular season series against New Mexico St. They manage to do what is needed for a victory. There is no long ball hitter but there has been clutch hitting and lots of lucky breaks. Collin Bennet is continuing to improve and return to his batting excellence of last year. That may be critical.
But as the cliche goes, do whatever it takes to win. For the Rainbows, that means keep on doing what you have been doing.