Worlds collide

by Stephen Tsai on March 30, 2017

It’s been five years, but it still feels strange that Hawaii, outside of football, is not in the same conference as Fresno State, Nevada or San Jose State. It also doesn’t seem right that UH has less equity than those other schools in the Mountain West because of its football-only affiliation.

It would be interesting if UH’s men’s teams competed in the Mountain West while the women remain in the Big West (sort of how it was done a long time ago with the WAC-Big West arrangement).

For now, we can only imagine that possibility when UH plays Nevada in a four-game baseball series beginning tonight at Les Murakami Stadium. The ‘Bows swept San Jose State last week.

Here’s what to watch:

> Pair of aces: Brendan Hornung and Dominic DeMiero have sub-2.00 ERAs. Hornung has walked only three in 46 2/3 innings while averaging 9.91 strikeouts per nine innings.

> I am third: The past five weeks, the ‘Bows have used a four-pitcher starting rotation. Next week, Big West play opens with three-games series. Neil Uskali and Jackson Rees are competing for the third spot. Final auditions are this weekend: Rees is scheduled to pitch on Saturday, Uskali on Sunday. This will be Rees’ first evening start. The ‘Bows are 5-0 in Rees’ five Sunday-afternoon starts, averaging 8.0 runs of support.

> Gold-glove value: One of the best offseason moves was Josh Rojas’ switch from second to third. “In 23 games, you can see the runs he’s saved us with his defense have made him a pretty valuable player for us,” coach Mike Trapasso said. “The kid is hitting .300, so he’s getting more than his share of hits. But even in games when he might not get a hit, he’s invariably making one or two spectacular plays. If a guy is in scoring position, those plays are saving runs.”

> Odds are even: Trapasso can’t remember, this late in a season, an even ratio of walks/hits batsmen and strikeouts. But the ‘Bows have drawn 99 walks and been beaned 25 times while striking out 124 times. What’s more impressive: striking out once every 6.2 at bats or being hit by a pitch 1.1 times per game? In 53 games last year, the ‘Bows struck out once ever 4.9 at bats and were beaned 28 times.

1 Kapahulu March 30, 2017 at 11:19 am

1st?

2 Maddog50 March 30, 2017 at 11:21 am

Never liked the Wolfpack-never. Looking for a sweep! Did respect the “Little General”

3 Kapahulu March 30, 2017 at 11:25 am

Good luck and Best Wishes to the Basebows in Conference play this season!

4 Andrew March 30, 2017 at 12:06 pm

It would be nice to be a full-time member of the MWC, but sure can’t beat the travel situation in the Big West. Plus the MWC just tolerates UH, we need them way more than they need us. Pretty sure the other sports surely would not want to include UH on their schedules regularly.

5 Al March 30, 2017 at 12:12 pm

I like the current setup with football being a MWC only member and all other men’s sports in the Big West conference. Men’s Basketball is the only sport where it probably suffers from being in the Big West, however is a lot better overall in the other major men’s sports- Baseball and Men’s Volleyball. Like Andrew said, you can’t beat the travel situation that UH has being a Big West member.

6 ai-eee-soos March 30, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Football – Those of you who watched spring camp: What’s your opinion of

Ryan Tuiasoa. Is he the BOOM LAKALAKA for 2017?

Mahalo.

7 jm2375 March 30, 2017 at 1:42 pm

Howzit Tsaikos!

Must agree with al-san. Like the current setup. Will get better next year with the MVB Warriors being in the BW and out of the MPSF. It should make it a little easier to get to the NCAAs. Plus, we won’t have to go to Provo every other year. 🙄 The Outrigger tournament should have better teams than in the past few years by being in the Big West.

Speaking of MVB, vote for Stijn van Tilburg. Poll closes at 5:59 pm HST tonight.
http://www.offtheblockblog.com/2017/03/voting-underway-for-otbspringbak-national-player-of-month-championship-round-2/

GO WARRIORS!

8 Aaron March 30, 2017 at 2:12 pm

I like the current setup. I think the big west is perfect for our non-football sports at the moment. The travel is so much better and we are developing good rivalries with LBSU and UCI in basketball. It’s good to be a big fish in a small pond sometimes. Gonzaga can attest to that…

9 islandman March 30, 2017 at 2:27 pm

5. Being in the Big West for basketball is supposed to be better for UH because it’s easier to get to the NCAA’s, by winning the conference tournament.

10 Ipu Man March 30, 2017 at 3:51 pm

Tsai, thanks for climbing the bean-ball stalk.
Very informative.
Ouch.

11 Andrew March 30, 2017 at 4:54 pm

8.

Big fish in small pond? Since when (except for vball) is UH considered a big fish in the Big West?

12 H-Man March 30, 2017 at 6:08 pm

The current arrangement is good for Hawaii. But like all things, change will come. Hawaii must have a plan in place to control its destiny, rather than having others dictate its fate. This plan, however, will require the full support of the governor and state legislature. The late and former governor, John A. Burns, had a vision and saw it to fruition. This is what is needed now for the governor to provide the leadership in getting the legislature to take the first step; a step in determining whether to build a new football venue on-campus, or to build a replacement stadium alongside the aging Aloha Stadium. The latter solution makes the most sense, but getting the governor and legislature to do something anytime soon is like waiting for snow to fall on Oahu.

13 Boya_jr March 30, 2017 at 6:28 pm

Would you trade being in the Big West in non-football with full MWC membership and not having PPV for football and all Road games free tv?

That would be sort of the trade off because at $2.4M PPV vs $1.5M MWC tv revenue plus maybe $900K (3 x $300K) national tv bonus money.

14 cappie the dog March 30, 2017 at 8:40 pm

Anybody who remembers old school WAC basketball, remembers the angst of losing to Reggie Minton’s Air Force.

Painful. Painful. Painful.

The Falcons were really bad in the eighties and nineties.

So, so, so hard to play in altitude.

When Hawaii won back-to-back WAC Tournaments, it was in Tulsa, not in Laramie.

Besides, the Mountain West(WAC in sheep’s clothing) is becoming a have-not. I believe they have been a one-bid league in the past three seasons.

The only, literally only, transcendent moment I can think of, in regard to playing the current Mountain West teams in basketball, was Terry Houston’s game-winning score, in which Luc Longley’s block, guided the ball into the basket. The silence in “The Pit” was golden.

And baseball. No good team ever schedules New Mexico at their place.

15 jm2375 March 30, 2017 at 9:13 pm

Yes!
Hawai’i opposite van Tilburg wins National Player of Month

Posted on March 31, 2017 Author vinnielopes

The winning and accolades keep coming for No. 4/4 Hawai’i and opposite Stijn van Tilburg.

van Tilburg received more than 3,000 out of the 7,586 votes to win the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Player of the Month for March.

The Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. National Player of the Month recognizes the best individual performances from NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball players during the month and gives fans from around the world the chance to determine who was the best player through online voting. It is also the only college men’s volleyball national monthly award.

van Tilburg had double-digit kills in six matches this month and hit more than .400 in four of those matches, including having 21 kills on a .515 attack percentage in a sweep against Stanford on March 10. He also had at least five digs in three matches during March and helped the Rainbow Warriors end the month in third place in the MPSF.

van Tilburg received 42.9 percent of the total vote and earned 211 more votes than the runner-up USC setter Gert Lisha. Lisha and van Tilburg were the only two finalists to garner more than 10 percent of the vote.

Six finalists advanced to the championship round in the two-round format of the National Player of the Month contest.

The first round placed candidate on one of five ballots based on their position. van Tilburg received more than 400 votes in the opening round to win the Opposite Division ballot and reach the championship round.

More than 15,000 votes were cast throughout this National Player of the Month event.

The National Player of the Month is one of two awards solely determined by the fans. Similar to the monthly award, the Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Fan Choice National Player of the Year is an annual event at the end of the season with fans deciding the winner of this 64-player bracket-style tournament through online voting.

van Tilburg as a National Player of the Month winner will receive an automatic berth to the Fan Choice National Player of the Year Tournament.
http://www.offtheblockblog.com/2017/03/hawaii-opposite-van-tilburg-wins-national-player-of-month/

16 Ohana Hawaii March 30, 2017 at 10:51 pm

I really seriously don’t care whatever University of Hawaii baseball plays. They’re have to go there and play really seriously like major leaguers and beat others big schools!. Like the pass!. When University of Hawaii baseball beat Arizona & Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Wichita State, Stanford and Texas. Players can broke records from other former players!. But they’re can’t do what the former player use to do on the field!. So don’t mind what Conference Hawaii plays in!. Just have have to remember this that? The Big West Conference baseball comes out with great baseball teams and goes to the College Worlds Series and win it too. They’re are a lot’s of Big West baseball players that plays in the Major League Baseball. Not much of Mountain West & WAC!

17 Akamai Okole March 31, 2017 at 6:20 am

Great Morning All!

Mahalo Blog Host for the “playing” references…gonna be “up there” next week.

Remember, you gotta push the odds and “Press” 😯

Das it!

18 cappie the dog March 31, 2017 at 6:26 am

Matt Cooper would have to throw a shutout, at times, if he wanted a win.

Or even get a no decision.

The way Vchulek battled back from being down 0-2, then ripping a double into right-field is what I see other teams do, not Hawaii.

I’m a little worried that Hornung has given up 20 hits in his last two starts. On the road, this could be a problem.

19 oldtimer808 March 31, 2017 at 8:23 am

“Ohana Hawaii March 30, 2017 at 10:51 pm
I really seriously don’t care whatever University of Hawaii baseball plays. They’re have to go there and play really seriously like major leaguers and beat others big schools!. Like the pass!. When University of Hawaii baseball beat Arizona & Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Wichita State, Stanford and Texas. Players can broke records from other former players!. But they’re can’t do what the former player use to do on the field!. So don’t mind what Conference Hawaii plays in!. Just have have to remember this that? The Big West Conference baseball comes out with great baseball teams and goes to the College Worlds Series and win it too. They’re are a lot’s of Big West baseball players that plays in the Major League Baseball. Not much of Mountain West & WAC!”

Personally I don’t care which conference our University of Hawaii baseball team plays in. Our student/athletes should do their best to beat any team on the schedule. As in the past, our team were able to defeat Arizona, Arizona State, Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Mississippi State, Wichita State, Stanford and Texas.
There are records every year that can be broken by our current players. Our current players are unable to do what our former players achieved. It doesn’t matter about the conference. Remember the Big West Conference have had teams advance to the College World Series. I believe there are more professional players in the major leagues vs the Mountain West and WAC teams.

I hope this helps you.

20 Aaron March 31, 2017 at 8:54 am

11.
We have the biggest arena in the conference, we have a tournament on ESPN and probably play the most games on real cable tv (not streaming) in the conference, we have football and the profile bump that comes along with it, we don’t share our local tv market with any other D1 schools. Two seasons ago, UH won championships in womens vball and mens and womens hoops. When the conference adds mens vball, we are going to be favorites to win that as well. We are the biggest fish in the pond. Once the stink of the NCAA and Gib Arnold are completely gone from the mens hoops program, I expect them to be conference favorites almost every year. I’m sure that every school in the conference has their home game against UH circled on their calendar.

21 al March 31, 2017 at 9:16 am

Al, how you doing?
Long time no see.

22 Andrew March 31, 2017 at 11:12 am

20.

We may be the biggest University and sports department as a whole, but UH is not the top as far as performance. We are not the big dog in the conference until we are winning majority of the major sports championships. Football is irrelevant since that’s not even a conference affiliated sport. Irvine is the top of the conference for Men’s bball so they are considered the big dog for that sport. Sure we won the conference for both mens and womens last year, but that’s it. Baseball is improving, but that’s for sure Fullerton’s. Soccer has barely even qualified for the conference tournament and we don’t even have a men’s team. Volleyball both sand and indoor, we of course are the big dog and that’s no surprise. Softball is towards the top and is having a good year, but since joining the conference still have not taken control of it.

23 SteveM March 31, 2017 at 12:29 pm

RE: #21
Hi al — long time …relatively.
This is the original Tsai-ko Cattle Call gourmet and tailgate chef that has little birdies chirping in his ear. 🙂

24 Stephen Tsai March 31, 2017 at 12:59 pm

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