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Extra innings: UH baseball

May 25th, 2014

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."

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