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Hawaii Baseball Recap: On the Road

Monday, April 25, 2022 | By Josh Pacheco

Being away from your own bed for almost two whole weeks is not easy, whether you are a business traveler, a broadcaster, or a collegiate baseball team.

I’ll save my own experience for a later time, but let’s put it in perspective for a University of Hawaii baseball team that just finished its longest road trip of the season with a 5-2 record.

There was a night in Los Angeles following the team’s arrival on April 12th, followed by a two-hour drive and a four-night stay in Bakersfield, California, where the ‘Bows entered with a five-game winning streak and left with a three-game series sweep of CSU Bakersfield.

Add four more nights away from home with a trip for Fresno, CA, including Church and a Sandra Bullock movie on Easter Sunday and, unfortunately, a 10-7 non-conference loss at Fresno State. Cap it off with another five nights in Sacramento, CA, a minor league game, and a series win over UC Davis, and you have a trip that, all things considered, would go down as a success.

As Head Coach Rich Hill has said to me on several occasions, every member of this squad has aspirations of playing professional baseball. Long bus rides, sleeping in unfamiliar hotel rooms, and seeing new places are all part of that life of a minor or major leaguer. Sure, the professionals don’t have to deal with study hall, but the student-athletes don’t have to worry about the absurdly low pay, yet.

Sure, there were some minor bumps along the way. Relief pitcher Harry Gustin suffered an injury prior to the Fresno State game and had to return home early, thinning an already depleted staff. And speaking of pitching, a lately rare bullpen struggle, combined with a quiet offensive effort, led to UC Davis earning its first walk-off win of the season, stunning the Rainbow Warriors in the middle game of the series.

At the end of the day, Hawaii accomplished what it set out to do by winning both of its conference series. In doing so, the ‘Bows move up from sixth to third in the Big West standings and set up a key home series with Cal State Fullerton, who will arrive in Manoa tied for fourth place in the conference.

Before the Titans come to town, though, a few nights for the Baseball ‘Bows to get re-acquainted to their own beds and their own home field for a week.

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