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3 University of Hawaii baseball players named to All-Big West first team


    UH shortstop Maaki Yamazaki fielded a grounder in the fourth inning against Illinois State at Les Murakami Stadium, March 16. Yamazaki, along with relief pitcher Dylan Thomas and catcher Kekai Rios today were named to the All-Big West first team for baseball.


University of Hawaii relief pitcher Dylan Thomas, shortstop Maaki Yamazaki and catcher Kekai Rios today were named to the All-Big West first team for baseball.

Third baseman Ethan Lopez was selected to the second team. Outfielder Adam Fogel received honorable mention.

Thomas, a third-year sophomore, amassed 14 saves, fourth-most nationally and No. 1 among Big West pitchers. Thomas finished with 1.85 earned-run average. He averaged 9.9 strikeouts and 0.92 walks per nine innings. Thomas did not issue a walk until his 20th appearance. He ended with four walks in 39 innings.

Two years ago, Yamazaki, a Japan citizen, approached UH coach Mike Trapasso about joining the Rainbow Warriors as a non-scholarship player. Yamazaki redshirted in 2017 while trying to accumulate enough credits to qualify for NCAA-playing eligibility. This season, as a junior, Yamazaki stabilized the defense with standout plays at short. Yamazaki led the ’Bows with a .325 average.

Rios, a junior, was selected to the Big West team as a utility player. Rios played 14 games at third base after Lopez suffered a wrist injury in mid-March. Rios hit .241 in the first 17 games, but then batted .318 in 24 Big West games. He finished with a .270 overall average.

Lopez, a junior, hit .279 despite the wrist ailment. In the final series of the season, Lopez went 7-for-12 (.583) against UC Santa Barbara.

Fogel, a sophomore, led the ’Bows in home runs (8), triples (2), doubles (17), RBI (37), and slugging percentage (.526).

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