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Rainbows earn WAC's top seed

Hawaii will open the tournament Thursday against the lowest-seeded team that wins in Wednesday's opening round

By Billy Hull

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 10:29 p.m. HST, Aug 05, 2011



The Hawaii baseball team will be the No. 1 seed in the Western Athletic Conference tournament that begins on Wednesday at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Ariz.

The Rainbows (32-23, 17-7) won the tiebreaker over Fresno State (37-14, 17-7) due to Louisiana Tech and Nevada both winning on Sunday.

The Bulldogs and the Wolf Pack finished tied for third in the league standings, but Louisiana Tech is the No. 3 seed because it won three of four against Nevada.

Hawaii finished 3-1 against Louisiana Tech, while Fresno State finished 2-2, thus giving the Rainbows the No. 1 seed.

"I don't know if it really makes a lot of difference, but the big thing was getting the bye to get in the tournament," Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso said. "The big thing this weekend was being able to bring home a WAC championship to our fans."

WAC TOURNAMENT

At Hohokam Stadium, Mesa, Ariz.

Seeds
1. Hawaii; 2. Fresno State; 3. Louisiana Tech; 4. Nevada; 5. San Jose State; 6. New Mexico State

Wednesday
G1: Nevada vs. San Jose State, noon
G2: Louisiana Tech vs. New Mexico State, 4 p.m.

Thursday
G3: G1 loser vs. G2 loser, 8 a.m.
G4: Fresno State vs. higher seed winner in G1 and G2, noon
G5: Hawaii vs. lower seed winner in G1 and G2, 4 p.m.

Friday
*G6: G3 winner vs. Lower seed of G4 and G5 loser, 8 a.m.
G7: G6 winner vs. Higher seed of G4 and G5 loser, noon
G8: G4 winner vs. G5 winner, 4 p.m.

Saturday
G9: G7 winner vs. G8 loser, noon
G10: G8 winner vs. G9 winner, 4 p.m.

Sunday
G11: G10 winner vs. G10 loser (if necessary), 9 a.m.

* -- If one of the G4 or G5 losers already has had a bye, it will play in G6 regardless of seed

 

Hawaii clinched a share of the regular-season WAC title for the first time since 1992. The Bulldogs earned at least a share of the conference title for the sixth straight year.

Hawaii begins tournament play on Thursday against the lowest-seeded team that wins on Wednesday. Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.

"At the end of the day it really doesn't matter, because come Thursday night all that matters is that we go out and play well and get a good start from Matt (Sisto)," Trapasso said. "If we don't play well, the seeds won't matter because we'll be coming home early."

Temperatures are expected to reach 105 degrees by the weekend, giving an advantage to the teams playing at night.

Also, if both Fresno State and Hawaii happened to lose on Thursday, the Bulldogs would have to play the extra game on Friday because they hold the lower seed.

The Rainbows didn't lose a WAC series all year. Hawaii split at Fresno State and at New Mexico State and took three of four at Nevada and at home against Louisiana Tech and San Jose State.

Hawaii swept Sacramento State, which did not qualify for the postseason.

In 24 league games, Hawaii finished fourth in batting (.297) and third in ERA (4.39).

Junior Collin Bennett finished third with a .417 average (25-for-60) and Breland Almadova led the league with 30 runs scored. Almadova and Kolten Wong tied for the WAC lead with 10 stolen bases and Jeff Van Doornum was second with 26 RBIs.






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