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Hawaii lets Komeiji go after 9 years

Billy Hull

Hawaii baseball assistant coach Keith Komeiji has been fired as hitting coach.

Multiple sources confirmed the news yesterday, ending Komeiji’s nine-year run with the club.

Hawaii coach Mike Trapasso confirmed Komeiji has left the program after landing in Seattle on a recruiting trip last night.

"We wish Keith the best," Trapasso said. "We really appreciate everything he’s done for our program, especially this year in particular.

"We don’t win the WAC tournament if our hitters didn’t hit the way they did."

Komeiji served under Trapasso for all nine years of his tenure, spending four as the first-base coach before working the last five as the third-base coach.

The former Kaiser High standout and minor leaguer was given the job of hitting coach in 2006 after working primarily with the catchers.

He’s the fourth hitting coach under Trapasso at UH.

Trapasso also confirmed that UH signee Kenny McDowall has signed a deal with the New York Mets. McDowall, who was drafted in the eighth round (No. 242 overall), is the third UH recruit for 2011 to sign with a pro club.

Former Campbell pitcher Charles Kaalekahi said on Tuesday that he and Mililani’s Keanu Carmichael have signed with the Seattle Mariners.

Carmichael was taken in the sixth round (192nd) and Kaalekahi went in the 15th (462nd).

UH is expected to lose all four juniors who were drafted. Left-hander Sam Spangler has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Twins, and catcher David Freitas has signed with the Washington Nationals.

Freitas was picked in the 15th round (446th overall), while Spangler went in the 41st round (1,245th). Right-hander Josh Slaats has reportedly signed with the Colorado Rockies, who drafted him in the fifth round (No. 170 overall).

Shortstop Greg Garcia, a seventh-round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals, said earlier this week he expects to sign with the club.


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