By Fred Guzman
Although the news was hardly surprising, it still was disappointing for the University of Hawaii baseball team. The Rainbows did not receive an at-large invitation to the NCAA tournament when the 64-team field was announced this morning.
Fresno State was the only team from the Western Athletic Conference to make the national tourney. The Bulldogs shared the WAC regular-season title with UH and then earned the league’s automatic qualifying berth by taking the WAC tourney, routing the pitching-depleted Bows 15-4 in the title game.
It marked Hawaii’s fourth straight loss to nationally-ranked Fresno State and, as things turned out, closed UH’s season ledger at 34-25. That’s mildly disappointing for a team of which much was expected after making a run in last year’s NCAA tourney. This time, the Bows have been relegated to the sidelines for the post-season.
Fresno State will open in the UCLA regional against UC Irvine. The Bulldogs are the No. 3 seed in that regional.
In addition to five seniors, coach Mike Trapasso’s program also will lose at least two juniors. Second baseman Kolten Wong and closer Lenny Linsky are eligible for and likely high picks in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.