FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
HONOLULU – The University of Hawai’i Rainbow baseball team enters its inaugural season in the Big West Conference and will play a challenging 53-game schedule which includes 31 home games. The Rainbows kick off the season hosting national powers Oregon and Rice, and will also welcome in Big West foe Cal State Fullerton along with Wichita State. The ‘Bows will also play midweek road games against UCLA (Apr. 9) and Fresno State (May 7).
In total, Hawai’i will play five 2012 NCAA Tournament teams. UCLA advanced to the College World Series for the second time in three years, and Oregon came within one game of advancing to Omaha as well. The Bruins, Ducks, and Rice all finished 2012 ranked in the top 10 of the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
“This is as challenging a schedule as we’ve played,” said Head Coach Mike Trapasso, who is in his 12th year at the helm of the Rainbows. “I am excited about the caliber of opponents and playing our first season in the Big West. We always try to create some early adversity, and this high level of competition which includes two five-game series will definitely do that.”
Following their series’ against Oregon and Rice, the Rainbows travel to Las Vegas for the Rebel Classic hosted by UNLV where they will play Loyola Marymount, Bradley, and the host Rebels.
Hawai’i will then enjoy a 14-game home stand which includes a pair of five-game series against Gonzaga (Mar. 7-11) and Wichita State (Mar. 20-24) and finish with its conference-opening series against UC Santa Barbara (Mar. 28-31). The Rainbows finished the 2012 season ranked No. 13 nationally in home attendance, and first in the West Region.
The first two Big West road trips will be broken up by the midweek games against UCLA and Fresno State. The Bruins won their second consecutive Pac-12 title last season and Fresno State, UH’s former WAC rival, enters the season as the two-time defending WAC Champions.
UH’s season opening series against Oregon begins Friday, Feb. 15, at 6:35 p.m. at Les Murakami Stadium.