Bad Weather Scrubs UHH Baseball Opener
Heavy rain overnight and a lack of consistently good weather since has put a damper on the start of the University of Hawai`i at Hilo’s baseball season opener.
Today’s doubleheader against South Dakota’s Augustana College has been cancelled because of bad weather and poor field conditions at Francis Wong Stadium. The doubleheader will not be made up.
Hawai`i Island was under a flood advisory early Thursday morning, bringing a consistent downpour that lasted for several hours. Occasional heavy spurts continued throughout the morning.
At 7:30 a.m., head coach Joey Estrella inspected the field and noticed standing water in several parts of the outfield, along with muddy conditions in the infield. During a radio interview Thursday morning, Estrella noted how well the field drains at Wong Stadium, but added that a lot of sunlight was necessary for the field to be suitable for play.
A decision was made after Noon when Estrella and the team returned to the field. Despite the cancellation, Estrella, his assistant coaches, and his players remained at the field to get the field ready for play on Friday. A large group of players stayed in center field to take care of the standing water, while several other small groups took care of the warning track. Estrella and a few other players worked to get rid of mud between home plate and the pitcher’s mound, while two others cleaned the area around home plate.
The six-game series has been shortened to four. The season opener will now take place Friday at 4:00 p.m. with a doubleheader. The first game will be a standard nine-inning contest while the second will go seven innings. Senior Dane Kinoshita is slated to start the opening game.
On Saturday, the doubleheader will begin at 11:00 a.m. and will follow the same nine-seven format. Highlighting Saturday’s action will be the projected start of freshman hurler Micah Witty-Oakland, a right-hander from Island Pacific Academy. He is expected to throw in the second game of the twin bill.