Baseball 'Bows picked to finish 2nd; Wong preseason P.O.Y.

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Rainbow baseball season is nearly here and the 'Bows are hoping to ride a wave of momentum from last year into this season.

Hawaii is picked to finish second in the WAC this year, according to the preseason coaches poll released Tuesday.

Last May, Hawaii won the WAC Tournament for the first time since 1992 and finished the year ranked 30th in the country.

In December, the baseball 'Bows debuted at No. 38 in "Collegiate Baseball Magazine's" preseason Top 40 poll.

As for the WAC poll, Fresno State's in first, getting just two more points than Hawaii.

But the Bulldogs got four first-place votes, twice as many as the 'Bows. Nevada got the other vote and is third. San Jose State and New Mexico State round out the top 5 and Louisiana Tech and Sacramento state are picked 6th and 7th.

Like most coaches, Hawaii's head man Mike Trapasso says he doesn't put much stock into preseason polls.

"All it really tells me is two things," Trapasso said. "It tells me that number 1, we're almost done practicing and we're going to get to play real soon and then the other thing is I'm happy for some of the kids that get some recognition."

One of those "kids" is 2nd baseman Kolten Wong. The Hilo native was picked by the coaches as the WAC preseason player of the year.

Last season, Wong hit .357 with 7 home runs and 40 RBI. Trapasso says he expects opposing teams to avoid pitching to Wong when they can.

"I think we'll see a maturity level in Kolten this year, where he has a lot of at bats where he doesn't get a lot to hit," Trapasso said. "But I think if he just stays patient with it and doesn't get frustrated by that, he'll use that by getting on base, making things happen on base."

Joining Wong from Hawaii on the pre-season all-WAC team is senior designated hitter Jeffrey Van Doornum, as well as starting pitcher Matt Sisto and closer Lenny Linsky.

UH opens its season on February 18th against Oregon.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.