HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The future is now for the Rainbow Warrior baseball team as freshman pitcher Cade Smith will receive his first career start this Thursday against Illinois State.
This isn't the first time Smith has been in a featured role for the Warriors, however, as Smith played a key role in Game 2 of Hawaii's three-game series against LSU this past weekend.
Despite the Tigers beating the 'Bows 5-1, the bright side in Game 2 was Smith who pitched three innings, surrendering zero runs on one hit to go along with three strikeouts. Head coach Mike Trapasso said it simply, "He knows how to throw strikes."
"I think we all see him (Smith) as a top-flight starter, a weekend starter and a high-draft (pick) before he leaves here," Trapasso said. "You never know what happens in that first freshman start, but we'll find out tomorrow."
Smith is getting the start on the mound in place of pitcher Jackson Rees, who Trapasso announced Wednesday afternoon is dealing with a thumb injury that he has been struggling with for the past couple of weeks.
While Rees rests and heals up, the opportunity is there for Smith to get some real-game experience. And what better place to do so than at home?
I'm really excited," Smith said about getting the nod. "The fact that I'm going Thursday makes sense for the other guys so it's my job to go out there and do what i know how to do so the team can succeed."
Smith will get his first start tomorrow against Illinois State at Les Murakami Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. HT.