HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When it comes to offense, the Rainbow Warrior baseball team's bats have been sizzling as of late.
But head coach Mike Trapasso knows that there is another level of heat that his team can bring to this season on the offensive side of the ball.
"Before coming out here, I was watching LSU playing Tulane and the leadoff hitter for LSU (Zach Watson) hit a double and they were talking about how he was like 11 for his last 15 at-bats, and the announcer for LSU said He's hot. He's like salsa on sunburn," Trapasso said earlier this week before practice.
"Salsa on sunburn" is hot as a player or a team can get at this time of the year, but the Warriors -- despite a 12-6 record through 18 games -- haven't played their best baseball.
"I guess that's what could happen if we're playing at the top of our game at all levels, but we haven't done that yet," Trapasso said. "The potential is there, but the potential is unrealized until we put it all together."
One player who has been able to put it all together as of late for the 'Bows has been Chayce Ka'aua.
Ka'aua hit California Reaper levels of heat this past weekend against Illinois State, earning his first career Big West Baseball Field Player of the Week award after hitting .462 (6-for-13) with two runs scored and six RBIs over four games.
"I've been seeing the ball good all year, almost every at bat. I think I was just getting my pitches and being more patient," Ka'aua said. "I think I was getting a little too aggressive in the beginning but I told myself just be patient, get down early, just keep a middle approach and just try to get on (base) and give my team a chance to win.
In their four-game series sweep over Illinois State, Hawaii scored at seven runs in three-straight games after winning Game 1 of the series, 6-1.
"I think it was important to win a couple games with offense because we haven't done that this year," Trapasso said. "The pitching, while it was solid, we had a couple of bad starts in both of those games and the offense was able to pick up the slack. That's what you have to have to have a successful year … It's just too hard to win all your games 1-0 or 2-1. You have to win some of those 7-6 games, 9-8 games if you want to have the type of year that you want to have."