HILO, Hawai`i—Having had a taste of Western Athletic Conference baseball,
University of Hawai`i at Hilo baseball coach Joey Estrella went heavily into
recruiting “work horse” pitchers for the upcoming season.
“The amount of
games we have to play over a given amount of time, and the restrictions on the
amount of players we can take on the road is the key,” Estrella said. “The
amount of innings that our recruits pitched was something that really attracted
Last year’s one-two combination of Kaholo Rickard and Thomas Ford is
gone. This year, Rickard will be in the bullpen passing his pitching
knowledge on to the new players while Ford is in the Baltimore Orioles farm
system pitching at Bluefield of the Appalachian League.
“It would be a lot
to ask any of these guys to take over what Kaholo and Thomas dis,” Estrella
said. “With the experience of some of the pitchers we have coming in, and the
quality and quantity of pitchers we have coming in, I’m confident we’ll be
Joining the Vulcan are Anthony Bernal, Johnny Dudoit,
Scott Hammer, Allan Phillips, Brian Unger, and Zeb Watts.
Bernal was a
two-time all-conference selection at Cuesta (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) College.
Primarily a closer in his first year, he finished with a 5-0 record, nine saves
and a 3.55 ERA over 33.1 innings pitched. Bernal moved into the starting
line-up in his second year and earned the team’s most valuable pitcher award
with a 7-3 record and 4.50 ERA over 100 innings pitched.
Dudoit was a
two-time second-team all-state third baseman at Molokai High School. The
three-time all-league selection capped a four-year career by batting .431 in
his senior year. He also hit four homeruns and had 21 RBI. On the mound, he was
5-0 with a 0.00 ERA. During his final two years, Molokai High won the Hawai`i
High School State baseball tournament.
Hammer was a two-time all-division
selection at Edmonds (Lynnwood, Wash.) Community College. He was second-team
all-conference pick in his sophomore year in which he batted .335 with 17
doubles, three homeruns and a league-high 48 RBI. In his rookie year, Hammer
batted .280 with eight doubles, a home run and 35 RBI.
Monterey Peninsula (Calif.) College. During his two-year career, he batted .330
with five doubles, two triples and two homeruns along with 15 stolen bases. On
the mound, he was 5-6 with a 3.51 ERA and 160 strikeouts.
from Southwestern Illinois (Belleville, Ill.) College where he was a two-time
all-regional tournament selection. He was 2-1 in his freshman year and 8-4 with
a 1.90 ERA his sophomore year. Both years he was awarded the team’s ERA
Watts was an all-conference selection at Delta (Stockton, Calif.)
College. He was 5-6 with a 4.67 ERA.