Rainbows seek championship in final WAC tournament

MESA, Ariz. — The University of Hawai’i baseball team enters the 2012 Western Athletic Conference Tournament seeking its second title in three seasons. The Rainbows earned the No. 4 seed and will open against fifth-seeded Fresno State today at 3 p.m. MT (12 p.m. HT) at Hohokam Stadium.

The ‘Bows closed the regular season on a high note, winning two of three games against Nevada last week at Les Murakami Stadium. Jarrett Arakawa pitched eight scoreless innings to guide UH to a 2-0 win in his first series opening start of his career. After losing game two, the ‘Bows closed out the series with an 8-3 win on senior night to help lock up the No. 4 seed.

UH most recently won the WAC Tournament in 2010, topping Fresno State twice on its way to a successful run at the Tempe Regional. The ‘Bows are 41-30 (.577) all-time in the tournament, and are making their final trip to Hokokam Stadium before the team moves to the Big West Conference in 2013.

The Rainbows boast one of the strongest pitching staffs in the WAC led by starters Matt Sisto (8-3) and Jarrett Arakawa (7-5), and a youthful and formidable bullpen. Sisto did not pitch against Nevada, but figures to be a key cog in the Rainbows’ success. He comes in with a 3.03 ERA and a career best eight wins. Arakawa leads all starters with a 2.64 ERA and has a team-best 67 strikeouts and 92 innings pitched.

The Rainbow offense is led by Collin Bennett who is batting a team-high .326 batting average and .422 slugging percentage. He has three homeruns on the season including a pair of dingers in the series opener at No. 2 seed Sacramento State.

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