HONOLULU — No matter how much fun the Cal State Northridge baseball team may be having between games here, the Matadors probably can't wait to return to mainland baseball fields.
The Matadors managed only three hits in a 3-0 loss to Hawaii on Wednesday--their fourth defeat in six games in the 10th annual Rainbow-Easter Baseball Tournament at the University of Hawaii.
The Matadors (23-11-1) face Brigham Young University today and conclude the round-robin tournament Friday against Lewis and Clark College.
Don't make the mistake of picturing CSUN Coach Terry Craven at wits end, however, angrily trying to shake the doldrums from his team.
"We've had a drop in intensity--but that's understandable," CSUN Coach Terry Craven said. "We want to relax and enjoy ourselves when we're not playing and it's not easy to turn (intensity) on and off.
"We are having a good time," he said. "This is a great experience."
Hawaii pitchers Peter Bold and George Oshiro combined to shut down the CSUN offense. Bold sailed through a flawless first inning, then Oshiro took over and blanked the Matadors the rest of the way.
Hawaii got on the scoreboard with a two-run sixth inning off of losing pitcher Jeremy Hernandez when Hiro Iniba doubled home Dave Matta and Mario Monico.
Oshiro was given an insurance run in the eighth when Monico, who is hitting .390, singled home Matta.
Junior right fielder Todd Mustin and senior first baseman Paul Kaplan were the only Matadors to hit safely. Mustin singled twice and Kaplan once.
"We were hitting the ball well--flying out 340 to 400 feet away," Craven said. "This is a huge park and a stiff wind blows in from left field. There has only been one (home run) hit to left all year."
Oshiro relied mostly on off-speed pitches, according to Craven. The left-hander struck out one and walked two.
"No one in the stands is pulling for you," Craven said. "We've had to make a whole bunch of adjustments. The umpires are different, our entire routine is different.
"This experience will help us if we are fortunate to make the (NCAA Division II) regionals and the world series," he said.