The first pitch of the Division I college baseball season will be thrown tonight by Hawaii ace Matt Daly at 11:35 p.m. ET. The rest of D-I doesn’t get started for another week, but Hawaii and Hawaii-Hilo were granted a one-week reprieve from the uniform start date because of the difficulty they have in scheduling due to their remote location. The Rainbows have beaten the Vulcans 13 consecutive times, and Daly gives them a strong chance to make it 14 tonight–the last time he faced Hilo, Daly threw a one-hit shutout. The Rainbows’ righthander is coming off a strong summer in the Cape Cod League that included a no-hitter; his final pitch in that game was a 95 mph fastball.
Hawaii-Hilo struggled to a 12-35 record a year ago, but the Vulcans actually have a more experienced pitching staff than Hawaii, giving them a chance in the second and third games of this series. The Rainbows will give the ball to newcomers Jared Alexander and Alex Capaul on Saturday and Sunday, but Hilo welcomes back five starting pitchers, led by junior righthander Clayton Uyechi (2-3, 4.70 a year ago). Other returning starters like Joe Davis and Jeffrey Germain will need to take major steps forward in 2008.
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