A couple weeks ago I learned that Azusa Pacific University, a Division II team, would be rolling through Oahu to play Hawaii Pacific. A friend of mine told me that the APU roster had a bunch of really good players on it, and so I decided to make the drive. Luckily, they were playing pretty much down the street from me…so no terrible Honolulu rush hour traffic.
I have never been to a Division II game, and was not sure what to expect. I knew the location well enough, since Hans L’orange Park is where the Hawaii Winter League used to play. But I never much paid attention to Division II baseball since…it just never occured to me.
Long story short: it was the most fun I had at a game all year.
The crowd was actually pretty strong, especially once the second game of the double header started. The weather was great, and while they were not officially selling concessions there was a fun little grocery store across the street and a little snack stand that opened for the second game. The seating is awesome, and being able to be so close to both teams benches is a lot of fun. You really get a kick out of hearing these dudes cheer on one another.
And the game was very exciting, with both APU an HPU getting plenty of hits and excellent pitching.
The starting pitcher for APU was Zach Hedges. He would for 6.2 innings, allow 3 ER on 10 hits with a walk and 8K. He looked a little shaky the first inning, but he came back strong for the second inning and pitched a very strong game.
I was able to get his autograph before the game. I felt bad bugging a starting pitcher before a start, but since I only had this one chance to see the team I pulled the trigger. He was very nice, and came across like a dude who really loves the game.
On the season he is 4-2 in 61 innings. He has allowed 54 hits, struck out 56 and only allowed 15 walks. Batters are hitting .228 off him.