The 15-8 University of Hawaii baseball team sports the second-best pitching and offense in the Big West Conference.
Taking a look deeper into the stat sheet, the Rainbow Warriors have only allowed 2.93 earned runs per game, good for 17th out of 299 teams in the nation.
Despite all of the success between the lines, reserve catcher David Noworyta may be the glue that holds the pitchers and hitters together.
“Yeah, it’s 100-percent true,” said head coach Mike Trapasso. “That’s exactly what this team is all about. You’ve got a guy that hasn’t played very much, but yet he is as important to our team as one of the guys that are out there every single day.”
Noworyta is a constant figure keeping energy up in the dugout during Hawaii’s four-game non-conference series. It’s quite the unselfish act for the former 37th round selection of the Kansas City Royals out of Holy Cross Academy in Delran, New Jersey.
“Once I came here when I was a freshman, I knew I was guaranteed a roster spot. I wasn’t on scholarship or anything like that,” Noworyta said. “I knew I had to affect the team in some way, and if it wasn’t on the field, I was going to do it in the locker room or when we go out to eat.”
With starting catcher Kekai Rios fourth in the league with a .373 batting average, playing time has been nearly non-existent for Noworyta.
“The reality is, Dave could play a lot of innings, catch a lot of innings on a lot of other teams that didn’t have a Kekai Rios, but Dave is real special to us, and he’s really important to us,” Trapasso added.
Last Sunday, during Hawaii’s 14-1 win over San Jose State, Noworyta recorded an RBI single in his first at-bat of the season.
“I just want to be a guy to help out,” Noworyta said. “These freshmen got all scared and everything in their first games here and most of all, I just want to comfort the kids. It’s their first time ever coming up to Hawaii and now they gotta play in front of these fans and they don’t really know the impact it shows here, so I kind of just want to be a helping ear for them.”
Noworyta and the ‘Bows will open a four-game series with Nevada Thursday at 6:35 p.m. at Les Murakami Stadium.