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Star-Bulletin Sports


Friday, June 15, 2001


[ PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL ]



Island Movers
heading to Japan
to open season

A mixture of local and
mainland college players
team up for summer
league action


By Al Chase
Star-Bulletin

The Hawaii Island Movers leave for Japan Wednesday to play 18 games before returning home to Rainbow Stadium to finish the summer schedule.

On the trip, the Movers will participate in the Hiroshima Goodwill Tournament, something they have done every summer for a number of years.

The Hawaii high school all-stars will provide the first opposition when the Movers return, July 17-18.

The annual summer-ending Hawaii International Baseball Tournament is scheduled for Aug. 6-9. Two teams from Japan, the Guam All-Stars and the Movers make up the field.

Dave Nakama, head coach at San Francisco State University, returns to guide the Movers. He will be assisted by Keith Komeiji and Gareth Yukumoto.

The Movers roster is a mixture of local collegiate players, some back home after playing for mainland schools, and players from mainland schools. The theme for all of them is to improve skills for the 2002 college season.

Mike Mattern, a 6-foot-2 left-hander, and Daniel Fitzgerald, a 6-1 right-hander, were juniors at the University of Pennsylvania this spring. Mattern had a 2-4 record with a 4.70 earned run average while Fitzgerald was 4-1 and led the Quakers with a 3.13 ERA.

Santa Clara University is sending three players led by Broncos' pitcher of the year Joseph Diefendefer. He was 5-6 with a 4.92 ERA. He also is a switch-hitting outfielder who started 44 games and batted .255.

SCU's most improved player, Kellan McDonnell, a right-hander who was 4-2 with a 4.43 ERA as a freshman, and 6-2 catcher Jimmy Wallace (.233), also began practice with the Movers yesterday.

Two Hawaii players from the University of New Mexico Lobos --6-3 right-hander Marvin Wong out of Iolani, and 5-10 left-hander Kenneth Yamaoka out of Mid-Pacific Institute --will be in Movers' uniforms.

Tobin Swope, a 5-11 infielder and David O'Hagan, a 6-1 right-hander/utility player from Stanford join the team. O'Hagan redshirted this past season and Swope saw limited duty, appearing in 20 games, but only going to bat seven times.

UCLA representatives are outfielder Matthew Thayer and right-hander Ethan Wayne, an Iolani graduate. Both players redshirted this spring.

Joe Perry, who concluded his college career at San Francisco State this year, is on the team. He started 52 of 53 games and led the Gators with a .445 batting average. He also was 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA as a spot reliever.

University of Hawaii players on the Movers are right-handers Sean Yamashita and Bryan Lee, outfielder Kevin Gilbride and infielder/pitcher Gary Ahu, Jr.

Catcher Nalei Sooto, infielder/pitcher Keola Park and right-hander Robert Shimabuku played for the University of Hawaii-Hilo this past spring.

Third baseman Kainoa Obrey originally considered playing for the Movers, but elected to join Iolani and Brigham Young University teammate Doug Jackson on the Newport (R.I.) Gulls in the New England Collegiate League.



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