Movers geared up for another trip to Japan
The Hawaii Island Movers begin their 38-game summer schedule at Les Murakami Stadium on Tuesday with a doubleheader against the Hawaii All Stars at 5 p.m.
Island Movers Roster
Pitchers: Daniel Payne and Chandler Tidwell, Sanford U.; Cameron Bayne, Saint Louis; Chris Mols, Sacramento State; Brandon Muser, Hawaii Pacific; Makoto Hirano, Osaka Gakuen; Masaya Osabe, Asai Gakuen; Walter Marciel, Iolani; Chase Masuda, San Joaquin Delta College, and Kelsey Nakata, Willamette.
Catchers: Brent Tanigawa, Sacramento State; Vance Otake, Saddleback College; Kyle Kanaeholo, Castle; Jowan Murray-Thornton, Cal State Northridge, and Donovan Souza, Porterville JC.
Infielders: Chester Wilson and Keli'i Zablan, Southern Utah; Michael Lam, Creighton; A.J. Satele and Mark Veneri, Hawaii-Hilo; Troy Hanzawa, San Diego State; Yuji Ono, Osaka Gakuen; Elijah Chee, Cabrillo College; Jordan Shibata, Lewis & Clark, and Chad Itokazu, New Mexico.
Outfielders: Evan Kitamura, Kamehameha; Robert Medina, Benedictine College; Sanjay Brahurbhatt, Long Beach Community College; Colton Silva, Hawaii Pacific, and Dane Ogawa, UH-Hilo.
Movers manager Rich Olsen has 14 Hawaii players back from mainland schools, six from local colleges, four local high school players who will attend college on the mainland this fall, four non-Hawaii players from mainland schools and three from colleges in Japan on his roster.
Twenty-one of those players will make the 17-game, 20-day trip to Japan. They leave June 24 and return July 14.
A.J. Satele, a first baseman from Hawaii-Hilo, is making his second trip to Japan with the Movers.
"Just the experience of playing people from around the world makes it worth playing for the Movers," Satele said. "When you play Japanese teams, you face pitchers who come from all different angles."
Most of the Movers, including Satele, have things to work on this summer.
"(UHH) Coach (Joey Estrella) told us what we need to work on at the end of the season and for me it is recognizing the slider. I can hit the other pitches," Satele said.
Unlike past summers, the Movers have three doubleheaders scheduled at home.
"With the size of our roster, we need to make sure everyone gets enough at-bats," said Olsen. "It's not a problem for the pitchers who always seem to get enough innings."
"We go to Japan for the baseball and for the experience of travel. It opens a lot of these kids' eyes when they go there."
In Japan, the players have to adjust to dirt infields that can be soft. They also face teams that play the short game very well, like to run and execute defensively.
The Movers' season ends with the annual international tournament Aug. 3-6.
General admission at Les Murakami Stadium is $3.