Island Movers begin 23rd summer of ball
The Hawaii Island Movers begin their 23rd summer of baseball tomorrow against the Paradise All Stars at Les Murakami Stadium with a 6:30 p.m. game.
The teams play again Saturday and Sunday, before the Island Movers head for Japan.
The Movers have a 30-game schedule, with 19 of those games in Japan during a trip from June 26 to July 24.
"Because we had a tough time getting fields (on Oahu), we thought it would be a good thing to stay on the road longer," Movers coach Rich Olsen said.
"It will be a good experience for the players. They play tough ball in Japan, keep the pressure on. You want the players to learn something from that."
The artificial surface at Murakami Stadium is scheduled to be replaced soon. If that project starts before the Movers' last home game on Aug. 5, they probably will move games to Central Oahu Regional Park.
The Movers roster includes players from the Hawaii Rainbows and Hawaii Pacific Sea Warriors, local players from four-year mainland schools and junior colleges and non-Hawaii mainland players and two local high school standouts.
The purpose of the Movers program is to give the players a chance to improve.
"We get information from coaches on what they want their players to work on and we also check with the players," Olsen said. "They all are trying to improve their skills. That is the first part of it.
"The second part is the trip, the cultural exchange. The players actually attend classes in Japan to see what the differences are and have a chance to interact with the students."
After returning from Japan, the Movers play a four-game series against Japan's Osaka Gakuin University. They conclude the summer with the annual Hawaii International Baseball Tournament, Aug. 2-5, with two Japanese all-star teams from Kyushu and Kansai and the San Mateo (Calif.) Bulldogs.
ISLAND MOVERS ROSTER
Nick Andrews, Hawaii; Herbert Chung, Hawaii Pacific; John Fandetti, Samford, and Lyle Kitagawa, Saddleback
Peter Arakawa, Hartnell; Stephen Ballard, Samford; Chad Itokazu, New Mexico; Kyle Kanaeholo, Oregon J.C.; Michael Lam, Creighton; Jeff Lundell, Santa Ana; Case Miyahira, Occidental; Sky Valenzuela, Sierra, and Taylor Watanabe, Sacramento State
Ridge Carpenter, Kalani High; Evan Kitamura, South Mountain; Robert Medina, Benedictine; Kousuke Otsuka, Osaka Gakuin (Japan)
Dustin Brenton, Central Alabama C.C.; Yuichiro Fujiwara, Santa Ana; Makoto Hirano, Osaka Gakuin; Tyler Inouye, Illinois Institute of Technology; Cory Kahn, Hawaii; Mikihiro Kishinaka, Osaka Gakuin; Wally Marciel, Kansas; Elliott Miller, Bebille; Richard Olsen, Hawaii; Keahi Rawlins, Hawaii; Jason Shimizu, Hawaii Pacific; Micah Takahashi, South Mountain; Kili Vierra, Kailua High
Rich Olsen, head coach; Galen Kitamura, Shayne Kelley, Les Loo and Randy Yamashiro, assistants.
ISLAND MOVERS SCHEDULE
Paradise All-Stars, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: Paradise All-Stars, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday: Paradise All-Stars, 1:00 p.m.
June 26-July 24: Road trip in Japan with games in Hiroshima, Kitakyushu, Kansai, Sapporo and Osaka
July 27: Osaka Gakuin U., 6:30 p.m.
July 28: Osaka Gakuin U., 6:30 p.m.
July 29: Osaka Gakuin U., 1:00 p.m.
July 30: Osaka Gakuin U., 6:30 p.m.
August 2-5: International tournament with Kyushu, Kansai, San Mateo and Hawaii Island Movers. Two games daily, 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.; Sunday 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Home games played at Les Murakami Stadium.