Star-Bulletin Sports


Movers’ roster lacking Rainbows

By Al Chase

The Hawaii Island Movers will operate as an independent team with no league affiliation for the second consecutive season this summer.

Practice began yesterday and the opener is a 5 p.m. doubleheader tomorrow against the San Mateo (Calif.) Bulldogs at Les Murakami Stadium.

Another difference, a first since Pacific Region Baseball president Don Takaki formed the team in 1985, is no Hawaii Rainbows are on the Movers' roster. UH volunteer assistant coach Keith Komeiji is managing the Movers and NCAA rules prohibit players from playing on a summer team coached by a coach from their college team.

"We would love to have Rainbows on the team, but NCAA rules don't allow it. That's another ridiculous situation that hurts the kids," said UH coach Mike Trapasso.

However, seven future Rainbows who signed letters of intent with Hawaii last November are with the Movers. They are Drew Jackson, Matt Inouye, Isaac Omura, Tyler Wightman, Rocky Russo, Guy McDowell and Keahi Rawlins.

"It's something coach Trap and I talked about. We wanted to have the kids who signed early come in, get their foot in the door and see what Division I pitching is like," said Komeiji.

"Hopefully, this will make the next step a little easier. They will get the feel of what it is like to play every day in California."

Another first for the Island Movers is a California road trip during which they have 19 games scheduled in 16 days at either end of travel days to and from the mainland. The Movers also play 23 games plus the season-ending tournament at Murakami Stadium.

Assisting Komeiji is former UH and pro pitcher Richard Olsen and Leilehua High School coach Garrett Yukumoto.

Admission to home games is $3 per person.

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