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East // East Oahu Sports

Falcons All Fired Up For Summer Baseball

Kalani’s baseball program already has a summer to remember. Now the Falcons just want to extend it.

As the American Legion League concluded its regular season Sunday, the 19-and-under team was on the bubble, according to head coach Shannon Hirai. Should Kalani make the cut, it could be among the teams you would least want to play to start off the playoffs.

Indeed, after winning 10 of its last 11 games (as of press time), Kalani ended its season playing as well as any team in the league.

“We’ve kind of been on a roll, but we think we still need to win out to get in,” said Hirai, whose team was 10-6 overall. Competing in the ALL season under the banner Falcon Baseball, Kalani also added the services this summer of Zach Muenster (Punahou), Eric Akamine (Castle) and Micah Witty-Oakland (Pac-5). “I think that because we added some new players, it took some time for them to get to know each other, but now they’re playing well.”

Akamine is well-known to Falcon fans, having been an All-Conference player in the spring for Castle, which competes in the OIA East along with Kalani.

“He’s been playing all over, filling in the holes,” Hirai said. “He’s done everything for us.

“Zach has been one of our clutch hitters,” he added, “and Micah is batting over .300 for us.”

Chase Sumida and Royce Yamamoto both are expected to be key contributors again next spring. “They’ve raised their game, they’ve been playing really well for us and they’ve slowly picked it up. Royce is hitting over .400, and Chase is batting over .300 with runners in scoring position.”

Recent Kalani graduates Brandon Valenzuela and Brandon Medeiros also are playing ALL and have bolstered the pitching staff. “We have a lot of pitchers. Both of them have been pitching really well.”

In addition to the 19-and-unders, Falcon Baseball also fields ALL teams in 15U and 17U divisions. This summer marks the first time the school has entered a team into the 15U division.

“We have close to 50 kids playing with us,” Hirai noted.

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