Surfrider Signs Up With His Favorite Baseball Team: UH

Being a lifelong University of Hawaii baseball fan, the image of Les Murakami Stadium always is vivid in Bryce Ah Sam’s mind.

Last week, the Surfrider senior pitcher ensured he’ll be playing there regularly himself when he signed his letter of intent in a ceremony at the Elks Club in Waikiki.

“Playing there (at UH) is a dream come true,” said Ah Sam. “I played there once (in an outside league), and I enjoyed it. When I was playing Little League as a kid, my coach used to take us there to see games. I was always a fan of UH.”

Ah Sam is currently competing for the Hawaii Rockies, an adult league team, on Wednesdays and Saturdays at Hans L’Orange Park in Waipahu. He plays first base and outfield for the Rockies, but will “only be pitching” when he joins UH. In addition to playing for the Rockies during the so-called high school “off-season,” Ah Sam works out regularly at Kailua with Surfrider head coach Corey Ishigo, but will take a break from throwing to rest his arm for the prep season.

Ah Sam will be a key component in 2013 for a Kailua team that went 16-2-1 overall last spring. Having already chosen UH, he acknowledged that the pressure also is off and he feels free to play. “I don’t have to worry about trying to impress that one coach or about not being able to play in college,” he said. “I’m pretty excited to get the opportunity to play at UH. The day I committed took a big load off of my shoulders.

“I think I’d get homesick if I went away. I like living on Oahu. I had other schools talking to me (Washington, Kansas, Oregon State, etc.), but UH was the first to offer, and I was pretty sure I wanted to go there as soon as they offered. I told them yes the next day. I want to thank my parents, friends, teammates and my coaches for helping me to get where I’m at now.”

Ah Sam had pitched in front of UH assistant coaches during the summer when he attended a tryout for the prestigious Area Code Brewer’s Team. A month later, UH offered a scholarship. “Head coach (Mike) Trapasso also came to a couple of my games last season,” he added.

For his part, Ah Sam joins a much-heralded UH recruiting class, which also includes ‘Iolana Akau (Saint Louis) and Marcus Doi (Mid-Pacific) from Oahu. Ah Sam is the only member of Hawaii’s incoming recruiting class, which has seven members, who is a pitcher.

“I know the majority of the kids that committed to UH already,” he said.