Fal­con First Base­man Pre­dicts Good Fin­ish For His Team

MidWeek Islander (East Oahu) - - EAST OAHU SPORTS - By JACK DANILEWICZ

Kalani first base­man Reyn Shitanishi’s se­nior itin­er­ary in­cludes a trip to next month’s state base­ball tour­na­ment. And as the team reached its mid­way point in the OIA Red sea­son late last week, Shitanishi and his team­mates felt right on sched­ule.

“We’re get­ting our clique to­gether, and I’m con­fi­dent we can go far in states,” he said.

The top six fin­ish­ers at the OIA’s post-sea­son tour­ney will earn league berths for the state tour­na­ment. Kalani stood 3-2 in the ul­tra-com­pet­i­tive East with seven games left at press time.

“Every­body is equal — no one is go­ing to run away with the East this year,” he said. “I feel con­fi­dent in our team, and I think we’re ca­pa­ble of do­ing good things.”

Kalani re­turns to ac­tion Satur­day at 10 a.m. at Kaiser. (The Cougars won the first game be­tween the teams 2-1 March 17.)

A sec­ond-year starter, Shitanishi is look­ing for a strong fin­ish to his prep ca­reer. He re­cently vis­ited with East Oahu Is­lan­der.

What is your ear­li­est sports-re­lated mem­ory? When I was 6 and started play­ing base­ball, we had a Pinto draft where the coaches picked the play­ers, and I was real ner­vous be­cause I was still not sure about base­ball.

Who’s had the big­gest im­pact on your life? My dad (Ja­son). He’s ba­si­cally been with me through this and pushed me to prac­tice, work hard and be hum­ble. He in­tro­duced me to base­ball and taught me how to play.

What area of your game did you fo­cus on dur­ing the off-sea­son? My hit­ting. I felt like I bat­ted solid last year, but I also felt I could have done more. I worked on my swing and my weak points. That was key.

What’s the most im­por­tant thing you’ve learned through base­ball? To work hard and never give up. If you work hard, the re­sults will come, and the game’s never over un­til it’s over. I’ve seen some crazy things (in base­ball).

Who is ready for a break­out per­for­mance dur­ing the sec­ond half of the sea­son? Pay­ton Awaya. He strug­gled in the first part, but he’s been work­ing hard and is mo­ti­vated to do big things.

What In­ter­net site do you fre­quent the most? Scor­inglive.com to check the scores and see who’s do­ing well in the East.

What i s your l east fa­vorite house­hold chore? Clean­ing the bath­room.

What movie could you watch over and over? Step Broth­ers.

Who are three of your fa­vorite mu­si­cal artists? Drake, Big Sean and Kid Ink.

How do you like to spend your free time? Hang­ing out with friends and go­ing to the beach.

What would be your dream des­ti­na­tion? The Ba­hamas.

You’re stuck on Kaho‘olawe and can have an end­less sup­ply of just one food. What would it be? Steak.

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