End of the Rainbow: Instead of hustling at Hawaii, BIIF Four home with time on hands

  • Hawaii baseball photo After having his freshman season at the University of Hawaii cut short because of the coronavirus pandemic, Kamehameha alum Tai Atkins is “very excited to get back to work and make our short appearance even better.”

The BIIF Four — Daylen Calicdan, DallasJ Duarte, Stone Miyao and Tai Atkins — on Hawaii’s baseball team are back at home in Hilo and living like the rest of us.

UH’s spring sports, including baseball, softball and men’s volleyball, were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the four flew home before the 14-day self-quarantine hit.

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Under the NCAA’s ruling on March 30, all of the spring-sport players in Division I will have the opportunity to repeat their class status.

Calicdan, from Kamehameha, started the year as a redshirt junior outfielder and will begin the 2021 season as a junior.

Duarte, from Kamehameha, is a sophomore catcher while Miyao, from Waiakea, is a freshman infielder, and Atkins, from Kamehameha, is a freshman pitcher.

The Rainbow Warriors started the season with a two-game sweep of UH-Hilo and finished with an 11-6 record, two weeks before Big West Conference play.

In seven games and 24 at-bats, Calicdan batted .250 with three RBIs. Duarte hit .143 in 28 at-bats and 12 games with two RBIs. Miyao hit .206 in 34 at-bats and 13 games. Atkins was 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA in 10 1/3 innings with 13 strikeouts.

Atkins had a big-picture take on the shutdown of spring sports.

“It has been tough for all of the athletes on campus but especially for our spring athletes. We’ve trained for months, put in all that time and sacrifice just to reach conference play and have it canceled,” he said. “However as a returning freshman because of our extra year of eligibility, I am very excited to get back to work and make our short appearance even better.”

He’s still hitting the books, at least online, and getting workouts in to prepare for summer ball. He’s hoping to play in the Cape Cod League.

The Cape Cod League is scheduled to start on June 13, maybe an optimistic outlook.

Until then, Atkins will keep his dry sense of humor intact.

“Fortunately, we get sent some workouts for the week sent from our weight lifting coaches,” he said. “Thankfully, it’s made to accommodate a lack of equipment.

“But let me tell you, two buckets of water and a guava stick will do wonders. You can hit almost every muscle group with those things.”

If baseball doesn’t work out, there’s a chance for a career in sitcom comedy writing.

On a serious note, Atkins is well aware of the news and hopes people help flatten the curve with the stay-at-home mandate.

“I pray that everyone can adhere to the rules and stay safe,” he said.

Duarte gets his work done then enjoys himself.

“My day typically starts with a nice breakfast while I jump on Zoom with my classmates and teammates. I’ll get a home workout in to get the blood flowing or a jog and it usually ends with stuffing my face with ice cream or anything sweet in the fridge. Gotta love that.”

Well, even the Cookie Monster couldn’t resist chocolate chip cookies, so Duarte can be forgiven.

He does watch what he eats and keeps in touch with his teammates to stay connected.

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His heart goes out to the seniors. But at least they’ll have the option of coming back for another season.

“The toughest thing throughout this situation is worrying or thinking about my seniors,” he said. “They worked so hard, put in the blood, sweat, and tears for this virus to crush a whole year of baseball and opportunities for them. My heart goes out to them.”

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