There was success.
There was shock.
There was Micah Pi. The easy-going outfielder was enjoying life as a Mid-Pacific Owl. When the team returned from an American Legion summer tournament, there was a party to celebrate. Pi didn’t feel well and went home early.
The next day, he was in the hospital. A tumor the size of a softball was in his torso. In the following months, he underwent chemotherapy treatment, started from the bottom and somehow regained his strength and form.
“He finished the chemo in December and came back just one week later,” Owls coach Dunn Muramaru said. “He had a hard time running two laps. That’s courage. Now he’s starting.”
The team hadn’t said anything publicly about their right fielder’s amazing recovery before making a big statement on Thursday. When the first-place Owls took the field against ‘Iolani on Thursday afternoon, they wore neon-green jerseys — the color of lymphoma awareness.
It was the first time since Muramaru’s first season as head coach, 1987, that the Owls wore anything but their classic gray jerseys and pants. Mid-Pacific responded with a 6-0 win over the then-second-place Raiders.
“When we got the shirts, I wasn’t expecting all this,” he said of MPI’s senior-day festivities after the game.
The left sleeve of each jersey was donned by the symbol for the mathematical symbol pi.
“I’m glad our guys support me. They’re like family,” said Pi, who walked, scored a run, flew out and was hit by a pitch.
Ace Shion Matsushita provided the kind of contribution that helps a team regain momentum. MPI (8-2) had lost to D-II powerhouse St. Francis two days earlier. Matsushita’s staggered, side-arm delivery was kryptonite for the visiting Raiders, who managed six base hits.
Matsushita, like his teammates, invest a lot of time and reps into their craft. Pi just wants to be a great teammate, and his teammates know this.
“Micah is very humble,” Matsushita said. “He doesn’t really want attention.”