When Georgia Tech graduate transfer and pitcher Andy Archer committed to play the 2022 college baseball season for the University of Hawaii, all he knew at the time was that he’d go to school and play ball on the islands for a year.

Archer made the trip to Oahu without a solidified living situation, thinking he’d perhaps crash with a teammate for the time being.

All the latest sports news from Hawaii’s sports station

On a connecting flight to the islands by way of Los Angeles, the Georgia native sat next to local architect Ma Ry Kim. What unfolded for the next five hours was a story of fate and faith.

“Andy actually sat in the wrong row on the airplane,” Kim recalled to KHON2. “The seat next to me was supposed to be empty, and I noticed he sat down. What was unusual is that he was reading a Bible. We talked for five hours solid from Los Angeles to Hawaii. By the end of the ride, I had just asked Andy if he wanted to come home and live with us.”

After feeling a true kinship with Kim and her family, Archer agreed to the arrangement.

“I call my mom and I’m like, ‘Mom, listen. I’m gonna go to this address. If you don’t hear from me in three hours, I want you to call the police,'” Archer joked. “Surely enough, it turned out to be that magical fit. I’ve been there ever since and I don’t plan on going anywhere for the foreseeable future.”

Archer has spent his time on Oahu living with Kim and her husband, Russ Wozniak, who already have four of their own children. Over the last year, Archer has become an additional hanai son.

“When you meet Andy, he’s a great guy,” Wozniak says. “Bear hug on the curb and instantly, we had a connection that we just wanted to welcome into our house, and the connection he’s had with our kids has been awesome. It’s been absolutely fantastic.”

For the 2022 season, Archer went 2-5 with a 5.04 ERA as the team’s initial No. 2 starter. His final start was perhaps his best, as he put the ‘Bows in a position to win with 5.2 strong innings on Thursday against Cal Poly. The ‘Bows could not hold on and lost 5-3, and Archer was stuck with the no decision.

When Archer exited his Thursday start, he took his time embracing his teammates and glanced into the crowd, where his parents, Jill and Glenn, were seated next to Kim and Wozniak.

“For us to come in and fly to the game, hearing these people around us and the young children cheer for him and call him by name and yell his number and his nickname, that’s just amazing,” Jill Archer said.

Added Glenn Archer about Andy’s experience living with Kim and Wozniak: “It changed everything for him. His experience has been so much richer, so much deeper. He’s been able to get to know not just the baseball players, obviously, but so many people here in the local area, in the Manoa area. He’s gonna be here for a while.”

Kim and Wozniak admitted they weren’t the biggest baseball followers before the season. In 2022, with Archer staying at their home, they instantly became BaseBow fanatics and did not miss a game. The ‘Bows finished 28-24, putting together their best year in over a decade.

Andy Archer, who plans to remain on the islands, found so much more than what he was initially looking for when he boarded his flight to HNL.

“Family doesn’t necessarily mean blood, it’s who you’re loyal to. It’s just been a really special year but more than anything, I’m just really, really grateful,” Archer says of being hanaied. “So many good things have happened to me. For me to have those people in my life to mentor me and teach me, that’s made my experience so unique and so valuable.”