After completing a sweep over UC Davis last weekend, the University of Hawaii baseball team enters its final road trip of the season mathematically alive in the Big West Conference race.

The Rainbow Warriors would need to win all of their final six games and need Cal State Fullerton to lose four of six in order to pull off a miraculous run to the program’s first ever Big West title.

All the latest sports news from Hawaii’s sports station

Lately, the Rainbow Warriors have turned to reliever Tai Atkins for more than his role as a relief pitcher.

Atkins, a Hawaiian Studies major from Kohala, has taken on the role of blowing a conch shell before the games. It has become a tradition that has not only become celebrated by fans, but also a practice also known as Ku that perpetuates the prideful culture that the team represents.

“The significance of the pu, the conch shell, is a ceremonial way of official beginnings. So I thought it was cool to start it for our home games. When our team takes a break and they head out to the field and welcome them with the pu and kind of initiate the start of the game. On the road, we also take it. Coach Hill likes to storm the gates. So, what we’ll do is that we’ll have our little prayer outside and before we enter the stadium, I’ll blow the pu and let the entire stadium know that we’re coming,” Atkins explained to KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello.

“I take a lot of pride in it now. As a native Hawaiian, I think it’s cool to perpetuate cultural traditions. It’s a reminder for us to to know that we play in a very unique spot, just to add little bits of our own culture here and there. I think that gives us a big boost not only for the program, but for the players that come in from the mainland to feel what it’s like to be from here.”

The Rainbow Warriors will open their series against CSUN on Friday at noon HST. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and will be also available on ESPN Honolulu.