Archive for the 'New Zealand' Category

Australia Rides Good Pitching to Finals

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Good teams are defined by the quality of their pitching staff. When compared to the three other teams competing in the Australia World Baseball Classic qualifier Australia has the superior pitching. That was again on display with four pitchers limiting South Africa to one run on six hits in their 4-1 win to get them to the finals.

Warwick Saupold got the start and worked the first three innings. He gave up the lone run to South Africa in the third inning after a Kyle Botha RBI single. Ryan Rowland Smith followed him with three shutout innings of two hit ball. Todd Van Steensel was called on for two shutout innings and Ryan Searle struck out three of the four hitters he faced in the ninth.

Australia erupted for three runs in the opening frame off South African starter Carl Michaels. James Beresford and Logan Wade started the game with back to back double with Stefan Welch following with an RBI single. Fans were still not settled in their seats and Australia was already up 2-0. A sacrifice fly by Trent Oeltjen upped the lead to 3-0.

What looked to be a rout after the first inning settled into a pitcher’s duel. Australia would not score their next run until the sixth inning after a wild pitch moved runners to second and third and David Kandilas scored on a James Beresford ground out.

The earlier match showed New Zealand pound the Philippines 17-7 in a game that lacked good pitching. The Philippines had actually taken a 7-4 lead with three runs in the top of the sixth. New Zealand hammered the Philippine bullpen with six in the bottom half of the sixth, another five in the seventh and two more in the eighth to end the game as a result of the slaughter rule.

Ex-Red Sox prospect Boss Moanaroa drove in seven runs with his four hits. His RBI onslaught started with an RBI double in the fifth, it went into overdrive with a 3-run homer in the sixth and was completed after a two run single in the seventh. If Boss was a little faster with the feet he could have extended one of his two doubles for a triple to hit for the cycle.

Eric Farris collected four hits for the Philippines from the leadoff spot and Brady Conlan bashed a two run homer in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3 but the production went for naught for lack of a bullpen. The Philippine hurlers did not help their cause by walking 10 batters. By contrast New Zealand issued only one walk.

The Philippines now go back home while New Zealand does battle with South Africa to see who will attempt to knock Australia from the top of the hill.

South Africa and Australia Open with WBC Qualifier Victories

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

South Africa used two big innings to rout New Zealand 7-1 in a World Baseball Classic Qualifier. Dylan Unsworth pitched eight shutout innings to quiet the bats of New Zealand. Brett Willemburg provided all the offense South Africa needed with two hits while driving in two runs. New Zealand pitchers walked seven and their defense committed three errors, two of them in a three run third that led to the first three runs scoring for South Africa. A wild pitch and a throwing error by catcher Connar O’Gorman was responsible for two South African runs.

New Zealand scored their only run in the bottom of the ninth on a walk to Boss Moanaroa that forced in a run. Jared Elario came on to face the final batter, forcing him to ground into a double play to end the game.

Australia scored seven in the seventh to rout the Philippines 11-1 in a game shortened by seven innings because of the ten run rule. James Beresford slammed four hits and drove in three runs to lead the Aussie offense. Beresford drove in two runs in the seven run seventh on a single. Stefan Welch also drove in three runs, including two in the seventh on a double and the first run for Australia in the first inning with a single.

Steven Kent worked six innings allowing only one run to get the win. That run came in the opening frame when the Philippines jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after two singles and a walk. Eric Farriss got things going with a single and Brady Conlan drove him in with a single.

In the double elimination tournament Australia will play South Africa while New Zealand will battle the Philippines to survive another day. You can view the boxscores of the game at the link below:

World Baseball Classic boxscores

WBC Australian Qualifier - New Zealand Roster

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Below is the roster for New Zealand as provided by Baseball America.

Catcher - Beau Bishop, Dewald de Klerk, Connar O’Gorman
Infield - Tyron Bartorillo, Scott Campbell, Jason Matthews, Boss Moanaroa, Alan Schoenberger
Outfield - Tim Auty, Daniel Bradley, Max Brown, Daniel Lamb-Hunt, Moko Moanaroa,
Left handed Pitching - Scott Cone, Jacob Curry, Nick Maronde
Right handed Pitching - Jimmy Boyce, Joe Boyce, Ben Cone, Kyle Glogoski, Benjamin Hughlon, Blair Johnstone, John Lee, Andrew Marck, Riki Paewai, Ben Thompson, Janie Wilson, Randy Yard

Lincoln Holdzkom starred in the 2012 qualifier when New Zealand lost in the finals to Taiwan. They went 2-2 in their first qualifier. His brother John Holdzkom is a top pitcher for the Pirates. Nick Maronde last appeared in the major leagues in 2014. Boss Moanaroa and his brother Moko played in the Red Sox minor league system. Boss still has major league ambitions and is one of the top sluggers in the Australian Baseball League.

New Zealand never participated in a World Cup competition so their entry into international baseball is fairly recent. They are rated 26th in the world but myworld thinks they have the best opportunity to upset Australia to advance to the World Baseball Classic.

WBC Qualifying Cities Determined

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

The World Baseball Classic and World Baseball and Softball Confederation have agreed to continue their working relationship to put on display the World Baseball Classic to determine the top baseball country. Japan won the first two events but the Dominican Republic won the last event. These two associations have decided the location and countries who will compete in the qualifiers for the final four spots for the World Baseball Classic. Twelve teams have qualified.

The qualifying locations are:

February 11-14 in Sydney, Australia

1) Australia, 2) New Zealand, 3) Philippines and 4) South Africa

March 17-20 in Mexicali, Mexico

1) Mexico, 2) Czech Republic, 3) Germany and 4) Nicaragua

March 17-20 in Panama City, Panama

1) Colombia, 2) France, 3) Panama and 4) Spain

September 22-25, in Brooklyn, New York, United States

1)Brazil, 2) Great Britain, 3) Israel and 4) Pakistan

The 12 teams who have qualified are:

1) Canada, 2) China, 3) Cuba, 4) Dominican Republic, 5) Italy, 6) Japan, 7) Netherlands, 8) Puerto Rico, 9) South Korea, 10) Taiwan, 11) United States and 12) Venezuela

The World Baseball Classic will be held on March 2017, provided the major league players association and the major leagues agree to a collective bargaining agreement prior to the end of the 2016 season. If no agreement can be reached it will be interesting to see if the event is still held.

Oh and Aaron Head the Children’s Fair in Japan

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

The two have combined for 1,623 homeruns. Sadaharu Oh (868 homeruns) is the chairman and Hank Aaron (755 homeruns) is the co-founder of the World Baseball Children’s Foundation. The 300 kids from 16 different countries will learn the game of baseball for six days from 10 different international coaches. The kids can also learn a thing or two from listening to Oh and Aaron.

The countries represented in this event are Burma (Myanmar), Canada, China, Denmark, Fiji, Germany, Hong Kong, Korea, Malta, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United States and the host Japan. The ten different coaches represent six different countries though the two Italian coaches and the one Australian coach appear to have no children representing their country. Ex-major leaguer Eugene Kingsale is representing the Netherlands as a coach and lacks any kids from his country.

The event began in Los Angeles in 1990 and since that time over 5,000 kids aged 10 to 11 years old have represented 93 different countries trying to expand their knowledge of baseball. It would be interesting to know if any professional players from the United States, Japan or another country attended this event in the early years.

Australia 18 and Under Qualifes for World Cup

Monday, January 26th, 2015

The Australia 18 and under team qualified for the World Cup that will be played in Japan in September of this year. They went undefeated through the championships, beating Guam in the final match 10-0. Four different pitchers limited the Guamanians to just to two hits in the six innings.

The game was scoreless after two innings, but the Aussies pulled away with crooked numbers in the next four innings. Australia finished the tournament undefeated, scoring in double figures in all six games they played except one, when they were limited to 8 in one of their wins over New Zealand.

There were only three teams in the tournament. New Zealand came in second at 3-3, losing all three of their games against Australia and Guam ended the tournament winless at 0-6. The most competitive game was the opener when New Zealand just nipped Guam 1-0. After that game the rest of the matches were decided by at least five runs or more.

You can review the results of the matches here:


Pita Rona Released by O’s

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

It was a small piece in the Baseball America Minor League Transaction column, mixed in with names like Jason McCracken, Kris Richards and Eun Chul Choi. In New Zealand it made big headlines with the Orioles using this publicity to strengthen their international program there. Pita was a 6′7″ softball player who played on the New Zealand national team with his father. At 6′7″ the Orioles thought he could make a good firstbaseman. The conversion to baseball did not take. In his two years in rookie ball he hit .176 with just three of his 13 hits going for extra bases.

Myworld did see him play in Taiwan with the New Zealand under 21 team against Korea. Because we arrived late for that game we did not score it, but his at bats were not impressive against the Korean pitchers (three whiffs in four hitless at bats). Overall he hit .211, which matched his OBA and slugging percentage. Three other players on that team hit over .300.

He did sign a seven year deal with the Orioles. That means he should have five more years of paycheck from them. In New Zealand softball is a very popular sport and as a 17 year old he starred with his father on the New Zealand national team. If no other major league team takes an interest in him he can always go back to softball.

Professional Baseball Player to Ambasador of New Zealand

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Mark Gilbert played one season for Tony Larussa with the Chicago White Sox in 1985. The Chicago Cubs were the first team to sign him in 1978. He has his name in the Baseball Encyclopedia, going 6 for 22 with four walks and three runs batted in. The next year, after undergoing knee surgery he decided to leave baseball to begin a career in an investment firm in Boca Raton. That turned into a good career move for Gilbert. Gilbert was 28, with a bum knee and they did not pay the million dollar salaries back then to journeyman outfielders.

From there he eventually served as the deputy national finance chairman of the Democratic National Committee. As with ambassadorships, President Obama rewareded him with a job as the Ambassador to New Zealand. They are playing a lot more baseball in New Zealand. Perhaps his professional baseball experience leaves him more qualified than many other people selected to ambassador posts. He becomes the first former professional baseball player to become a credentialed Ambassador.

You can read his Wikipedia page here:


South Korea Takes Third in Under 21 World Cup

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

Nicaragua had played South Korea tough in an earlier game, knotting them up 2-2 after five. They saw the game slip away, eventually losing 9-2. South Korea made sure of this game early, turning a 1-0 lead after three into a 8-0 rout after five. They eventually won 10-4.

Ja-Wook Koo went deep with a solo blast for Korea. Seong-Ho Kang drove in three runs with his bases loaded triple in the fifth. The three Asian dragons, Tawian, Japan and South Korea took the gold, silver and bronze in the tournament. They were ranked 4-2-8 entering the tournament.

The final standings of the tournament:

South Korea
Czech Republic
New Zealand

Australia Wins First Game of Second Round

Friday, November 14th, 2014

Australia won their first game of the second round, beating the Czechs 9-4. They must beat South Korea today to be able to play for the bronze game, or hope Nicaragua loses to the Czechs.

Guy Edmonds hit a solo homerun and drove in the first run with an RBI single in the first to lead the offense. Robbie Perkins also drove in two runs. Lachlan Wells threw the first four innings, not allowing a runner to cross the plate to set the stage. The Czechs rallied for three runs in the seventh to make the score respectable.

In a 7th to 11th place determination Italy beat Venezuela 9-5 and Netherlands beat New Zealand by the same score.