Black Sox bound for Japan

April 27, 2006

Softball New Zealand

Black Sox bound for Japan
Thursday April 27th 2006

The New Zealand Community Trust Black Sox fly out for Japan tomorrowmorning with just one thing on their minds – winning the Pacific Seriesagainst Australia, Samoa and the home team Japan.

The battle for 2006 Pacific Series supremacy will be played out atShellcom, Sendai from May 3rd – 6th. In the tournament all four teamswill play each other twice in a double round robin before the playoffgames on Saturday May 6th when the top two sides face off for the titlewhile the other two teams playoff for the minor placings.
Going into the four day tournament as the three time world champions anddefending Pacific Series winners NZCT Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase iswell aware that his team will be targeted as the one to beat.

“The fact we haven’t been beaten in a while is not lost on our oppositionand a lot of teams go into a tournament like this looking to get at leastone scalp from us,” said Kohlhase.

It is seven years since the NZCT Black Sox last toured Japan but Kohlhaseis well aware of what the team will face. In a new experience for theplayers the ground where the tournament will be held is a fully enclosedindoor stadium used for both softball and baseball.

“This is a team that needs challenges and the excitement levels in theteam are high for the tour. None of the guys have played in an indoorstadium before with the exception of Michael Gaiger.”

In the squad of 17 selected for the Pacific Series there are two new capsboth from Hutt Valley pitcher Regan Manley and outfielder Malcolm Namana.With the exception of the two debutants Kohlhase describes the squad asexperienced.

“It is an experienced team but we have always been mindful of introducingnew players to the squad to ensure we are not a team that rests on ourlaurels and we continue to try and lift our game to the nextlevel.”

As he departs for Japan Kohlhase says the tour is another step in thelong term planning for the 2009 World Championships but he is also wellaware of the need for success at the Pacific Series as the NZCT Black Soxlook to maintain their winning ways.

Pitchers - Jeremy Manley (Hutt Valley), Thomas Cameron (Auckland),Michael Gaiger (Canterbury), Regan Manley (Hutt Valley).

Catchers – Patrick Shannon (Auckland), Stephen Ratu(Wellington).

Infield –Donny Hale (Auckland), Travis Wilson (Canterbury), Brad Rona(North Harbour), Nathan Nukunuku, vice captain (Auckland),

Outfield - Daniel Milne (Canterbury), Thomas Makea (Wellington), RhysCasley (Hutt Valley), Stacy McLean (Wellington), Gus Leger (Auckland),Malcolm Namana (Hutt Valley).

Designated Player - Jarrad Martin, captain (North Harbour).

By SNZ Media Liaison: Kelly Mitchell
* mailto:kelly.mitchell@xtra.co.nz


Cheers Vance
Softball New Zealand web master.
* mailto:vanf@ihug.co.nz