Mets upset below-strength Saints side
Former New Zealand under-19 baseball World Series player Horowai Puketapu was the hero as his Mets team won the clash of the unbeaten sides in Hawke's Bay's premier men's softball post-Christmas competition on Saturday.
Playing at short stop for the first time this season lead-off batter Puketapu (pictured above) scored three runs and and collected three hits from as many turns at bat in Mets 5-0 victory against pre-Christmas champions Saints at Akina Park, Hastings.
Puketapu opened the scoring in the first inning when he came home on a Josh Gettins hit. In the third inning and again in the lead off role Puketapu hit a double but used his speed to reach third before he and Gettins scored on an error.
Puketapu was the first batter up again in the sixth inning and he reached third base on an error-assisted hit to right field. Gettins smashed a three bagger to score Puketapu before former Black Sox World Series utility Jovaan Hanley scored Gettins with a hit to the centre outfield.
Saints were unable to score in the top of the seventh and Mets didn't require their final turn at bat. Saints missed the services of this season's Hawke's Bay NFC squad teammates Daniel Green and Hoani Crawford as well as the experienced pair of Mace Price and Tridan McClutchie.
Saints also used their second-string pitcher Brodie Boyce for the first five innings. He collected eight strikeouts while conceding six safe hits. First string pitcher and Black Sox training squad member, Adam Woon, struck out the three batters who faced him during Mets final turn at bat.
Mets pitcher Jordan Waterhouse also struck out eight batters but only conceded three safe hits. After Puketapu Gettins was the next best of the Mets batters with two hits from three turns at bat.
The other match wasn't played as Maraenui Pumas defaulted to Fast Pitch.