Saints run hot in comp opener
Last week's Six 60 concert in Hawke's Bay forced a week's delay to the start of Hawke's Bay's premier men's post-Christmas softball competition.
In the only match played at Akina Park, Hastings yesterday pre-Christmas champions Saints beat Mets 6-2. The Maraenui Pumas clash against Fast Pitch was postponed following the death of former Pumas player Max Aranui earlier in the week.
Thanks to an automatic home run from Black Sox training squad member Adam Woon over the centre outfield fence on diamond one Saints led 3-0 after the first inning. Woon's brother and player-coach Luke Woon and former Junior Black Sox utility Jacob Zurcher had both got on base with singles to centre field. The Woon brothers scored again in the third inning after getting on base with singles and capitalising on pass balls.
Saints finished their scoring in the sixth with former Junior Black Sox squad member Brodie Boyce being walked and scoring and an error by Mets catcher Josh Gettins while attempting a pick off. Saints took full advantage of their five safe hits off the pitching of former Black Sox utility Jovaan Hanley with all safe hits scoring.
Mets weren't so lucky. Saints used Boyce on the mound following his transfer back to Hawke's Bay from Auckland and he collected 13 strikeouts while conceding five safe hits and a walk during seven innings on the mound. Both of the Woon brothers collected two hits from three turns at bat.
Mets were scoreless until the sixth inning when Hanley hit a massive home run over centre field and Kyle Groner scored after a safe hit to left field which was errored and scoring on a sacrifice bunt from Karl Steffert. Top batters for Mets were Hanley with two from three and United States-born St John's College student Groner also with two from three.
Mike Thompson collected Mets other hit with a double to left field. Pitching for Mets, Hanley, took 11 strikeouts in six innings while leaking five safe hits and three walks.