Woon stars as Saints march in again
New Zealand under-23 squad member Adam Woon was the key architect as Saints won the feature Hawke's Bay premier men's softball clash yesterday.
Pitcher Woon collected 15 strikeouts and conceded three hits in Saints 4-3 victory over Mets at Akina Park, Hastings. He also scored all four of his team's runs hitting right outfielder Jacob Zurcher home in the first inning and smashing a three run automatic home run in the third inning.
Zurcher, a former Junior Black Sox teammate of Woon, also collected two hits from three turns at bat.
First baseman Horowai Puketapu was outstanding. He got on base with two of his three turns at bat and created havoc with his speed around the bases.
Mets pitcher-catcher combination of former Black Sox utility Jovaan Hanley and Curtis Huata combined well. Hanley took 11 strikeouts and conceded five hits.
With Huata on base, Hanley, hit an automatic home run to have Mets trailing 4-3 at the top of the final inning before Woon dominated again. Mets missed the batting experience of Jordan Waterhouse against the competition leaders.
Waterhouse was attending a wedding.
Maraenui Pumas beat Fast Pitch 8-1 in the other clash. Pumas player-coach Karaitiana Aranui was rapt with his entire squad but said promising pitcher Bailey Carson, short stop Manaaki Aranui and right outfielder Kotuku Taane were particularly prominent.
Carson conceded one run when pitching the first four innings. Last summer's Junior Black Sox pitcher Kahurangi Beamsley-Allan pitched the final inning for Pumas.
Promising Fast Pitch pitcher Nopera Tangaroa had some memorable innings.
"Nopera is going to be one of the best pitchers in the Bay during the next couple of years. But looking at the quality of this season's competition as a whole there is enough talent in the Bay to have a men's rep team which would be very competitive on the national scene if everyone was available," Karaitiana Aranui said.