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Kiwi's Worldwide: March Update

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Welcome to my second Kiwi’s Worldwide post where I am aiming to keep you in touch with how New Zealand baseballers are going, playing the game all around the world.

In this post we check in on how Diamondblack Max Brown performed for his Bellevue College team alongside kiwi catcher Dewald De Klerk, and new beginnings for a few more kiwi’s in the United States and Canada.

On the professional front, four kiwi’s have headed to North America for the beginning of the summer season, with Pita Rona reporting for his first extended Spring Training with the Baltimore Orioles and Daniel Devonshire joining his Toronto Blue Jays team mates for the second spring of his career. Both will likely be assigned to Gulf Coast Rookie League teams in the coming weeks and I will keep you updated as to their progress.

Te Wera Bishop has been at Spring Training with his Boston Red Sox organisation for a month along with Diamondblacks slugger Boss Moanaroa, who is back at the Greenville Drive for a second season.

 Diamondblacks, and former minor league pitcher, Lincoln Holdzkom will be taking the mound for the Wichita Wingnuts in the Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Kansas, while brother John Holdzkom has signed with the Loredo Lemurs in Texas, both in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.

Meanwhile across the border, Canada will also see a couple of Diamondblacks pitchers this season with Jamie Wilson having left last week to hook up with the Okotoks Dawgs based in Okotoks, Alberta playing in the Western Major Baseball League, where he will likely come up against fellow Diamondblack and 2012 WMBL championship winner Landon Adelman in the Regina Red Sox. Fellow New Zealand pitcher Andrew Marck will also play in Canada having signed to play for the London Majors in the semi-professional Intercounty Baseball League.

Fellow Diamondblack Daniel Lamb-Hunt is heading to Germany to join the Bonn Capitals for his fourth season in the German Baseball Bundesliga, his second with the Capitals.

In collegiate and high school action, Bellevue College from Washington State opened their competitive season, and Diamondblack outfielder Max Brown was on fire, but unfortunately his hitting couldn’t be replicated by his team mates as Bellevue lost 3 of the 4 games in their series with Edmonds College 3-4, 0-7 & 2-13, whilst winning game 2, 2-1.

In game 1, Bellevue had gone out to a 3-0 lead but couldn’t hold on despite Brown hitting 3 for 3 and scoring 2 runs, while in games 2 & 3, he continued with a hot bat with 4 more hits in the 3 games. With a batting average of .409 Brown is currently sitting in 9th spot on the NWAACC hitting ladder. - Full story

Bellevue followed up their weekend series with a midweek non-competition game against Green River, winning 4-2 and Max hit 3 for 4 to raise his batting average to .434 is currently sitting in 3rd spot on the NWAACC hitting ladder. Fellow Kiwi Dewald DeKlerk had a quiet series, picking up just 1 hit over the 4 games and only had 1 at bat in the midweek match. - Full Story

3rd baseman Nick Koh’s City College of San Francisco have also had a slow start to the season on a 6 game losing streak, dropping their most recent games to San Mateo (2-8), Skyline (3-4), and Cabrillo (6-17), with Koh picking up a hit in the third game. Fellow CCSF Ram and New Zealander Scott Drinkwater has been out since March 14 due to concussion.

Diamondblacks pitcher Joe Boyce has also had a great start to 2013 with his Eastside Catholic High School team which is based in Sammamish in Washington State. He has had 3 starts on the mound for 3 wins so far and with the bat averages 0.184 with 9 hits. Boyce has already signed with Abilene Christian College to further his baseball at University level once he completes high school.

Another New Zealander playing in the US collegiate system is catcher Connar O’Gorman who catches for the New Mexico Junior College Thunderbirds and he is off to a hot start in the NJCAA Region 5 competition with the bat. After leading the averages earlier in the year, O’Gorman is currently batting .342 and in his most recent 4 game series against Odessa Junior College batted 2 for 10 with an RBI and a run with his team sharing the series 2 games apiece.

Well that’s about it for this week and now the season is upon us, I’ll be posting a little more regularly over the coming weeks.

Your’s in Baseball,

Ian McDonald

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