Kiwis Worldwide: July Update
Time for another update on my Kiwis Worldwide blog where I aim to keep you in touch with how New Zealand baseball players are going, playing the game all around the world.
In this month’s offering, I’ll be taking a look at one rookie’s first pro milestone and I’ll profile Diamondblacks pitcher Andrew Marck and how life is treating him in Canada.
The infielder hit his first ever professional home run against the GCL Red Sox (who recently released Beau Bishop), whilst also hitting a triple RBI double against the GCL Rays. The newcomer is still finding his feet having only played in 6 games so far.
A 140 pitch complete game 3-2 win over Guelph Royals last week was followed over the weekend with another complete game in the Majors 11-3 thrashing of Burlington Bandits, throwing 96 pitches giving up 3 runs on 4 hits. After an indifferent start to his campaign Andrew’s now had 3 consecutive wins and lowered his Earned Run Average (ERA) down to 4.00 with a 3-2 win-loss record.
I caught up with Andrew recently in a facebook chat and started by asking him how he ended up at London Majors?:
AM: I was looking for a place to play this year and had some very intriguing options to weigh up including some European and American teams. With the help of Matt Mills, (my old West City rival) I was able to contact a few teams here in Ontario and my coach in London was very interested and made my decision easy.
IM: How is life "on the road?”
AM: Being on the road in Ontario is pretty awesome. I have got to see the whole of Ontario and it is a stunning province. We take a team bus everywhere we go and get looked after pretty good.
IM: What is a rough outline of an average day?
AM: A large number of the team are staying in a university residence which also offers free breakfast. My day starts there with a large plate of cooked breakfast and then we head to the gym. We would follow up with a lazy morning including table tennis, Netflix and checking out the town. We then have to be at the field at 4.30pm for batting practice which is when we would do the necessary work (run, long toss, bullpen). We then play our game, head home and then do it all again. Life is good!
IM: What are your baseball ambitions?
AM: I am just playing and working as hard as I can and enjoying every step along the way. I am really enjoying this year with the Majors and I am really focused on bringing a championship to London. Taking New Zealand to the next World Baseball Classic is one thing that is definitely at the forefront of my mind.
I will try and bring you more interviews and profiles as the season progresses and you can get to know our players a bit better.
Also in Canada, Jamie Wilson has had a busy time playing for the Okotoks Dawgs in the WMBL and in his latest game, he struck-out 8 batters in just over 4 innings without allowing a run in the Dawgs 3-2 walk-off win over the Mavericks.
Meanwhile, in Germany, Daniel Lamb-Hunt has continued his hot hitting form in the German Bundesliga for the Bonn Capitals. The Diamondblack's third baseman is currently hitting .394 after 12 games, with 3 home runs a triple, 4 doubles and 11 RBI. The Capitals sit 2 games behind Bundesliga North leaders Solingen after 20 games.
In 26.2 innings of relief work in 23 games, John has a 2-1 W-L record with 2 saves and a handy ERA of 3.37.
John has given up just 10 earned runs on 24 hits while walking 19 and striking out 24 batters.
Last weekend Fox guided the Chaffey team with a masterful performance on the mound pitching 6 1/3 innings giving up just 1 hit and a walk in a 9-2 win over Cherry Creek at the Gates Field World Series tournament in Kearns, Utah. Mak was also chosen in the All Tournament Team, named as pitcher of the tournament, after the Chaffey team took 3rd place.
In their final game of the tournament, Mak pitched another 3 innings, giving up 3 hits in their 12-7 win over the Utah Marshall’s.
Oregon State recently defeated Kansas State University for a spot in the College World Series, and with Diamondblack's outfielder Max Brown's admission to become a K-State Wildcat we could see a couple of Diamondblacks in the College World Series in the next couple of years!
Another soon to be Wildcat in the NCAA Div I ranks will be Diamondblack's pitcher Joe Boyce, joining the Abilene Christian College Wildcats, while catcher Connar O’Gorman is headed to the University of Southern Indiana to become a Screaming Eagle in Div II.
I’m looking forward to following the progress of all four as well as many more playing high school and college ball in the United States.
Well that’s it for now, so keep pitching, hitting, fielding or just following the great game of baseball and I’ll be back soon with another update.
Yours in Baseball,