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Kiwis Worldwide: April Update

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Welcome to another Kiwis Worldwide blog 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 posting I’ll be focussing largely on those playing professionally around the world.

Diamondblacks slugger Boss Moanaroa’s season has been going for over a month now - with the Boston Red Sox A-affiliate Greenville Drive - and after a hot start to the season where he was batting .500 after a handful of games, but after 26 games his batting average has slumped to .193 but has walked 17 times, giving him a very good OBP of .324. Overall the Drive are struggling early in their season and have only 10 wins so far and are 8.5 games of first place.

BishopRonaGCL SMLIt was an historic day for Kiwi baseball a couple of weeks back when two New Zealanders faced each other on a professional baseball diamond as Diamondblacks catcher Te Wera Bishop opposed Auckland teenager Pita Rona in an extended spring training game between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles. Both Bishop and Rona will meet a lot this year in the rookie level Gulf Coast League along with fellow Kiwi Daniel Devonshire who is part of the Toronto Blue Jays organisation, so plenty of opportunities to get one over each other. Their league is due start soon, so once it’s underway I’ll keep you updated on their progress. As a sidenote, in this game, Te Wera played alongside Red Sox legend David ‘Big Papi” Ortiz who was rehabbing on his way back to the majors. Ortiz hit two hard ground balls to Pita who made both plays, the second being part of a double play.

Diamondblacks pitcher Lincoln Holdzkom is also about to start his new season with the Wichita Wingnuts in the American Association of Professional Baseball and looks to be in fine fettle in their pre-season matches. Lincoln pitched a perfect 9th inning, striking out two batters on his way to earning the save in the Wingnuts 6-4 win over Emporia State University after trailing 2-4 in the bottom of the 6th inning. The Wingnuts have a further 5 games in their spring programme before beginning their season at home against the Kansas City T-Bones on May 16.

Meanwhile, up in Canada Diamondblacks pitcher Jamie Wilson is getting ready for the new WMBL season with the Okotoks Dawgs who will play 46 regular season games, with 23 taking place at Seaman Stadium in Okotoks. Opening Night at the stadium is set for Friday, June 7th when the Dawgs welcome the Edmonton Prospects. Leading up to the season, Jamie’s been keeping busy getting in plenty of training and conducting coaching clinics for youngsters learning the game.

In Germany, Daniel Lamb-Hunt’s Bonn Capitals team are off to a flyer in the Bundesliga. After 6 games they are 5-1 with their sole loss coming in their latest game against the Hamburg Stealers in the second of a double header after Bonn had won game 1, 17 to 4. Unfortunately Daniel hasn’t featured since the first game of the season. After hitting a home run in their 12-2 win over Dohren Wild Farmers, he suffered ligament damage to his ankle and s facing at least another 3-4 weeks on the sidelines, get well soon mate.

Well that’s about it for this week so keep looking at the site for further updates.

Your’s in Baseball,

Ian McDonald



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