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Kiwis Worldwide: March 2014 Update

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Well it’s 2014 and Spring Training games have started in the U.S. and the new Major League season is only 3 weeks away from getting underway when the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers meet in Sydney, but my focus in Kiwi’s Worldwide Blog, version 2014 is catching up with all the New Zealanders playing the great game of Baseball around the world.

In this month’s first offering for 2014, I’ll be taking a look at how our college players have started their seasons whilst also looking at a few players who are starting to make a name for themselves.

Prior to the 2014 NCAA Baseball season getting underway, Mak Fox’s Oregon State University and Max Brown’s Kansas State University were both ranked in the top 5 college baseball programmes in the country, so high expectations for both as they aim to get to the College World Series in Omaha.

MakFox Headshot OSU

Firstly we head to the northwest and check in on Oregon State University freshman and former ACG College Parnell student, Mak Fox, whose OSU Beavers have hit the ground running in their first handful of games in 2014. The Beavers have 6 wins and 2 losses and whilst Mak hasn’t featured too much yet, I’m sure he will play a big part in their 2014 campaign going forward. Fox has only appeared twice in relief so far, giving up a couple of hits and runs.

MaxBrown Headshot KSU

In Manhattan, Kansas, Max Brown’s Kansas State University Wildcats haven’t had the start they wanted, going 1-7 in their first 8 games of 2014 and will be hoping to turn that around before their Big 12 competition gets underway in March. Max himself has had a steady start so far, batting .250 in 16 at bats, with 4 hits, including 2 RBI, a double and a run, while walking twice.

 DanBradley Headshot NZ

Meanwhile, Aucklander Daniel Bradley’s North Iowa Area Community College Trojans have an even 4-4 record after their beginning to 2014. Daniel has started the year with 4 hits, including a double, a home run and an RBI while walking 3 times.

ConnarOGorman sml

Success has followed Australian based Kiwi catcher Connar O’Gorman, who has been snapped up by American Association of Independent Professional Baseball team, the Amarillo Sox after starring in the recent California Winter League. Connar caught for the Bay Area Bootleggers who made it all the way to the final before going down 7-5 to the Oregon Lumberjacks. In 18 games throughout the tournament in Palm Springs, he batted .341 with 14 hits, including a home run and 3 doubles, with 3 RBI and 3 walks. The Sox season begins in May and we’ll keep track of Connar’s progress then.

 Here in NZ we are beginning to hear from a lot of Kiwi’s based overseas, so over the next few months, I will bring you their stories and will look forward to tracking their progress over the coming years.

The first of these young men is Australia based Cameron Bearman, who is currently playing for the Ainslie Bears, in Canberra. Cameron began his diamond sports adventure playing softball in New Zealand while attending primary and intermediate school in Auckland before heading to St Peters College. Cameron was selected in many Auckland and New Zealand age group softball teams whilst in Auckland, but made the change to his first love baseball once he moved with his parents to Canberra, where he now goes to St Edmunds College in Australia’s capital city.

Cameron has found the challenge of adapting to baseball most enjoyable and said adapting to the movement of a baseball, different bat weights and lengths, learning a new batting stance and getting to grips with a smaller ball in the field have been integral in his growth in the sport. Both Cameron and his father Rod are hoping baseball can rise in New Zealand as one day, the 17-year old infielder would love to pull on a Diamondblacks jersey, while plying his trade professionally. We will keep an eye on Cameron closely and keep your eyes peeled in future blogs for his progress.

PitaRona Headshot PerthWhile the Major Leaguers have now got their Spring Training schedule underway, Aucklander Pita Rona will be heading to Florida soon to begin his second season with the Baltimore Orioles, fresh from helping Perth Heat win the ABL Championship in Australia, so I will also keep a close eye on his progress

Congratulations also go out to NZ Diamondblacks EO and Clubhouse Manager Tanerau Tuuta, who performed the same role for the victorious Perth Heat this season.

Well wishes and congratulations too, to all 15U and 12U players, recently selected for their respective New Zealand national squads, I’ll look forward to keeping track of your performances through 2014.

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,
Ian McDonald

Wedz is yet to hit a auto but hit 2 doubles yesterday one off the green monster and one off centrefield fence with loaded bases (clearing the bases). He also threw a runner out at in the game. This takes him to 8rbi's, 5 walks, 2 sacs and 4 doubles with a .375 Average (9-24) and 1 from 1 on steal attempts against him.
The coaches are really happy with his calling because he has had 24 innings catching so far with 3 runs and calling two 1 hit games as well.every week, we catch up and talk baseball and it seems like he is doing well with the transition."

Wedz is yet to hit a auto but hit 2 doubles yesterday one off the green monster and one off centrefield fence with loaded bases (clearing the bases). He also threw a runner out at in the game. This takes him to 8rbi's, 5 walks, 2 sacs and 4 doubles with a .375 Average (9-24) and 1 from 1 on steal attempts against him.
The coaches are really happy with his calling because he has had 24 innings catching so far with 3 runs and calling two 1 hit games as well.na every week, we catch up and talk baseball and it seems like he is doing well with the transition."

Wedz is yet to hit a auto but hit 2 doubles yesterday one off the green monster and one off centrefield fence with loaded bases (clearing the bases). He also threw a runner out at in the game. This takes him to 8rbi's, 5 walks, 2 sacs and 4 doubles with a .375 Average (9-24) and 1 from 1 on steal attempts against him.
The coaches are really happy with his calling because he has had 24 innings catching so far with 3 runs and calling two 1 hit games as well.

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