World No. 1 New Zealand announced its roster for the new WBSC-sanctioned Men’s Softball Intercontinental Cup, to be held in Prague, Czech Republic, from 28 August to 1 September. Six new players have been named for the Black Sox’s next tour, while some of the senior world champions are taking time out.
The six new players had all earned their spots after proven performances in the domestic season. Daniel Chapman, Eru Drage, Rhys Evans, Joe Ferriso Jr, Reilly Makea and Jackson Watt are the new kids on the team, and will provide new blood to the world champions.
Among the most important absences in the team, we can find the captain Nathan Nukunuku, infielder Tyron Bartorillo and outfielder Wayne Laulu. Experienced outfielder Ben Enoka will captain the Black Sox in Nukunuku’s absence.
Softball legend and New Zealand Head Coach Mark Sorenson will also stay in New Zealand, so assistant-coach Daryl Marino will guide the 17-man team.
The Intercontinental Cup will feature a seven-team format and top-ranked Men’s Softball National Teams from all the five continents: No. 1 New Zealand, No. 3 Japan, No. 4 Argentina, No. 6 USA, No. 7 Czech Republic, No. 11 Denmark and No. 12 Botswana.
GOLDEN HOMES BLACK SOX SQUADPITCHERS Nik Hayes (Hutt Valley), Daniel Chapman (Auckland), Campbell Gibson (Auckland), Eru Drage (Auckland).
CATCHERSKallan Compain (Auckland), Zane van Lieshout (Auckland)
INFIELDERSPita Rona (North Harbour), Joel Evans (Hutt Valley), Cole Evans (Auckland), Rhys Evans (Auckland), Jerome Raemaki (Wellington), Joe Ferriso Jr (Hutt Valley).
OUTFIELDERSBen Enoka (Auckland, captain), Thomas Enoka (Auckland), Campbell Enoka (Auckland), Reilly Makea (Canterbury), Jackson Watt (Canterbury).
Head coach: Daryl Marino. Assistant-coach: Steve Deans. Battery coach: Jim Wana. Video analyst: Jamie Frisby. Manager: Casey Eden. Scorer: Ian Ditfort.