Marlborough softballers Kurt Schollum and Nik Hayes made successful debuts for the New Zealand Black Sox men's softball team yesterday on their tour of Canada and the United States.
Both came on as relief pitchers, helping New Zealand to two convincing wins over Alviston Indians 5-1 and St Thomas District 7-1. Schollum told his parents that he was happy with his first outing during which he pitched two innings, gave up one run and struck out five batters.
Eighteen-year-old Schollum, who was also the Marlborough Boys' College first XV rugby captain until selected in the Black Sox and 23-year-old Hayes, another former MBC first XV player, both play their club softball in Wellington now, Hayes for Cardinals and Schollum for Poneke/Kilbirnie but both were Marlborough's pitchers at this year's Jefferies Cup South Island tournament in Christchurch.
There was no information available as to what part Hayes played in yesterday's matches and his parents in Blenheim had not heard from their son yet.
Donny Hale shone with the bat for the Black Sox scoring two home runs, two triples and a two base hit scoring eight RBIs while captain Rhys Casley and Thomas Makea also hit home runs.
The Black Sox have worked hard on developing an aggressive running game and exciting base running was the order of the night with eight stolen bases and four extra bases taken by Ben Enoka, Tyson Byrne, and Tyrone Bartorillo. These matches and two more double headers are part of the buildup to the Legends tournament tomorrow in Canada.
- The Marlborough Express