Diamondblacks go down to Cavalry in Canberra
The New Zealand Diamondblacks complete the Australian leg of their build-up to World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament in Taiwan tonight with an opportunity to claim their three-game series against the Canberra Cavalry.
The Australian Baseball League outfit avenged their 8-5 loss in game one on Thursday by closing out a comfortable 8-3 victory in the capital last night.
Although bragging rights were up for grabs, Baseball New Zealand chief executive Ryan Flynn reiterated the view that giving the 28-man roster game time before the winner-takes-all qualifier against Chinese-Taipei, Thailand and the Philippines in Taipei City from Thursday remained the priority.
"I never felt we were playing for victories here, I don't think anybody on the coaching team does either. If you get a win it's a little bonus," he said.
"I'd rather see good things from each of the players like we did (last night).
"Christian Wise threw his best inning, Wayde Bremner threw a great inning and Boss (Moanaroa) looks hot at the plate."
The Diamondblacks continued their policy of rotating their pitching staff - Jamie Wilson and South Korean Yong-Min (John) Lee were the stand outs in game one as they limited the Cavalry to just two hits over six innings.
However, California-born Lincoln Holdzkom, the oldest of the Diamondblacks' 13 pitchers at age 30, caught the Cavalry on the rebound and conceded three runs in the opening at bat to put the home side in control.
The Cavalry had doubled their lead to 6-0 after three innings before the Diamondblacks rallied briefly when Moanaroa's home run to right field also scored Tim Auty.
But the Cavalry soon restored their six-run buffer before former Toronto Blue Jay Scott Campbell made it home after a two-base hit by Daniel Lamb-Hunt.
Despite the margin Flynn said the game was closer than the score line indicated."The hits were only nine-seven. I'd rather this happens here than there (Taiwan).
"Everybody's rotating through. For the folks in New Zealand, they're not used to that right?" the American said after the team fashioned a three-loss two-record.
"The All Blacks and Black Caps don't rotate through so it's all new. I feel good about where we're heading."