Raemaki holds focus as Black Sox loom

Last updated 05:00 03/12/2012

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Black Sox hopeful Jerome Raemaki is trying not to think too far ahead as he prepares for what could be one of the biggest national tournaments of his career.

His attention on Saturday was with his club team, Poneke-Kilbirnie, as they swept aside Hutt Valley Marist 7-0 in an intercity game at Hataitai Park to remain unbeaten in the competition.

From Thursday, his attention will turn to playing for Wellington at the National Fastpitch Championship at North Shore's Rosedale Park and trying not to think about a special team announcement on Sunday.

That announcement is the Black Sox team for the world championships, at the same venue in March.

"It's [the Black Sox team] the big one," Raemaki said. "I'm just looking to play the team game. I'm thinking about the team first and then everything else that comes is a bonus."

While the captain of the national under-19 team that finished a disappointing fifth at last month's junior world championships has had no indication as to his inclusion in the Black Sox team, he has had some words of encouragement from national coach Eddie Kohlhase.

"He just told me that I needed to bounce back from what happened overseas and get back into it," Raemaki said.

Raemaki, who picked up two hits from as many turns at bat on Saturday, was not the only Black Sox contender to have an impact for Poneke-Kilbirnie, with Thomas Makea hitting a home run in the first inning and Thomas Cameron performing well with the bat and on the pitching mound.

"That was a good hitting display from us, which is good," Raemaki said.

In other games, a brace of runs in the first three innings helped Miramar to a 6-2 win over Johnsonville and also to retain their unbeaten record in the competition. Johnny Stratford scored two of his side's runs while Tane Richardson and David Gollan hit home runs.

In the women's competition, Newlands beat Miramar 14-7 to record their first win of the season while Johnsonville beat Porirua City United 12-6.

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- The Dominion Post

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