'Captain Courageous' guides Black Sox to win

TONY SMITH IN AUCKLAND
Last updated 05:00 11/03/2013
Rhys Casley
Getty Images

THREE BATTED IN: Rhys Casley slides into second base.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

World champions lead Mid South Canterbury to national team pursuit title New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia banned for life for doping New naming rights sponsor imminent for Coast to Coast Kiwi sailors leading both divisions at 49er world championships Ian Anderson: All Blacks a sitter for Team of the Year at Halberg Awards NZ Diamondblacks stay alive in World Baseball Classic qualifier with big win Racquel Sheath doubles gold tally, Natasha Hansen makes it three at track champs Two AFL players earning a million plus per season Courier delay sees Hayden Roulston fined for wearing the wrong gear Auckland, Nelson most winning regions in New Zealand sport

Outgoing Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase hailed his "Captain Courageous", Hutt Valley's Rhys Casley, after his three-run homer delivered New Zealand a record sixth world softball championship yesterday.

"He shouldn't even be there with that shoulder injury," Kohlhase said after New Zealand's 4-1 win over Venezuela in the grand final at Auckland's Rosedale Park. "What an outstanding play."

Casley required surgery after badly injuring his throwing shoulder last year and was still doubtful as recently as two weeks ago.

Casley said it was "a little surreal" to captain the winning team and added that he didn't go out to intentionally hit a home run.

"I was just looking to make solid contact after striking out with my first [at-bat]. I was just happy to get good wood on the bat and put one out."

Kohlhase became the first New Zealander to win the title as a player (in 1984) and as a coach.

"I wasn't aware of that. To win it as a player was great, but to win it as a coach . . . I'm just honoured," Kohlhase said.

"I've been involved with this team now for 30 years as a player and a coach and it's probably time to move on."

Kohlhase said the victory was a tribute to the hard work the team had put in since finishing second to Australia at the 2009 championships in Canada.

Softball New Zealand general manager Dane Dougan hoped their triumph would attract continued funding and said "one of the first of many" congratulatory texts came from High Performance Sport chief executive Alex Baumann.

"That was the important one!"

The Black Sox planned a big party with whanau and friends last night while Venezuelan catcher Rafael Flores said the team had been moved by the death of President Hugo Chavez.

"He was in our heart," Flores said.

"He was a supporter of our team."

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content