The Golden Homes Black Sox softball team have lost their first game of their Canadian tour with a 7-8 scoreline against a powerful local team at the Hill United Shootout in St Catharines, Ontario.
The Hill United side jumped out to an early two run lead with a home run from Canadian international Jason Elsworth followed by some uncharacteristic defensive errors which led to the internationally stacked home team gaining a 7-1 lead in the fourth innings.
Top Australian pitcher, Adam Folkard, dominated the Black Sox hitters early but was rocked in the third innings by Canterbury veteran Stephen Ratu hitting a line drive home run over left field as the visitors staged a comeback.
Ratu repeated his hitting with another automatic home run in the fifth innings to also score his captain, Nathan Nukunuku, who had made base on a walk.
The Black Sox further rocked Fokard, who is regarded as the world's fastest pitcher, in the sixth inning with an automatic home run to Jerome Raemaki and another to Thomas Enoka to bring the score to 6-7.
Enoka's home run was followed by another Ratu safe hit, this time a double to centre field to once again score Nukunuku and tie game at 7-7.
However a home run to Canadian international Ryan Thompson at the bottom of the sixth inning ended the game with Hill United running out the winners 8-7.
Previously the Black Sox had drawn one game and won their two other games of the tour which is being used as preparation for next year's world championships, also to be held in Canada.
The Black Sox next game is against New York United followed by a game a few hours later where they face a Great Lakes local side.