New Zealand first baseman Boss Moanaroa, a former Boston Red Sox prospect, went 4 for 5 and had seven RBIs, including a three-run homer in a six-run sixth inning, to lead the Diamondblacks to a 17-7 comeback win over the Philippines in the World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament in Sydney.



The Philippines led 7-4 in the sixth inning and it looked for a while like New Zealand would be going home early but the Kiwis rallied late in the game, their bats coming alive to ensure a sudden death game against South Africa for a place in the final.

Manager Chris Woodward continued with his ploy of not burning any of his pitchers - keeping all except starter Andrew Marck under the 35-pitch count meaning he will have a full roster to choose from on Saturday and potentially Sunday.

Leadoff hitter Eric Farris, who played for the Minnesota Twins' Triple-A affiliate for the past two seasons, had four hits, including two doubles. He was 5 for 7 in two games.

In the later game Australia scored three first-inning runs on five hits - including four consecutive hits to start the game - and defeated South Africa 4-1 on to advance to the final of the World Baseball Classic qualifying tournament.

Four pitchers limited South Africa to six hits to lead the host team to the final on Sunday against South Africa or New Zealand.

The winner of the final advances to the 16-team World Baseball Classic next year.

South Africa and New Zealand meet on Saturday at 8.30pm NZT.

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