Fast Pitch premier men's softball coach Quentin Chadwick reckoned his troops had the most to brag about after their win against the Denmark under-18 team in Hastings tonight.
"The other Hawke's Bay teams [Maraenui Pumas and Saints] used imports from the Wellington competition in their victories against Denmark. We did it with a totally home-grown side," Chadwick said after his team needed just three innings to beat Denmark 9-0 at Akina Park.
This victory followed Saints 16-0 drubbing, also in three innings, and Pumas 5-1 victory on Monday night.
Chadwick was impressed with how his lads built rallies when they were two batters down and he was also pleased how some of his youngsters, including 14-year-old pitcher Nopera Tangaroa, a son of Black Sox pitching legend Chubb Tangaroa, and infielders Karim Crawford and Bonham Edwards, performed when introduced to the game in the final inning.
Fast Pitch scored two runs in the first inning when designated player Puhi Rapaea hit shortstop Te Rangi Chadwick home and outfielder Josh Tipoki scored Rapaea with a double. The second inning saw Dallas Brown hit a three-bagger to score fellow outfielder Jacob Mihaka.
In the third inning Chadwick scored on a pass ball, catcher Brock Coulbeck hit infielders Ashton Guy and Ben Mackey-Gotty home, Mihaka scored on a pass ball, Brown hit Tipoki home and infielder Giovani Matairangi hit Brown home.
Hawke's Bay Evergreens hurler Jamie Ngawhika pitched the first two innings for the hosts and struck out two of the seven batters he faced while conceding two hits and a walk. Tangaroa struck out one of the three batters he faced during the final inning and didn't concede a hit to the Danes.
Denmark's first string pitcher, left-hander William Melin, struck out three of the 19 batters he faced while conceding six hits and four walks. His deputy, August Bordonaro, faced three batters and conceded one hit.
As the score suggests Saints were brutal. While former Junior Black Sox pitcher Adam Woon was dominant during all three innings on the mound Xaviar Herrick took the mound during an added fourth inning when Denmark batted right through the order and still couldn't score.
Powerful Saints batter Hoani Crawford was smashing the ball so hard he hit the mask off one of the Denmark pitchers with a hit. Thirteen of Saints runs were scored in the third inning.
Horowhenua-raised Denmark coach Kevin Stockford agreed it was a tough night at the office for his teens.
"But that's exactly what I expected here in the Bay. We got a lot out of it and it's exactly what we need before the World Cup starts in Palmerston North on Saturday."
"We'll have two more games tomorrow [against Argentina and the Junior Black Sox] and then we can have Thursday and Friday to rest and relax before the tournament."
Stockford was impressed with Tangaroa's stint on the mound.
"He is a big boy and Chubb has obviously done a lot of work with him. I'm sure he will have a big future in the game."