Baseball in Horowhenua is riding high with young players gaining selection for New Zealand teams and growing player numbers.

The Levin Hustle club had grown in a short time to have 45 members that make up three teams of players aged between eight and 14, in what was called the development league.

That league fed players into a Levin Hustle travel team that had regular matches against clubs from Wellington and other city centres, and already that system has paid huge dividends through players gaining higher honours.

Flynn Warren, 12, made the New Zealand under-13 team last season, his younger brother Fletcher was picked for the NZ U12 team, while fellow Hustler's Shantayne Rangiuia-Herbert and Jonte Praat made Wellington regional teams

Club founder Hendrix Warren said the club started two years ago with just 12 players.

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"We struggled those first two years. This has been a break through year for us," he said.

"There are really good opportunities that exist for young players in baseball. There are some fantastic opportunities that baseball presents, obviously in New Zealand, but also through professional competitions and college scholarships overseas."

Mr Warren said baseball was another sporting option in Horowhenua and could happily exist alongside other summer codes.

The club played on a Saturday afternoon as Mr Warren was keen to ensure it didn't clash with other sporting codes like touch rugby and softball, so that young players weren't torn between codes and could play all sports.

"We're another sporting option," he said. "You want young people to play as many sports as they can."

Mr Warren said a satisfying aspect of introducing a new sport was seeing young players develop their skill set to a high level.

"They train hard," he said. "We modify the game where we need to cater for different skill levels."

The Hustle club held its finals day at the weekend. The big event is on the horizon though - the New Zealand U13 competition in Auckland next month.

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