New Zealand baseball fans will see the country's first professional team in action before the end of the year, with confirmation that the new side will play 12 games in Auckland in 2018.

The New Zealand entry into the Australian Baseball League will play all three of their home series' before mid-December, with three of their first four hosted on home soil.

Baseball Australia released the full schedule for the 2018/19 season, which sees the New Zealand team open their account away to the Perth Heat on November 15.

The side will then come home for series' against the Brisbane Bandits, Canberra Cavalry and Sydney Blue Sox from November 22 to December 9 at a temporary base in Auckland.
Every team in the league will play five series' at home and five on the road. However, with the New Zealand team not having a permanent home base in their debut season, two of their home series' will be played in Australia.


Playing in the North-East division, the Auckland side will meet division rivals Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra for two series' each during the season, and play one series each against South-West division teams Adelaide, Geelong-Korea, Melbourne and Perth.
Baseball New Zealand chief executive Ryan Flynn said he was happy with how their debut season was structured.

"I think 12 games is a good, manageable first season for us in what will be temporary, start-up kind of grounds to get to season number two."

While they were taking two of their home series' to Australia, Baseball Australia told the Herald if the Kiwi team makes the playoffs, they will look into options for Auckland to host post-season matches.

The team had planned to play their home games at Albany's QBE Stadium, but will start at a temporary ground elsewhere in Auckland with the hope of being ready to play in Albany in their second year.

The Kiwi team had confirmed two signings to date; seven-year Major League Baseball vetern pitcher Josh Collmenter, and national representative infielder Daniel Lamb-Hunt. More player and coach signings are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Auckland's full ABL schedule
at Perth Heat - November 15 – 18
vs Brisbane Bandits – November 22 – 25
vs Canberra Cavalry – November 29 – December 2
vs Sydney Blue Sox – December 6 – 9
at Geelong-Korea – December 13 – 16
vs Adelaide Bite – December 20 – 23 (in Australia)
at Canberra – December 27 – 30
at Brisbane – January 3 – 6
at Sydney – January 10 – 13
vs Melbourne Aces – January 17 – 20 (in Australia)

Playoffs run from January 22 to February 3