The Auckland Tuatara are the Australian Baseball League's North-East division champions.

In just their second season in the competition, the Auckland outfit climbed from the bottom to the top to book their place in the semifinals.

The Tuatara had four chances this weekend to book their spot in the playoffs when the Brisbane Bandits came to town for the final series of the regular season.

They squandered the first two of those, committing errors in the field, struggling with the bat and being unable to find the strike zone late in those games.


On Saturday, the club turned to former Major League Baseball starter Josh Collmenter to carry them on his lofty shoulders, and he did so accordingly.

The 33-year-old pitched an absolute gem on Saturday night, allowing just two hits while striking out eight batters in a complete-game shutout. A solo home run from the bat of Kent Blackstone was the only run of the game, clinching a playoff berth for the club.

With their pot confirmed, the Tuatara played with some freedom on Sunday's finale, with a two-run long ball from the bat of Kris Richards highlighting a 4-3 win. Pitcher of record Elliott Johnstone was again impressive out of the bullpen, striking out three batters in two innings without allowing a hit.

The local hurler has been phenomenal for the Tuatara this year, ending the regular season with a 4-1 record and an impressive 1.09 earned run average.

Sunday's result clinches the division ahead of the Canberra Cavalry, who will play in the wildcard game.

Moving into the semifinals, the Tuatara will host at least one playoff game at North Harbour Stadium, which will be played over nine innings despite all regular season games at the venue being played over seven.

The Tuatara will meet the Melbourne Aces in the opening round of the playoffs, while Adelaide will play the winner of the wildcard game between Canberra and Perth.

The first game of the Tuatara's series will be in Melbourne on Thursday, with the second game in Auckland on Saturday and a third on Sunday if required.