9 Dec 2012

Black Sox named for world championship tilt

7:14 pm on 9 December 2012

The national men's softball team has been named for next year's world championships here.

Following the national fastpitch champs that have just finished in Auckland, with Canterbury taking out the men's title and the home side winning the women's crown, the Black Sox coach Eddie Kohlhase has named a 17-player team for the worlds in Auckland in 2013.

Kohlhase went with a four-pitcher and two-catcher split, meaning one outfielder missed out. He's confident the blend of experience and youth can regaining the world crown.

While the team features veterans Jarrad Martin, Thomas Makea, Donny Hale and Brad Rona - Martin and Makea will be playing in their fifth world championship, while for Hale and Rona, it will be their fourth - the roster also includes World Championship rookies Penese Iosefo of Canterbury, Hutt Valley's Tyson Byrne and Nik Hayes, Jerome Haretuku of Auckland.

Aaron Stroman-Neemia and Wayne Laulu were members of the Samoa team at the 2004 world championship. Stroman-Neemia was also named in the 2009 Black Sox team, but had to withdraw for personal reasons.

Gone from the team that were runners-up to Australia at the 2009 tournament are Nathan Nukunuku, Marty Grant, Paul Walford, Gareth Cook and Stephen Ratu.

The team is: Heinie Shannon, Patrick Shannon, Donny Hale, Ben Enoka, Jerome Haretuku (all Auckland), Penese Iosefo, Tyron Bartorillo, Daniel Milne (all Canterbury), Rhys Casley (captain), Nik Hayes, Tyson Byrne (all Hutt Valley), Aaron Stroman-Neemia, Wayne Laulu, Thomas Makea, Jarrad Martin (all Wellington), Brad Rona (North Harbour), Jeremy Manley (USA-based)