9 Mar 2013

Black Sox edge world champions in 10-inning thriller

8:59 am on 9 March 2013

The New Zealand men's softball team has beaten the defending champions Australia 5-4 in the playoffs at the world championships in Auckland.

The Black Sox came back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 but Australia tied it up again to send it to extra innings.

With New Zealand two down and trailing 3-4 in the bottom of a third extra inning, Brad Rona's double brought pinch runner Tyron Bartorillo home to level the contest again.

Then at the bottom of the 10th, Rona tied the scores with a base hit, Australia walked Donny Hale and Ben Enoka came up with the big hit to win the game and get Rona home, the hometown hero barging through Australian catcher Andrew Havercroft to score the winning run.

New Zealand retain their two playoff lives and now face a showdown with Venezuela, who beat Canada 3-1, with the winners progressing directly through to Sunday's final.

The Canadians now play Argentina with the winner of that game facing the victor from the Australia-Japan fixture for a place in the final.