Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Howick and Botany Times Wednesday November 5 2014
24 — Howick and Botany Times, Wednesday, November 5, 2014 www.times.co.nz FOLLOW US ON IVAN AGNEW: The Samoans have emerged as big winners in terms of credibility in the Four Nations rugby league championship after two rounds. ➤ Page 23 126749-v3 120259-v4 By Daniel Silverton SAM Harvey is returning to the location of his first representative baseball experience. The 18-year-old Pakuranga Col- lege pupil has been selected in the New Zealand team to compete in the inaugural International Base- ball Federation (IBAF) under-21 world cup which starts tomorrow in Taichung, Taiwan. Harvey is one of 10 pitchers on the team, and is joined by fellow Howick Pakuranga Hawks pre- mier players Blair Johnstone, Dun- can Izaaks and Dewald De Klerk. Middle-infielder Izaaks and pitcher Johnstone are among the six under-23 players allowed on the 24-man squad. “The under-23 spots were the ones that were really contended for,” Harvey told the Times. “Any pitcher under 21 was really needed, so I was pretty much guar- anteed a spot. I was lucky in that regard. “Our team is pretty experienced, except for the pitchers. We have a really young pitching staff, which will be interesting.” New Zealand, ranked 25th in the world, is grouped with Czech Republic (26), Mexico (13), Italy (11), South Korea (8) and Chinese- Taipei (4) in its pool, with Nicara- gua (28), Australia (15), Venezuela (10), Netherlands (5) and Japan (2) also competing. “Our chances are pretty slim,” says Harvey. “We might beat Czech Republic and may have a shot against Italy, but other than that it will be tough.” Taiwan was the first country Harvey’s baseball talents have taken him to, in 2009 for the Asia- Pacific region Little League World Series qualifier. Since then he’s also been to Indonesia, Germany, the United States, and four times to Australia. Originally a batter and out- fielder, he made the switch to pitching while at the European Major League Baseball Academy in Germany last year. New Zealand Diamondblacks pitcher Andrew Marck says Har- vey was destined for the mound. “His huge frame is always an asset. Having a six-foot, six-inch guy with arms and legs flying at you makes it hard to pick up the ball. “Myself and [fellow Diamond- black] Jamie Wilson always told him he’d be a pitcher. “Now he can control his body, he’s able to throw strikes, and from that height it’s very difficult to hit.” Harvey, who has an 86-87 mile- per-hour four-seam fastball, a change-up and curve ball, expects to be used in the later innings by NZ manager and Seattle Mariners first-base coach Chris Woodward. “I’ll realistically be towards the bottom end [of the pitching roster] in some sort of relief role, when we areupbyordownbyalotofruns,” says Harvey. “My goal is to keep my compo- sure, throw strikes and don’t walk too many batters. Pitch to contact, get the ball in play and give the fielders a chance.” As well as valuable world rank- ing points up for grabs, the tour- nament will double as a chance for team members to gain further baseball opportunities. Baseball NZ chief executive Ryan Flynn says: “This is a time for our players to really get noticed on the world stage, as scouts from professional and college baseball will be watching this age grade carefully.” Harvey, who is equally adept at hitting the books as hitting the strike zone, looks set to remain in New Zealand, however, to study medicine at Auckland University. “This year I’ve been juggling whether to go to the States or not. I had an option, and still do, to go to Canada and train there until [US] college starts in August. “I have a full scholarship to Auckland University and think that’s most likely what I’m going to do.” Heading back to Taiwan Sam Harvey, in action for the Howick Pakuranga Hawks, will represent New Zealand at the International Baseball Federation under-21 world cup. Photo supplied Narrow loss for Howick HOWICK Softball Club’s premier men’s team were on track for their first victory of the season on Saturday, but went down 5-6 in a 10-inning thriller to Roosters. Finally playing with their full roster and at their Meadowland Reserve home ground for the first time, Just Hardwood Floors Howick surged to a 3-0 lead. Czech import Karel Kadeck scored two with a centre-field drive before countryman Pavel Just drilled a monster solo home run. “ Those guys stepped up big and gave us a taste of what they can provide for the remainder of the season,” says Howick coach Hayden Wildbore. New Zealand Black Sox pitcher Campbell Gibson kept Roosters scoreless until the visitors tied the game in the fifth inning. The match went to extra tiebreaker innings, with Roosters scoring twice in the ninth before Howick equalled the scores at 5-5 from another home run to Just. Roosters went ahead in the top of the 10th and despite Howick loading the bases, were unable to bring any runners home. Meanwhile, the Simply Homes Howick premier women’s team continued its fine start to the season with a 3-2 win over Otahuhu, also at Meadowland on Saturday. The turning point came in the sixth inning when an Anita Leeuw hit scored Zoe Tolhopf to tie the match at 2-2. Marissa Berkes then put down a two-strike bunt to bring Leeuw home from third. “We had no doubt that Marissa could handle a two-strike bunt,” says coach Travis Owen. “Anita’s hit was big – we can always count on her to deliver quality at-bats. It was one of the better games we’ve played as a team, and we expect to keep improving especially at the plate to give our opponents a good battle, no matter who it is.” This Saturday at Meadowland: Howick men v United, 1.30pm; Howick women v Marist, 3.30pm.
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