SYDNEY, 4 November - The Sydney Blue Sox defeated Team New Zealand 10-4 Sunday evening at Blacktown International Sportspark behind three hits and two RBIs from Jacob Younis.
The catcher came to the plate four times and finished with three hits, two runs, two RBIs and a stolen base to lead the Blue Sox to their highest run total of the season, dating back to their season-opening series against Canberra and the three-game series against Team Australia last weekend.
The DiamondBlacks scored in the top of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead but that was the only time they led in the contest as the Blue Sox scored one run in the third inning and two runs in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead.
Team NZ cut the deficit to 3-2 in sixth inning, but in the bottom of the sixth Sydney scored three runs, highlighted by a single from James Robbins, a walk to Zac Shepherd and an RBI-single from Younis for a 6-2 advantage.
However, Team NZ would not go quietly, scoring two more runs in the seventh inning when Max Brown ripped an RBI-single and David Skeels smoked an RBI-double to cut the Blue Sox lead to 6-4. Sydney put the game beyond all doubt in the seventh and eighth innings when they scored two runs in each, closing the scoring at 10-4.
"Today was a good chance for some of our younger players to get some international experience," Blue Sox manager Jason Pospishil said. "Our pitching struggled a little bit but our offence was able to pick them up. It was nice being able to play Team New Zealand which showed they have some quality players."
Luke Wilkins earned the win with three innings of relief pitching, while Nick Dawson suffered the loss for Team NZ.
For the DiamondBlacks, it was their first-ever competitive baseball game as a club, and Moko Moanaroa finished 3-for-4 with a single, double and solo home run. Team NZ first baseman Boss Moanaroa, Moko's brother, will compete for the Blue Sox at the conclusion of the DiamondBlacks' World Baseball Classic qualifying rounds.
The Blue Sox and DiamondBlacks continue their two-game series tomorrow night at Blacktown International Sportspark. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.