Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Marissa Tiel

TOP PITCHER – New Zealand’s Joshua Pettett pitches during a game against Japan this morning. The Black Sox pulled ahead 8-1 to secure the win as Pettett became the top pitcher in the tournament.

New Zealand remains unbeaten in Pool B play

Joshua Pettett didn’t sleep well.

By Whitehorse Star on July 11, 2017

After Sunday’s rain delay, Black Sox beat Japan; will face Venezuela this afternoon

Joshua Pettett didn’t sleep well.

The New Zealand pitcher only caught about five hours of sleep last night, but that didn’t stop him from helping the Black Sox to a 8-1 victory over Japan this morning.

“It’s awesome because it sets us up real good,” said Pettett.

The Black Sox bounced back after trailing 0-1 last night in the third inning, when play was suspended until this morning due to rain.

“It was hard with the brand new ball and the rain. It was slippery,” said Pettett. “You can’t hit as many spots as you want. So when it was rain delay, I was kind of glad to come back out against a good team.”

New Zealand showed up this morning for the rescheduled game ready to play. They opened their first at bat in the bottom of the third with three runs and continued to score.

Clouds hung low over the mountains and the ground was still wet from last night’s rain. With an air temperature of about eight degrees, the fans were undeterred. They huddled in the stands under blankets, chanting for their teams.

Pettett remained strong on the mound for New Zealand.

In the fourth inning, he threw out the first batter, threw to first after the ball sailed right for him for another out and struck out another batter to keep Japan from scoring.

Tyron Bartorillo hit a solo home run to score New Zealand’s sole run in the fourth.

In the fifth, Nathan Nukunuku homered to bring in Campbell Enoka for a run.

Enoka then sealed the game in the sixth with a home run and two players on bases.

“I think it just boosts the ego of the boys,” said Enoka after the game. “The boys came out this morning ready to play and it showed on the score board.”

With this morning’s win, the current world number one-ranked team stays at the top of pool B.

They play Venezuela at 4:30 p.m.

Enoka said that as long as the team brings the same energy they had this morning, the game will go to plan.

“Everybody’s got their jobs to do,” he said.

Until then, the Black Sox are likely to catch up on the sleep they missed out on last night and refuel ahead of this afternoon’s matchup.

Japan next faces Great Britain at 3 this afternoon.

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