Australia has gone down to the World Number One ranked New Zealand Golden Homes Black Sox in their opening game of the 2019 TAB Challenge Cup at ELE Stadium.
Having just landed in New Zealand hours before their scheduled game time, Australia more than held their own as both teams proved tough defensively in the opening stanza finishing the first inning 0-0.
The Black Sox found their groove in the second, crossing twice off a double from formidable batter Wayne Laulu, Australian pitcher Jarryd Farrell quickly steadied the ship and retired the New Zealand team shortly after.
Some smart batting from the Australians put them on the scoreboard, Julian Jemmott dashing home off a James Purcell single, Tyrell Priestly nearly equalized for the Aussies but was tagged out at home in the same play.
New Zealand tipped in another three runs in the top of the third, Laulu providing the fireworks with an enormous home-run, not to be outdone, Brendon O’Byrne smacked one out of the park to ensure Australia kept in touch with the Black Sox, the third ending with a 5-2 scoreline.
Farrell kept New Zealand off the board in the fourth and fifth, however, the Australian batters couldn’t cross either.
Things got away from the Australians when the Black Sox piled on a massive eight runs, including two home-runs from Joe Ferriso and Zane Van Lieshout, to enter the bottom of the inning up 13-2.
With a mountain ahead of them to climb, Australia could only manage two runs in reply from Shaun Goffer and Lachlan Hay, both reaching home off an O’Byrne single making the final scoreline 13-4.
Australia will now face Black Sox B tomorrow morning 8:00am before Japan at 10:30am, Black Sox B again at 3:30pm, their second match against the Golden Homes Black Sox will be seen on FOX SPORTS Australia 507 and Kayo Sports at 6:00pm, all times AEDT.