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Bench Talk / Off The Wire

New Zealand Impresses


By Fred Wallace

We're in a great run of fastball action which includes Bluewater play tonight at Duncan McLellan Park with the Volkswagen Midget Selects hosting Wingham.

In the days ahead, the ISC Eastern Canada Travel League tournament is here July 24th & 25th while the Canadian Junior Championship comes around again August 2nd to the 9th.

Last week, the touring National teams from Australia & New Zealand played the Owen Sound Verge Senior Selects in doubleheaders at Duncan McLellan Park as those countries did some prep for the ISF World Championships in Saskatchewan.

With no offence to the Australians, the New Zealanders looked awesome.

They used the first game against the Selects as batting practice, blasting 5 homers in a 12-2 romp.

But even more impressive was the second game, a tighter 3-0 win for the New Zealanders that featured two plays executed with amazing precision.

One was a fake bunt-single, a play that's attempted many times in many games, but this one was so clean and so perfect, the ball rolling through a totally vacated right side of the infield it stood out.

Later, under similar circumstances, a Verge runner was bunted to second and as he made the turn at the bag, the New Zealand fielder fired the ball far over the head of the shortstop, giving everyone the impression the ball was going to the fence.

It would have, except it was a designed play whereby the New Zealand centerfielder was perfectly placed to catch the overthrow and almost nailed the Selects baserunner.

The New Zealand Black Sox may never win a popularity contest.

But when you're that good, I say, the New Zealanders can behave any way they choose.

I'm Fred Wallace

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