The Black Sox have named a youthful 17-man squad to compete at the inaugural TAB Challenger Cup softball tournament being held at Rosedale Park in Albany next month.
Black Sox perform a haka.
Source: 1 NEWS
Coach Mark Sorenson has continued his development path after selecting a number of debutants, such as Auckland catcher Zane Van Leishout and Wellington pitcher Josh Pettett, from last year's South America tour.
It also features for the first time in New Zealand softball history the naming of three brothers in one side.
Thomas, Ben and Campbell Enoka have all been named in the same squad after youngest brother Campbell made his debut in Argentina last year while Ben was away in Europe.
The Enoka brothers had previously been named together in training squads, but never all three in one tournament-bound team.
Thomas Enoka will once again captain the side as he did in South America with regular leader Nathan Nukunuku still absent due to business commitments.
Sorenson told Fairfax the middle brother had earned the position.
"Thomas has grown a lot in the group in the last couple of seasons," he said.
"We've seen him step up in terms of leadership and he's really passionate about the Black Sox."
The side also includes the return of rising star 18-year-old infielder Cole Evans after a brief stint in baseball as well as newcomer Alfons Oveinikovas in the outfield.
The world no. 1 Black Sox will host the Challenge Cup at AWF Sports Stadium from February 8-12 where they will play Japan, Australia Argentina, Czech Republic and Samoa.
TAB Challenger Cup Black Sox squad
Josh Pettett - Wellington
Nik Hayes - Hutt Valley
Penese Iosefo – Canterbury
Zane Van Leishout - Auckland
Cory Timu - Hutt Valley
Tyron Bartorillo - Canterbury
Thomas Enoka - Auckland (Captain)
Cole Evans - Auckland
Joel Evans - Hutt Valley
Isaac Fletcher - Auckland
Josh Harbrow – Canterbury
Ben Enoka - Auckland
Campbell Enoka - Auckland
Jovaan Hanley - Wellington
Wayne Laulu - Wellington
Jerome Haretuku - Auckland
Alfonz Oveinikovas – Auckland