NZ U21s earn spot in World Baseball Championships in Taiwan

By Wikitōria Day

The New Zealand U21 baseball team are fortunate to have earnt a spot in the World Baseball Championships to be held in Taiwan.

This is a first for the squad and Te Kāea went along to their final training before they headed off overseas.

These budding young baseballers were chosen by coaches and mentors of Baseball NZ based on their skills and game.

"It was a good feeling, especially going to a country I’ve never been to before, Taiwan, be a good experience for us all as well," says Pita Rona.

David Hutchinson says, "I’m 17 and I wasn't even expecting to be considered for this so it's awesome"

Quinten Niu says, “Bit nervous because this is a pretty hard team for me.  All these guys are half pros."   

For most, it will be their first time playing at this level outside of the country and Coach Riki Paewai says there's no better learning curve than this.

Riki Paewai says, “It’s a chance for them to get out on the world stage and show the scouts, the world, the colleges what they can do and get those opportunities higher up baseball."

They will go up against some of the world's greatest players in their age group and Paewai believes his team has the skills to beat the opposition.

It's been a successful year for Baseball New Zealand, as all of our national squads have competed in their respective world championships.

While the development of this sport is evident, the drive to continue pursuing it in the future is also unmistakable.