National U15 team named for Oceania Champs

Baseball New Zealand’s national selectors have finalized their 20-man roster for next week’s Baseball Confederation of Oceania U15 tournament, with the inclusion of three Howick-Pakuranga players.

Under the guidance of former San Diego Padres and New Zealand Diamondblacks pitcher Riki Paewai, the New Zealand Under-15 team will play the role of host to Australia, New Caledonia and Fiji in next week’s tournament to be held at Lloyd Elsmore.

The tournament is a qualifier for the World Baseball Softball Confederation World Cup in Panama later this year.

“We’ve had a very long selection and trial process, so I believe we have assembled a squad capable of challenging for the title next week,” said Paewai.

“We have a great mix of youth and experience, with over half the squad having played at national level through the Ripken (U13) team.

“We (the selection panel) made sure all players who took the field during the recent Goodwill Series got plenty of action to not only prove themselves, but also to ensure they were ‘game ready’ for this very important tournament,” he said.

At least three Major League Baseball scouts are expected to attend the Oceania Championships.

Baseball New Zealand CEO Ryan Flynn said U15 is an important age group for the sport.

“Scouts and college coaches begin to project young players at this age grade, and we’re starting to see a nice core group of players whose first sport is baseball come together in this country,” said Flynn, adding that he is hopeful of a strong performance from this group.

New Zealand has competed in the last two U15 World Championship events in Mexico in 2014 and Japan in 2016.

Following trials in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, an extended squad was named by national coaches, and trimmed down to 38 prior to last week’s series against an American Goodwill team in Auckland before the final roster was named on Saturday.

The team assembled on Thursday 11 January for camp before breaking on Saturday for the ABA All Star Game in Hamilton, and the team will stay in camp till the end of the tournament on 21 January at Lloyd Elsmore Park in Pakuranga for their final training camp. The tournament begins at 10.00am on Thursday 18 January and will be live streamed by Baseball New Zealand and its partners.

New Zealand U15 Team

Name                                                             Club/Region

Angus King                                                    Sydney, Australia

Ayden Kahu-Hammond                              Porirua Bombers, Wellington

Caelan Hetaraka                                          Orewa Sharks, Auckland

Chayton Krauss                                            Pennsylvania, USA

Christos Lyberopoulos                                Sydney, Australia

Ciaran Bolger                                                PK Pirates, Wellington

Cooper Grant                                                Nelson Heat

Harrison Lough                                             North Shore City, Auckland

Jacob Davidson                                            Selwyn Baseball, Christchurch

Keanu Cowley                                               Sydney, Australia

Liam Krauss                                                   Pennsylvania, USA

Noah-Sea Nui                                                Porirua Bombers, Wellington

Oly Collier                                                     Bayside-Westhaven, Auckland

Pharell Peni                                                   Melbourne, Australia

Rikihana Love                                               Porirua Bombers, Wellington

Taylor Irwin                                                  Counties Baseball, Auckland

Traye Wildbore                                            Howick-Pakuranga, Auckland

Tui Amosa                                                     Howick-Pakuranga, Auckland

Tane Mumu                                                  Hutt Valley Hornets, Wellington

Zaid Flynn                                                      Orewa Sharks, Auckland



Ingram Leger                                                 Bayside-Westhaven, Auckland

Reegan Lawton                                            Nelson Heat

Jahquai Armstrong-Briggs                          Hamilton Raiders

Hiroki Yasue                                                  North Shore City, Auckland

Eli Lesoa                                                        Howick-Pakuranga, Auckland

Zach Dawson                                                Orewa Sharks, Auckland


Head Coach – Riki Paewai

Pitching Coach – D J Carrasco

Asst Coach – Kris Richards

Asst Coach – Dan Tan

Asst Coach – Jonathon Southey