Chris Feary hit the ball which led to the pitcher driving off. PHOTO/FILE

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

In a bizarre moment, the pitcher for Hutt City United stripped his shirt off, strolled away, and abandoned his team mid-match against the Giants in a Premier Three intercity softball match at South Park on Saturday.

Giants’ president Chris Feary was batting at the time in the fourth innings and had hit a high ball out towards the fence, only for a Hutt fielder to drop the catch.

What happened next was something that Feary said he had never seen before.

“The pitcher took off his shirt, walked off over the fence and jumped in his car and took off,” he said.

“Normally, you might expect him to abuse his teammates, but he didn’t even look back.

“He must’ve had his keys in his pocket, and he was on a mission. I’ve never seen anything that dramatic.”

Giants had beaten Hutt City 17-1 in the first round and were heading for another big win on Saturday at the time. In the end, the 19-1 victory almost certainly secured Giants a spot in the Premier Three semi-finals.

In intercity Premier Reserve action, a 4-3 loss to Poneke-Kilbirnie ended Giants’ hopes of making the semifinals.

Giants topped the table at the end of round one but have managed only one win from six games in the second round with most of the losses by narrow margins.

Giants made the better start to Saturday’s game at Hataitai Park, taking an early 2-0 lead.

In what has become a recurring theme throughout the second half of the season, Giants had their opportunities to win the game, with players on base, but failed to convert those chances into runs.

In other matches, the Giants women lost 2-7 to Dodgers Divas in a Hutt Valley Major B match.

The Giants Under-13s won an exciting match with Stokes Valley Red 11-7.

Maggie Shields again turned in an impressive shift at pitcher. Destiny Torapa, with an in-field home run, and Darius Kahu had strong games with the bat to keep the team on track for the semifinals.

The Giants Under-15s won by default from Totara Park Gold.