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Seven Spitfires move up

Wairarapa Spitfires and Nelson Heat teams after their second match in the Holiday Ham tournament at Lower Hutt. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

BASEBALL

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Seven players from the Wairarapa Spitfires have been named in Wellington teams to play in the New Zealand regional Little League qualifying tournament in Auckland.

Genuine Savaliga and Charlie Fawdray have been selected for the Wellington Little League Majors’ team for players 12 years and under.

Coach Shane Fawdray has been named as the assistant coach.

Ian McRae and Oscar Whibley-Smith have been chosen for the Intermediate team [13 and under], along with Kayla McWilliam and Aiden Fawdray, who are non-travelling reserves.

Lesharn Reiri-Paku has been included in the junior team [14 and under].

All seven played for the Spitfires’ Under-13 team in the Wellington Baseball Association Holiday Ham tournament.

The Greytown-based team won two of their four games played at Fraser Park in Lower Hutt.

They started with a 1-5 loss to a very powerful Nelson Heat.

The Spitfires bounced back to beat Hutt Valley Hornets Blue 7-4 and Hornets Black 7-1, however a second loss to the Nelson Heat [3-5], ended their chances of playing in the final.

Poneke-Kilbirnie Pirates won the final 10-7 over the Heat.

Fawdray said “the whole team dug deep, and there are too many awesome plays to mention”.

“We are very proud to say we have had seven of our 12 players selected across three of the Wellington teams,” he said.

“These kids have worked hard over the past two years, and it so great to see so many of them named.”

The Little League qualifying tournaments, to be played in early 2020 will involve regional teams from Auckland, Wellington, and Canterbury in four age categories.

They will battle it out for a chance to progress to the Asia-Pacific Little League world series qualifier, to be held in Korea next year.

Representative baseball is nothing new for McRae, Savaliga and Whibley-Smith, who played for Wellington at the Pony tournament in Japan in July.

Savaliga, McRae, and Charlie Fawdray will also play for Wellington in the Gold Coast Summer Classic in Queensland from January 2-6.

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