Three of Newcastle’s four representatives playing in this year’s Australian Baseball League championship series will be hoping to win two titles in the space of five months.
Pitcher Thomas Holland and the Moanaroa brothers, Boss and Moko, will line-up in the best-of-three-game contest for national franchise the Canberra Cavalry from Friday after combining forces to break a 69-year Newcastle Major League-premiership drought with hometown club Toronto in September.
The trio, and Belmont’s Jake Amos, are part of the extended Cavalry squad that will host two-time defending champions the Brisbane Bandits before heading north of the state border for potential back-to-back matches in Queensland on Saturday and Sunday.
“It wouldn’t happen every day that you get four players in a national final from the same place outside an Australian provincial capital,” Newcastle Baseball Association president Brian Sullivan said.
“And the three boys from Toronto are having a stellar season after helping break that 69-year premiership drought. Hopefully they can just keep rolling on.”
Toronto defeated nine-time reigning champions Belmont 25-11 in last year’s local decider, but this time around in the national showdown the Hunter quartet will be pitted alongside one another rather than opposite sides.
Left-handed batsman and first baseman Boss Moanaroa, fresh from representing Team Australia for the first time in December, has hit six home runs for Canberra with an average of .305 from 18 outings this season.
Sibling and outfielder Moko was called into the extended Cavalry group midway through the campaign.
Right-arm pitcher Holland, grandson of former Test cricketer Robert “Dutchy” Holland who passed away in September, has been used regularly from the bench to close out an innings.
Nineteen-year-old infielder Amos has enjoyed his promotion to a full-time roster after previously being a development player for the Sydney Blue Sox.
To make the 2017-2018 grand final Canberra came from behind to defeat Perth away in Sunday’s third semi.
Meanwhile, NBA president Sullivan said, at this stage, there had been no progression on the Hunter’s potential bid for a proposed national competition expansion in 2018-2019.
The NBA season starts on April 7.
FIXTURES: Game 1 in Canberra on Friday (7pm); Game 2 in Brisbane on Saturday (6pm); Game 3 (if required) in Brisbane on Sunday (4pm).