Baseball: Tuatara go down in controversial loss

By Te Ao - Māori News

The Auckland Tuatara are still winless after two games of the Australian Baseball season, going down 1-0 to the Perth Heat last night at QBE Stadium, North Harbour.

While there was disappointment at the loss, it was a very impressive debut on the mound for Tuatara pitcher Jared Koenig. He only gave up three hits and no walks in his six innings, with the only run of the game coming off his reliever Lucas Jacobson in the seventh and final innings.

The Heat’s Jordan Qsar hit a double off Jacobson to right field, then Robbie Glendinning laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner to third. That left Niko Hulsizer to get Qsar home, which he did off a sacrifice fly but it was not without controversy. 

Hansel Moreno fired a brilliant throw to home to try and beat Qsar, who had tagged up and was running home from third. It was a very tight call at the plate, with umpire Trent Thomas ruling that Qsar was safe. However, Tuatara manager Stephen Mintz charged out to argue the call.

His anger was to no avail though, as Thomas’ call stood. That was the only run the Heat needed to take out the win.

It was a frustrating end to the game for the home side, who once again could not generate any offence after a 6-1 loss in the series opener on Thursday night. 

Koenig was adamant that Qsar was out at home off the Moreno throw.

“Oh yeah, Moreno threw him out. It was a great toss and I was jumping for joy. When it was called safe, I was like ‘ah’. You just keep playing on, that’s all you can do,” the 25-year-old Californian said.

“I think we played really well, it just didn’t fall our way today. That’s baseball.”

The two teams meet again in the third of their four game series tonight at QBE Stadium, starting at 7pm.