Nukunuku set to make Black Sox history

By James Perry

Nathan Nukunuku will lead the Black Sox in what will be his seventh world championships later this year.  In the process he will break the record for most world championships, which he currently shares with four others.

The veteran Ngāti Porou softball player has been confirmed as the Black Sox captain to defend their title in Prague, Czech Republic in June. 

Nathan Nukunuku is heading to a record 7th Softball World Championship. Photo/File

Nukunuku shares the current record of six appearances with Head Coach Mark Sorenson, Junior Black Sox coach Thomas Makea, former captain Jarrad Martin and Brad Rona. 

All five have four world championships to their name.  Nukunuku, 38, has the chance to go one better if the Black Sox are successful in winning their eighth world title.

Nukunuku first played for the Black Sox in 1999, and won World Championships in 2000, 2004, 2013, 2017.

At the other end of the age spectrum, 20-year-old outfielder Reilly Makea (Ngāti Kahungunu), son of Thomas, has been named to play in his first world championships. 

Riley Makea will follow his father, Thomas to a Softball World Champs this year. Photo/file

And the three Enoka brothers, Ben, Thomas and Campbell (Ngāpuhi) have again been selected alongside their catcher cousin Kallan Compain.

The full Black Sox squad to compete in Prague, in June is:

Pitchers:  Nik Hayes, Daniel Chapman, Josh Pettett.

Catchers: Zane van Lieshout, Kallan Compain.

Infielders: Nathan Nukunuku (captain), Jerome Raemaki, Joel Evans, Cole Evans, Tyron Bartorillo, Josh Harbrow.

Outfielders: Ben Enoka, Campbell Enoka, Thomas Enoka, Reilly Makea, Wayne Laulu, Jackson Watt.

Head coach: Mark Sorenson.