Enoka rev­els in un­der-19s win

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

Auck­land un­der-19 soft­ball pitcher Thomas Enoka is in the form of his life.

The 17-year-old was named pitcher of the tour­na­ment when his side won the na­tional champs in Nel­son last month.

Enoka didn’t give away any home runs dur­ing the four­day com­pe­ti­tion in which Auck­land were un­beaten.

He cred­its his three sea­sons play­ing at premier level for the Mt Al­bert-based Auck­land United club in the tough Auck­land com­pe­ti­tion as one rea­son for his suc­cess in Nel­son.

“You’re play­ing at a higher level than when you go down to the 19s,” he says.

“You’re a step above half the other guys down there.”

Enoka says he’s happy the team came away with the ti­tle, af­ter beat­ing Welling­ton 9-0 in the fi­nal.

“There were some good teams there but they didn’t per­form to their best.”

The side was also in­tent on tak­ing out the ti­tle for their coach John Love af­ter they were knocked out of the com­pe­ti­tion in the round-robin stages last year.

“We were play­ing to get him a ti­tle be­cause he was a bit gut­ted last year.”

Enoka says he wants to fol­low in the foot­steps of his cousins Kurt and Travis Al­lan and play for the Black­sox. How­ever he knows there’s plenty of com­pe­ti­tion to make the na­tional team.

“Some pitchers th­ese days play un­til they’re 45.”

Love says he isn’t sur­prised at his star pitcher’s per­for­mance. He dis­cov­ered him at an early age.

“I first se­lected Thomas at un­der-13 level and un­be­knownst to me he was only 10 years old then.

“He’s solid and dom­i­nates on the mound.”

And while Enoka’s pitch­ing was one of the keys to the tour­na­ment win, Love says bat­ting depth was an­other im­por­tant fac­tor.

“Most teams rely on three or four bat­ters, but we had hit­ting depth right through the line-up.

“Strong bat­ters from one to nine was a real fac­tor for us.”

Photo: AMELIA JA­COB­SON

In full swing: Auck­land pitcher Thomas Enoka shows off the skills that made him pitcher of the tour­na­ment at the un­der-19 na­tion­als in Nel­son.

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