MAGS win fifth-straight softball title
The Mount Albert Grammar School (MAGS) boys softball team have continued their reign as the best in the nation.
MAGS claimed their fifthstraight title at the National Secondary Schools Division 1 competition at Rosedale Park last week, beating Hastings Boys High School in the final on Friday 6-3.
However, it didn’t come easy for the defending champions, who were beaten twice by Hastings Boys throughout the tournament.
The first came in the round robin stages when they went down in a nail-biter 1-0. They then met their rivals again in the preliminary semifinals where they lost 6-4 after leading 4-2 for most of the game.
As a result, coach Stu Kinghorn said there was a lot of pressure on the team heading into the final.
‘‘They were a little worried,’’ Kinghorn said.
‘‘Because when you lose to one team twice, it does get to you a little bit.’’
But some variable pitching changes helped MAGS get the upper edge. Kinghorn opted to rotate all three of his pitchers throughout the semifinal and final, which threw off the opposition and didn’t allow them to get into rhythm.
‘‘There’s nothing harder when the pitching is changing around,’’ he said.
‘‘I had three boys who throw the ball pretty hard.’’
Wild weather had threatened play earlier in the week but all games managed to get underway successfully.
MAGS picked up wins against Massey High School, St Peters College, Rosehill College, Marlborough Boys College, Southland Boys High, and Green Bay High School.
The side boasted four national representatives, with Max Earley, Brock Evans, and Taine Slaughter all in the U17 emerging Black Sox squad, while Harley Maynard was with the U19s.
Along with the title, MAGS also picked up a number of individual awards.
Harley Maynard was named top pitcher, while Max Earley received the top catcher award.
Toby Bourgeois was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Brock Evans, Floyd Nola and coach Stu Kinghorn joined the other three in the Tournament Team, made up of the best players across the competition.
The MAGS softball team celebrate their fifth-straight title at the nationals.