Tu­atara suf­fer ugly loss

The Southland Times - - Sport - David Long

The Auck­land Tu­atara paid a heavy price for be­ing un­able to drive in runs and hav­ing a shaky bullpen yesterday.

The Tu­atara lost 9-1 in the open­ing clash of a four-game se­ries against Syd­ney Blue Sox at McLeod Park in West Auck­land.

It was ar­guably the most frus­trat­ing loss of the eight de­feats the Tu­atara have had this sea­son as they had the bases loaded three times.

But each time they couldn’t get any runs in from be­ing in the dream sit­u­a­tion, while when Syd­ney had the same sce­nario, Zac Shep­herd hit a grand slam.

The game ended up as a blowout with Jimmy Boyce get­ting the loss, but it was un­for­tu­nate for him, not only did he not get any run sup­port, but pitched well over six in­nings, giv­ing up five hits and two runs.

Boyce has no wins and three losses this sea­son, which doesn’t re­flect how well the 21-year-old New Zealan­der has pitched.

But his team hasn’t bat­ted well when he’s pitched. In his three losses, the Tu­atara have scored a to­tal of six runs.

‘‘It hap­pens, there are days that we throw badly and let them down, so it goes both ways,’’ Boyce said. ‘‘I didn’t feel great with my fast­ball to­day, so I was try­ing to lo­cate it and make good pitches.’’

Boyce did strug­gle in his first game of the sea­son, but has pitched well since then has set­tled in well at the Tu­atara.

‘‘I feel pretty good and good about go­ing into the next cou­ple of games,’’ he said.

‘‘The body is get­ting in shape now to go that dis­tance and it’s all about keep get­ting those outs.’’

But af­ter Boyce left the game and the Tu­atara delved into their bullpen, they fell apart, with Ry­ota Oku­moto giv­ing up three runs from 0.1 in­nings and Yuki Harada cough­ing up four runs from the rest of a hor­ren­dous sev­enth in­ning.

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