Seven-time world champs, New Zealand, unveil roster for WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup on home soil

Seven-time world champions and hosts, New Zealand, announced their 16-strong roster for the WBSC Men’s Softball World Cup, set to begin on 26 November in Auckland, New Zealand. The announcement was made on national television through Whakaata Māori, the official TV broadcaster of the World Cup.

“We are very excited about the group we have selected. But there are some very good players that have missed this team, which made selecting the final group very difficult,” said New Zealand head coach, Mark Sorenson. “It also highlights the quality of the talent pool that we have been working with over the last couple of years.”

The pitching duo of Daniel Chapman and Josh Pettet will handle most of the workload in the circle, with some help from pitcher/utility player Pita Rona. Chapman, who is returning from a back injury, posted a 2.39 ERA in 26.1 innings pitched during the 2019 World Cup in Prague, while Pettet recorded a 1.24 ERA in the same event.

Te Wera Bishop will play for the Black Sox two months after representing New Zealand in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier in Panama.  Bishop, who grew up as a softball player and was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 2011 as a 17-year old teenager, was the MVP (Most Valuable Player) at the National Fastpitch Championships last weekend. He’s an active player of the Tuatara baseball team in the Australian Baseball League.

The roster includes seven first-time World Cup players; Rona, Bishop, Dante Makea-Matakatea, Rhys Evans, Bradley Bennett, Tane Mumu and Cameron Watts. Four of them – Makea-Matakatea, Bennett, Mumu and Watts – will wear the Black Sox jersey for the first time.

Ben Enoka is the only player from the 2013 gold-medal team that won the championship in Auckland, 10 years ago. He has played in four world championships since and will be playing with this brother Thomas – one of three sets of brothers in the Black Sox squad. Captain Cole Evans is joined for the first time by brother Rhys, while Makea-Matakatea will be playing with Reilly Makea.

New Zealand Black Sox roster

  • Bradley Bennett – OF
  • Te Wera Bishop – C
  • Daniel Chapman – P
  • Ben Enoka – OF
  • Thomas Enoka – IF
  • Cole Evans – IF
  • Joel Evans – IF
  • Rhys Evans – IF
  • Dante Makea-Matakatea – IF
  • Reilly Makea – OF
  • Tane Mumu – IF
  • Connor Peden – OF
  • Josh Pettett – P
  • Jerome Raemaki – IF
  • Pita Rona – P, UT
  • Cam Watts – C


Article adapted from the WBSC Oceania website.