2018/19 ABL R1 – Perth v Auckland
16 Nov 2018 22:00 AEST
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Auckland will make its Brut Australian Baseball League debut when it squares off with Perth at Perth Harley-Davidson Ballpark on Opening Weekend.
The Tuatara have avoided completing the longest trip in the ABL in one stint after staying in Queensland following last weekend’s pre-season series against Brisbane.
Auckland dropped all three games against the Bandits but showed plenty of promise against the three-time defending champions.
The Tuatara rolled through their roster as Steve Mintz got a good look at who he has to work with this season.
Auckland’s offence warmed up as the weekend went on, recording 14 hits on Sunday after managing just three in the opening game.
Promising outfielder Eric Jenkins homered, as did Daniel Lamb-Hunt, in the final game while Milwaukee prospect Zach Clark picked up a couple of hits.
Mintz gave plenty of arms a chance to shine and has settled on New Zealander Kyle Glogoski to become the Tuatara’s first starter in an official ABL game.
Jimmy Boyce is slated to start game three while former Big Leaguer Josh Collmenter and Chen Yu-syuan round out the Opening Weekend rotation.
Auckland faces a tough start against the Heat.
Perth stormed back to the top-end of the ABL last summer and has plenty of talent across its roster again in 2018/19.
ABL 2018 Rookie of the Year Jess Williams is back and the Heat have plenty of Tampa Bay talent on their roster, including catcher Chris Betts.
Betts was a second round pick in 2015.
Seven-year MLB veteran Pete Kozma has also linked up with Perth after playing alongside Warwick Saupold – who is inactive this weekend – in Toledo.