Former Wildcats hitter will play for New Zealand
October 31, 2012
By Sebastian Moraga
Former Mount Si Wildcat baseball player Max Brown earned a spot on the provisional roster of New Zealand’s national team.
Brown is an outfielder for Bellevue College. He played on the Mount Si High School team that won the state championship in spring 2011. He hit the title-clinching single against Shorewood in Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium.
He played as a centerfielder and earned All-League Player of the Year honors for KingCo 3A.
During his last year at Mount Si, he hit .500, drove in 24 runs and stole 25 bases, including six in one game. During his year at Bellevue, he hit .339, drove in 14 runs and stole seven bases.
Brown and his New Zealand teammates will represent the nation in the World Baseball Classic Qualifier scheduled for Chinese Taipei, from Nov. 15-19. The Kiwis, as the squad is known, will play the hosts, Thailand and the Philippines. Winner moves on to the main tournament in March 2013.
The November games will be streamed live on worldbaseballclassic.com.
New Zealand plays Chinese Taipei at 2:30 a.m. Pacific Time Nov. 15. The Kiwis will play again the next day at the same time and the subsequent day at 10 p.m. Pacific. The order of their next two rivals has not been determined.
It’s the first time the country has been invited to participate in the tournament, and it is considered the group’s underdog, according to the World Baseball Classic website.
The International Baseball Federation has Chinese Taipei ranked eighth in the world, Thailand 23rd, Philippines 31st and New Zealand unranked.
A press release from the website baseballnewzealand.com described the invite as a reward for the growth of baseball in New Zealand.
“We’re incredibly excited about the roster we’re going to have on the field for us in Taiwan,” said Andy Skeels, the manager of the San Jose Giants, a farm team of the World Series champs San Francisco Giants, and the skipper of the New Zealand squad. “It’s great to have identified so many New Zealand-eligible players of this caliber.”
Thirteen of the roster’s 25 players have played professionally overseas. Tryouts were held in the New Zealand cities of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
Brown is training with the team in New Zealand and was not available to comment for this article.