17 Nov 2018

Tuatara downed in debut baseball game

7:09 am on 17 November 2018

The Auckland Tuatara have been beaten 8-4 by the Perth Heat in their debut game in the Australian Baseball League in Perth.

Guiyuan Xu batting for Auckland Tuatara

Guiyuan Xu batting for Auckland Tuatara Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2018 www.photosport.nz / SMP Images

Some early nerves were on show for the visitors as a couple of infield errors lead to the Heat shooting out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning.

It proved to be the theme of the night as they fielding continued to let down an impressive pitching performance from starter Josh Collmenter.

The former Arizona Diamondbacks big leaguer threw four and two thirds innings and was as good as advertised for the visitors.

The expansion franchise hit the ball well - carrying on the theme of their pre-season series against the Bandits in Brisbane last weekend - but couldn't peg back the runs their defence gave up.

Chinese star Guiyuan Xu collected the Tuatara's first ever hit in the ABL in the second innings and went on to have a big night at the plate going 3-4 with 3 RBI.

Daniel Lamb-Hunt, Max Brown and Shawon Dunston Jr all reached in the top of the fourth to load the bases.

he franchise's first ever run came when catcher Beau Bishop drew a bases-loaded walk and Lamb-Hunt got the free pass to home plate.

The visitors rallied again in the eighth, loading the bases and Baltimore Orioles prospect Xu came up clutch to drive in two with a hit to right.

But every time the Tuatara drew close they conceded runs in the bottom half of the inning.

The two sides meet in a double-header again today before a series finale on Sunday.