Nelson Heat baseballer Cooper Grant has been chosen to represent New Zealand at the Baseball Confederation of Oceania U15 Championships in Auckland. The winners of this tournament will represent the Oceania region at the U15 World Cup in Panama. The 14 year old Nelson College student played in the local softball competition, but has only recently turned his hand to baseball. Coach and former Black Sox pitcher Marty Grant said there were around 30 young Kiwis playing in the US College system. While no New Zealand native has played in the Major League to date, several players have signed contracts with franchises in recent years. Cooper had previously made the national under 13 side, which earned him a trip to the Cal Ripken baseball tournament in Baltimore, USA where he also attended a Major League game.
Update: New Zealand played an exciting 10 inning game against Australia (ranked #7). They lost 8-6 after 3 tie breakers leaving Australia to qualify for the World Championship. Cooper started and went 6 complete innings leaving with the score tied 2-2.