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Blackstone replaces Vasquez for Melbourne trip - Auckland Tuatara

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Auckland Tuatara have added utility infielder Kent Blackstone to their roster for the week two series against the Melbourne Aces starting Friday night.

Blackstone, a 25-year-old from Texas, is one of three changes to the Tuatara roster for the week two series.

The American utility has spent the last season playing independent baseball for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in the Atlantic League. Able to play second base, shortstop or third base, Blackstone hit .237 with four home runs, 24 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 2019.

He’s a year removed from hitting 24 home runs while driving in 65 runners with a .340 batting average.

Blackstone will replace Mets first baseman Jeremy Vasquez, who has opted to head back to the United States after the opening round series for personal reasons.

"Jeremy indicated last week that he wasn’t in a frame of mind to play baseball right now and we understand completely," Tuatara chief executive Regan Wood said.

"Last week was an extremely tough week and everyone deals with things like that in their own way.

"We started looking for a replacement as soon as Jeremy told us he was keen to head home.

"Kent comes highly recommended and gives the coaching staff some options with the batting line up, given that he can help in multiple ways and by playing multiple positions."

Texas Rangers shortstop Yonny Hernandez will link up with the team as soon as his Visa is approved but it won’t be in time for the Melbourne series. The Venezuelan native has been reunited with his passport after leaving the country in a hurry and will get to Auckland as soon as the paperwork is sorted - it should be in time for the week 3 series against the Canberra Cavalry back at North Harbour Stadium.

Japanese independent pitcher Koji Takahashi comes onto the roster having trained with the team last week and local Australian player Jordan Young will link up with the side in Melbourne, providing infield cover.

Takahashi replaces lefty reliever Ryota Okumoto, who can’t play away series due to work commitments.

The Tuatara will assess how the team performs in Melbourne this week before making any further additions.

Tuatara roster for Melbourne

Catchers

Te Wera Bishop

Jonny Homza

Infielders

Jared Walker

Josh Morgan

Luke Hansen

Kent Blackstone

Jordan Young

Outfielders

Hansel Moreno

Max Brown

Kim Won-Seok

Andrew Marck

Pitchers

Kyle Glogoski

Josh Collmenter

Jared Koenig

Jimmy Boyce

Emerson Martinez

Hever Bueno

Lucas Jacobsen

Yujo Kitagata

Mitch Hughson

Elliot Johnstone

Koji Takahashi

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