Former Red Sox prospect Boss Moanaroa went 4-for-5 with a homer, two doubles and seven RBIs to make a winner out of 18-year-old American Jimmy Boyce (1-0) and give New Zealand (1-1) a 17-7 mercy-rule win in eight innings over the Philippines (0-2) in a World Baseball Classic Qualifier elimination game on Friday at Blacktown International Sportspark.
Moanaroa's homer, a three-run shot, came in a six-run sixth inning that helped New Zealand pull away in what started out as a back-and-forth contest. Moanaroa had tied the game in the fifth with the first of his two doubles, and the 24-year-old first baseman added a two-run single in the seventh to make it 14-7.
Leadoff hitter Eric Farris, who played for the Twins' Triple-A affiliate the last two seasons, had four hits, including two doubles, for the Philippines and was 5-for-7 during Qualifier play.
The Kiwis will face the loser of Friday's 3:30 a.m. ET game between South Africa and Australia on Saturday (2:30 a.m. ET/6:30 p.m. local) in another elimination game. Sunday's Qualifier championship game is scheduled for 2 p.m. local time (10 p.m. ET Saturday). Fans can watch all Qualifier matchups live on MLB Network, MLB.com and WorldBaseballClassic.com.
Boyce, who came on in the sixth after the Philippines took a 7-4 lead, gave up a single to start before retiring the next four batters he faced. Boyce currently attends Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie, Wash., but taking the mound for his native country was a decision that will impact his prep career.
According to a story by MLB Network reporter Jon Paul Morosi for FOXSports.com, Washington Interscholastic Activities Association rules indicate that Boyce, a junior who was born in Tauranga, New Zealand, and lived in that country until moving to the U.S. in 2012, is now ineligible to play for Mount Si High School because rules prohibit student-athletes from competing in team sports with or against professional players.