18-year-old Jason Matthews thrives in Diamond Blacks squad

By Taroi Black
  • Auckland

18-year-old Jason Matthews has signed up with New Zealand's baseball team ahead of their world series qualifications in Sydney this week. 

The youngster turned down the offer to play for the Junior Black Sox so he could pursue his dream with the Diamond Blacks. 

He was cool, calm and collected in his first week of training.

"I was speechless, me and my sister were just happy that I made the team and we can move somewhere from there," Mathews says. 

Jason Matthews unexpectedly received a call over his Summer break. 

He says, "I was very excited and nervous because I've never faced this kind of pitching before and it's a big step from what I've been playing."

The pitching field is a familiar place for the South Aucklander, throwing him good opportunities. But he says life has also thrown him some curve balls.   

"I think I was six or seven when my mum passed away. That was a huge loss to us because then my sister had to step up and take care of us. At the same time, my dad was getting sick and when I was twelve he passed away with lung cancer.

It made me mature a lot faster. I didn't want to be a hassle and I wanted to be easier to take care of so I just listened to my sister all the time, obey her commands and just live life like how we are now."

It became the driving force behind his sporting career. When he was approached by the Diamond Blacks, he was also scouted by the NZ Junior softball side. 

His ultimate dream is to hopefully catch the eye of a Major League Club in America.