The Black Sox have received a warm welcome home to New Zealand after winning their fifth World Softball Championship in Canada.
Arriving home to the chant of "Black Sox" from family members and a section of the public, 19-year-old Cole Evans said they had to overcome unique challengers in Whitehorse, Canada, where the tournament was held.
"It was actually pretty tough - at the ballpark there's no lights," Evans told Newshub.
"It doesn't get dark until 12:30am and then it's up early in the morning so it's pretty tough, sleeping especially."
It was the second time Evans - who is an apprentice electrician - has been involved with the Black Sox, and he said it was humbling coming back to such a reception.
"It's unbelievable to be home. It's been a long tour but to come home to a reception like that is pretty cool," he said.
"Especially with softball being a minority sport, coverage like this doesn't come around too often so when it does you take it with open arms."
Coach Mark Sorenson paid tribute to his side, who came back from a 9-2 deficit in the semi-final against the hosts.
"I couldn't be more proud of the way they performed and the resilience that they showed," Sorenson said.