Play ball! Baseball is back
The start of the Cape Town Baseball Federation’s new season kicked off this past weekend which included a new league structure for the Major League and Promotion League teams.
The Major League has reverted to an eight-team league with last season’s top six, Bothasig Knights, Bellville Tygers, Athlone A’s, Maitland Giants, VOB Macaws and Durbanville Villains joined by the top two from last season’s Major League B: Van der Stel and Grassy Park Crusaders.
The Promotional League now consists of Westridge Yankees, Helderberg Pirates, Thistle, Battswood, Milnerton Mavericks, Lansdowne Eagles and Silvertree Titans.
The Major League opening fixtures saw VOB Macaws capitalise on Athlone A’s six errors to run out 9-7 winners at Vangate Sports Complex on Saturday 12 October.
A’s out hit VOB 7-4 leaving nine runners on base compared to VOB’s eight.
National team pitcher Dean Jacobs started the pitching for A’s and was badly let down by his defence to allow three runs in the first innings from two hits, a single by Jarryd Haynes and a triple by Luke November, two errors and a walk. VOB moved to a 3-0 lead after scoring another run in the second inning from a walk and a hit from Lance Gordon. Jacobs settled and kept VOB scoreless for the next two innings. Meanwhile, A’s were struggling to get to grips with the pitching of Michael Scritten with most flying the ball into the south-easterly wind.
Jacobs conceded four hits and gave three walks while striking out four hitters in his four inning pitched. He was then replaced by Shelton Trotsky. Trotsky walked the first two batters he faced – one hit by pitch, while he was sabotaged by his infield who committed four errors allowing VOB to score five runs in the fifth inning.
A’s threatened in the fourth when 16-year-old rookie Tariq Adams got his first major league hit to centre field and stole second base on the next pitch. Cameron Fortuin then drew a walk, however, a shallow flyball to shortstop by Reid Groenewald was caught by Marvin Mahoney and he put Adams out at second base.
A’s scored their first run in the fifth inning when Trotsky lead off with a stand-up double, the first of three doubles. Josh Wentzel then squeezed a hit between third and shortstop which advanced Trotsky to third. Wentzel stole second base before Matthew Diedericks grounded out to second base to scored Trotsky.
Trotsky then kept VOB scoreless for the next three innings before making way for Diedericks who struck out the last three VOB hitters.
A’s continued creeping back in the seventh inning when Trotsky again lead off the inning with a stand-up double. A’s scored two runs from his hit, two walks and an error. In the eight innings A’s scored a further four runs from three hits, a walk and an error. This took the score to 9-7 in VOB’s favour.
VOB kept their cool in the last inning o seal the win.
In another fixture Bellville Tygers were too strong for Durbanville Villains, winning 12-6.
After four innings, Tygers led 3-0 . Durbanville, however, briefly took the lead in the top of the fifth inning scoring six runs from four hits and four errors committed by Tygers. Tygers regained the lead scoring five runs from four hits and two errors to hold an 8-6 lead. Durbanville threatened again in the sixth inning with bases loaded none down. Terence White however grounded to first base and was put out by Allan Randall who also played home for the advancing runner to be put out for Tygers to record their second double play of the game. They also had one in the third inning.
Tygers went on to score a further four runs in the eighth inning.
Randall who came off the bench batted 3 for 3 and Jonathan Phillips 2 for 4 were Tygers best hitters.
Tygers started with national pitcher Kevin Townend who pitched five innings conceded three hits, gave four walks and struck out five Durbanville hitters. He was briefly replaced by Russell Olivier who faced four hitters before Anthony Phillips pitched the last three innings.
Durbanville also started with their own national pitcher Stuart Baron who threw four innings conceding three hits, three walks and struck out seven Tygers hitters.
He was replaced by Darren Smith, who returned to the club after a few seasons at Bothasig Knights.
Smith came in for some heavy punishment from the Tygers hitters who took eight hits from Smith’s four innings pitched. He also walked one hitter whilst striking out four.
Durbanville made five errors compared to Tygers four.
In other Major League results, Maitland Giants beat Grassy Park Crusaders 15-10 and Bothasig Knights thumped Van Der Stel 33-5.
In the Promotion League Westridge Yankees had the upper hand on Helderberg Pirates beating them 11-8, Milnerton Mavericks beat Lansdowne Eagles 13-2 and Silvertree Titans struggled against Battswood losing 19-1.