Batter up! Menacing Bellville await luckless Durbanville
UNBEATEN Bellville host winless Durbanville in round five of the WP Baseball Association at PP Smit Sports Ground today.
Durbanville have been finding the new season tough and only once looked like winning a game, and that was last Sunday against Athlone when they twice gave away a slender lead.
Bellville’s hitting lineup should be too strong for Durbanville, who will be without player-coach Darren Smith as well as Terence le Roux, Damien Perkins and Cameron Fortuin, who have left for Mexico with the national Under-23 side.
Durbanville’s pitching, which has been spearheaded by Smith and Perkins, and supported by Le Roux and Fortuin, will be severely impacted. The likes of Anthony Phillips, Jonathan Phillips and Kyle Ettisch will also be in a menacing mood with the bat.
Bellville have welcomed the return of Callan Pearce from the minor leagues in USA, who threw three scoreless innings against Bothasig last Sunday in an 8-5 victory.
Meanwhile, Athlone A’s host Westridge Yankees at Vangate Sports Complex. This could be a tough one for the A’s, who have been struggling to find their hitting momentum. So they’ve had to rely heavily on their pitching personnel.
The Yankees, in contrast, have gone on a hitting spree and have amassed 57 hits in four games – the most in the league so far.
But their hitting lineup will be seriously tested by the A’s three national pitchers, Dean Jacobs, Lloyd Stevens and Carl Michaels, who have been the quite effective as a unit this season.
Luwayne du Plessis, Jared du Plessis, Jayson Ripepi and Ashley Julies have been prominent with the bat for the Yankees.
The A’s have had the better of this fixture in recent years, but expect the visitors to push them all the way, if not steal the win.
VOB travel to Bothasig, who will be without Devon Clarke, Keenan Clarke, Josh King and Nicholas Eagles, who have also travelled with the SA U23s to Mexico.
So Bothasig will be hope Jared Elario has sufficiently recovered from his knee injury to do some work on the mound this weekend.
The return of Brett Willemburg will help Bothasig, both defensively and offensively, although last week they were still without cousins, JP and Andrew Norman.
Bothasig would be hoping Willemburg, Kyle Botha and Dayle Feldtman will gain the upper hand on the VOB’s pitchers, led by Grant Robertson, Josh Rich and Jason Theys.
And VOB will rely on Paul Bell and Grant Emmanuel to come good with the bat.
Bothasig normally has this encounter in the bag, but they could be surprised by VOB.
Winless Crusaders travel to Kensington to face the Maitland Giants with likely only one thing on their minds: “Bring home the points.”
Both teams had good starts this season but have not been able to convert all of them into victories, with Giants only picking up one win.
They were unlucky against Bothasig (5-3) and Athlone (2-0) when their fielding let them down, but showed great fighting spirit to beat Durbanville earlier in the season.
The Crusaders showed great character against VOB (5-3) and Bothasig (5-2) as they came back, but it was just not enough.
Argentine Juan Martin, Jayde Thorne and Brad Erasmus should lead the Giants batting lineup with Brent Fransman, Jarrod Williams and Sergio Thompson doing pitching duty for the opposition.
The Crusaders will hope Chad Beukes, Jaimie Mauritz and Warren Adams will lead the batting onslaught against the pitching of Jaz Shergill, Carlo Koks and Thorne.
This one has all the makings of an exciting affair in front of one of the larger crowd attendances at a local baseball game.