Bat­ter up! Men­ac­ing Bel­lville await luck­less Dur­banville

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SEAN CAMP­BELL

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.

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