Tygers favourites to hit Crusaders out of the PP Smit ballpark
GRASSY PARK Crusaders travel to the PP Smit Stadium today to take on in-form and unbeaten Bellville Tygers in round six of the Baseball Association WP (Bawp) Major League.
Defending league champions Tygers have been in menacing form this season, and they currently share top spot on the log with Bothasig Knights.
The Tygers offence has been the hallmark of their play and has been led by Shannon Eckermans, Jonathan Phillips and Josh Halverson.
The trio lead the batting numbers at perennial pace-setters Tygers and will again pose a threat to the Crusaders’ bullpen.
The youthful Crusaders pitching staff came in for some severe punishment against Bothasig in their 17-5 loss last week, their first defeat of the season.
Jarrod Williams, Sergil Thompson and Brent Fransman will be looking for support from experienced campaigners Grant Robertson and Lucian Swartz in their pitching department.
Kevin Townsend, Dayton Williams and Russell Olivier will be carrying the Tygers’ pitching responsibilities which should be too powerful for the Crusaders’ hitting line-up.
Chris Jacobs, Chad Beukes and Fransman will be looking to come good in the Crusaders’ batting department.
Helderberg Pirates make their way to the Abe Sher sports ground to take on unbeaten Bothasig, hoping to break a run of four consecutive defeats after registering their only win on the opening day of the season against the Athlone A‘s.
Pirates’ team revolves around the efficiency of Kieran Clacket and Daryn Chalmers on the mound and in the hitting department.
Clacket has been starting most of their games, pitching to Chalmers who dons the catcher’s mitt.
When Clacket’s pitching stint is complete, it is Chalmers who relieves him in a bid to secure a victory.
Both Chalmers and Clacket are also by far the cleanest hit- ters of the ball in the Pirates line-up.
Bothasig will again rely on their long string of batters, led by Kyle Botha, Benji Smith and Justin Lazarus to hit them into a winning position. They also have Keenan Clarke and Nick Eagles who are no slouches with the bat.
Bothasig’s pitching department sees the youth of Damon Mitchell and DJ Stark complement the experience of Jared Elario and Darren Smith.
Bothasig’s experience should carry them through for this one.
After five rounds of fixtures in the new season. Bothasig Knights and Bellville Tygers remain unbeaten on 10 points, followed by Grassy Park Crusaders on eight.
Westridge Yankees have six points followed by VOB Macaws and Van der Stel on four.
Athlone A’s, Durbanville Villans and Helderberg Pirates are all on two points.
In other Major League games today, the in- form Westridge Yankees travel to Maitland Giants, struggling Athlone A’s host new boys Van der Stel, and Durbanville Villains are at home to VOB Macaws.
In the Promotion League top side Milnerton Mavericks and second-placed Battswood clash at Theo Marais Park in Milnerton.
Mavericks have shown their intentions by acquiring the coaching services of former Maitland Giants and Bothasig Knights coach Johan Moses.
The benefit of his guidance and experience has been obvious in a few close victories for the team to date.
Thistle host near neighbours Devonshire Rovers at the Ottery Ferness sports ground.
Rovers have been struggling to get things going this season after having lost a few key players at the start of the campaign.