Maitland Giants take major leap

2016-03-08 06:00
Maitland Giants baseball club won promotion to the major league next season. Back row from left are Lloyd Koks (assistant coach), Kurt Pretorius, Jayde Thorne, Taariq George and Don Gillies (coach). Middle from left are Miles October, Mark McLean, Kyle Inglis, Kyle Rossouw and Johan Moses (head coach). In front are Wesley Gamba, Ryan Samie, Carlo Koks, Alistair Fester and Sergio Gamba. PHOTO: Rashied Isaacs

Maitland Giants baseball club won promotion to the major league next season. Back row from left are Lloyd Koks (assistant coach), Kurt Pretorius, Jayde Thorne, Taariq George and Don Gillies (coach). Middle from left are Miles October, Mark McLean, Kyle Inglis, Kyle Rossouw and Johan Moses (head coach). In front are Wesley Gamba, Ryan Samie, Carlo Koks, Alistair Fester and Sergio Gamba. PHOTO: Rashied Isaacs

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Maitland Giants have won promotion to local baseball’s major league despite losing to Crusaders at the last hurdle.

After a name change two years ago (from Kenfac Phillies Baseball Club), promotion to the major league was a definite goal.

Leon Fester, Giants chairperson, credited the work ethic of the players and coaches and the vocal support from the community for home and away fixtures.

After losing out on promotion last season, the brains trust of the club and its coaches acquired the services of Matt Soren from the United States and non-active players Craig Prinsloo and Tariq George.

It was Soren’s contribution to the pitching department that provided the necessary support to Kurt Pretorius, Carlo Koks and Jayde Thorne that was the catalyst for most of the team’s victories.

Prinsloo and George took some time to settle down, but came to the party to ehlp with both the fielding and hitting departments. Prinsloo contributed in the outfield with George commanding a regular spot at third base.

With a game to go, away to Helderberg Pirates, Giants were only breached twice this season, losing to Van der Stel and Lansdowne Eagles earlier in the season.

The Giants’ offence was lead by Thorne, Kyle Inglis, Kyle Rossouw and the Gamba brothers, Wesley and Sergio.

“By winning promotion we also brought baseball back into the spotlight in our community. Our senior players have become role models for many youth players,” says Fester.

Game preparation and strategy have been key in the Giants’ quest for promotion this season and the tireless effort of the coaching team of Honey Moses, Lloyd Koks and Don Gillies has not gone unnoticed.

Next season in the major league will be a totally different ball game with teams having more quality pitching and hitting. Teams are also more likely to expose mediocre baseball.

“Our club is ready for the challenge of major league baseball we have already started planning our pre-season time table,” Fester says.


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