Helderberg Pirates handed Athlone A’s a 6-0 shutout in their opening fixture in the Western Province Baseball Association major league last week Saturday. Pirates, who finished second in the promotion league last season, were promoted to the major league for the first time in more than twenty years. They scored six runs on two down in the third inning from four hits, three walks and two errors. Winning pitcher Kieran Clacket pitched all nine innings, allowing six hits, striking out five and allowing two walks by Pirates. A’s started with new player Cameron Fortuin, who pitched 3.1 innings, conceding five hits and three walks.Carl Michaels replaced Fortuin in the fourth inning, finishing the game. He pitched 5.2 innings, allowing two hits and striking out 11 batters. All the Pirates runs were scored in the third inning. A’s leadoff batter reached first base on four occasions, but they still could not score any runs. Top hitters for Pirates were Jared Uys (3/4) and Daryn Chalmers (2/4).Van der Stel announced their return to the major league with a tough 9-8 victory against Maitland Giants in Stellenbosch. Although they were out-hit 13 to 10, Van der Stel scored consistently in the second, third and fourth innings. Giants opened the score in the second inning with four runs from two hits, three walks and one hit by pitch. Van der Stel responded immediately with four runs when Giants made three critical errors, coupled with two hits and one walk. Van der Stel had a 9-5 lead at the end of the fourth inning. Giants came back hard, scoring three runs in the end, but it was not enough. Both teams made five errors. Top hitters for Giants were Tariq George 2/3 and Brandon Stephens 2/5. For Van der Stel Yannis Weber, Ricky Valdez, Robbie Clarke, Damien Perkins, Charles van Wyk and Ryno van Wyk all recorded two hits each with a leadoff home run by Clarke in the fourth inning off Jaz Shergil. Clarke and Perkins shared the pitching duties for Van der Stel, conceding ten hits between them. Giants started with Kurt Pretorius, who struggled and was replaced by Shergil in the fourth inning. Giants left twelve runners on base. Grassy Park Crusaders stuck to their game plan to eventually beat Durbanville 13-5 in Durbanville on Saturday. With the game tied at 3-3 at the end of the sixth inning, Crusaders scored ten runs in two innings to take the game away from Durbanville. Crusaders’ starting pitcher Bevan Fransman threw four innings, conceding five hits, striking out four hitters and giving up two walks. He was replaced by Jarrod Williams who pitched the last five innings, giving up three hits, striking out seven hitters and walking only one hitter. Durbanville started with Stuart Brown who did extremely well by pitching 4.2 innings, allowing three hits, striking out nine hitters and walking four. Terence le Roux relieved for a short while, pitching 1.2 innings, conceding four hits, striking out one and walking four.Durbanville made seven errors.In other results, last season’s league champions Bellville Tygers beat Westridge Yankees 6-0 in a rain-curtailed game. VOB lost 15-4 to Bothasig in Bothasig.