WP baseball makes clean sweep

2016-04-05 06:00
Western Province’s u.15 A side beat Gauteng A 5-1 in a tightly contested final at the Chukker Road sport complex on Saturday.

Western Province’s u.15 A side beat Gauteng A 5-1 in a tightly contested final at the Chukker Road sport complex on Saturday.

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After annexing their 17th senior national baseball championship (NBC) last week, all of the Western Province (WP) youth teams proceeded to win gold in their divisions over the last week.

Western Province have now made it back-to-back clean sweeps of the South African Baseball Union’s (SABU) senior and youth NBCs after also winning gold in all divisions in Boksburg last year.

The senior WP A side conquered all before them as they registered no fewer than five shut outs whilst drawing one game to Gauteng u.23, which was rained out. WP A beat WP u.23 10-0 in the semi-finals and faced Gauteng A in the final after Gauteng A beat WP B 9-2 in their semi-final.

The final was played in horrendously windy and rainy weather, which did not allow for good baseball. The weather favoured Gauteng A as it stifled the WP A powerhouse batting line-up. Both teams were taken off the field twice due to persistent rain. On the second occasion, at the top of the ninth innings, umpires called the game off with WP A leading 7-0. As the innings was incomplete, the official score stood at 5-0, as it was at the bottom if the eighth innings.

The pitching duo of Jared Elario and Carl Michaels stood out, with Brett Willemburg and Darren Wedel shining with the bat.

WP u.18 A beat Gauteng A 10-0 in the final of the junior championship. Jarrod Williams pitched a sublime game and was well supported by his fielders who turned a beautiful double play in the sixth inning. Williams pitched six innings, conceding five hits, two walks and fanned two hitters. He was replaced by Brandon Smith who recorded the last three outs.

Brandon Gehlig (2 for 2), Haydon Matter (2 for 3) and Kyle Ripepi (2 for 4) were the standout hitters for WP u.18 A.

Gauteng A beat Gauteng B 6-3 and WP A beat WP B 9-2 in their respective semi-finals.

In a tightly contested final for u.15s, WP A beat Gauteng A 5-1. Both teams utilised three pitchers each but it was WP A that took advantage of the errors and walks given up by Gauteng A. Just when Gauteng A were threatening, WP A turned a double play to keep them scoreless in that innings.

WP A beat Gauteng B and Gauteng A beat WP B in the semi-finals.

After losing to Gauteng A 11-10 in the round robin, WP A beat them 5-3 in an exciting u.12 final. The young boys of the tournament had everyone on the edge of their seats in an awesome display of skills at this young age.

Both teams did very well and gave a good account of themselves.

Western Province Baseball dominance is good for the region, but definitely not good for South African baseball. One would have thought that Gauteng Central, Eastern and Northern have consolidated into one unit that would wrestle the dominance and trophies away from Western Province.

Other regions to have participated in the tournament were KZN, Mandela Bay, Eden, Cape Winelands and Zimbabwe. Some regions entered more than one team per division.

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