Athlone A’s make strong comeback to beat Thistles

Athlone A’s stars Jayson Ripepi, left, and Luca Alexander, swap bats mid-game. Picture: Lonwabo Marele

In a gripping Cape Town Baseball Federation Major League baseball clash in Athlone on Saturday, January 13, Athlone A’s turned a seemingly dire situation into a victory.

Athlone found themselves trailing 7-1 against Cape Town’s oldest baseball club, Thistle Baseball Club.

Coach Leon Dodgen said they started off slowly and worked their way back into the game.

“The team started on a back foot with six runs against us in the first innings. However, we knew there was still lots of game to be played and we just needed to start chipping away. The team showed great character to comeback to the game, to take the lead and finish off with a win,” he said.

Dodgen said the team has a great bunch of players who work hard in training.

“We are pushing with good results to end off the season strong. We have a great team and a great club that is putting in the time and hard work to succeed,” he said.

Thistles coach Rodney Richards said the outfit from Ottery will head back to the drawing board and bounce back stronger.

“The result was not what we were hoping for after a great start scoring six runs in the first frame. We led 7-1 after two frames. In the sixth frame our pitchers allowed a number of walks loading the bases. Two vital errors when they had bases loaded swung the tie in their favour as they went on to score eight runs with some good hits. Lee Marks came on to pitch and was able to tie their batters down and only allowed two more runs,” he said.

Athlone A’s climbed to the fifth position, while Thistle advanced to the sixth spot among the eight teams in the Major League standings.

“It’s been a tough season with Thistle back in the Major League after many years campaigning in the Promotion. For many of the players it’s their first time in the big league and it has taken them a while to adapt. Lots of hard work has been bearing fruit with players continuously showing improvements every week. With a bit more luck, some of the close games will soon be going in our favour,” said Richards.

Thistles Josh Adonis, right, won the athletic clash over Athlone A’s Dean Groenewald during their league encounter. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Thistles Baseball Club’s hurler, Reavan Plaatjies, takes the mound against foes, Athlone A’s, in Athlone on Saturday. picture: Lonwabo Marele
Jayson Ripepi in full swing for Athlone A’s as Thistle’s catcher Lee Marks looks steady. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Athlone A’s pitcher, Niyaas Galant, showcased prowess with the ball in their triumphant clash against Thistles at home on Saturday. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Thistle’s Keenan Thomas with a long throw during his teams 11-8 defeat to Athlone A’s at the weekend. Picture: Lonwabo Marele