Things looking brighter for Crusaders

Grassy Park Crusaders Niyaas Galant, pitches one against Bothasig Knights during a Cape Town Baseball Federation Major League match, at Rooikrans sports complex on Saturday. Crusaders lost 3-1. Galant made the provincial B team ahead of the national baseball championships at Chukker Road next weekend.

Grassy Park Crusaders Baseball Club will have their heads held high following a narrow 3-1 defeat against Cape Town Baseball Federation Major League champions, Bothasig Knights, at the Rooikrans sports complex on Saturday.

Crusaders played their hearts out, dominating in most parts of the game, in front of a die-hard fanbase, making the Knights sweat hard for every point.

Coach Marlon Gordon’s side displayed a determined, winning spirit, locking the score 1-1 for nine stunts.

As the Crusaders walked off the field, the crowd cheered them on for a stellar performance.

Secretary at the club, Lorene Beukes, said there was only one error from both sides and equal hits, which shows what a great showcase of a baseball match it was on the day.

“Bothasig suffered lots of gaps with most of their players away representing SA at the Classic Qualifiers. This, however, allowed Crusaders to have a fair opportunity to take the win,” she said.

The win saw Bothasig Knights move 38 points clear, after 19 games undefeated.

“We had a gap in our infield due to the third base not being available, and an outfielder who is one of our stronger hitters So the team shifted around slightly but adjusted well despite this,” said Beukes.

This was Crusaders’ eighth loss in 10 games played at home. They won three and lost six away.

Overall, Crusaders won five out of 19 games in the Major League campaign. Crusaders have 10 points. They are eight points away from bottom holders, Van Der Stel. And, Crusaders will hope to cause an upset when they travel up to Athlone Athletics on Saturday.

Athlone As are currently in fifth spot on the log following a 4-2 defeat to Maitland Giants at the weekend.

Gordon said in the last three games they played against Athlone, they drew one, lost one and won one.

“In the changing room or before and after games, I always say to the team, it’s not about winning or losing, it’s how you win or lose… We need to be more consistent when it comes to games,” said Gordon.

Four Crusaders players were selected to represent the provincial B team, Niyaas Galant, Chad Beukes, Kyle van der Ross, and Ashwyn Kleintjies. However, Van der Ross and Kleintjies will not be available for the upcoming national baseball championships at Chukker Road on March 22.

Gordon said they are one of the youngest teams in the league.

“Niyaas has come a long way. He joined us three seasons ago. He has improved as a pitcher from last season.”

“He is a good relief pitcher and a left-hander – which is difficult to hit because of the natural swing.

“Chad came through the junior ranks. He is one of the youngest, but longest active players at the club.

“He is a good athlete and has speed for days. He has been catching for us most of the season,” he said.

Gordon also received some good news himself, as he was selected to be the assistant coach of the provincial B team at the upcoming national baseball champs.

“It’s my fourth season as head coach at Crusaders.

“I put my details forward and got the news last week Thursday that I made the team as an assistant coach. It will be my first season and I’m excited,” he said.

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