VOB Macaws frustrated by Athlone A’s

VOB coach Paul Bell.

Paul Bell, VOB’s head coach, is frustrated.

Bell is now heading for the Cape Town Baseball Federation’s boardroom following his side’s 4-9 defeat against arch-rivals Athlone Athletics, in a Major League clash at Parktown on Saturday.

He is miffed by an umpire’s call in the bottom of the eighth frame which resulted in Athlone scoring five runs to clinch the important encounter.

His side enjoyed a 4-0 lead going into the fifth frame when the A’s levelled matters. But things turned sour for the visitors in the eighth innings which resulted in confusion and disappointm in the VOB dugout.

“We have lodged a protest. Without going into the technicalities of the issue, the batter moved to bunt but missed and the ball hit him.

“According to the rule the player was out of the batter’s box and should have been ruled out,” said Bell.

Bell said this changed the complexion of the match resulting in bases being loaded and Athlone going on a five run spree.

“Apart from this unfortunate incident it was a good game. Any game against between A’s and VOB are always knife-edge encounters.

“I think we played good baseball and I’m quite chuffed with our performance,” added Bell.

Cameron Fortuin started off on the mound for the homeside. But after completing 6.2 frames, facing 27 batters and conceding three hits and four walks, A’s coach Darren Wedel pulled him off.

He was replaced by Dean Jacobs, who allowed two walks while striking out two.

Reed Groenewald 2-4, Joshua Wentzel 2-5 were the homeside’s best batters. Damian Perkins, Derick Bayliss and Josh Rich shared the pitching shores for VOB.

VOB’s next encounter is against Crusaders at Chukker Road where Bell believes his side will get back to their winning ways.

With the season slowly approaching business end and matches becoming more important, it has been business as usual for favourites Bothasig and Bellville.

The two northern suburbs’ sides continue wit their winning ways. High-flying Bothasig was particularly ruthless at the weekend, beating struggling Van der Stel 24-2 out in Stellenbosch. Bellville, who occupies second spot beat neighbours Durbanville 8-5 in their derby matchs.

At the bottom of the standings, Van der Stell and Crusaders have a lot of work to do. The Grassy Park outfit lost 12-2 against another high-flying side, Maitland Giants at the weekend.

The A’s and Macaws will look to improve on their mid-table positions when they take on Van der Stel and Crusaders respectively.

In other major league fixtures, Bothasig and Bellville will lock horns in the top-of-the-table fixture, while Durbanville will take on Maitland Giants.

Looking back at the VOB encounter, the A’s mentor Wedel said, as it has always been the case in encounters between the two rivals, Saturday’s match was a tough one.

He said his side knew what to expect from the talented VOB outfit and, as a result, prepared accordingly.

“It was really a tough one and, as a result we went down 4-0 early on. Wes slowly got back into the game to make it 4-all. We then went on to score five runs in eight innings,” he said.

“Cameron Fortuin started pitching for us, with Dean Jacobs finishing the game. Joshua Wentzel was one of our top hitters on the day,” he said.

Wedel also noted that his side, who find themselves in a midtable position, will be happy to finish in the top eight, at the end of the campaign.

Additional reporting by Mzoxolo Budaza