This weekend was the Home Opener at Chukker Road Sports Complex and what a beautiful day it was. We could not have asked for better weather as we welcomed Bellville Tygers to our grounds.

It was not all smooth sailing leading up to the weekend with our facility in desperate need of grass cutting, but thanks to Sammy Daniels and the Chukker Road FMC for coming through at the 11th hour (literally LOL) and getting the grass cut late on Friday evening. It meant that we had to do our own line marking, but that was easily taken care of early on Saturday morning.

Our softballers are having an even tougher time with the vandalism of Turfhall Stadium meaning that softball is being played at three different venues at the moment. Luckily our ladies have been at Turfhall only these past two weekends.

Speaking of vandalism, our floodlights were completely stripped by thieves at the end of last season and we have had endless meetings and fights with the City of Cape Town regarding the repairs, but the fact that we are not the only

ones in our area that this has happened to, means it has become more complicated. Turfhall was hard hit, Athlone A’s were hit a few weeks ago as was William Herbert Sports complex. We are keeping fingers crossed that the City of Cape Town will finalise what they need to and assist in these repairs sooner rather than later.

On to the weekend’s games!!

Youth teams

PeeWees vs Tygers – Result: not important
No report received

U10’s vs Tygers – Result: 20-14 (Tygers)
The U10’s played Bellville today and unfortunately did not win. The boys took the field in the first frame and Bellville came out swinging with the bat scoring 8 runs. Our fielding was not up to par with 3 players absent and being replaced with Peewees. I must compliment the peewees for playing a good game. Thank you to our supporters for cheering our boys on. Well done players, a game well played.

U12’s vs Tygers – Result: 11-4 (Tygers)
What an awesome display of enthusiasm by the u12 team.
Bellville decided to go with their nationalu12 pitcher, who had a brilliant start. This however, did not stop the boys from swinging the bat. With very little time they had of doing any form of batting practice, it was awesome to see how they refused to back down. Due to having a combination of inexperienced players and those facing a pitcher for the first time (after coming up from tee-ball) we were still experimenting with who plays where. These players made my task very difficult as they played so well in the positions they were selected in.
The positive in this game was that we managed to score 4 runs, 3 of which were runs batted in.
Well done to these amazing kids. It can only get better from here because it was already a major improvement from the week before so I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the season.

U14 Softball – VOB vs Falcons – Result: 12-4 (VOB)
This team can hit, and they can run when they want to, which is just some of the time. Nawaar (Bokkie Jnr), Zahra (Tokkie), Zoe (Mustang) and Bling (Mercedes) batted strongly.
They can also field, Argentina (Hannah) outstanding as a fielding pitcher.

U15 Senior Sluggers vs Tygers – Result: 13-3 (VOB)
Bellville had no chance against the senior Sluggers with our boys getting in 8 hits in the first 2 frames. Young Josh “CM 51” November did a sterling job throwing 51 pitches in 3 innings. He was replaced by Jared “Perd” Riffel who shocked everyone with his excellent control and variation on the hill. Not much fielding for our boys due to our pitchers but the boys showed great discipline with the bat drawing 10 walks.
Player of the was Logan Hodges who performed like a superstar behind the plate.

U15 Young Guns vs Mavericks – Result: 13-15 (Mavericks)
Our Young Guns had their 1st outing against Mavericks and performed beyond expectation. These boys have a lot of heart and passion and this could be seen on game day. We still have a way to go, but we will get there. Player of the day goes to Jayden for an awesome hit to right field as well as some nice fielding.

U18’s vs Tygers – Result: 8-3 (VOB)
With Jesse Johnson back on the mound, a scoreless 1st frame was followed by Bellville drawing first blood in the top of the 2nd on a hit by pitch, stolen base, advance on a fly to right field, and a passed ball. Jesse closed out the innings with the second of what was to become an impressive ten strike outs. VOB U18’s bounced back immediately. Putting the ball in play, and hard running saw Jesse score from Liam Willemburg’s E6 ground ball. 1 – 1.

Three K’s through Tyger’s 9, 1, 2 saw VOB back at the plate. Poor decision making saw us lose our lead runner on a fielder’s choice out at 3rd. A hit from Luke Budler, a walk, a sac fly from Jordyn Riffel, and a hit from Liam, saw two runs scored. 1 – 3.

Another quick innings and we were back at bat again, only to see a well taken double play blank us. An error saw a Bellville’s bottom order get on, and then a second error saw them score a two down run. Again VOB bounced back. Luke November scored off Jesse’s sac fly, and, Jordyn, in the 5-hole, smashed a triple to the long centre field boundary scoring Budler. 2 – 5.

Two hits saw Bellville claw back a run, and lefty Kian Africa come to the mound with one down. A strikeout, a walk and a K saw VOB back at bat. Again hard running saw us turn a bobble into a runner on. A walk, an error, set the table for a two run double from an on fire Jesse, as Kian, and Luke added to the score. A passed ball saw Budler cross the plate as well. 3 – 8.

A ground out, a fly to centre, and a ground out saw Kian earn his first Save of the season. Job done.

Batting: Jesse Johnson 1 -2 (1 x double), 3 rbi’s, 1 bb; Jordyn Riffel 1 – 2 (1 x triple), sac fly, 2 rbi’s; Liam Willemburg 1 – 3, 2 rbi’s; Luke Budler 1 – 2, 1 rbi (sac fly), 3 runs scored; Luke November 1 – 3, 1 bb 3 runs scored; Haydn Abrahams 1 – 2; Alex Japhta 1 – 4.

Pitching: Jesse (W) 6.1 innings, 10 K’s, 3 hits, 1 bb, 1 hpb; Kian Africa (S) 1.21 innings, 2 K, 0 hits, 1 bb.

This week’s well done – Paul Bell who picked up the slack umpiring his second game of the morning, and Charlie Ellisac who came through after coaching the U12’s and relieved Paul.

Senior baseball teams

Masters vs Durbanville – Result: 9-0 (VOB)
The defending champions Durbanville forfeited this game due to not being able to field a team.

MLR vs Tygers – Result: 14-4 (Tygers)
Naeem Dollie started on the mound allowing 2 of the first 3 batters walks which Bellville converted to runs before he came back and tied the opposition batters up till the end of the 3rd inning. VOB started off well with the bat scoring 3 runs in the first inning to but struggled to build on that.

The score was 3-2 to VOB until the 4th when VOB made their first pitching change. Newcomer Lee van Wyk was brought on to the mound and did well striking out 2 of the first 3 batters he faced. He struggled to get the next out and was replaced by Brady Conradie later in the inning. Bellville capitalised in the inning adding 9 runs before the innings was brought to a close. VOB managed only 1 run in response taking their total to 4.

The 5th and final inning saw Altino Elliot take the mound to close out the inning after Bellville added another 3 runs taking their score to 14. In VOB’s final at bat they were unable to add to the score bringing the game to a close at 14-4.

It was a tough game in which one tough inning cost VOB. There were enough signs to indicate that this team will be a formidable unit once they click.

ML vs Tygers – Result: 14-3 (Tygers)
Our 1st home game of the season against the defending champions, Bellville Tygers started very brightly.
Jayde Thorne got the nod for the start and breezed through the top of the first inning. In reply, we scored 3 runs, Mathew Darius accounting for 2 of the 3 RBI’S. we lost Grant in the 1st inning due to a muscle strain which we hoping will not keep him out for a significant amount of time.
Unfortunately, that was all the damage we could do on the day. Bellville pitching settled and their offence started chipping away. Our old enemy (errors) was again responsible for turning the game on its head and handing Bellville the win. 7 errors and too many walks cost us dearly this week, turning a 0-3 lead going into the 4th into a 14-3 loss.
Many lessons to be taken from this loss, but the most encouraging aspect is that this young team, with Kieran Moore starting at SS and Jesse Johnson filling in for the injured Grant Emmanuel, added to Lance Gordon at catcher along with the more experienced players, stood toe to toe with a great baseball team. Some time and some gelling and this team is capable of some serious damage.
We will be looking to turn the corner this weekend, much more to come from this team.

Senior softball teams

SL vs Glenthorn A’s – Result: 1-8 (G-A’s)
A better scoreline than last week and again a break or two would have helped us considerably.
Davine’ was again the entertainer of the moment; two hits, a home run conceded (bumpy outfield!?!), and another brilliant catch. And then a boogie between third and second (not second and third).

2nd vs Khayelitsha Eagles – Result: 0-10 (Eagles)
The Khayelitsha first team were a different kettle of fish to last week’s rookies. We were outclassed, though our infield showed some good touches.

Anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
Slade Sellars (1/10), Cayden Williams (5/10), Shayan Hendricks (15/10), Dre Valentine and Hilton Coenraad (both 19/10), Jermaine Boyle and Fayaad Damon (both 21/10), Judi Beukes (22/10), Alfie Johnson (23/10), Alvarco van der Vent and Kevin Johnson (27/10) all celebrate birthdays in October. Congratulations from the VOB family.

Events, Fundraisers, etc.
Friday 27/10 – Boerewors fundraiser for club members who will get selected to represent WP this season. Come and support because, if we start early, it makes life easier financially later.

Thought for the Week
Many hands make light work!! This is such a common saying yet has so much meaning to VOB currently. We have so many people standing on the side-lines and expecting everything to be done for them. We could be the biggest and best club in South Africa if members and supporters step out of the shadows and ask WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP! Don’t wait to be asked!