The Macaws welcomed Bellville Tygers to Chukker road on Saturday trying to continue their win streak.
But this was going to be a tough task as Tygers are loaded with current and past national team players.

Macaws handed the pearl to Michael Scritten while Bellville opposes with ex-SA pitcher Lloyd Stevens. After what has become a regular first inning error Scritten worked his way out of trouble and blanked Tygers in their first inning. VOB leadoff Jared “JH”Haynes got on base with a walk and was moved to 2B by Luke November. The perfect start for the Macaws with their leadoff in scoring position with one out and the 3 and 4 hitters up to hit. Unfortunately JH has other ideas and tried stealing 3B where he was easily thrown out by Tygers catcher Tyrone Milne and just like that Tygers for themselves out of a hole with stevens striking out Derick “Boy” Bayliss.

The second inning started with Scritten hitting SA player Charl Cordier then a mishit infield single had Tygers on 1 and 2 with no outs and threatening to score. A strike, fly ball to shortstop and and an out at first base stopped Tygers in their tracks. Again the Macaws opened the inning with their leadoff getting on with Lance Gordon lacing a double to right centre to have the leadoff in run scoring position with no outs. For the second consecutive inning poor base running by VOB for Bellville off the hook with Gordon being thrown out at 3B by a quick thinking Jonathan Phillips on a hit to shortstop. Two batters later a 6-6-3 double play by Phillips again got Tygers off the hook. 0-0 after two.

Four consecutive hits to open the 3rd inning saw Tygers take a 2-0 lead before scritten settled and for out if the inning. Tygers Stevens blanked VOB to keep the score at 2-0 after 3 innings. Bellville’s leadoff for on base and was immediately hunted to 2B. Then a line shot by SA outfielder Josh Halvorsen was superbly snagged by Scritten who doubled off the leadoff to get out of the inning with 5 pitches – VOB has their tails up. Once again Gordon opened the inning with a hit, albeit a fortunate bounce over the Tygers 2 basemen for VOB to have their fourth consecutive leadoff on base. This was followed by a walk and suddenly the Macaws again had a runner in scoring position with no outs. Zubair Larney then laced one to right field to score Gordon and it was game on at 2-1 to Tygers. Stevens was rattled at this stage and hit the next batter to load the bases with no outs. Stevens composes himself to face his opposite number, Scritten, and duly got Scritten to hit into a 5-2-3 double play to keep VOB from scoring. Still VOB had runners on 2 and 3 and a chance to score, albeit with two outs. Jesse Johnson then drilled one up the middle only for Phillips to make an outstanding instinctive stop and a good throw to end the inning. 2-1 in Tygers favour which could easily have been 3-2 in Macaws favour had it not been for Phillips and some ordinary Macaws situational hitting.

It stayed 2-1 until the 6th when Tygers showed their experience by scoring in simple fashion to lead 3-1. Bellville replaces Stevens with ex-pro pitcher Callan Pearce who has only just returned to baseball after two years away from the game. The rust was evident and Pearce walked the first two hitters he faced for the Macaws again to have runners on 1 and 2 with no outs. Again the Macaws hitters showed their inexperience in situations hitting and the next two hitters struck out while the final out flew out for Pearce to preserve Bellvilles lead. Derick Bayliss replaced Scritten in the 7th inning with the score 3-1 in Tygers favour. Two strike outs, a base on balls and a fly ball got Bayliss easily out of the 7th inning. Again Pearce walked the first two hitters he faced and again VOB were in scoring position with no outs. Two weak fly balls followed by a third walk again had VOB with bases loaded, albeit with two outs. For the umpteenth time in the game the VOB inexperience showed with the hitter swinging early instead of being patient and a foul fly was comfortably handled by Milne to again end the threat.
The 8th inning started perfectly for the Macaws with Bayliss striking out Tristan Matthee. Then the wheels came off back to back to back base hits giving Tygers some insurance runs. Then twonroutine errors allowed Tygers to score a few more and ending the inning leading 7-1. SA pitcher Kevin Townend replaced Pearce and comfortably for Macaws out. VOB replaced Bayliss with Jesse Johnson for the 9th inning. A mishit ended in a throwing error and Tygers had their leadoff on. A “sacrifice” bunt back to Johnson ended with the lead runner being thrown out at 2nd and then Jesse superbly struck Halvorsen out before a broken bat hit had runners on 1 and 2 with SA captain Phillips up to bat. Johnson did a superb job to fool Phillips who was thrown at at first from shortstop.

One last chance for Macaws, but Townend was having none of it and struck out two hitters to end the game 7-1 in Tygers favour.
Many opportunities for the Macaws to win this one, but Tygers experience win this one.
Lance Gordon (2-3, 2B, 2BB’s) and Jared Haynes (0-1, 4BB’s) were best hitters on the day.
Another good game between these two teams this season.