ML vs Athlone A’s 9-7 (VOB)

Our first game for the season started off really well. It shows the preparation paid off and the players are reaping the benefits from that. Michael Scritten was handed the ball for the season opener. As our only out and out pitcher on the day, his duty was to eat up as many innings as he could. Up to the task he gave us 6 strong innings whilst only giving up 1 run. Scritten left the game at 9-1 in our favour. I knew the game is not over as Athlone are a very resilient team and under coach Darren Wedel they were bound to bounce back on their home ground. True to form they nipped away at part time pitcher Zubair Larney who did a great job to eat up 2 innings in order for us to give the ball to our on the day closer Luke November. Luke showing maturity beyond his years and closed the game out in a tough fought battle. All in all, great defence and great base running won us this game. Well done boys.

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Macaws end season on a high

Macaws end season on a high

Final day of the season and the Macaws were on the road to Durbanville to face the Villians.Two pitchers who will be in various WP teams at the national championships were given the ball in this one. Villians went with Stuart Baron while Michael Scritten wanted to finish the season on a high note for the Macaws.

Both pitchers labored in this start with Baron going 4 innings while Scritten only managed 3 before they were replaced. Derrick Bayliss (VOB) and Tyrone Baglione (DV) both threw till the end of the game. Bayliss, however, was better at shutting the opponents done and walked away with the win.
VOB ended the season the same way they have played over the final 5 weeks by being their own worst enemies with plenty errors gifting DV runs.

However, some outstanding hitting ultimately settled this one and the Macaws ended the season on a high and potentially in 3rd or 4th place in the log (depending whose rules one listens to). Luke November (3-4, 2BB), Derrick Bayliss (2-4, 2B, 2BB) and Marvin Mahoney (1-3, HR) hit well, but the star hitters on the day were the veteran Jared “JH” Haynes (3-5, 2B, 3B, BB) and rookie Jesse Johnson (4-5, 2B, HR).

Final score was 11-8 and the Macaws ended a decent season on a high note.

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The one that got away!

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.

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Macaws hold on to do the double over Giants

VOB, on a 3-game losing streak, welcomed Maitland Giants to a very windy Chukker Road on Saturday.

Jesse Johnson took the mound for the Macaws while Giants went with their southpaw foreigner Connor Walsh. Two routine errors allowed Giants to race into a 2-0 lead only for the Macaws to storm back with 4 runs of their own on the back of 4 walks and a double by Matthew Darius. Giants scored 2 more runs over the next two innings while VOB wasted many opportunities with runners in scoring positions. While Walsh labored through his allotted five innings, Johnson kept blanking the Giants. In the fifth inning VOB eventually took their opportunities and went ahead 6-4. Johnson was replaced in the 6th inning by Derick Bayliss. Then, two outs in the 8th a few routine errors again cost the Macaws and Giants ties the game at 6-6.

With bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th Jody Burch was brought on to pinch hit for Luke Budler and smashed the first pitch he saw for to the outfield for the lead. By the end of the 8th VOB had scored four more runs to lead 10-6. With two outs and a runner on first, back to back bad hops allowed Giants to come within one run of tying the game, but Bayliss knuckled down and struck out Alex Fortune to close out the game 10-9 in VOB’s favour.

A good team win for VOB gets them back in the W column.

Best hitters for VOB were Jesse Johnson (1-2, 3BB’s, double), Matthew Darius (2-3, BB, double), Luke Budler (1-4) and Zubair Larney (1-3, 2BB’s, double).

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Macaws edged in thriller

Macaws were on the road to face Bellville Tygers at PP Smit on Saturday. Tygers were looking for revenge after losing the opening day game against VOB, also at home.
This time around Tygers were bolstered by all their national players as well as ex-SA pitcher Lloyd Stevens who crossed over from Athlone A’s this season.

VOB handed the pearl to Mikey Scritten while Tygers countered with Stevens.

The teams traded zeroes in the first two innings with Stevens very very economical while Scritten laboured a bit. In the third inning Tygers exploded with a few timely hits to take a 2 -0 lead. In the meantime Stevens kept the Macaws in check while Tygers scored another run in the 5th inning.

Macaws replaced Scritten with Damian Perkins in the 6th while Stevens continued with his domination.

At the beginning of the 7th Bellville and Stevens were cruising. Suddenly the Macaws exploded with the bats. A double by Derrick Bayliss followed by a triple by Lance Gordon and an RBI groundout but by Jody Burch and all of a sudden Stevens was under pressure at 3-2. 3 more hits and a walk and VOB ended the 7th 4-3 up even though Stevens was replaced by current SA pitcher Kevin Townsend.
SA captain Johny Phillips lead off the 7th with a hit. Two K’s later and Macaws were looking to stay ahead but Phillips has other ideas. He took advantage of the inexperience of VOB’s Infield and a LHP pitcher to steal home and tie the game at 4.

But by this stage the Macaws tails were up and even tying the game did not matter to them.Back to back hits to open the 8th and again the Macaws took the game to Tygers and scored to lead 5-4. Tygers backs were against the wall with two out and runners on 2nd and 3rd and SA player Charl Cordier in the box. Cordier was 0-4 in the game and struggling in this at bat when he latched onto am Inside pitch and laced it down left field line to score 2 runs and giving Tygers a 6-5 lead.

Now it was up to Townsend to keep VOB scoreless if Tygers wanted to win and this he did without any issues striking out the final hitter of the game.

A brilliant game 1 of the top 6 league and a good advert for CTBF major league.

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Macaws massacre Battswood

VOB Macaws completed the double header weekend with a resounding 18-0 win over their Chukker road Neighbour’s Battswood.

Macaws handed the ball to Michael Scritten hoping to continue from their big victory over Athlone A’s on Saturday. It was immediately evident that Battswood were in for a very tough day when Scritten went through the first three Battswood hitters in 12 pitches. Then the Macaws offense absolutely climbed into the young Battswood pitchers scoring 8 runs after sending 13 hitters to the plate in their first inning. From there it was downhill for Battswood with Macaws scoring in every inning before the mercy rule came into effect.

Scritten was very tough and finished the day pitching 5 innings, giving up 4 hits, no runs while striking out 7. The VOB defense was also flawless for a change committing no errors.

Every VOB hitter contributed to their huge victory.
Jared Haynes (1-3,BB, K), Zubair Larney (1-2, 2BB’s, triple), Derrick Bayliss (1-2, 2BB’s), Lance Gordon (1-3, BB), Jody Burch (0-0, BB, 2xHBP), Matthew Darius (1-1), Marvin Mahoney (2-3, double, triple, BB), Scritten (1-3, double, BB), Liam Willenberg (2-4) and Jesse Johnson 1-2, double, BB)

A great weekend for the Macaws who finish the first round with a 9-3 record and a spot in the top 6.

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Macaws stun A’s at Parktown

With the resumption of baseball the old rivalry between A’s and VOB took centre stage at A’s home ground in Parktown.

A’s started with SA pitcher Dean Jacobs whole the Macaws countered with Derrick Bayliss. From the outset it seemed like a run or two would be enough to win this one as the conditions were terrible with the south Easter in full force blowing behind the pitchers backs. Jacobs and Bayliss traded zeroes for three inning before VOB burst out with 3 runs in the fourth. A’s responded with two of their own runs courtesy of some VOB errors.

However, this did not deter the Macaws who scored 2 unanswered runs in the 5th and another one on the 6th to storm into 6-2 lead. At this stage A’s replaced Jacobs with another SA pitcher, lefty Cameron Fortuin while VOB brought in a lefty of their own in Damian Perkins. Perkins was outstanding shutting down the Athletics offense until sloppy fielding allowed two runs to be scored in the 9th. However, by then, VOB had scored 4 more runs already to lead 10-2.

Macaws sealed the win 10-4 on another strike out by Perkins.
Best hitters for Macaws were Jared Haynes (2-3, 2B, 3xBB’s), Luke November 0-2, 4xBB’s), Bayliss (2-4), Lance Gordon (1-3, 2xBB’s) and Jesse Johnson (1-3, 2xBB’s).

A great morale boosting win for Macaws guarantees a top 6 place and potentially second place once teams split into top6 and bottom 7.

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Lots of work to be done, BUT.. ML beat down Yankees

It was double header weekend for the major league this weekend, but the Macaws were lucky to have a bye on Saturday while Yankees did not. Yankees surprised by keeping their best for the game against Macaws instead of going for the win against van der Stel. The move backfired as Luwayne du Plessis battled through 5 innings before reaching his pitch limit. On the other the Macaws Michael Scritten did a sterling job going a strong 6.1 innings before handing the ball to Damian Perkins to finish the game.
Yankees kept staying ahead due to VOB again making unnecessary errors and VOB also regularly leaving runners on base.

By the 5th inning Yankees were ahead 5-3 only for the Macaws to storm back and score 7 runs over the final three innings to run out comfortable 10-6 winners.
Best hitters for Macaws were Luke November (1-3, BB, 2 RBI’s), Derick Bayliss (1-2, 3BB’s), Zubair Larney (2-3, 2BB’s), Scritten (1-3, 2B) and Jesse Johnson (2-4, RBI).

At the mid-season break this young Macaw team has done surprisingly well with 7-3 record which could easily have been a 9-1 record had they not thrown away games against beatable opposition. Lots of work to be done, but a decent foundation to work from.

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Villians surprise against a sloppy Macaws

VOB were on the road to take on the Villians in Durbanville on Saturday. The Macaws up and down season continued against a team that they should be beating, but this time sloppy fielding killed any chance the Macaws had of continuing their upward trend.

Villians started with Stuart Baron and Macaws countered with Derick “Boy” Bayliss.
VOB immediately jumped to a 2-0 lead in their first batting turn through hits by Luke November and Lance Gordon, only for Villians to come straight back and score two of their own. Macaws and Villians traded runs before Macaws sloppy fielding came to the fore. Two routine errors turned into a 5 run fifth inning. Macaws then scored single runs in two innings and restricted Villians to zeroes to bring score to 9-6 in the 7th inning. Game on?? Instead, VOB again allowed themselves to gift Durbanville 4 runs and pretty much playing themselves out of the game.

A few dubious pick off plays called outs by the Durbanville umpire had VOB fuming, but overall it was the Macaws own sloppy fielding that was the difference in the game.

Bayliss (5IP, 10runs not many earned) was replaced by Damian Perkins who threw 2 innings and conceded 4 runs before he tired. Jesse johnson threw the 8th inning (1 hit, 2 K’s).
Best hitters for Macaws were Luke November (1-3, 2B, BB,HBP), Lance Gordon (2-4, 2B, K), Damian Perkins (1-2, BB, K) and Jesse Johnson (1-3, K).

Back to the drawing board for Macaws
Final score was 6-14

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Thistle give Macaws a big scare!

Young teams usually have one problem – being consistent. And the Macaws showed against Thistle that they are very much a young team still and will need to learn how to play at their level and not at their opponents level.

Thistle came out firing, scoring 2 unanswered runs in the first inning against a Macaw side who probably took this win for granted. VOB only got their first hit in the third inning and were being frustrated by Keegan “Gazza” Watson, the thistle starter.

Derick Bayliss was on the hill for VOB and settled down after the first inning to keep thistle quiet until the fifth inning when they scored another 2 runs to lead 4-1 only for the Macaws to score 2 of their own in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 4-3 game. After sitting Thistle down in the 6th inning VOB tied the game at 4-4. Thistle immediately scored one in the 7th to lead 5-4.

With one out in the 7th Marvin Mahoney was brought in to pinch hit for Damian Perkins and lined one into centre field to score 2 runs to put the Macaws ahead 6-5. Michael Scritten then replaced Bayliss and kept thistle scoreless over the next two inning to get the save.

Macaws win 6-5 and continue on their short streak, albeit by grinding this one out.

Two wins over the weekend has VOB putting some distance between the bottom teams and themselves in the race for top 6 spots for when the league splits in January to top 6 and bottom 7.

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