VOB U18 In Comeback Win vs Bothasig 3 – 4 (W)

Two final innings rbi triples takes VOB U18 over the line

(W 2 – L 0)

Another hot still Saturday morning saw an evenly matched VOB and ‘Sig U18 face each other. After last season’s come from behind win at Bothasig both sides were anticipating another tough battle.

Luke Budler started well with a strikeout, then walked the next two. With runner’s at the corner’s aggressive running by Sig, and smart play by VOB’s infield saw an out in a run down between 3rd and home. Budler then closed down any further danger with the second of his eight K’s. A fielder’s choice and a hit to the right side of the diamond saw VOB put a runner on 3rd, but good pitching from Sig closed down our hitting. 0 – 0.

Two strike outs and a groundball saw Sig retired, and VOB up to bat again. Two none down walks set up an opportunity for VOB U18, only for a missed signal, resulting in a popped up bunt to the pitcher, and two strike outs, to see no runs scored. 0 – 0.

Budler then dominated the next Sig innings with 3 K’s. With the top order up again VOB looked to get things going as Luke November drove a middle infield single through the gap left by Sig shifting for a pull. Budler then singled to left field. With runner’s one and two, and none down, some overambitious running saw an out at 3rd. A walk saw runners a 1st and 2nd again, but a broken bat fielder’s choice and a K saw the game tied at 0 – 0 going into the 4th.

With Budler at 62 pitches and facing the meat of the Sig order this was going to be a moment in the game to watch. A walk, a “Texas Leaguer” landing just beyond 2nd base, a K, and a walk saw Budler give way to lefty Kian Afrika. Bases loaded, one down, and 0 – 0, was a tough ask. A good contest ended in an rbi walk and Sig were ahead. A K for the second out and it looked like the damage had been limited, but, with the hitter looking to stretch the count, another walk saw a second run come in. Kian then recovered get the third out. Facing the bottom of the VOB order the Sig pitching stayed on message and three K’s saw VOB 2 – 0 down.

Kian looked to back on track starting the fifth with a K, but then worked too fine and gave away a walk. A balk saw the Sig runner on 2nd , and a good jump saw him steal 3rd. A walk was followed by a ground ball to the right of the diamond and Sig were 3 – 0 ahead. A K closed out their hitting turn. With the clock winding down and facing 9, 1, 2 Sig let their effective rightie starter, who was sitting on a shut out, stay in. a K saw them two outs from the W. Budler drew a walk and Sig brought in their leftie to close. Two wild pitches saw Luke open the scoring for VOB. Matthew Blows, in for Keegan (injury) then drew the walk and VOB had the tying run on. Cleanup Jordyn Riffel then did his job and smashed a triple into deep left to tie up the game. Up stepped Seth Beukes. His walk off triple into deep centrefield settled the matter. 3 – 4.

Coach’s comment – Consistent hard swings paid off. A good game to win, but some work to do.

Batting: Seth Beukes 1 – 2 (triple), 1 IBB, 1 rbi; Jordyn Riffel 1 – 3 (triple), 2 rbi’s; Luke November 1 – 1, 1 bb, 1 HP; Luke Budler 1 – 2, 1 bb.

Pitching: Luke Budler 3.1 innings, 8 K, 1 hit, 5 bb, 2 runs, 2 earned; Kian Afrika (W) 1.2 innings, 4 hits, 4 bb, 1 runs, 1 earned.

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VOB U18 Win Season Opener At Bellville

VOB U18 Win Season Opener At Bellville at PP Smit Stadium, Bellville. 14 – 5 (W)

Eight hits from seven batters

(W 1 – L 0)

Saturday saw the first round of the U18 league at a windless and hot PP Smit Stadium. VOB U18 came up against Bellville U18 , second in the standings over the past two seasons, but currently in a rebuild phase.

A hit to the opposite side, extended by an error, saw leadoff Luke November on third. An infield error saw him score. Good contact then saw Luke Budler move around the diamond, and score on a fielder’s choice to the right of the diamond by Seth Beukes. Budler, in his first stint on the U18 mound, put the first two runners on with walks. A pop fly, and a base running error, saw Bellville two down, and the innings was finished with the first of 6 strikeouts by Budler. 2 – 0.

A two down walk at the top of the VOB U18 order, and a double by Budler, followed by double from lefty Keegan Hickley, saw Luke and Budler again scoring. Following an opening hit by pitch, Budler then steadied himself and delivered three bottom order K’s. 4 – 0.

2 walks, and a double by Shak Jattiem saw two runs scored and Bellville pull their experienced starting pitcher. A 2 – 0 count drive by Zinedine Rocks, a walk, and a double by Luke November saw Shak and Zinedine score. Two more walks then saw 9-hitter Alec Adonis walked in for the 5th run, and compulsory side away. A well taken fly to short stop, and two K’s bracketing a walk, saw Budler again wrap up the Bellville innings in short order. 9 – 0.

A hit by pitch, a walk, and a double from Seth Beukes, saw Jordyn Riffel score. Two more walks saw Josh Adonis cross the plate, and a second pitching change. An error then saw Seth score, and Jared Riffel, (U15) in for Luke at catcher, drove in Shak, Zinedine and Alec (with Alec’s run not counting due to the 5 run compulsory side down rule). Budler then gave way to Josh on the mound, who struggled with control. A walk turned into a run on a dropped fly. Two further walks turned in two runs on a well hit line drive down the third base line. Finally an out on a ground ball to the pitcher. Then the 5th run came in a well hit drive between third and short stop. This time we were saved by the 5 run compulsory side away – the first time since the last game of the 2016/17 season. 14 – 5.

Coach’s comment – good aggressive start with the bat. Good tight pitching from Luke Budler. Some mental errors. Some nerves. We will get better.

Batting: Luke November 2 – 2 (double), 1 bb, 2 rbi’s; Jared Riffel (U15) 1 -1(triple), 3 rbi’s; Keegan Hickley 1 – 2 (double), 1 bb, 4 rbi’s; Seth Beukes 1 – 2 (double), 1 bb, 2 rbi’s; Shakeel Jattiem 1 – 2 (double), 1 bb, 2 rbi’s; Luke Budler 1 – 2 (double), 1 bb, 1 rbi; Zinedine Rocks 1 – 2 (double), 1 bb, 1 rbi; Alec Adonis 0 – 2, 1 bb, 1 rbi.

Pitching: Luke Budler (W) 3 innings, 6 K, 0 hit, 3 bb, 0 runs, 0 earned; Josh Adonis 0.1 innings, 2 hits, 3 bb, 5 runs, 4 earned.

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