The Top, the Middle and the Bottom – 23 Jan

Runner Stealing Home Base

Another interesting weekend in the Promotion League takes place this weekend with #1 and #2, #3 and #4 and finally #6 and #7.

So far this season there have been some upsets, but very few, this weekend however all the games are more evenly matched and there may be some on the cards.

Game #1 Pirates vs Giants at 14th Ave

It is all to do by the Pirates who are 1.5 games behind the Giants at the moment. Both teams on a winning streak and both teams have the arsenal to control each other, but who has the ammo? I must go with the Giants on this one as they have the home field advantage, the inevitable south-easter that blow there (something that does not happen much in Helderberg) and the pattern of the Pirates often not travelling well. Remember they were pushed to 7 innings by Devonshire 2 weeks back 3-3 till they broke free. HOWEVER, things will not go entirely the way of the Giants as the Pirates have more than a couple of seasoned vets that can play this game and if they come to town, so to say, then The Giants will have to beat Helderberg down.  Giants have their share of game changers as well, more than any in the Promotion league. So our thoughts are that if both teams are there in full strength, this is going to be tight, till a rally breaks it open but Giants to win by 3-5 runs. In their previous encounter, Giants ran out 5-1 winners.

Game #2 Lansdowne vs Van der Stel

This is going to be an interesting game if Lansdowne can do what they did last time they faced Van der Stel. (running out winners 5-3. Van der Stel have added some players to the roster since then and are a much tougher team and of course, they are hosting Lansdowne. Anyone who remembers playing in Stellenbosch back in the days will remember that everything conspires to beat you there, everything. So Lansdowne are going to have to travel well. Van der Stel have a team of hitters, a team of fielders and a team of baserunners, but sometimes they are not all working together. What does this mean? Sometimes Coach Bless has to slowdown his ambitious and exuberant players, if Lansdowne can exploit this gap they could compete for a couple of innings till Van der Stel find their feet and regroup. If Lansdowne can not get into Van der Stel’s “head” so to say, they are in for a heap of trouble. Now, this is baseball and we all know that if a Pitcher is on his game, he is going to be tough to beat, so what remains to be seen is who the Eagles put on the hill and how effective he will be. One thing is for sure, Van der Stel hit and they hit hard. Then Eagles will have to face some fierce pitching from the two imports for 5 innings, but after the 5th innings, if VDS have not pulled away, this will become a rumble in the jungle. Our prediction is that the home team win this by 5 or more.

Game #3 Devonshire vs Thistle

Once more an interesting game, Thistle must be thinking that this is the one team that they can beat. Garth has been working hard keeping Thistle together and has the potential in his young players to compete with most teams in this league, but all to often things don’t g according to plan for Thistle. They have only one win for the season and will be going all out for win number two on Saturday. Devonshire seem to have shaken the mid-season-meltdown off and have put in two good performances. They competed hard against Helderberg and then completely dominated Batswood last week, so they must be fancying their chances of extending their winning streak? if two if a streak. This game is going to be dominated and contested on the hill and contested for the full game. In this department, Rovers have shown to have the upper hand. If Anele starts on the hill and Brady takes over they could prove troublesome but Shelton and Kieran will definitely prove troublesome. Our thoughts are that Rovers will take this one by 3-5 runs as well, as long as they do not allow Thistle to stay in the game. Rovers must keep scoring as their closers have been very effective this season.

Scheduled Games – Promotion League