South Africa dominated round-robin play at the Baseball Africa Cup. The hosts outscored the opponents 52-4 and it’s not too difficult to preview they will claim Continental title and advance to the WBSC Europa-Africa Baseball Qualifying Event for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020, to be played in Parma and Bologna, Italy, in September.
The only National team ranked by WBSC in Africa looked like the only squad that can count on solid pitching. Starters Elario and Lewis-Walker seemed almost untouchable so far.
Still, the hosts need to win two more games to advance to the next level.
Uganda and Burkina Faso, after dominating Zone East and West, proved they can hit, but struggled both defensively and with the pitching staff. The matchup that closed the third and final day of the round robin left no doubt about it. Uganda needed six pitchers and 18 hits to defeat a brave Burkina Faso at the end of a game that lasted three hours and 48 minutes. A 16-batter and 11-hit second inning against reliever Lassina Sanfo set the tone. Shortstop Bernard Okello went 3 for 5.
Jerry Omara, who turned 15 today, pitched two innings in relief and claimed the win.
Zimbabwe collected their only win against Burkina Faso in the debut game, thanks to some solid pitching by starter Cliff Vint and veteran reliever Hloniphani Ngulube, but was then no-hit by Uganda and a pitching duo made by Bernard Adei and 16-year old Nicholas Alumai. In the final game of the round robin, Zimbabwe could get only one hit against South Africa and another pitching duo: Kieran Cree and Damon Mitchell.
Baseball Africa Cup-results
DAY 1– Wednesday 1 MAY
Burkina Faso-Zimbabwe 5-11
Uganda-South Africa 0-18
DAY 2-Thursday 2 MAY
South Africa-Burkina Faso 18-3
DAY 3-Friday 3 MAY
South Africa Zimbabwe 16-1
Uganda-Burkina Faso 21-15
Baseball Africa Cup-the standings
SOUTH AFRICA 3 wins-0 losses
BURKINA FASO 0-3
Baseball Africa Cup-semifinals
(Saturday, May 4-all times local)
10- South Africa-Burkina Faso
The winners of the semifinals will play for the title at 13 (or 1 pm) local time on Sunday 5 May.