22/02/2020 - 01/03/2020

#U18SoftballMWC  

Hosted by: NZL
U-18 Men's Softball World Cup 2020 - Official Payoff
28/02/2020 2 Minutos de lectura

South Africa 12-2 Denmark: De Ascencão leads South Africa to first win, Melin matches strikeout record

Denmark pitcher William Melin had an incredible game, matching the tournament record of 18 strikeouts in six innings in a losing effort, while South Africa remain in contention for a 10th place finish.

Nicholas De Ascencao's three runs over three different innings powered South Africa to a 12-2 victory over Denmark on Friday, it's first win of the U-18 Men’s Softball World Cup at Colquhoun Park in Palmerston North City in New Zealand. They now have a 1:3 win:loss record in the Placement Round.

The victory keeps South Africa's hopes alive of matching their 2018 result, which was 10th. South Africa's best performance was on debut, in 1997 in St. Johns, Canada, when they earned the sixth place. Palmerston North is South Africa’s third consecutive participation in the youth softball global event, after being present in Midland 2016 and Prince Albert 2018. Saturday's game against USA will determine who finishes 10th and who finishes 11th between the two teams.

South Africa had only scored two runs in their first three games of the Opening Round but are now starting to hit their straps having scored eight in a loss to Singapore, and five in Thursday's defeat at the hands of Mexico. And De Ascencao is leading the charge as his side's joint-top run scorer with 5 alongside Kyle Weideman.

The loss for Denmark, meanwhile, is their seventh straight of the tournament and confirms them in 12th place for the tournament. A win against Canada on Saturday in their last game of the tournament will only be their seventh in seven appearances in the youth world championships.

Denmark pitcher William Melin had an incredible game, matching the tournament record of 18 strikeouts in six innings (reaching 40 for the tournament) but giving up 12 hits and 10 runs at the sametime. He struck out the first nine batters he faced and retired 17 of the 18 outs while the 18th was a dropped third strike, although he was credited with the strikeout despite Neo Mofokeng reaching safely after catcher Nicholai Andersen dropped the ball in the sixth.

But it was De Ascencao three runs, while teammates Adrian Roche Roberts and Matthew Parkinson combined for four which propelled South Africa to an impressive victory.

August Bordonaro advanced to the first base on a walk then advanced on two stolen bases before he scored a run on a wild pitch to give Denmark its first run in the bottom of the second inning.

South Africa responded at the top of the fourth inning as De Ascencao tripled to the deep centre field and scored after Matthew Parkinson’s single.

In the fifth inning, South Africa’s lead ballooned to 8-1 with a series of good plays that started when Ethan Buckley and Weideman scored two runs off a single to the left field by Roberts. Roberts and De Ascensao scored their next two runs after Kiddo Mahlatse Malematja singled to the left side.

Malematja, Parkinson and Neo Rolant Mofokeng concluded the seven-run rally for South Africa, while Andersen hit a solo shot for Denmark to trail 8-2 in the fifth inning.

South Africa was on a roll and scored four in the top of the sixth with a 2-RBI single off the bat of Parkinson, and an RBI single by Troy Botha, who later scored off an error to increase the lead and close the sixth inning with a 12-2 win.