SA hammer France in seven-match baseball series

Bellville Tygers star batter Jonathan Phillips led the South African national baseball team to an emphatic 5-2 win against France in the recently held Friendship Series.

And, as if that was not enough, the skipper had the best batting average in the competition.

The first leg of the series took place in Johannesburg a few weeks ago, where the sides finished 2-all after four matches.

Then, last weekend, Durbanville sports field, the home of Villains, was the venue for the Cape Town leg of the series.

The fans came out in their numbers to watch their heroes in action.

They were not disappointed, as the national team dished out some convincing baseball.

What made the event even more special for the supporters was the fact that their teams, Bothasig Knights and Tygers were well represented in the squad.

Besides Phillips captaining the side, Knights coach Neil Adonis was in charge of the team.

Unlike in Johannesburg and Durban where the sides shared the spoils, the national team was ruthless in Durbanville, allowing the French no space to breathe. It was, then, not really surprising to see them winning all three matches in Cape Town.

Phillips said it was an honour for him to be leading the national team.

That experience, he said, will go down as one of the highlights of his baseball career.

Phillips was always going to be an ideal choice to lead the national team.

Coming from a baseball family that is deeply entrenched in the Tygers set up, including coach, Alan Phillips, who is his father, the skipper knows the game inside out and outside in. He has played the game in many parts of the world, gaining valuable experience in the process.

“I’ve played baseball all my life and there is a lot I wish I could achieve. We as the national team, for instance, have massive ambitions.

“We are looking at the upcoming Baseball Classics, there’s also a return series in France. We want to do well in all, but the ultimate goal is the Olympics,” he said.

Looking at the matches they played in Durbanville, Phillips admitted that they didn’t foresee that kind of results.

“Of course we are very happy with the results. We needed to put in a lot of hard work.

“Things are bigger and tougher internationally. We couldn’t have asked for more from the guys,” he said.

The players will now go back to their respective sides for the continuation of the 2018/2019 season.

Rowan Ebersohn walked away with the Most Valuable Player award, while teammate Kyle Botha scored the most runs (12). Ebersohn also scored the most home runs.

The best pitching award went to Robert Lewis Walker.