By Mark Etheridge
The South African team came up against their toughest opposition yet at the U18 Baseball World Cup in Canada.
World No 1 side Japan were their opponents, and despite a brave fight the youngsters went down 12-0.
Defeat means they’ve lost four of their five World Cup games so far, but the encouraging news was that it wasn’t their heaviest defeat. That was the 3-22 loss to the Netherlands.
The Japanese were a clinically efficient side as SA tried hard to stay in the game.
There were some good balls from the SA pitchers, but was not enough to contain Japan’s batters. Once again, there was some good fielding from the young Joshua Wentzel.
SA were certainly not out of things, and had some good hits that helped getting players on to bases.
However, due to Japan’s excellent field work, SA could not convert these into runs.
Wednesday sees South Africa taking on sixth-ranked Mexico in a game that had to be rescheduled due to heavy rain earlier in the tournament.
That will be their final World Cup pool game and the two pools will now be split into top six and bottom six. The top six will move on to the Super Round and the bottom teams will play for log position.
In the picture below SA pitcher Mohamed Alaoui in action against the US on Tuesday.