by World Baseball Softball Confederation, www.wbsc.org
Uganda and Kenya both beat Tanzania and advanced to the Baseball Africa Cup. The two National Teams out of Zone East joined Burkina Faso and Nigeria (Zone West). The participants will be completed by the two teams qualified out of Zone South. The third Continental Qualifier is set to begin on Saturday 27 April in Johannesburg, South Africa. The hosts will face Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
Kenya defeated Tanzania, 14-12, in the opener of the Zone East Continental Qualifier. Tanzania got on the scoreboard first, with a couple of runs in the bottom of the first against starter Waveru. Kenya stroke right back against starter Kimori, taking full advantage of defensive woes and of the running game. A couple of rallies early in the game, a six-run second and a five-run third gave Kenya a lead they wouldn’t surrender. Left fielder Katumo had a couple of hits for Kenya and scored four runs. Tanzania comeback attempt against reliever Mwangi in the bottom of the seventh fell short by two runs.
Both teams played poor defence. Tanzania committed seven errors, while Kenya committed six.
In the second game, Uganda outscored 23-1 and outhit, 16-1, Tanzania in 5 innings. Uganda jumped on 16-year old starter Ibrahim Kombo with a 14-batter first, scoring nine runs on nine hits, including five home runs, four in a row. Shortstop and clean up hitter Wafula opened the slugfest with a three-run shot, left fielder Droti followed with a two-run dinger and designated hitter Odongo and centre fielder Robert Okello added one solo shot each. Uganda added four homers: Droti (two runs) and catcher Achidiri (two runs, inside the park) in the second; first baseman Keifa (two runs) and third baseman Alio in the third. Starter Bernard Adei threw three perfect innings to earn the win for Uganda.
Uganda beat the hosts Kenya, 12-0, in the third and final game played at Bechtel Baseball Park in Nairobi. Uganda will advance to the Africa Cup as the number one seed out of Zone East.
The teams involved in the Africa Zone East Continental Qualifier honoured Peace and Sport #WhiteCard campaign.
The Africa Cup will be played in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 1 to 5 May. The winner will be the first ever Africa Baseball Champion and will advance to the Europe-Africa Olympic Qualifier, to be staged in Parma and Bologna, Italy, from 18 to 22 September.
The winner of the tournament played in Italy will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, while the runner up will advance to the final qualifier, to be played in Chinese Taipei in early 2020.