Sailfish Baseball to Take on South Africa National Team Tonight in Vero Beach
September 14, 2012
Written By: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for Athletic Communications
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.- A surprise request came through Palm Beach Atlantic baseball coach Kent Bottenfield’s office this week that has him and his players pretty excited. The surprise came as an invitation for his NCAA Division II baseball team to take on the South Africa National Team this Friday in an exhibition game at the Vero Beach Sports Village that will serve as a practice game for the World Baseball Classic Qualifier next week.
Friday’s event is being offered as free admission to any spectators.
With only a few fall season practices under their belt, the Sailfish won’t have high expectations in terms of their on-field performance but they are excited to showcase their ability against an international opponent at such a historical venue.
The Vero Beach Sports Village, known as “Dodgertown” by many, was the Spring Training home for the Brooklyn and then Los Angeles Dodgers from 1951-2008.
“This is a special honor for our players and our program as we gladly accepted their invitation to participate in Friday’s exhibition game,” said Bottenfield. “Not only do we get to compete against an international team but our players will also have the experience and memory of playing at one of America’s most historical baseball venues.”
The 2013 WBC tournament will officially take place during the Spring as it brings together the planet’s best baseball teams representing countries from around the world. Sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) and created by Major League Baseball (MLB), the WBC will crown its third champion this spring following tournaments in 2006, 2009 and now in 2013.
The countries competing in the event will have to participate in the qualifier events being held at various sites next week.
One of those sites is in Palm Beach County as South Africa will join France, Spain and Israel at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter which is the Spring Training home of the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins.
South Africa, which went 0-5 in two WBC appearances, will open qualifying against Israel at 7 pm on Wednesday, September 19th at Roger Dean Stadium.