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Shannon Ekermans

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Shannon Ekermans

[edit] Biographical Information

Shannon Ekermans has played for the South African national team for over a decade, since he was 18.

Ekermans allowed 12 runs in 2 1/3 innings for the South African entry in the 2004 World Junior Championship, going 0-2. He was 0 for 7 at the plate.

In the 2005 Baseball World Cup, the southpaw walked 8 in 9 2/3 IP. His 3.72 ERA trailed only ace Carl Michaels, their lone hurler to work more innings in that tournament. He also was 0 for 8 as a part-time DH. He was one of five South Africans invited to the European Baseball Academy that year. In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Ekermans was 2 for 9 with four strikeouts at the plate as South Africa's starting left fielder; the teenager did not pitch.

Ekermans came to the US for college ball. In 2007, he went 0-2 with a 5.48 ERA and batted .281. He was back with South Africa for the 2007 Baseball World Cup, going 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA and allowing 13 hits and 7 walks in 7 innings. He played DH at times as well and went 2 for 12 with a double. Ekermans did a creditable job against Gold medal-winning Team USA, holding them to four runs (2 earned) in five innings in a surprisingly close game.

Ekermans hit .284/.310/.440 in 2008, finishing second on the North Dakota State University team in slugging and third in average. He did not pitch well, with a 2-5, 10.32 record.

In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, he pitched one inning. Relieving Justin Erasmus in the 4th against Mexico, he walked Scott Hairston then hit Erubiel Durazo. Miguel Ojeda walked to load the bases. Ekermans then buckled down and retired Freddy Sandoval on a fly (after falling behind 3-0) and Jerry Hairston Jr. on a pop-up (also after falling behind 3-0). Oscar Robles grounded out to end the inning. Alessio Angelucci replaced him in the 5th.

Ekermans pitched in the 2009 Baseball World Cup and got a tough call, facing Cuba. He allowed 6 hits, four walks and six runs in 3 2/3 IP, serving up homers to Alfredo Despaigne, Héctor Olivera Jr., Michel Enríquez and Yulieski Gurriel (the last three in a row). He also was 1 for 3 with a double off Efrain Nieves as the cleanup hitter and left fielder against Puerto Rico.

In the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in November 2012, he was at first base for South Africa and went 1 for 12 with two walks, a run and a RBI; his lone hit was again a double, this time off Ricardo Hernández of Spain. In 2013-2014, he set a home run record in South Africa. During the 2017 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers played in February 2016, he was 2 for 7 with a double, off Jimmy Boyce, and a walk. He started the first two games at first base before ceding the spot to the hot-hitting Keegan Swanepoel for the last two games; he did pinch-hit in each of the last two games, though, staying in the finale at DH.

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