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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2009 by Marco Stoovelaar
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Updated: November 11, 2009
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Copyright © 1997-2009
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

to first game Caribben Series on February 2, 2010

Dutch Baseball Dutch Softball Women

Almere Magpies completes coachingstaff. (November 10)
Delmonico, Stoeckel leave Dutch Team! (November 9)
CEB awards European Cup-tournaments to Neptunus, Brno. (November 9)
Breaking news: Fausto Álvarez leaves big league! (November 1)
BASEBALL TRANSFERS 2009. (October 31-November 1)
Former National Team-players join coachingstaffs Kinheim, RCH. (October 31)
Gino Henson retires, turns to coaching. (October 30)
Pioniers announces transfers: 12 new players! (October 30)
Almere '90 ready for big league-return. (October 29)
Seven new players for HCAW. (October 29)
ADO confirms comings & goings. (October 28)
Neptunus confirms transfers; Catcher invited for Showcase. (October 24-30)
Amsterdam adds Pitching Instructor & talented players. (October 23)
Rob Cordemans to pitch for Amsterdam Pirates! (October 19)
Netherlands remains 6th on World Rankings. (October 19)
Charles Urbanus new Head Coach Amsterdam Pirates. (October 5)
Rick van den Hurk finishes season with win. (October 3)
Monti Van Brunt new coach Tex Town Tigers. (October 2)

World Cup
USA wins title; De Jong, Statia in All Star Team. (September 27)
Dutch finish in sixth place after loss vs. Australia. (September 26)
Dutch to play for 5th place on Sicily. (September 25)
Dutch eliminated for final? (September 24)
Dutch loss after long travel day. (September 23)
Dutch open third round with big win vs. Taiwan. (September 22)
Third win for Dutch Team. (September 16)
Dutch also win second game. (September 14)
Dutch come from behind to behind Korea. (September 13)
World Cup Roster Dutch Team announced. (September 12)

Former national team player Jim Sieval passed away. (September 23)
Faneyte steps down at Pirates. (September 17)
Dutch beaten; Italy wins European Baseball Series. (September 11)
Dutch even European Series. (September 10)
Dutch Team beaten by Italy in Game Two. (September 9)
Dutch Team opens European Series vs. Italy with tie. (September 8)
Almere wins Promotion/Relegation Series! (September 7)
Almere forces fifth game in Promotion Series. (September 6)
RCH takes lead in Promotion Series. (September 5)
Game Three Promotion Series stopped by rain. (September 4)
RCH evens series with late comeback. (September 3)
Preliminary Roster Dutch Team announced. (September 3)
Almere opens series with victory. (September 2)
No big league licence for Almere, but Series continues. (September 1)
Dutch Team to play four games vs. Italy. (September 1)
HCAW to retire Koenen's number. (September 1)
Neptunus captures Dutch title! (August 29)
Bill Froberg returns as coach HCAW. (August 25)
Back in business! (August 5)

Surprises on National Team roster for WPT. (June 26)
Neptunus moves into first place; RCH, ADO eliminated. (June 20)
Neptunus completes sweep vs. Pioniers. (June 14)
Scoreless tie Sparta-Feyenoord vs. RCH; HCAW defeats Kinheim. (June 13)
Neptunus nips Pioniers. (June 12)
Amsterdam recovers; Cycle for De Jong; RCH wins again. (June 11)
Starting Pitchers coming days. (June 10)
Leaders Amsterdam, Kinheim defeated. (June 7)
Kinheim defeats Amsterdam again. (June 6)
Last-inning win Kinheim vs. Pirates. (June 4)
Pirates, Pioniers need extra-innings to win. (June 1)
Kinheim back in top-4. (May 31)
Sparta-Feyenoord nips Amsterdam. (May 30)
Starting Pitchers this weekend. (May 29)
Amsterdam beats Kinheim again. (May 28)
HCAW beats Amsterdam. (May 23)
Starting Pitchers this weekend. (May 22)
Productive Thursday. (May 21)
Big shutout-win Pioniers. (May 19)
First victory RCH! (May 17)
Streaks extend and end. (May 16)
Amsterdam, Pioniers take more distance. (May 14)
Starting Pitchers coming days. (May 12)
Amsterdam, Pioniers complete sweep. (May 10)
RCH fails to win first game. (May 9)
Sparta/Feyenoord extends winning streak. (May 7)
Starting Pitchers coming days. (May 5)
Sweep for Sparta/Feyenoord, ADO. (May 3)
Amsterdam, Kinheim recover. (May 2)
Neptunus wins in record-tying game. (May 1)
Pioniers ends Amsterdam-streak with big shutout; First win ADO. (April 30)
Starting Pitchers coming days. (April 28)
Kinheim wins crazy game; Amsterdam remains unbeaten. (April 26)
Late comeback-wins Neptunus, Kinheim. (April 25)
Come-from-behind win HCAW; First win Sparta/Feyenoord. (April 23)
Starting Pitchers coming days. (April 22)
Five in a row for Amsterdam. (April 19)
Amsterdam, Pioniers, Neptunus remain unbeaten. (April 18)
Starting Pitchers coming weekend. (April 16)
Amsterdam wins third in row in historic first. (April 16)
Schedule announced for Final Four. (April 16)
Spectacular come-from-behind win Amsterdam. (April 12)
Champion opens with big shutout. (April 11)
Opening Day Rosters. (April 10)
Opening Day around the corner; Starters announced. (April 9)

European Cups
EC: Kinheim also off to Barcelona. (April 4)
EC: Amsterdam qualifies for Final Four. (April 4)
EC: Amsterdam wins big vs. Tenerife. (April 3)
EC: Amsterdam shuts out Nettuno. (April 2)
EC: Kinheim beaten by Bologna. (April 2)
EC: Kinheim finally in action; registers first win. (April 1)
EC: Amsterdam handed loss by Rouen! (April 1)
EC: Green light in Matino! (March 31)
EC: Amsterdam opens with win. (March 31)
EC: Matino-decision postponed! (March 31)
EC: Surprises for Pirates, Kinheim; Matino-tournament in jeopardy! (March 30)

other news
Neptunus, Pioniers win tournaments. (April 5)
Rick van den Hurk on Disabled List. (April 4)
50 years Studio Sport. (April 4)
Neptunus shuts out Sparta/Feyenoord. (April 3)
ADO plays tie vs. Euro Stars; Debut British player. (March 31)
Shairon Martis makes 25-man roster. (March 30)
HCAW wins tournament; First win ADO; First loss Sparta/Feyenoord. (March 29)
Rain again spoils games. (March 28)
Ponson gets extra minor league-start; Bernadina, Halman sent down. (March 23)
Kinheim recovers, another loss for HCAW. (March 22)
Kinheim, HCAW suffer international losses. (March 21)
Sidney de Jong in TV Sports Talkshow. (March 20)
New player arrives for Neptunus. (March 19)
Leon Boyd signs minor league-contract! (March 19)

World Baseball Classic
Coverage non-Dutch games World Baseball Classic. (March 5-23)

Cap Bert Blyleven off to Hall of Fame. (March 18)
Sidney Ponson signs with Royals! (March 17)
Leon Boyd invited for try-out by Blue Jays! (March 17)
Third Report Dutch Team on NOS Studio Sport. (March 16)
Dutch Team eliminated after losing to USA. (March 15)
Dutch Team-report 2nd Round on NOS Studio Sport. (March 15)
Dutch to meet USA in next game. (March 14)
Small loss Dutch in second round-opener. (March 14)
2nd Round Broadcast Schedule ESPN America. (March 13)
Dutch Team-report on NOS Studio Sport. (March 13)
Kemp replaces Statia on Dutch roster. (March 12)
Dutch Team Runner-Up in Pool D after shutout-loss. (March 11)
Walsma gets start in Pool Final. (March 11)
DUTCH TEAM OFF TO MIAMI AFTER ANOTHER SHOCKER! (March 10)
Dutch close to another major upset! (March 9)
Update Broadcast Schedule ESPN America. (March 9)
Dutch practice on 'the day after'. (March 8)
DUTCH TEAM UPSETS DOMINICANS! (March 7)
Dutch ends up short vs. Minnesota. (March 5)
Dutch beaten in 10 innings by Reds. (March 4)
Dutch Team suffers one-run loss vs. Pittsburgh. (March 3)
Dutch Team & others open WBC Spring Training. (March 2)
Dutch shuts out Manatee College. (February 25)
Dutch come back to play tie vs. South Florida. (February 24)
Final World Baseball Classic Roster announced. (February 24)
Dutch and Koreans play undecisive game; Martis unavailable. (February 22)
Dutch Team opens exhibition series with huge win. (February 21)
Dutch Team off to Florida with some question marks. (February 16)
37 players named to preliminary WBC-roster. (February 12)

other news
Six exhibition games played on Sunday. (March 15)
Exhibition wins for Pioniers, Neptunus, RCH, Sparta/Feyenoord. (March 14)
Field of participants announced for World Port Tournament. (March 12)
Assignments for Esselman, Verbrugge, Remilia. (March 8)
Two exhibition games canceled. (March 8)
Pirates, HCAW open exhibition season. (March 7)
This weekend exhibition openers? (March 6)
Exhibition openers canceled. (February 27)
Australian pitcher for Dutch champion. (February 9)
New name for NASN. (February 2)
Dutch champion opens vs. vice-champion. (February 1)
Baseball-fan Henne passed away. (January 30)
45-man roster announced for World Baseball Classic. (January 19)
Former player, coach Bertie Caster passed away. (January 12)
Finals European Cup-tournaments dropped. (January 12)
Jim Stoeckel Pitching Coach Dutch Squad. (January 5)
Bert Blyleven Pitching Coach Dutch National Baseball Team. (December 11)
Rod Delmonico new Manager National Baseball Team. (December 1)

previous news
Complete coverage of 2008.


New date, site for 2010 World Championships! (November 3)
André Prins named Technical Manager Gryphons. (November 2)
SOFTBALL TRANSFERS 2009. (October 31-November 2)
Saskia Kosterink off to Italy; more transfers. (October 31)
André van Overbeek elected Vice-President ISF. (October 24)
Tex Town Tigers and Coach Eldredge separate. (October 18)
Jeroen Deken new Head Coach Terrasvogels. (October 16)
Softball coach Monti Van Brunt becomes baseball coach. (October 2)
Olympia Haarlem returns to big league; Gryphons relegates! (September 27)
Tex Town Tigers repeats as Dutch champion! (September 27)
Second win for Tex Town Tigers. (September 26)
Tex Town Tigers opens Holland Series with one-run win. (September 24)
Tex Town Tigers, Terrasvogels complete Play-Off sweep. (September 20)
Tex Town Tigers, Terrasvogels take 2-0 lead in Play-Offs. (September 19)
Tex Town Tigers, Terrasvogels open Play-Offs with win. (September 17)
First & Fourth place big league to be decided on final day. (September 5)
DSS returns to big league after 24 years! (September 5)
Dutch Team-players participate in Right To Play-happening. (September 2)
Back in business! (August 5)

Sparks Haarlem wins twice vs. Terrasvogels. (June 6)
Robur ends losing streak. (May 30)
Terrasvogels, Tex Town Tigers win again. (May 21)
Terrasvogels back in first place. (May 16)
Tex Town Tigers moves into tie for first place. (May 9)
Dutch Team opens Holland Tour with two wins. (May 3)
Terrasvogels, Sparks, TTT win twice. (May 2)
Victories for Gryphons, Twins, Euro Stars. (April 30)
Big shutout win for Terrasvogels. (April 28)
First loss Terrasvogels. (April 25)
Two wins Terrasvogels; losses TTT, Sparks. (April 18)
New main sponsor for Terrasvogels. (April 14)
Terrasvogels lone unbeaten team. (April 13)
Homerun-rich Opening Day. (April 11)
Terrasvogels closes exhibition season with win. (April 9)
Tournament-wins for Tex Town Tigers, DSS. (April 5)
Terrasvogels, Sparks Haarlem lead in Enschede. (April 4)
Tex Town Tigers opens tournament with win. (April 3)
Tex Town Tigers defeats German teams; Double win Gryphons. (March 29)
Games canceled by rain; one played. (March 28)
New players Gryphons, TTT arrive; More to come in big league. (March 26)
Remarkable comeback Euro Stars. (March 25)
Former top pitcher Nancy Evans to assist Craig Montvidas. (March 19)
Gryphons, Robur first team to play two exhibition games. (March 19)
American pitcher for Euro Stars. (March 19)
Breaking News: Haarlem Softball Week canceled! (February 19)
Darwin Tolzin back as Terrasvogels-coach. (February 19)
New Head Coach & Player for Tex Town Tigers. (February 17)
André van Overbeek elected ESF-President. (February 7)
Dutch champion opens on the road. (February 1)
Green light for Haarlem Softball Week! (January 22)
Rolla, Murch to play for Terrasvogels. (January 7)
Craig Montvidas new Head Coach Dutch National Team. (December 23)

previous news
Complete coverage of 2008.

Dutch Softball Men Miscellaneous

Spikes captures Dutch title! (October 3)

Dutch Team wins opener promotional tour. (June 16)
Dutch Team opens exhibition series. (June 12)
Dutch Team finish 4th in Zeist. (June 1)
Dutch Team wins once. (May 30)
Dutch Team to open international season. (May 26)

European Championship Slowpitch awarded to Netherlands. (February 7)
CupWinners Cup awarded to Spikes. (February 7)
André van Overbeek elected ESF-President. (February 7)
Dutch champion opens season with road-games. (February 1)

previous news
Complete coverage of 2008.


Breaking news: Dutch Board steps down! (November 4)

Olympic Games 2016 awarded to Rio de Janeiro. (October 2)

Memorial fallen athletes. (May 4)

previous news
Complete coverage of 2008.

International Baseball International Softball

World Series
New York Yankees win World Series! (November 4)
Phillies force sixth game! (November 2)
Yankees win Game 4 in 9th inning to take 3-1 lead. (November 1)
Yankees take 2-1 lead. (October 31)
Yankees even World Series. (October 29)
Phillies win World Series-opener. (October 28)

Japan Series
Giants win first Japan Series in 7 years! (November 7)
Walk-off homerun gives Giants Series-lead. (November 5)
Fighters bring Series in balance again. (November 4)
Giants take lead on big hits. (November 3)
Fighters equals Series in Darvish-return. (November 1)
Giants nip Fighters in Series-opener. (October 31)

Korean Series
Tigers win first Korean Series in 12 years! (October 24)
Wyverns force seventh game. (October 23)
Tigers re-take Series lead. (October 22)
Wyverns even Series. (October 20)
First win for Wyverns. (October 19)
Tigers also win second game. (October 17)
Tigers open Korean Series with win. (October 16)

Asian Play-Offs
Giants, Fighters advance to Japan Series. (October 24)
Japan: Third win Giants; Eagles avoid sweep. (October 23)
Japan: Fighters take 3-0 lead; Giants on top. (October 22)
Japan: Dragons, Fighters open 2nd round with win. (October 21)
Dragons clinch second round Japanese Play-Offs. (October 20)
Swallows, Dragons split opening series Japanese Play-Offs. (October 18)
Golden Eagles sweep Hawks in Japanese Play-Offs. (October 17)
Wyverns complete comeback and advance to Korean Series! (October 15)
Fifth game Korean Play-Offs rains out. (October 13)
Japanese season ready for Play-Offs. (October 12)
Wyverns force fifth game in Korean Play-Offs. (October 11)

MLB League Championship Series
ALCS: Yankees back in World Series! (October 25)
ALCS: Game 6 postponed! (October 24)
ALCS: Angels force sixth game! (October 22)
NLCS: Phillies return to World Series! (October 21)
ALCS: Yankees crush Angels to take 3-1 lead. (October 20)
NLCS: Phillies take 3-1 lead with walk-off win. (October 19)
ALCS: Angels survive four homeruns to beat Yankees. (October 19)
NLCS: Phillies hand Dodgers big shutout-loss. (October 18)
ALCS: Yankees win second in 13 inning rainy marathon. (October 17)
ALCS: Yankees open with victory. (October 16)
NLCS: Dodgers even Series vs. Phillies. (October 16)
NLCS: Phillies wins LCS opener. (October 15)
Major League Division Series
NLDS: Phillies win series vs. Rockies. (October 12)
NLDS: Phillies take 2-1 lead vs. Rockies. (October 11)
ALDS: Yankees third team to complete sweep! (October 11)
ALDS: Angels sweep Red Sox with late comeback! (October 11)
NLDS: Dodgers complete sweep and advance to LCS! (October 10)
NLDS: Game 3 Rockies vs. Phillies postponed. (October 10)
ALDS: Angels also win second game. (October 9)
ALDS: Yankees win thriller to take 2-0 lead! (October 9)
ALDS: Angels shutout BoSox. (October 8)
NLDS: Dodgers take 2-0 lead vs. Cardinals. (October 8)
NLDS: Rockies even Series vs. Phillies. (October 8)
NLDS: Dodgers start with victory. (October 7)
ALDS: Yankees win first Play-Off game in new stadium. (October 7)
NLDS: Lee leads Phils to win in opener. (October 7)
Minnesota Twins advance to Division Series after marathon! (October 6)
Detroit, Minnesota need tiebreaker to decide AL Central! (October 4)

World Baseball Classic
JAPAN WINS WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC AGAIN! (March 23)
Asian WBC-final; USA empty-handed again! (March 22)
Korean first to reach final after convincing win. (March 21)
Japan takes first place. (March 19)
Japan eliminates Cuba and goes to LA! (March 18)
Venezuela ends pool-play with first place. (March 18)
Korea third semi-finalist. (March 17)
USA sends Puerto Rico home and heads to LA. (March 17)
Cuba eliminates Mexico. (March 16)
Venezuela first to reach semi-finals. (March 16)
Koreans power passed Mexico. (March 15)
Japan shuts out Cuba. (March 15)
Puerto Rico wins big vs. USA. (March 14)
Big Cuban win vs. Mexico to end first round. (March 12)
Mexico crushes Australia out WBC. (March 11)
Venezuela beats USA and claims first place. (March 11)
Cuba avoids another upset. (March 10)
Italy eliminated by Venezuela. (March 10)
Mexico eliminates South Africa. (March 9)
Another upset: Italy eliminates Canada! (March 9)
Korea takes first place in Pool A. (March 9)
AUSTRALIA HAND MEXICO 10-RUN DIFFERENCE LOSS! (March 8)
USA powers over Venezuela. (March 8)
Dominicans eliminate Panama. (March 8)
Cuba opens Pool C with convincing victory. (March 8)
Big shutout Korea vs. China. (March 8)
Venezuela scores late vs. Italy. (March 7)
Pudge leads Puerto Rico in shutout. (March 7)
USA nips Canada in Pool-opener. (March 7)
Japan wins big and advances. (March 7)
China eliminates Chinese Taipei! (March 7)
Korea wins big vs. Taipei. (March 6)
Japan shuts out China in WBC-opener. (March 5)

other news
Andruw Jones signs contract with Texas. (February 9)
Perth reclaims Australian title. (February 8)
Venezuela ends Caribbean Series with loss. (February 8)
Perth forces third game in Claxton Shield. (February 7)
Venezuela captures Caribbean title. (February 7)
New South Wales wins Claxton-opener. (February 6)
Venezuela close to Caribbean title. (February 6)
Venezuela remains unbeaten in Caribbean World Series. (February 5)
Climax in Australian Claxton Shield. (February 4)
Homeruns decide Day 2 of Caribbean World Series. (February 4)
50th No-Hitter in Cuban League. (February 4)
Exciting openers Caribbean World Series. (February 3)
Caribbean World Series opens on Monday. (February 1)
Tragedy in Sant Boi. (January 24)
Henderson & Rice elected into Hall of Fame. (January 12)

previous news
Complete coverage of 2008.


New date, site for 2010 World Championships! (November 3)

André van Overbeek elected ESF-President. (February 7)

previous news
Complete coverage of 2008.


Miscellaneous
Breaking news: KNBSB Board steps down!
Nederlands

...Left to right: Van Zetten, Wieling, Kops, Hardeveld...
(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - The entire 4-man board of the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Assocation (KNBSB) has stepped down late on Wednesday-evening after a long extraordinary council meeting. The Meeting was conducted as a conflict has risen between the Board and its Jury of Appeal, regarding a case that handled the promotion of the baseball-team of Almere Magpies to the Dutch big league.

In the end of August, the Dutch Federation decided not to grant a licence to Almere to play in the highest league, an announcement which came a few days before the start of the Promotion/Relegation Play-Offs between Almere Magpies and MediaMonks RCH. The decision was based on the financial situation at Almere. It was then decided that the Play-Off series had to be played, while Almere appealed the decision of not granting a lincense. The Jury of Appeal then decided in favor of Almere, which meant the club will play in the highest league next year. The ruling resulted in a lack of trust between the two parties and eventually resulted on Wednesday-evening in the stepping of the KNBSB-Board, which existed of Ruud van Zetten (President), Reinout Wieling (Secretary/Treasurer), Anton Kops (Softball Affairs) and Gerben Hardeveld (Game Officials).

Van Zetten was named interim Chairman on March 31, 2007 when Jan Rijpstra stepped down due to working commitments. On May 21, 2007, Van Zetten was named President of the Board. Before becoming President, Van Zetten already had been a member of the Board since 1996. From 1996-March 1999, he was the Chairman of District East and in that position, he was an added member of the Board together with three other Districit-Chairmen. In March 1999, Van Zetten became the Secretary of the KNBSB-Board and also became Treasurer a year later. In March 2002, Van Zetten moved to Player Development and remained in that position until March 2004. Two years later, he returned to the Board to become the Interim-Secretary/Treasurer and was elected in both functions again a month later, when he also was named Vice-President.


...Left to right: Smallegange, Zonneveld, Mulder...
(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)
Wieling also joined the Board on May 21, 2007 to become the new Secretary/Treasurer when Van Zetten took over as President. Kops took over Player Development in the Board on April 3, 2008, but switched to Softball Affairs on March 28 of this year taking the position of André van Overbeek, who was not re-electable and was elected as President of the European Softball Federation in February. Due to health circumstances, Kops was not able to assume his position right away, but did so since August. Hardeveld took over halfway through 2008 and was elected later for the Game Officials position.

During the meeting on Wednesday-evening, an interim-board of three persons was named, who will handle all ongoing affairs until the next regular Council Meeting on December 12. The three who are forming the interim-board are Leo Smallegange (Chairman of Birds), Hans Zonneveld (chairman of HCAW) and Frits Mulder (member of tbe board of Kinheim). Smallegange had been a member of the board before as its Secretary.
(November 4)


BASEBALL & SOFTBALL TRANSFERS 2009
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - At midnight on Saturday, October 31, the transfer period ended for Dutch baseball and softball players to change clubs for next season. Between now and the start of the new season, transfers are possible, but they have to comply to several rules to be granted permission.

Baseball
All eight clubs that played in the Dutch Major League this year and will do so next season were involved in the transfers. 98 players were named by the nine clubs, including MediaMonks RCH (which relegated) and Almere Magpies (which promoted). The 98 players either transfered from one club to another, were promoted from Rookie Teams, are foreign additions or retired.

What the coaching is concerned, four teams will be led by new Head Coaches, being Mr. Cocker HCAW, L&D Amsterdam Pirates, Konica Minolta Pioniers and MediaMonks RCH. Bill Froberg succeeded Jurjan Koenen at HCAW, Charles Urbanus took over from Rikkert Faneyte in Amsterdam, Bernie Beckman followed Theo Geerman at Pioniers and Peter van 't Klooster was named at RCH to replace Beckman.

Go here for a complete listing of the baseball transfers

Softball Women
In the Softball Major League, the eight clubs who played on the highest level this season and the two who will play in the big league next year, were also involved in the transfer-period. Relegating from the big league this year were Gryphons and Robur '58, while DSS and Olympia Haarlem promoted. Mentioned so far by the clubs were 37 players (transfer, added or retired), but not all info was in yet.

On the coaching front, four teams have yet to name a new Head Coach for coming season, including the relegated Gryphons and Robur '58, where Mary-Ann Hatt and Rob Korpel left. Are in search for a new Head Coach are Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers and promoted Olympia Haarlem, where Kaleo Eldredge and Wendell Hato will not return. Two other clubs also will have a new Head Coach next year, but they already named them, as Jeroen Deken succeeded Leigh Podlesny at Iber Lengua Terrasvogels, while Assistant Coach Leon Kaptein took over at Twins from René Roovers, who retired, as he is going into local politics.

Go here for the (almost) complete listing of the softball women transfers

(October 31)


Olympic Games 2016 awarded to Rio de Janeiro
Nederlands
COPENHAGEN (Denmark) - The International Olympic Commitee on Friday awarded the organization of the 2016 Olympic Games to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It will be the first time, the Olympic Games will be organized in South America.

One hour and 15 minutes before the official announcement, Chicago (USA) became the first city that was eliminated after the first round of votes, shortly after followed by Tokyo (Japan), leaving Madrid (Spain) and Rio de Janeiro as the two remaining candidate cities and finalists for the organization of the 31st Olympic Summer Games. Beforehand, Rio was already considered a favourite together with Chicago. Therefore, there was much amazement when the elimination of Chicago was announced.

Tokyo's elimination was another surprise, but not as big, since Asia also organized the Olympics last year when Beijing (China) was the host. When Madrid would have been elected the host city for 2016 would have been a surprise, as Europe already organizes the event in 2012 in London (Great Britain).

When Chicago or Tokyo would have been elected to host the 2016 Games, there would have been some hope for baseball and softball, as the two sports might have been added for those games as demonstration sports, but can't be expected of Rio de Janeiro, as both baseball and softball aren't big in that country, unlike some other South American countries.
(October 2)



...NOC*NSF Chairman Erica Terpstra...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Memorial fallen athletes
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - On May 4, the Netherlands remembers its war victims on National Memorial Day with ceremonies throughout the country, including the national memorial on Dam Square in Amsterdam, which is attended by Queen Beatrix

One of the ceremonies also takes place annually in front of the Olympic Stadium in Dutch capital Amsterdam, the site of the 1928 Olympic Games. This ceremony starts at 12:30 PM, which has become a symbolic time, as this was the time when the Dutch sports world first learned of the war on September 3, 1939 when, during a soccer match in Rotterdam, word came that war was declared. For the fifth time, the sports athletes who fell during World War II were remembered during this ceremony in Amsterdam.

Erica Terpstra, chairman of the Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF), Carolien Gehrels, alderman for sports of the Municipality of Amsterdam and Egbert de Vries, chairman of the Amsterdam-borough Oud-Zuid, all held speeches, remembering the athletes.

In her speech, Erica Terpstra named several of the fallen athletes by name, including athletes who participated in the 1924 and 1928 Olympic Games. Also included was legendary radio sports commentator Han Hollander, who died in a concentration camp. Earlier in the day, a memorial plaque was placed in front of his former home in Amsterdam.

After the speeches, five wreaths in the Olympic colors were placed in front of the Statue of Prometheus, followed by a 2-minute moment of silence and the playing of the Dutch national anthem.
(May 4)


(© All Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)


Dutch Baseball
Almere Magpies completes coachingstaff
Nederlands
ALMERE (Neth.) - Almere Magpies announced on Tuesday, November 10 it has completed its coachingstaff for the new season. As announced earlier, Head Coach Marco Wels, who led the team back to the big league this season, will return next year. His assistants Tom Groot and Frank van Leeuwen both are not returning. Groot retired, while Van Leeuwen will be active on a lower level at his former club Cromtigers. Named as their replacements are Humphrey Bomba and Erik Ronnenbergh. Returning is Stanley Engelhardt, who will be the Batting Practice Pitcher again and also will handle the hitting. Wels reacted: ,,With these men, our team has an adequate staff. I really have a lot of confidence!''

Veteran coach Humphrey Bomba will be the 3B Coach in the new staff. This season, Bomba was the Head Coach (and player) for First Divisionist Robur '58 in Apeldoorn. Before coming to Robur, Bomba was one of the coaches at Quick Amersfoort, with whom he also played in the Dutch big league. Bomba also played and coached for the men softball-team of Quick when it played on the highest level. He also played in the softball big league for Hilversum.

Erik Ronnenbergh will be the Pitching Coach. This season, he assisted Charles Urbanus at the Amsterdam Pirates Rookies, which won the Dutch championship. Urbanus was named Head Coach of the big league-team of Pirates in October. Ronnenbergh started his career as a player with OVVO and went on to play thereafter for Amsterdam Pirates, Giants Diemen, De Spartaan, UVV and Hoofddorp Pioniers. As a pitcher and outfielder, Ronnenbergh played in the big league for Giants, De Spartaan, UVV and Pioniers. In the nineties, he coached several teams at TIW-Survivors, including leading the main squad in the First Division (1991). He also has been the Head Coach of First Divisionist Sparks (1998). In mid-season of 1999, he took over as Head Coach at RCH, which then played in the big league. There, he also started the 2000 big league-season, but didn't finish that. Hereafter, he was the Head Coach for Flying Petrels, The Herons and Alcmaria Victrix, before going to Amsterdam Pirates. His son Scott played for the Pirates Rookies this season and the lefthander will be a member of the pitchingstaff of Almere Magpies in 2010.
(November 10)


Delmonico, Stoeckel leave Dutch Team
Nederlands

...Rod Delmonico (right) and Jim Stoeckel (left)...
(© Foto: Henk Seppen)
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Rod Delmonico and Jim Stoeckel, respectively Manager and Pitching Coach of Dutch National Baseball Team, will not return next year, the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association announced on Monday-evening, November 9. The two Americans informed Technical Director Robert Eenhoorn of their decision.

Delmonico (51) want to be closer to his family, while personal circumstances also play a role for Stoeckel (57), but also his work for Major League-organization Cincinnati Reds takes a lot of time. Since January 1 of this year, Delmonico was the successor of Robert Eenhoorn, who became the Technical Director of the KNBSB on that date, after having led the national team for eight years.

Under Delmonico's guidance, the Dutch Team reached the second round of the World Baseball Classic in March in San Juan (Puerto Rico)/Miami (USA), but then had a poor start of the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands) in July, losing the first four games. But the team recovered and went on to reach the final game. Next, the team won six games in a round in the second round of the World Championships, held on home soil, before losing the last game against Cuba. The Orange squad then closed the final round of the mondial event in Italy with a sixth place. Two years ago, in Taiwan, the Dutch finished in fourth place for the second time in a row, after having finished fourth in 2005 when the event was held in the Netherlands.

Eenhoorn now is in search for successors of Delmonico and Stoeckel to lead the national team in 2010 when the team will participate in the 25th edition of the Haarlem Baseball Week (July 9-18) and the European Championships (July 22-August 1) in Stuttgart, Heidenheim and Neuenburg (Germany).

Rod Delmonico was named on December 1 last year as the new Manager to succeed Robert Eenhoorn. The former Head Coach of the University of Tennessee worked for the Dutch Federation since January 1. Jim Stoeckel officially was added on January 5 to the coachingstaff as its Pitching Coach. This was the fourth time that Stoeckel had been involved with the Dutch National Team. From 1981-1983, he was the Manager, then returned briefly in November 1984 to lead the team during the Chung Hua Cup in Taiwan. From 1989-1991, Stoeckel was the Manager of the Orange for the third time.
(November 9)


CEB awards European Cup-tournaments to Neptunus, Brno
Nederlands
LAUSANNE (Switzerland) - The European Baseball Confederation (CEB) on Monday, November 9 announced it has awarded the organization of the two European Cup-tournaments for next year to Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus and Czech champion AVG Draci Brno. The two events will be played in the first week of June (either June 1-5 or June 2-6).

Each tournament will have six participating teams, with the top two at the end of the event qualifying for the Final Four to decide the winner of the European Champions Cup. The Final Four again will be held in Barcelona (Spain) on September 25-26.

The teams that qualified for participation in the European Cup-tournaments are: DOOR Neptunus, Konica Minolta Pioniers (both Netherlands), AVG Draci Brno (Czech Republic), Fortitudo Bologna, Telemarket Rimini (both Italy), Heidenheim Heideköpfe (Germany), Hoboken Pioneers (Belgium), Marlins Puerto Cruz, Sant Boi de Llobregat (both Spain), Rouen Huskies, Savigny-sur-Orge Lions (both France) and T&A San Marino (San Marino).

On Saturday, November 14 in Frankfurt (Germany), the drawings will take place for the pool alignments. It will mark the eighth time that an European Cup-tournament will be held in the Netherlands and the first time in the Czech Republic, since the tournament-format was first used in 1979. Neptunus organized part of the event on its home field in Rotterdam in 1980 (with Amsterdam) and 1983 (with Haarlem) and was the sole organizor in 1992, 2001 and 2005. The remaining two events were held in The Hague-Almere (1994) and Haarlem (1995). Neptunus won the European Cup seven times (1994, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004).
(November 9)


Breaking news: Fausto Álvarez leaves big league!

...Fausto Álvarez Rizo...
(© Photos: Henk Seppen)
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM / UTRECHT (Neth.) - The Dutch Major League is losing one of its most colorful players of the last years, as Cuban Fausto Álvarez Rizo is leaving L&D Amsterdam Pirates. The powerful lefthanded hitter will play in the First Division next season, as he opted to go to UVV. The transfer was confirmed on Sunday by Pirates and was made just before the deadline expired at midnight on Saturday, October 31. This year, UVV had a strong season in the First Division, finishing in second place with 28-10 record. UVV, which also acquired Outfielder Glenn Romney from Konica Minolta Pioniers, eyes a comeback to the Dutch big league in the near future.

As a veteran player with a long and impressive career in the Cuban Baseball League, Álvarez came to the Netherlands some six years ago and went on to play in the third team (!) of Amsterdam Pirates. There, he showed he didn't lost his power yet, as was added to the big league squad for the 2005 season. In his first season on the highest level in the Netherlands, the first baseman batted 'only' .293, as his season was cut short due to a hamstring-injury. But he made his mark, as he hit 14 doubles and three homeruns.


Dutch Career Fausto Álvarez Rizo
YrGABRH2B3BHRRBI AVG.
20063312383614-318.293
2007381262846521235.365
20084115223459-531.296
200937137244810-443.350
Totals1495388317538224127.325
Back in shape, Álvarez showed his power in the 2007 season when he led the team with a .365 average with 46 basehits, including five doubles, two triples and a league-leading 12 homeruns, scored 28 runs and had 35 runs batted in. With this, Álvarez led Amsterdam Pirates back to the Play-Offs and was named Most Valuable Player of the big league.

In 2008, Álvarez, who turns 49 later this month, batted .296 with five homeruns and 31 RBI's and had an important role for Pirates during the Holland Series, because he hit 5-for-10 with a homerun, four runs and five RBI's, as Pirates swept Corendon Kinheim 3-0 to capture its first Dutch title since 1990. At the start of the 2008 season, Álvarez became the oldest player in history to play in the Dutch big league with 47 years and 5 months. This year, Álvarez batted .350 with four homeruns and led the team with 43 runs batted in, which was second best in the league.

In 149 big league-games, Álvarez batted .325 with 175 basehits, including 24 homeruns and 127 runs batted in. In his four seasons in Amsterdam, the Cuban mostly was the designated hitter, but also played at first base frequently, making only two errors in 215 total chances.

Before coming to the Netherlands, Álvarez played 17 seasons for Santiago de Cuba in the Cuban Nacional Series, where he ended his career in 2003. With his team, he won three Cuban titles and wrote history on February 10, 2002, when he became the first player in history to hit two homeruns in one inning for the second time. He had done it before on January 5, 1991. On the Cuban All-time list, Álvarez shares eighth place with Omar Linares with 327 doubles, is 26th with 210 homeruns and 28th with 1676 basehits.

While he never made the Cuban National A-team in a major tournament, Álvarez participated with the B-squad twice in the World Port Tournament in 1999 and 2003. In 1999, Glenn Romney was a member of the Dutch National Team in that event. Now, the two will be teammates at UVV.
(November 1)


Former National Team players join coachingstaffs Kinheim, RCH
Nederlands
HAARLEM / HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - Two former national team players will be in uniform as a coach in 2010, as they were named to the coachingstaffs of Corendon Kinheim and MediaMonks RCH.

Former Catcher/3rd Baseman Hans Lemmink is joining the staff of Head Coach Eelco Jansen at Corendon Kinheim, the latter confirmed on Saturday, October 31. Lemmink, who played in the big league for Haarlem Nicols and Kinheim in the eighties and also was a former soccer-keeper, coached for First Divisionist DSS this season. Marcel Joost (3B Coach) and Michiel van Kampen (Pitching Coach) return to the staff, which exist entirely of former national team-players. Lemmink will coach at first base, but might also keep an eye on the bullpen.

In recent days, it already was announced that Kinheim acquired RHP Nick Stuifbergen and Infielders Björn Henrichs (both L&D Amsterdam Pirates) and Niels van Weert (Almere Magpies), while RHP Robin van Eis (Mr. Cocker HCAW) and Outfielder Danny Rombley (DOOR Neptunus) are leaving the team. On Saturday, it was also confirmed that Infielders Wouter Heemskerk and Jeffrey Verbij both retired, but the first might play for a lower division-team. Like some of the other big league-teams, Kinheim also added some talented young players from its Rookie Team to the big league-squad, being RHP Steven van Groningen, C/IF Onno Jansen and Infielder Björn Hato, who all already played in the big league this season for Kinheim.

Van Groningen pitched in 10 games and was 0-1 with a 2.92 ERA, throwing 12 1/3 inning in which he struckout 10 batters. Jansen played in three games and went 1-for-1 and also scored one run. Hato also played in one game, scoring one run, as he was used as a pinch-runner. Van Groningen and Hato made their big league this year, Jansen debuted last season.

MediaMonks RCH will be led next year by new Head Coach Peter van 't Klooster. The father of former national team-player Dirk van 't Klooster was the Hitting Instructor this season for RCH, which relegated to the First Division. As a short stop, Van 't Klooster played in the Dutch big league in the sixties for HVA and ABC and back then also was a member of the Dutch National Team. In 1977, Van 't Klooster was one of the six finalists to become the first Dutch astronaut, but eventually Wubbo Ockels was chosen for astronaut-training by the European Space Agency and NASA and went on to make a spaceflight with the Space Shuttle in 1985. At RCH, Van 't Klooster succeeds Bernie Beckman, who in September, after completion of the Promotion/Relegation Play-Off, agreed to become Head Coach of Konica Minolta Pioniers. 1B Coach Ab de Boer retired and will become a scout for RCH, but 3B Nick Heij will return to assist Van 't Klooster in 2010.

Due to its relegation, RCH lost 13 players. Ten of them already were mentioned in previous announcements made by their new clubs, but also leaving are RHP Rick Pluijmers (DSS), RHP Jimmy van der Veldt (Sparks Haarlem) and Infielder Bobby Heij (TIW-Survivors). RCH acquired six new players, who all played in lower divisions.
(October 31)


Gino Henson retires, turns to coaching
Nederlands

...Gino Henson with umpire Jac Vrij...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
ROTTERDAM / THE HAGUE (Neth.) - Veteran big league-player Gino Henson is leaving Sparta-Feyenoord to become the coach of the Rookie Team of ADO. Besides that, he will join the coachingstaff of Tsunami Baseball Academy in The Hague, where he will be the coach of the Tsunami Junior-team, which plays in the Elite League.

,,With the addition of Henson, the baseball school shows it is seriously working on the development of talented players in the region Haaglanden. Henson is a wellknown player'', said Gert-Jan Timmer, member of the board of the Tsunami Baseball Academy.

The 38-year old Eugene Henson, who is mostly called Gino, made his debut in the Dutch big league in 1991, when he also played for Sparta. He finished his first season with a .380 batting average, but then returned to Curaçao, as he had signed a professional contract with the Atlanta Braves-organization. In 1992, Henson played one season in the Single-A of the Braves in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic. A year later, the infielder returned to the Netherlands where he stayed to play 17 more seasons for four teams in the Dutch big league. Henson played for ADO (1993-1994; 1998-2001), Twins (1995), Hoofddorp Pioniers (1996-1997) and HCAW (2002-2007). After the 2007 season, Henson returned to Sparta-Feyenoord, where he played two more years. In 1997, he played for Pioniers, which then captured the Dutch title. Besides playing in the big league baseball, Henson also played in the big league men softball, as he was a member of the succesfull team of Alphians from 1995-1998, which in that period captured four consecutive national titles and won two European Cups.

This season, his 18th in the Dutch big league, Henson played in 39 games for Sparta-Feyenoord and batted .242. The infielder, who also was used several games as catcher, had 31 basehits, scored 17 runs and had 11 runs batted in. His best season was in 1998 when he hit .420, while playing for ADO, hitting 60 basehits, scoring 39 runs and having 39 RBI's. Through the years, Henson reached base frequently and scored 205 runs in his first five big league-seasons. In 1993 (38), 1994 (42) and 1996 (24), he led the league in Stolen Bases.

In 2001, Henson was a member of the Dutch National Team, which then captured the European title in Bonn (Germany), playing in seven games.
(October 30)


Pioniers announces transfers; 12 new players!
Nederlands
HOOFDDORP (Neth.) - Konica Minolta Pioniers on Friday, October 30 announced its roster changes for the upcoming season. Clubs have one more day to complete transfers, as the transferperiod ends at midnight on October 31. As every year, this site will publish a complete list with all comings and goings in the Dutch big league again on November 1.

Pioniers was mentioned frequently in the last weeks since the season ended. On Friday, that proved to be true, as 12 players joined the club from Hoofddorp, which reached the Holland Series this year, but lost in four games to DOOR Neptunus, after having dethroned L&D Amsterdam Pirates during the preceeding Play-Offs. On the other hand, eight players will not return next season.


...Dave Draijer...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
Two former players are returning to Hoofddorp, being RHP Dave Draijer and Venezuelan righthander Nelson Miguel Santander Olajo. Draijer last year participated in the Olympic Games in Beijing, as he was a late addition to the Dutch National Team, taking the spot of injured pitcher Loek van Mil. After completion of last season, Draijer left Pioniers to play for MediaMonks RCH, where he had started his career and made his big league-debut in 1997. But after RCH relegated this season, the veteran righthander, who turned from starter to closer in the last years, decided to return to Pioniers. Santander pitched for Pioniers in the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

Also coming to Pioniers are American righthander Eddie Aucoin, LHP Jean-Paul Gulinck (MediaMonks RCH), RHP Jurjen van Zijl (DOOR Neptunus), Catcher Wouter Kamstra (DSS), Infielders Zerzinho Croes (Aruba), Kevin Dirksen (UVV) and Shurty Tremus (ADO) and Outfielders Linoy Croes (Almere Magpies), Lennart Koster (DOOR Neptunus) and Jakub Malik (MediaMonks RCH).

Dave Draijer threw 21 games in relief this season for RCH and was 1-7 with two saves. He struckout 26 batters, walked only seven, but gave up 44 basehits in 30 innings and finished with a 4.80 ERA.


...Nelson Miguel Santander Olajo...
(Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)
Nelson Miguel Santander Olajo, who turns 27 next Monday and was born in Venezuelan capital Caracas, was 5-4 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 games (46 strikeouts in 56 innings) for Pioniers in 2007, his first year in the Dutch big league. In 2008, the righthander was 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA and struckout 27 batters in 27 innings. He appeared in only five games, as he had to return to Venezuela due to family circumstances. He was replaced on the roster by another Venezuelan, Alberto Mieres Paez, who finished the season with a 2-4 record. Santander signed a professional contract with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2001 and went on to play four seasons in the minor leagues. The first three years, he played in Venezuela, where he threw for the Mariara Phillies, finishing with records of 1-1, 1-0 and 2-1 respectively. During the 2003 season, he was transfered to the Gulf Coast Phillies in Florida, where he was 1-0. In 2004, Santander threw for the Batavia Muckdogs in Single-A, where he was 3-1 with two saves, throwing 17 games in relief. After throwing one season (2005) in the Spanish highest league, he returned to professional baseball, as he pitched in the Venezuelan League in 2006, before coming to Pioniers for the 2007 season.


...Eddie Aucoin...
(Photo: Tornados)
Eddie Aucoin, who turned 34 on October 15, played several seasons in professional American Independent Leagues. He signed his first professional in contract in 1998 when he played for Waterbury Spirit in the Northeast League. His professional baseball career appeared to be briefly, as he turned to fast pitch softball the next year and continued to play softbal through 2001. Aucoin then traveled to Europe, where he played for Oskarshamn Basebal Softboll Klub in Sweden in 2002. But he returned to professional baseball the next year. In 2003, he was named the Rookie Pitcher of the Year, while pitching for the Berkshire Black Bears in the Northeast League, where he had the league's best ERA with 1.46. In the winter of 2003-2004, Aucoin played for the Cartagena Leones in the professional Colombian Winter League and was 5-0, while being named Most Valuable Pitcher and being elected to the All Star Team. In 2004 and 2005, Aucoin played in the Northern League, another Independent League. In 2004 for the St. Paul Saints (where he was 6-1) and in 2005 for the Brockton Rox (6-0 with 3 saves). He was noticed by Major League-scouts and was invited for a try-out in February 2006 for the Toronto Blue Jays, where he signed a contract for its Double-A team, but he was released during Spring Training due to a knee injury. After this disappointment , Aucoin returned to Europe, where he pitched succesfully for four different teams in the German Bundesliga from 2006 through this season. Aucoin threw for Gauting Indians (7-5) in 2006, Haar Disciplines (9-5, 117 strikeouts, 9 walks in 99 innings) in 2007, Mannheim Tornados (8-3, 0.94 ERA, 102 strikeouts in 86 innings) in 2008 and Regensburg Legionäre in 2009, where he threw a No-Hitter on May 23 vs. Saarlouis Hornets and missed a Perfect Game by hitting two batters. In his four seasons in Germany, Aucoing struckout 363 batters and walked only 27 in 329 innings, in which he gave up 241 basehits and finished with an 1.66 ERA. In his German years, Aucoin was used as first baseman and designated hitter.


...Jean-Paul Gulinck...
(Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)
Jean-Paul Gulinck pitched in 18 games for RCH this season, including two starts. The lefthander was 0-3 and struckout 13 batters in 22 2/3 inning, walking 32 and giving up 27 basehits, finishing with an 8.34 ERA.
Jurjen van Zijl threw in 16 games (six starts) for Neptunus and finished with a 2-2 record and two saves. He struckout 29 batters, walked 23 and gave up 45 hits in 43 1/3 inning.
Lennart Koster played in 32 games this season for Neptunus, in which he hit 30 basehits, including seven doubles and a homerun for a .309 average, scoring 12 runs and having 17 RBI's.
Jakub Malik played in 38 games, including 25 as Designated hitter for RCH. The Czech National Team-player led the team with a .324 batting average, 44 basehits and 11 runs batted in. Malik scored nine runs and had five doubles.
Shurty Tremus hit .240 in 40 games for ADO, hitting 36 basehits, including a homerun and 11 RBI's. Wouter Kamstra last played in the big league in 2007, when he appeared in seven games for Almere. Linoy Croes, Zerzinho Croes and Kevin Dirksen never played in the Dutch big league.


...Roger Kops...
(Photo: Henk Seppen)
Leaving Pioniers are RHP Daan de Jong (Hoofddorp Pioniers-3), RHP Roger Kops (retiring), Infielders Andley Simmons (back to Curaçao) and Joey Treurniet (Double Stars Heiloo) and Outfielders Sergino Martis (no club yet), Glenn Romney (UVV) and Bart Sabel (HCAW). 1B Jourick Blanco, who last season played for Pioniers, but didn't play for the team, remains in Aruba.

Former National Team-pitcher Roger Kops started 15 games this season for Pioniers and was 5-3 with a 3.02 ERA. In 89 1/3 inning, the righthander struckout 56 batters, walked only 17, but gave up 105 basehits.

...Glenn Romney...
(Photo: Henk Seppen)
Outfielder Glenn Romney, another former national team-player, played in 31 games this season and batted .278 (27-for-97) with eight doubles and one homerun. Romney scored 16 runs and had 18 RBI's, while not commiting an error. In 2010, he will play for First Divisionist UVV, where he once started his baseball career.
Andley Simmons, who shared his playing time between first base and the outfield, played in 18 games and batted .196 (10-for-51), scored six runs and seven RBI's. He also threw three games in relief, pitching 2 2/3 inning.
Daan de Jong threw 22 1/3 inning in eight games (four starts), was 0-1, had one save and a 7.25 ERA, while striking out nine batters, walking 19 and giving 28 basehits.
Joey Treurniet appeared in 27 games, batted .213 (13 hits, 1 double, 2 triples, 1 homerun), scored 15 runs and had five RBI's.
Bart Sabel batted .224 (13 hits, 4 doubles) in 15 games, scoring 10 runs and having six runs batted in. Sergino Martis played in 10 games, batting .270 (10 hits) with three runs and six RBI's.

Pioniers will be led in 2010 by Bernie Beckman, who was the Head Coach this season for MediaMonks RCH, which relegated. Shortly after completion of the lost Promotion/Relegation Play-Off against First Division champion Almere Magpies, the Canadian confirmed his transfer from RCH to Pioniers. Beckman succeeds Theo Geerman, who took over in mid-season when Head Coach Frank Koene stepped down after disappointing results at that moment. Geerman, who also filled in for Koene at the start of the season when the latter had to sit out a suspension, stays on as Assistant Coach, as will Peter Barentsen, who didn't coach this year due to health reasons.

Besides the new additions, the following players are also listed on the Pioniers-roster:
Pitchers Robin van Doornspeek (RHP), Shane Gnade (RHP), Al Morales Gomes (RHP), Maarten Mulder (RHP) and Jan Rehacek (LHP), Catchers Mark Duursma and Jeffrey de Vrieze, Infielders Michael Duursma, Mervin Gario, Norbert Lokhorst and Mark-Jan Moorman and Outfielders Tjerk Hoogervorst and Jefferson Muzo.
(October 30)


Almere '90 ready for big league-return
Nederlands
ALMERE (Neth.) - Almere Magpies, which will return to the big league next year after a 2-year absence, has added 10 new players to its roster, the club confirmed on Thursday. Six players will not return in the team next year.

Five new players are coming from MediaMonks RCH, which lost the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Play-Off against Almere 3-2, resulting in relegation for RCH and promotion for Almere, which finished in first place in the First Division with a 32-5 record. The five are RHP Ewout Bos, RHP Dennis Burgersdijk, RHP Martin Kuipers, Infielder Jaïr Roseburg and Outfielder Ferd van Stekelenburg. As mentioned in the article of the transfers at Mr. Cocker HCAW, three players from the Bussum-club decided to come to Almere: LHP Joep de Wit, Catcher Juriën Overman and Infielder Sytse Visbeen. Two more pitchers will join Almere for the new season: RHP Roy Beems (Sparta-Feyenoord) and LHP Scott Ronnenbergh (Amsterdam Pirates Rookies). American Michael Parker, who played on the college-level, is currently listed as the first option for the short stop-position.


..Ferd van Stekelenburg...
(Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)
Bos threw 12 games in relief for RCH, but had no decisons, while pitching 19 2/3 inning in which he gave up 30 hits and ended with a 6.86 ERA. Burgersdijk pitched in 15 games (12 as a starter) for RCH and was 0-8 with a 5.19 ERA. In 67 2/3 inning, he struckout 45 batters and gave up 81 hits. Kuipers, who already pitched for Almere in 2005 and 2006, appeared in 14 games for RCH (six starts) and was 1-5 with a 7.20 ERA. In 35 innings, he struckout ten batters and gave up 56 basehits. Roseburg played in 32 games and hit .200 (18 hits), while scoring seven runs and collecting four runs batted in. Van Stekelenburg played in all 42 games for RCH, primarily at first base, and batted .220 (29 hits) with two homeruns. He led the team with 13 runs and 11 runs batted in. Beems threw in 15 games for Sparta-Feyenoord, including one start, and was 1-1 with two saves. He threw in 18 innings, struckout two and gave up 21 hits. Beems made his big league-debut in 2005 while playing for Amsterdam Pirates. Ronnenbergh played in the rookie team of Pirates this season, but participated with L&D Amsterdam Pirates in the European Cup-tournament in March in Nettuno (Italy). Ronnenbergh, the grandson of former big league-umpire Henk Ronnenbergh, has yet to make his debut on the highest level. For details of Overman, Visbeen and De Wit, you can read the article of the comings and goings at Mr. Cocker HCAW.


...Closer René Rijst: Last season?...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
Leaving Almere are six players, including veteran righthanded pitchers Jerry Breek and René Rijst, who both retired. Infielders Sidney Ensermo, Rhiency Imperator and Niels van Weert also will not return in Almere next season. Ensermo has no new club yet, while Van Weert will play for Corendon Kinheim. Imperator, who can look back to a good season, decided to return to Tex Town Tigers, where he also played before coming to Almere. To combine his study better with playing baseball, Imperator decided to play closer to home. Outfielder Linoy Croes will play next season for Konica Minolta Pioniers.

De Weert will return to the big league-level next season, as he already played there with Almere in 2007. Ensermo played in the big league last season for HCAW, but also played on the highest level for Almere and Amsterdam Pirates. Breek also played several seasons in the big league for Pirates and Almere, while 46-year old Rijst is the recordholder with 27 seasons (!) in the Dutch big league. Rijst already announced his retirement on earlier occasions and every time he came back, so it is not out of the question that the veteran might return to the mound again in some games for Almere next season.

Early next year, lefthanded pitcher Jim Ploeger, who this year made his debut in the Dutch National Team, will leave to attend college in the USA and will return somewhere in May. In the first weeks of the season, his spot in the rotation probably will be taken by Scott Ronnenbergh, who in his turn might leave for the USA in May of June, as he is a candidate to sign a professional contract.

Marco Wels will be the Head Coach again next season. His coachingstaff will be announced in the coming days, as Assistant Coaches Tom Groot en Frank van Leeuwen decided to stop after the season to have more time for their families.

Besides the new additions, the following players are also listed on the Almere-roster:
Pitchers Sten van de Bedem (RHP), Jasper de Heus (RHP), Kenny van Kampen (LHP), Andy Nieuwehuijse (RHP), Jim Ploeger (LHP) and American Justin Prinstein (RHP), Catcher Giovanni Samboe, Infielders Joey Berkenbosch (1B) and Siegert Flaneur (3B), Outfielders Wesley Bernardus, Sergio Paulina, Luigino Rosaria and Daniël Zijderveld and Utility Players Churandy la Cruz and Stefan Hoogewerff.
(October 29)


Seven new players for HCAW
Nederlands
BUSSUM (Neth.) - Dutch big league-team Mr. Cocker HCAW announced its transfers for the coming season on Thursday. The transferperiod in the Dutch baseball (and softball) leagues end at midnight on October 31.

HCAW added seven new players to its roster, including two who were promoted from the HCAW Rookie Team, being Catcher Joep van Els and Infielder Sebastiaan Olgers. The club also confirmed the coming of Aeden McQueary-Ennis from ADO, which already announced that he opted to go to Bussum on Wednesday. McQueary-Ennis, who is an American with a British passport and plays for the British National Team, is a righthanded pitcher, but can also be used as a designated hitter or on other position. This season, he led ADO with a .324 batting average and threw 21 games in relief. HCAW added two more pitchers to the team, as RHP Joran Klarenbeek (MediaMonks RCH) and RHP Robin van Eis (Corendon Kinheim) are also coming to Bussum. Outfielder Bart Sabel (Konica Minolta Pioniers) and Infielder Mitchel Koot (Amsterdam Pirates Rookies) complete the new additions. Sabel and Koot can both also be used as a Catcher.

Van Els appeared in 14 games this season with HCAW, hitting .250 (10-for-40), while Olgers played in nine games for the team, hitting .182 (6-for-33). Klarenbeek threw in 12 games for RCH and was 1-4 with a 4.54 ERA. He struckout 19 batters in 41 2/3 inning and gave up 43 basehits. Van Eis threw in only eight games for Kinheim this season, striking out eight batters in 35 1/3 inning and finishing with a 4.08 ERA and an 1-2 record. Sabel played in 15 games for Pioniers, hitting .224 (13-for-58), scoring 10 runs and collecting six RBI's. Koot played in one game for Pirates this season, going 1-for-4 in his big league-debut.


...A sliding Adrian Anthony returns to Rotterdam...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Eight players are leaving HCAW. LHP Andre Hughes will return to Germany, as he want to live closer to home due to his regular job in the German Army. Hughes, who throws for the German National Team, is going to play again for Solingen Alligators, where he also played last year, before joining HCAW for this season. Outfielder Adrian Anthony will play for Sparta-Feyenoord in 2010, therefore returning to Rotterdam, where he already played before for DOOR Neptunus. Three players decided to go to Almere Magpies, which promoted this season and will return to the big league next season after a two-year absence. The three are LHP Joep de Wit and Catchers Juriën Overman and Sytse Visbeen. The latter made his big league-debut in 2007 while playing for Almere. RHP Rutger Zwaal and Outfielder Haily de Palm will play on a lower level next season. Zwaal returns to Flying Petrels, the club where he started his career, while De Palm will play for Domstad Dodgers. Outfielder Siemen Korff retired.

Lefthander Hughes was 3-4 this season with a 3.09 ERA, throwing 78 2/3 inning in 13 games (all as a starter) in which he struckout 69 batters and gave up 79 hits. De Wit, another lefthander, pitched in 22 games in relief and was 1-0 with one save and a 5.34 ERA. In 28 2/3 inning, he struckout 28 and gave up 34 hits. Righthander Zwaal threw 20 games in relief and was frequently used as closer, finishing the season with a 2-2 record and 6.31 ERA. In 35 2/3 inning, he struckout 21 and gave up 48 hits. In Anthony, HCAW is losing its second best hitter of this season, as he batted .313 in 38 games with 41 basehits, scored 14 runs and had 19 runs batted in. Overman, the primary catcher, played in 33 games and batted only .173 (18 basehits) with 11 runs and 8 RBI's. Back-up catcher Visbeen played in 31 games (11 as catcher) and batted .198 (21 hits) with six runs and 9 RBI's. De Palm played in only six games, going 3-for-14 (.214), while Korff played in 37 games and hit .234 (29 hits) with 10 RBI's.

In 2010, the team will be led again by Bill Froberg, who took over as Head Coach from Jurjan Koenen, who retired after the season. Ronald Jaarsma stays on as Assistant Coach. Froberg also was the team's Head Coach in 2004 and 2005, after having served as its Bench Coach in the second half of the 2003 season. Froberg was named HCAW's new Head Coach on August 25.

This season, HCAW finished in sixth place with 11 victories, 30 losses and one tie. In the Play-Downs, HCAW secured its spot in next years big league by winning 3-2 in the best-of-five against ADO. HCAW states that the club is convinced that with the new team it can look up again. The goal for next season is to narrow the gap with the top-4 teams, which grew the last years. Besides that, HCAW wants to be involved as long as possible in the race for the Play-Offs.
(October 29)


ADO confirms comings & goings
Nederlands
THE HAGUE (Neth.) - Dutch big league team ADO welcomed nine new players, the club confirmed on Wednesday-evening, while five will leave to play elsewhere. The transfer-period ends at midnight on October 31. More announcements are expected in the coming days. As every year, this site will publish a complete list with all the comings and goings again on November 1. The transfers of Mr. Cocker HCAW will be officially announced early tonight.

ADO finished the season in seventh place with a 10-31 record under new Head Coach Leo Voogd. The team then lost the first best-of-five Play-Down vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW 3-2 after having forced a fifth game. In the next series vs. MediaMonk RCH, ADO then secured its big league spot for next season by winning the best-of-five 3-1. For coming season, added RHP Tjibbe van Dijk (Blue Birds), LHP Jurandy Girigori (RCH), Catcher Stefan Venema (Euro Stars), Infielders Allan Milliard (Kinheim Rookies), Berti Richardson, Frans Richardson (both Blue Birds), Jeroen Stentler (Euro Stars) and Outfielders Anthony Vrolijk (Tridents) and Patrick Wabbijn (Euro Stars).


..Jeoffrey de Groot...
(Photo: Robert Bos)
All nine new players have played in the Dutch big league before. Van Dijk pitched for ADO in 2005-2006, while Venema caught for ADO in the 2005 season, playing in 20 games and hitting .172. Stentler also last played on the highest level in 2005, when he wore the uniform of Amsterdam Pirates and played in 37 games, hitting .191. Vrolijk made his big league-debut in 2007, playing in five game for Neptunus in which he went 0-for-3. Two players last played in the big league in 2008, being Milliard (the brother of former Major League-player Ralph Milliard), appearing in five games for Kinheim, hitting 4-for-13 (.308) and Wabbijn, who last year played in seven games for Sparta-Feyenoord, hitting .267. Girigori (0-0) made his big league-debut this season, pitching in three games for RCH, throwing five innings in which he gave up eight hits and struckout three. The Richardson-brothers big league-experience goes back further, with Berti having played for Pioniers and Frans for Sparta-Feyenoord.

Leaving the club are RHP Jeoffrey de Groot (Blue Birds), RHP/DH Aeden McQueary-Ennis (HCAW), Catcher/Outfielder Niels Weis (Storks) and Infielders Shurty Tremus (Pioniers) and René Verbrugge (Vlaardingen Holy).

As its Designated Hitter in 32 games, McQueary led the team with a .324 batting average (the 14th best in the league) with 34 hits, including 12 doubles and a homerun and 18 RBI's. In 21 games as relief-pitcher, the British National Team-player was 1-2 with three saves, striking out 38 batters in 49 1/3 inning, in which he gave up 54 hits. De Groot was 0-0 this year in 12 games (one start), throwing 24 2/3 inning in which he gave up 47 basehits and struckout seven. Weis played in 19 games, mostly in rightfield, in which he hit .161. Tremus hit .240 in 40 games, hitting 36 basehits, including a homerun and 11 RBI's. Verbrugge also played in 40 games and collected 41 basehits for a .287 average.

Leo Voogd returns next season as Head Coach and will then be assisted by former big league-player Michael Martha, who in recent years played and coached for First Divisionist Blue Birds. He will replace Richard Brown, who retired. For next season, ADO hopes to add a foreign pitcher to complete its pitching staff.
(October 28)


Neptunus confirms transfers; catcher invited for Showcase
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus confirmed the coming of Outfielder Eldrion Regina, while it also confirmed the going of two players. Besides that, its talented rookie Catcher Mourik Huijser got an invitation to attend a Showcase in the USA next week.

A few weeks ago, Neptunus already announced the coming of Outfielder and Dutch National Team-player Danny Rombley (September 9) from Corendon Kinheim and Infielder Marvin Bleij (August 29) from L&D Amsterdam Pirates. On October 24, Neptunus announced that they are now joined by Eldrion Regina, who this season made his big league-debut with Sparta-Feyenoord. Neptunus also added three players to its main squad from its Rookie Team, DOOR Tridents: RHP Niels Harteveld, Catcher Mourik Huijser en Infielder Roy Seltenrijch.


...Marvin Bleij...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
On October 29, it was announced that Huijser was one of 21 talented players from Europe, who are invited to participate in the European Player Showcase on November 7, which will be held on the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary (North Carolina). The 18-year old Huijser is one of eight players from the Netherlands who were invited. The other are coming from Italy (7), France (4) and Germany (2). Huijser made his big league-debut in 2008, playing in three games for Neptunus, going 0-for-3, but scoring three runs.


...Danny Rombley...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Regina was the second best hitter this season for Sparta-Feyenoord with .309 in 41 games, hitting 47 basehits, including five doubles and four triples, while scoring 17 runs and having 12 RBI's. The 23-year old Regina, who studies International Business Management in The Hague, shared the league-lead with his four triples with René Cremer (Kinheim). Rombley led Kinheim this season with a .396 batting average, the second best in the league behind Batting Champion Kenny Berkenbosch of L&D Amsterdam Pirates, who hit .402. Rombley played in 38 games, collecting 57 basehits, including 12 doubles and five homeruns, scored 33 runs and batted in 24 runs. Bleij batted .273 in 30 games for Amsterdam with 30 basehits and 14 RBI's. Like Huijser, Harteveld and Seltenrijch also made their big league-debut this year, playing for Neptunus. Harteveld threw in one game, pitching 2 1/3 inning, while Seltenrijch played in 11 games, hitting 8-for-29 (.276) with one triple, three runs scored and four RBI's.

Neptunus on Tuesday, October 27, also confirmed that RHP Jurjen van Zijl and Outfielder Lennart Koster will leave the club to play for Konica Minolta Pioniers next season. On Friday, October 30, Neptunus confirmed that Utility Player Matt McGraw returned to Canada, that Outfielder Andy Leer retired and that Outfielder Calvin Martinus returned to Sparta-Feyenoord.

Van Zijl threw in 16 games (six starts) and finished with a 2-2 record and two saves. He struckout 29 batters, walked 23 and gave up 45 hits in 43 1/3 inning. Koster played in 32 games this season for Neptunus, in which he hit 30 basehits, including seven doubles and a homerun for a .309 average, scoring 12 runs and having 17 RBI's. McGraw played in 41 games this season, batting .273 (41-for-150) wit five doubles and a triple, scored 24 runs and also had 24 RBI's. Leer appeared in 24 games and batted .148 (nine basehits), scoring seven runs and collecting four RBI's. Martinus, the son of Neptunus' 3B Coach Wim Martinus, already played for Sparta-Feyenoord in 2007. This season, he played in only four games for Neptunus, going 0-for-8.
(October 24-30)


Amsterdam adds Pitching Instructor & talented players
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Dutch Major League-team L&D Amsterdam Pirates announced on October 23 that 17-year big league-veteran and former National Team-pitcher Eric de Vries will be the team's new Pitching Instructor. It also acquired American pitcher Ben Grover, who this year pitched for the Rookie Team of MediaMonks RCH. Amsterdam also added six talented, young players from its Rookie Team to the big league-squad for the 2010 season.


...Eric de Vries during the 1990 World...
...Championships in Canada...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Eric de Vries, who turns 49 in December and started his career with Robur '58 in Apeldoorn, made his big league-debut in 1979 while pitching for HCAW. After four seasons (1979-1982), the righthander went on to play three seasons for Giants Diemen, which doesn't exist anymore, before returning to HCAW for the 1986 and 1987 seasons. Next, De Vries threw seven seasons (1988-1994) for Neptunus, before retiring. He then went on to become the Pitching Coach for Pioniers, where he threw in one more big league-game during the 1995 season. In 17 big league-seasons, De Vries threw in 258 games (191 starts) and finished with a 105-80 record and a 3.18 ERA. In 1540 1/3 inning, he struckout 1217 batters. He was named Best Pitcher of the Dutch League in 1989 and 1990. In 1997, De Vries was the Pitching Coach of Pioniers, which then captured the national championship. In more recent years, De Vries was the organizational Pitching Instructor for Mr. Cocker HCAW, being involved with the big league-team, rookie team and youth teams. Besides that, he also was the Pitching Coach of the Dutch National Cadets Team and started his own Pitching Academy. De Vries made his debut in the Dutch National Team in 1980 and went on to play for the national squad in 12 years, before pitching his last game on the international level in 1993. The pitcher appeared in 39 official international games and participated in five World Championships, six European Championships, five Haarlem Baseball Weeks, four World Port Tournaments and the Olympic Games of 1988 in Seoul (Korea). This year, De Vries was the Pitching Instructor for Sparta-Feyenoord.


...Ben Grover...
(© Photo: ORU Media)
Prior to coming to the Netherlands, Edward Benjamin (Ben) Grover, who turned 24 earlier this month, pitched briefly for the baseball-team of Division I Oral Roberts University, appearing in two games of the Golden Eagles during the 2009 season and only one during the 2008 season. Before pitching for ORU, Grover threw for Cuesta College, throwing in 22 games in 2007, finishing with a 6-7 record and striking out 53 batters in 63 innings. During the 2006 season, he threw in three games. In 2004, Grover pitched for Righetti High School in Santa Maria (California), which then became the Pac 5 League Champion. In the same year, Grover also played American football and was a wrestler. In the Summer of 2007, Grover played for the Kamuela Paniolos in the Hawaiian Collegiate Baseball League, then was a member of the San Luis Obispo Rattlers during the 2008 Summer League. New Head Coach Charles Urbanus about Grover: ,,During last season, Grover made much impression in the game he played against our Rookie Team. He is an atlethic and strong pitcher, who we can use as a starter, but also as a reliever and who can develop himself even further''. This year, Urbanus led the Amsterdam Pirates Rookies to its second Dutch championship in a row and therefore faced Grover, while he was pitching for the RCH Rookies.

Earlier, the club already announced the coming of veteran righthanded pitcher and national team-hurler Rob Cordemans. Besides the comings of Cordemans and Grover, Coach Urbanus also added six talented players from the Amsterdam Rookie Team to the main squad, being RHP Frank van Heijst, Catcher Rachid Gerard, Infielders Roelie Henrique, Nick Urbanus and Seb Visser and Outfielder Michael Kramer.


...Frank van Heijst...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Van Heijst, Gerard, Urbanus and Visser already made their big league-debut with the main squad. Van Heijst this season threw in six games (all starts) and was 3-0, while striking out 15 batters in 35 1/3 inning and finishing with a 2.55 ERA. Urbanus, the son of Head Coach Charles Urbanus and grandson of former big league pitcher Han Urbanus, played in five games, hitting 1-for-8, scoring once and having one RBI. In July, Urbanus also made his debut in the Dutch National Team during the World Port Tournament. Visser played in two games, hitting 1-for-5 and Kramer played in seven games, hitting 4-for-20, including a double, scoring five runs and having two RBI's. Gerard and Henrique will get their chance of making their big league-debut next season.

Seven players will not wear the Pirate-uniform in 2010. RHP Nick Stuifbergen (a member of the Dutch National Team and Infielder Björn Henrichs next year will play for Corendon Kinheim. For Stuifbergen, this means the return to the club where he made his big league-debut. Infielder Marvin Bleij will play for DOOR Neptunus in 2010. Outfielder/Catcher Maikel Benner and 3B Pavèl van Zaane will play on a lower level next season. Benner will play for Vlaardingen Holy and Van Zaane for Cromtigers. Righthanded relievers Mark Kan and Raban Schalm both retired.


...Nick Stuifbergen...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Stuifbergen threw in 13 games (10 starts) this season, was 5-1 with one save and a 3.98 ERA and struckout 41 batters in 52 innings. Henrichs played in 26 games as a back-up infielder, and batted .323 with 32 hits, five runs and 17 RBI's. Bleij hit .273 with 40 hits in 30 games, scoring 14 runs and collecting 10 RBI's. Benner played in 37 games this season and led Pirates with 32 runs scored. He batted .316 with 50 hits (second most in the team), including five doubles and had 15 runs batted in. Van Zaane played in 39 games, batting .301 with 47 hits, including seven doubles, scored 18 runs and had 24 RBI's. Kan pitched in seven games in relief, winning one and earning a save, throwing 7 1/3 inning and finishing with a 12.27 ERA. Schalm, who was mostly used as a set-up man, threw in 13 games, was 1-1 and pitched in 18 2/3 inning, finishing with a 3.38 ERA.

Head Coach Charles Urbanus, who was named the successor of Rikkert Faneyte on October 5, will be assisted by Randall Hannah, who returns as 3B Coach. Louis Hofer, who was the team's 1B Coach this year, will not return in the coaching staff.

This year, Amsterdam was eliminated in the Play-Offs by Konica Minolta Pioniers and therefore dethroned as reigning champion. Last year, the team captured the Dutch title for the first time again since 1990.

Besides the new additions, the following players are also listed on the Amsterdam-roster:
LHP Adam Blackley, LHP Rik Geestman, RHP Jos de Jong, RHP Loek van Mil (who will pitch professionally again next year in the organization of the Minnesota Twins, but remains eligible to throw for Pirates) and RHP Pim Walsma, Catchers Sidney de Jong and Bas Nooij, 1B Kenny Berkenbosch, 2B Zaïr Koeiman, 3B/1B Vince Rooi and Outfielders Wesley Connor and Bas de Jong and Designated Hitter Fausto Álvarez Rizo.
(October 23)


Rob Cordemans to play for Amsterdam
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Veteran pitcher Rob Cordemans will play for L&D Amsterdam Pirates next season, the club confirmed on Monday-evening. The last two seasons, the righthander, who will turn 35 at the end of this month, played for Sparta-Feyenoord in Rotterdam.


...Rob Cordemans Amsterdam-bound...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Rob Cordemans started his career with The Hawks in Dordrecht, but then went on to play for Neptunus in Rotterdam. There, he made his big league-debut in 1994 and played the majority of his 16-year career on the highest level. Cordemans became the ace in the pitching staff of Neptunus, where he played for 12 seasons (1994-2005). Hereafter, he threw for ADO in The Hague in 2006 and then tried his luck to become a professional pitcher in the Taiwanese Professional League. He got a contract to play for the President Lions, but was released in mid-season and returned to the Netherlands, where he finished the season playing for ADO. In 2008 and 2009, he returned to Rotterdam to play for Sparta-Feyenoord. While playing for Neptunus, Cordemans won eight Dutch championships, seven European Cups, three CupWinners Cup and seven Super Cups.

At Pirates, Cordemans will be re-united with recently named Head Coach Charles Urbanus, who succeeded Rikkert Faneyte. In 1994, Urbanus was the Head Coach of Neptunus, when Cordemans made his big league-debut. That happened on May 22 and coincidentally, the opponent on that day happened to be Amsterdam Pirates. For Cordemans, this was not only his first appearance in the big league, but also his first start. He left the game, which was won by Neptunus 7-4, after 2 2/3 inning. In the same season, Cordemans also won his first big league-game and that also happened to be against Pirates and came on July 3 when he started and threw five innings. Pitching the last two innings for Pirates in that game was Dirk van 't Klooster, who later became a longtime teammate of Cordemans at Neptunus.

In a statement, Cordemans said: ,,L&D Amsterdam is a fine club. The team has a good mix of experience and young talent. Besides this, it has an extra dimension for me personally to play again for Charles Urbanus. He was my coach when I made my debut in the big league in 1994.'' Urbanus reacted: ,,For coming season, we added several young talented to the team. For that reason, we wanted to have a very experienced pitching staff. With the addition of Cordemans we succeeded in that.''


...Rob Cordemans during Haarlem Baseball Week 2008...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
On June 7, 1995, Cordemans made his debut in the Dutch National Team during an exhibition game and went on the become a solid starter, appearing in numerous international events. With the Dutch squad, Cordemans participated in four Olympic Games (Atlanta, 1996; Sydney, 2000; Athens, 2004; Beijing, 2008) and in both editions of the World Baseball Classics (2006, 2009), but also six European Championships (1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007), six World Championships (1998, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009) and four Intercontinental Cups (1995, 1999, 2002, 2006). Last month, by participating in his sixth World Cup, Cordemans became only the third player in history to have participated in six World Cups and six European Championships. The others are outfielder Marcel Joost, who also has a 6-6 combination, and pitcher Bart Volkerijk, who played in nine Europeans and seven Worlds. This year, Cordemans broke another record of Volkerijk, as he became the pitcher with the most games pitched in the Dutch national team. Volkerijk was recordholder with 71, but Cordemans now has 74. During the recent World Championships, Cordemans was one of several players, who were decorated by the Dutch Federation with a Merit of Honor for reaching a mark. During the council meeting earlier this year, it was decided that all players (baseball and softball), who reached the 100 (position players) or 50 (pitchers) game mark in the national team will receive the honor. Players who reach the 200-level will be named Honorary Member.

Career Stats Rob Cordemans
YrGW-LINNSOERA
199461-019.1183.72
1995177-483844.12
1996166-378.1834.60
1997124-353.1573.54
1998107-070.1732.43
19991614-2981062.20
2000148-493942.71
20011714-2119.21081.20
20021910-295890.47
20031612-11061060.93
200495-252301.73
20051613-1104.2890.77
2006189-31311271.72
200791-348.2563.88
2008159-094.11120.86
2009136-298.21030.91
Totals223126-321343.213351.97
During the recent World Championships, Cordemans started three games. He was the starter vs. Puerto Rico (5-2 win), Nicaragua (8-4 win) and Canada (11-5 loss). In March, Cordemans threw three games in relief during the World Baseball Classic, including in both victories against the Dominican Republic.

This season, Cordemans was 6-2 with an 0.91 ERA in 13 games for Sparta-Feyenoord, while striking out 103 batters in 98 2/3 inning. The 103 strikeouts are only one shy of league-league Ryan Murphy, who also led the league with an 0.89 ERA. With this, Cordemans sureley will be a candidate again to being named Best Pitcher. He won the award already five times, in 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2008.

Cordemans is the most experienced active pitcher. In his 16 year career, he threw in 223 games, has a record of 126-32 and struckout 1335 batters in 1343 2/3 inning. His career ERA is only 1.97. While these stats are impressive, it is not close yet to the yet unbreakable records, which were set between 1974 and 1996 by Bart Volkerijk. The righthander, who played his entire career for ADO, threw in 332 games, won 150 games and struckout 1948 batters in his 21 seasons in the big league. Twice in his career, Cordemans won 14 games (1999, 2001) and five times, he finished a season with an ERA under 1.00, including the last two seasons. In his 16 seasons on the big level, Cordemans had only one losing season, as he went 1-3 after returning from Taiwan in 2007. In two seasons, he went undefeated, going 7-0 in 1998 and 9-0 in 2008. Cordemans had an impressing period from 2001-2003 when he was 36-5 in the three seasons combined, struckout 303 batterrs and had an 0.90 ERA.

Coincidentally, the announcement of his transfer was made on the 19th, which also happened to be Cordemans' uniform number. He wore the number during his years at Neptunus and ADO, but had to swith to a new number, while playing for Sparta-Feyenoord, as pitcher Rudy Seebus wore number 19 there. Cordemans doubled the number and wore 38 in 2008. After Seebus left after the 2008 season, Cordemans kept on playing with 38 this year. At Pirates, Cordemans will not be able to return to his old number, as 19 is a retired number and belongs to Rikkert Faneyte. Pirates has two other retired numbers, 5 (Ronald Stoovelaar) and 35 (Peter van Erk). For the record, number 38 is available in Amsterdam.
(October 19)


Netherlands remains sixth on world rankings
Nederlands
LAUSANNE (Switzerland) - The International BAseball Federation (IBAF) released its newest world rankings in baseball on Monday. The USA moved up from the fourth place to the second place, thanks to winning the gold medal in the AA/16 under World Youth Championships and the Baseball World Cup. With this, the USA moved head of Korea and Japan. Cuba remains in first place.

The Netherlands remains in sixth place on the list. The Netherlands Antilles moved from the 29th to the 24th position, while Aruba dropped from 39th to 52nd. Italy moved from the no. 15 to 12 on the list, while Germany made the top-20, moving from the number 23 spot. Belgium was added for the first time and ranks in 34th place. There are currently 75 countries listed on the World Rankings. The Netherlands is the highest ranking European country. Europe has 34 countries listed in the rankings, followed by Asia (14), the Americas (16), Africa (6) and Oceania (5). At the moment, 125 countries are member of the IBAF.

With the newest rankings, the IBAF also introduced several tournaments from the last four years that were not originally taken into consideration for earlier World Rankings. These events include the continental pre-qualifying tournaments and invitational events like the 2007 Good Luck Beijing Tournament, the 2007 and 2009 Asian Baseball Cup (qualifiers for the Asian Championships) and the 2006 and 2008 European Championship Qualifiers (qualifiers for the European Championships). The World Cup 2005 has been replaced by the 2009 edition, while the 2005 Youth Championships also was replaced on the list by the 2009 edition. By adding or replacing these events, 22 national baseball teams were added to the list. All the tournaments meet the criteria of events which the IBAF considers for ranking points. The Ranking were first published in January 2009 and are based on a point total which IBAF member federations earn from IBAF-sanctioned events in a four-year window, or a period of time that encompasses two IBAF Baseball World Cups. Teams earn points based on their finish in an event with a winner getting 50 points, second place 40, third place 30 and fourth place 15. From there, points are divided evenly among the remaining teams. The awarded points are then multiplied by a number based on the strength of the event. Major tournaments like the Olympic Games, World Cup and the World Baseball Classic all receive 4x multipliers. Minor tournaments have a 1x multiplier, while all other considered events receive multipliers based on how many teams in the top-10 of the rankings compete in the event.

IBAF Baseball Rankings as on October 19, 2009
CRPRCountryRanking PointsCRPRCountryRanking Points
11Cuba1159.683933Myanmar9.50
24USA1051.3240nrIreland8.49
33Japan912.074148Austria8.14
42Korea850.764233American Samoa7.50
55Chinese Taipei561.63 33Ghana7.50
66Netherlands405.33 nrSri Lanka7.50
78Canada360.194549Lithuania7.00
87Mexico353.754644Ukraine6.69
99Venezuela298.864738Virgin Islands5.00
1010Puerto Rico231.3948nrBelarus4.78
1111Australia211.2449nrSlovakia4.75
1215Italy166.0050nrSlovenia4.35
1313Dominican Republic135.6851nrPoland4.28
1414Nicaragua117.495239Aruba4.25
1516China102.0053nrSwitzerland4.12
1612Panama92.325441Fiji3.75
1718Spain67.38 41Zimbabwe3.75
1817Thailand63.3856nrRomania3.38
1919Philippines62.335743Guatemala3.25
2023Germany48.385845Malaysia2.25
2125Great Britain45.7659nrIsrael2.09
2224Czech Republic44.916045Lesotho2.00
2321South Africa40.0561nrFinland1.93
2429Netherlands Antilles34.936247Bahamas1.75
2540Croatia34.1963nrBulgaria1.72
2627Indonesia28.5064nrGeorgia1.42
2732Russia23.456551Cambodia1.38
2836France21.6366nrPortugal1.36
2926Sweden19.0767nrHungary1.17
3037Hong Kong17.9268nrSan Marino0.83
3149Pakistan14.7569nrSerbia0.62
3228Palau12.5070nrNorway0.54
3322Colombia12.0071nrMalta0.44
34nrBelgium10.9672nrCameroon0.25
3520Brazil10.50 nrLatvia0.25
36nrGreece10.00 51Samoa0.25
30New Caledonia10.00 nrTurkey0.25
30Nigeria10.00
CR=current ranking; PR=previous ranking; nr=not ranked

(October 19)


Charles Urbanus new Head Coach Amsterdam Pirates
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Charles Urbanus will succeed Rikkert Faneyte as the new Head Coach of L&D Amsterdam Pirates. The naming of Urbanus was confirmed on Monday-evening. It will be the second time for Urbanus to lead the Amsterdam-squad, as he also was the Head Coach in 1995-1997 when the team played in the First Division. Faneyte stepped down on September 17, after an evaluation led to the conclusion that the chemistry between the former Major League-player and the team was gone. By accepting the post, Charles Urbanus will return to the highest division as a Head Coach after 14 years, as he last coached in the big league in 1994, his last season with Neptunus.


...Charles Urbanus while throwing...
...the ceremonial first pitch...
...before the World Cup-game...
...Netherlands vs. South Korea...
...in Amsterdam last month...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
During the World Championships last month, Amsterdam Chairman John Witte stated in an interview that Rod Delmonico, the Manager of the Dutch National Baseball Team, was on his wish-list as successor of Faneyte. However, the Dutch Federation, as well as Technical Director Robert Eenhoorn, made it clear quickly that that was not possible, as a dual position of being national team manager and clubcoach was not a option. Due to agreements, including with the NOC*NSF, topcoaches have to be working fulltime and solely for a national team.

,,I needed some time to take the decision'', Urbanus reacted Monday-evening on his appointment. ,,After having a talk with the team and of course also with my family and at my work, I finally took the decision last Sunday. I'm really looking forward to it'', said Urbanus, who has yet to take a decision on his coaching and supporting staff. Some young, talented players from the Pirates Rookie Team will be added to the roster and will get their chance next season.

Charles Urbanus can look back to an impressive career, as he was without any doubt one of the best all-round players in the seventies and eighties in the Dutch Majors. Besides that, he comes from a family which is linked to baseball since the forties of the last century. Urbanus made his debut in the highest division in 1971 when he was playing for OVVO in Amsterdam. At the same club his father Han Urbanus was the leading pitcher from 1947-1970, setting a record back then of being the only player to have played in the highest division in four different decades and also setting a record by playing in 24 big league-seasons. Both records were long thought to be unbreakable, but records are meant to be broken. In 2000, Marcel Joost and Marcel Kruyt became the second and third player with four decades in the highest league, while René Rijst played in his 27th big league season in 2008 and might add another one next year. This season, Rijst played in the First Division for Almere '90, which will return to the big league in 2010. Besides his father Han, Charles' uncle Charles Urbanus (Sr.) also played for OVVO, but he became more known for his coaching, which he did at both OVVO and the Dutch National Team in the sixties. Johan Urbanus, the younger brother of Charles (Jr.), pitched briefly in the big league for Amstel Tijgers. This season, Nick Urbanus, the son of Charles Jr., played in his first big league-game for Pirates and also made his debut in the Dutch National Team during the World Port Tournament. With that, it marked the first time that three generations have played in the national squad: Han, Charles and Nick.


...Three generations...
...Han, Nick and Charles Urbanus...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Charles Urbanus played in the Dutch big league for OVVO (1971-1976) and Amstel Tijgers (1978-1986), both in Amsterdam. In 15 seasons, he appeared in 465 games, collecting 659 basehits, including 65 homeruns and finishing with a career .379 batting average. In 1977, Urbanus also played for Amstel Tijgers, which then played in the First Division after having separated from OVVO. While he initially was primarily a pitcher, he later became a regular second baseman. As a pitcher, Urbanus was 76-36 and struckout 878 batters, earning him the title of Best Pitcher three times. He was the league MVP twice.

From 1972-1986, Urbanus played in the Dutch National Team, participating in five World Championships and six European Championships, amongst other international events. In those years, he set a record by appearing in 131 games, a record which was eventually broken by Marcel Joost.

After concluding his playing career in 1986, he became the Head Coach of the softball-team of Terrasvogels in 1987-1988. In 1988, he also was one of the coaches of the Dutch National Junior Team. From 1989-1991, Urbanus was a member of the National Team's coaching staff of then-Manager Jim Stoeckel and returned to that role in 2000 when Pat Murphy became the new Manager. In that year, Urbanus also was the interim-Head Coach when the Dutch Team played five games against the national team of Taiwan and won two of them. In 1991, Urbanus became the Head Coach of Neptunus and stayed there until the 1994 season, guiding the Rotterdam-squad to the Play-Offs in each year. In his first season as Head Coach in the Dutch big league, Urbanus led Neptunus to the Dutch title, as he did in 1993. In 1995, Urbanus took over at Pirates from Louis Hofer, who last season was one of the assistants of Rikkert Faneyte. Urbanus coached three years in Amsterdam when the club played in the First Division after having relegated in 1994. In 1997, Urbanus led Pirates to the title and promotion back to the big league. In the last nine years, Urbanus coached the second team of Pirates (Boekaniers/Bucs), as well as several youth teams. Last year and this season, he was the Head Coach of the Amsterdam Pirates Rookie Team, which whom he won the Dutch championship two years in a row. Urbanus' record as big league coach is 105-54 with four ties. Earlier this year, Urbanus was awarded the Merit of Honor by the Dutch Federation.
(October 5)


Van den Hurk finishes season with win
Nederlands

...Rick van den Hurk throwing during...
...the World Baseball Classic in March...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (USA) - Dutch Major League-pitcher Rick van den Hurk closed his season on Friday-evening with a strong outing, as he started and earned the win against National League East champion Philadelphia Phillies. The righthander threw six strong innings and Jorge Cantu had three RBI's to lead the Florida Marlins to a 7-2 victory. With the win, the Marlins are now tied for second place in the National League East with the Atlanta Braves. While the four National League-teams for the Play-Offs are known, it is still undecided who will have home-field advantage and how the pairings will look. The Play-Offs open next Wednesday.

At Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, which was filled with 45.135 spectators, the Marlins took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a 2-run single by Jorge Cantu. The Phillies came alongside in its first at bat when Ryan Howard hit a 2-run homerun, his 44th of the season, but that would be the lone runs Van den Hurk allowed. The Marlins re-took the lead immediately by scoring two runs in the second inning on back-to-back RBI-doubles by Chris Coghlan and Cameron Maybin with two outs. After adding a run in the seventh inning, the Marlins increased the lead to 7-2 by adding two runs in the eighth inning on a sacrifice fly by Jorge Cantu and a single by John Baker. Cantu now has 99 runs batted in so far this season.

For Rick van den Hurk, the outing was a strong finish of his season, which started with an elbow inflammation. The 24-year old pitcher participated with the Dutch National Team in the World Baseball Classic, then returned to Spring Training, but started the season in the minor league due to his injury. He was recalled again in July, then started on the 20th of that month vs. the San Diego Padres, throwing six innings and being the winning pitcher. Since then, he became part of the starting rotation of Manager Fredi Gonzalez and threw every fifth or sixth day. The win on Friday was his first since being the winning pitcher on August 10 against the Houston Astros, but the Marlins had won the last five games in which Van den Hurk had started. This was his third start in a row in which he threw six complete innings.

This season, Rick van den Hurk started 11 games and finished with a 3-2 record and a 4.30 ERA. In 58 2/3 inning, he struckout 49 batters, walked only 21 and gave up 57 hits and 29 runs.

Van den Hurk's games in 2009:
July 20: vs. San Diego Padres (6 innings, winning pitcher); July 25: vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (5 inn., no decision); July 30: vs. Atlanta Braves (6 inn., no decision); August 5: vs. Washington Nationals (4 inn., losing pitcher); August 10: vs. Houston Astros (5 inn., winning pitcher); August 16: vs. Colorado Rockies (5 2/3 inn., losing pitcher); September 2: vs. Atlanta Braves (5 inn., no decision); September 8: vs. New York Mets (4 inn., no decision); September 18: vs. Cincinnati Reds (6 inn., no decision); September 23: vs. Philadelphia Phillies (6 inn., no decision); October 2: vs. Philadelphia Phillies (6 inn., winning pitcher).
(October 3)


Monti Van Brunt new coach Tex Town Tigers
Nederlands

...Monti Van Brunt...
...new baseball coach TTT...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - Monti Van Brunt has been named Coach of the baseball-team of Tex Town Tigers, effective October 1, the club announced. Van Brunt will share the position with current coach Lindner de Lima, who led the team to seventh place in the First Division this season. Since playing in the First Division in 2007, Tex Town Tigers has finished in the lower half of the rankings, but it wants to climb up the ladder.

Besides acting as the team's coach, the 32 year old American also will be the technical coordinator of the entire baseball department (including youth) of Tex Town Tigers. In a press release, the club states that ,,with his knowledge and vision in the sport, he will be capable of making a plan for the coming years and put that into effect, to elevate the growing baseball division of the club to a higher level''.

Monti Van Brunt is not a stranger to the club, as he was the Head Coach of the women softball team in 2007 and 2008. Last year, he led Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers to the Dutch national title for the first time in club history, which earned him the title of Coach of the Year. This year, Van Brunt was the Head Coach of Legnano in the Italian big league, but was less succesfull, as the team was unable to both defend the Italian title as well as the European Cup, which it had both won the year before.

Van Brunt started his baseball career as a catcher playing for university teams in Idaho and Salt Lake City. He then played briefly professionally in the rookie league-teams of the New York Mets and Anaheim Angels. In 1997, Van Brunt started to combine playing baseball with coaching High School softball-teams in Pocatello (Idado) and Salt Lake City. After having worked for Major League Baseball International, he coached youth teams in Utah and Arizona and went on to be the hitting and bench coach of the national softball team of China to further develop the sport there. Besides that, Van Brunt was the baseball coach of the International School of Beijing and was the commissioner of the Beijing Softball League.
(October 2)


USA wins title; De Jong, Statia in All Star Team

...Team USA celebrates winning the world title...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Nederlands
NETTUNO (Italy) - USA repeated as World Champion by winning 10-5 in the final on Sunday-afternoon vs. Cuba. Two years ago, the two teams also faced each other in the final when the event took place in Taiwan. Back then, the USA also defeated the Cubans to break their longtime dominance. After the game, the team and individual awards were handed out. Sidney de Jong and Hainley Statia were named to the Tournament All Star Team as catcher and short stop, just like they did two years ago. Justin Smoak of the USA was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Sidney de Jong and Hainley Statia were not in the stadium to receive their awards, as the Dutch Team got back into their hotel at 3:30 PM, returning from Sicily after Friday's game there. As the hotel is about one hour away from the stadium in Nettuno, it had no use to go there, so the team stayed in its hotel.

After being retired in order (including two strikeouts) in the first inning by Norge Luis Vera, Team USA scored three runs in the second at bat. With one out, Terry Tiffee singled and Josh Kroeger reached on an error, then Lucas May followed with a 3-run homerun, before Vera struckout the next two batters again. Cuba, which got on base only twice in the first three innings, came back with two runs in the fourth inning. In the first, USA-starter Cory Luebke struckout the first two batters he faced, but then gave up singles to Michel Enriquez and Alfredo Despaigne, before ending the inning on a comeback-grounder. In the fourth, Luebke gave up three consecutive singles to start the at bat. Enriquez and Despaigne singled again, then the bases got loaded when Frederich Cepeda this time also singled. Enriquez then scored on a sac-fly by Yulieski Gourriel and Despaigne crossed home plate when Ariel Pestano singled with two outs.


...Disappointments in the Cuban dug-out...
...At left is Manager Ernesto Lombillo Pena; At right is Team Doctor...
...Toni Castro, the son of former President Fidel Castro...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The USA got one run back when Tug Hulett homered with one out in the fifth inning, but then Cuba came alongside in the sixth off Brad Lincoln, who had taken over for Luebke in the fifth inning. With one out in the sixth, Frederich Cepeda reached on an infield-hit and scored when Ariel Borrero homered with two outs.

The all-professional American squad then decided the game with a 6-run rally with two outs in the seventh inning in which Cuban Manager Ernesto Lombillo Pena sent four different pitchers to the mound. Starter Norge Luis Vera retired the first two batters, but then walked Tug Hulett and gave up a double to Buck Coats. Vera was relieved by veteran Pedro Luis Lazo, but this time the big righthander was unable to dominate, as he gave up three consecutive singles. Trevor Plouffe reached on an infield-hit that scored Hulett, then Justin Smoak and Jon Weber followed with RBI-singles. Lazo was relieved by Miguel Gonzalez, another experience hurler, but he also faced only three batters, who all singled. Terry Tiffee, Josh Kroeger and Lucas May all hit RBI-singles to increase the lead to 10-4. Gonzalez was relieved by Freddy Alvarez, who finally was able to end the inning when the next batter fouled out.

In the home of the eighth, Cuba scored its fifth run when Alfred Despaigne homered with one out. For Despaigne, this was his eleventh homerun of the event, setting a new record. Cuban reliever Freddy Alvarez retired all seven batters he faced after taking over in the seventh, one on a great play by short stop Yorbis Borroto (who had just entered the game), but Brad Lincoln and the USA experienced some tense moments in the ninth. With one out, pinch-hitter Yoennis Cespedes singled, but was forced out on a grounder by Leonis Martin. Next, the bases got loaded when Lincoln gave up a single to Hector Olivera and walked Michel Enriquez. Lincoln was replaced by Nate Field, who had to face powerhitter Alfredo Despaigne with the bases loaded. And again Despaigne drove the ball into deep leftfield. A homerun would have narrowed the deficit to only 10-9, but leftfielder Jon Weber caught the ball against the fence to end the game.
(September 27)

Final Standings:
1. USA, 2. Cuba, 3. Canada, 4. Puerto Rico, 5. Australia, 6. Netherlands, 7. Venezuela, 8, Taiwan, 9. South Korea, 10. Japan, 11. Mexico, 12. Spain, 13. Nicaragua, 14. Italy, 15. Great Britain, 16. Netherlands Antilles, 17. Germany, 18. Croatia, 19. Sweden, 20. Czech Republic, 21. South Africa, 22. China.

Individual Awards:
Most Valuable Player: Justin Smoak (USA). Best Hitter: Paco Figaroa (Spanje). Best Pitcher (ERA): Matt Kniginyzky (Canada). Best Pitcher (W-L record): Todd Redmond (USA). Most Runs Batted In: René Reyes (Venezuela). Most Homeruns: Alfredo Despaigne (Cuba). Most Stolen Bases: Paco Figueroa (Spanje). Most Runs Scored: René Tosoni (Canada). Best Defensive Player: Angel Sanchez (Puerto Rico).

All Star Team:
Starting Pitcher: Norge Luis Vera (Cuba). Relief Pitcher: Trystan Magnuson (Canada). Catcher: Sidney de Jong (Netherlands). First Base: Justin Smoak (USA). Second Base: Hector Olivera (Cuba). Third Baseman: Shawn Bowman (Canada). Short Stop: Hainley Statia (Netherlands). Outfielders: Alfredo Despaigne (Cuba), José Abreu (Cuba), Jon Weber (USA). Designated Hitter: Terry Tiffee (USA).

You can find more of the World Cup Baseball in the Internet-magazine Playball Journal (in Dutch)


Dutch finish in sixth place after loss vs. Australia
Nederlands
MESSINA, Sicily (Italy) - On Saturday-afternoon, the Dutch National Baseball Team flew back to Sicily, where it initially rained. However, the rain wasn't threatening the game, so in the evening, the Dutch Team faced Australia for the second time this week and that also meant that the rumor, which started to get around after Friday's game, that Australia wasn't willing to play after its long busride back from Chieti to Nettuno, indeed remained just a rumor. With the loss, the Dutch Team finished this World Cup in sixth place. Looking back to the previous two World Cups, 2005 in the Netherlands and 2007 in Taiwan, the Dutch Team both finished in fourth place, meaning this result can be labeled as disappointing, especially since the Dutch even had chances of reaching the final this time. But that all ended in the last three days and started with the first loss vs. Australia, which came after the long travel back from the first trip Sicily. After that loss, the Dutch also lost vs. Canada and then things started to get difficult to reach both the final and the bronze medal-game. On Friday-evening, it all ended with the loss vs. the USA. The Dutch Team will back to the mainland again on Sunday-morning to be in Nettuno for the final game between the USA and Cuba. On Saturday-evening, Canada defeated Puerto Rico, 6-2, to win the bronze medal, while Venezuela 6-3 vs. Taiwan to finish in seventh place.

On a brighter note, there also was a record-tying performance, as Raily Legito entered the ninth inning as a pinch-hitter in his 206th official international game for the Dutch squad, therefore tying recordholder Dirk van 't Klooster, who became the recordholder in 2007.

While lefthander Alexander Smit was initially named as the starting pitcher for tonight's game, as confirmed by Manager Rod Delmonico after the game vs. the Americans, Leon Boyd instead started. No explanation was available for the change in starting pitchers. There were also changes in the starting line-up as opposed to the previous games, as Rod Delmonico already had suggested he might do after completion of the game vs. the USA. Dashenko Ricardo did the catching instead of Sidney de Jong, Yurendell de Caster, the regular third baseman, now was at first base instead of Randall Simon, Mariekson Gregorius played at third base and Sharnol Adriana was the designated hitter instead of Raily Legito. Simon and Legito entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, but De Jong didn't play tonight.


...Mariekson Gregorius...
...2 Hits, 1 Run...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Leon Boyd started the game by giving up a lead-off single to Nicholas Kimpton, but then struckout the next batter. However, Boyd then hit Chris Snelling with a pitch and (after Kimpton had stolen third base) gave up an RBI-single to Luke Hughes. The Dutch defense avoided more runs by turning a double play on a grounder by next batter Stefan Welch.

In the third inning, the Aussies threatened again off Boyd getting the bases loaded. With one out, Boyd hit a batter and walked the next. He then struckout another batter, but loaded the bases by walking Luke Hughes. This time, it was Australia that left the bases loaded, as Boyd ended the inning by striking out Stefan Welch.

After the first five Dutch batters were retired in order, Sharlon Schoop doubled with two outs in the second inning, but stranded at second base. In the third, the Dutch came alongside on three consecutive singles. With one out, Mariekson Gregorius singled, as did next batter Eugène Kingsale. Gregorius then scored when Hainley Statia also singled, but the inning ended when Yurendell de Caster followed with a double play-grounder.

In the fifth inning, the Dutch Team turned its second double play of the game. Arshwin Asjes had taken over the pitching for Boyd, started with a strikeout, but then gave up a single, which was followed by the double play. In the home of the fifth, the Dutch left the base loaded. Again. With two outs, Mariekson Gregorius hit his second single, as did next batter Eugène Kingsale and the bases got loaded when Hainley Statia walked. But the inning ended when Yurendell de Caster hit a force play-grounder.

Australia regained the lead in the seventh inning with two runs off Asjes, who also gave up several runs in his previous outings. With one out, he walked Andrew Graham, then gave up a single to James Beresford, which was followed by a throwing error to third base, enabling Graham to score and Beresford to reach third base. Beresford then scored on a following grounder by Nicholas Kimpton to make it 3-1. Australia added its fourth run in the eighth inning when new pitcher Dennis Neuman gave up a 2-out homerun to Stefan Welch.

In the eighth Dutch at bat, Hainley Statia singled with one out off new pitcher Dushan Ruzic, but then Yurendell de Caster grounded into a double play for the second time this game. In the ninth, Kenley Jansen became the fourth Dutch pitcher and struckout three batters. But he also gave up a lead-off single, then walked a batter with one out, before finishing with two more strikeouts. In the home of the ninth, Curt Smith led off with a double. Randall Simon then was brought in as a pinch-hitter, but popped out. Next, Sharlon Schoop was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second base. Raily Legito then entered his record-tying international 206th game as a pinch-hitter, but struckout. A flyout by Dashenko Ricardo followed to end the game.
(September 26)

You can find more of the World Cup Baseball in the Internet-magazine Playball Journal (in Dutch)


Dutch to play for 5th place on Sicily
Nederlands
NETTUNO (Italy) - The Dutch National Baseball Team will fly back to Sicily on Saturday-morning to face Australia in Messina in the evening, playing for fifth and sixth place. That was the outcome of the games played on Friday-evening. For the Dutch Team to reach either the Final or the Bronze Medal-game was still a possibility when it started playing against reigning world champion USA. The Dutch could have clinched a spot in the Bronze Medal-game directly by winning vs. the USA, but in all other scenario's, whether is would be the final or playing for bronze, is also needed help from other teams. But it all ended on Friday-evening. Moments before the game of the Dutch vs. USA ended, Puerto Rico finished its game against Australia in Chieti, winning 4-2 and by doing so more or less sealed the deal for the Dutch, who at that moment were trailing 8-2 in the ninth with one out. Of course, anything is possible and the Dutch could gave turned around the game in its favor that late in the game, but shortly after, the Dutch game also ended, meaning they finished in third place in its pool. As a result, the team has to travel to Sicily for the second time in four days. The Dutch Team opened the third round of the World Cup on Tuesday in Messina, then flew to Rome on Wednesday and traveled by bus to Grosseto to play there in the evening vs. Australia and on Thursday-evening vs. Canada. This morning, the team took a 3-hour bus-ride to Nettuno for the game against the USA and now the team has to fly back to Sicily again on Saturday-afternoon. On Sunday-morning, the team will return again to Rome and travel to Nettuno to attend the Final there on Sunday-afternoon. On Monday-morning, the team then flies back home.


...Short stop Hainley Statia participated...
...in all three Dutch double plays...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
After completion of tonight's game, a rumor started to spread around that Australia was considering not playing on Saturday-evening in Messina, as they had to travel four hours by bus back to Nettuno after completion of their game in Chieti. The team would probably return back in the hotel around 2 AM at the earliest, then has to wake up early for departure to the airport for the flight to Catania on Sicily. Sounds familiar? Hey, the Dutch Team did exactly the same. After completion of their game on Tuesday in Messina, the team also arrived back in the hotel late, had a short night's rest, woke up early for the ride to the airport and had a long travel day, before arriving in Grosseto to play against.....Australia! And lost that game (also because of the exhausting travel day), which now might be a very crucial game (and result) for the Dutch team. But as of midnight on Friday, the game still stand as scheduled to be played in Messina on Saturday-evening.

A homerun by Ike Davis in the second inning off starter Diegomar Markwell gave the USA an early 1-0 lead, but that would be the lone run of the game for five innings. In these five at bats, Markwell got some great support from his defense, which turned three double plays in the first four innings. After the Americans left the bases loaded in the fourth inning, they rallied for six runs on four hits in the sixth to take a decisive lead. Josh Kroeger led off with a double, but then two nice defensive plays followed, as short stop Hainley Statia caught a line drive hit by Ike Davis and third baseman Yurendell de Caster made a great play on a grounder by Lucas May.

...1B Randall Simon ends the 4th inning with the bases loaded...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
First baseman Randall Simon also showed nice things, including eliminating the batter at first base while half lying/half sitting on the ground to end the fourth inning with the bases loaded. But then, with two outs, the American rally began. The bases got loaded when Markwell walked Pedro Alvarez and hit Tug Hulett with a pitch. Buck Coats followed with a single that produced two runs. The bases were then loaded again when Daniel Descalso also walked. This time, Justin Smoak followed with a 2-run single, which was followed by a throwing error to home from leftfielder Curt Smith, which led to another run and enabled Smoak to advance to second base. Markwell was relieved by David Bergman, who started with a wild pitch that brought Smoak to third base, who then scored when Jon Weber singled, before Bergman ended the at bat with a strikeout.

In the meantime, the Dutch offense was limited to only one basehit, an one-out single by Yurendell de Caster in the first inning. In the second and fourth inning, Sharlon Schoop reached on an error and in between, the Dutch got the bases loaded in the third on a throwing error and two walks, but the three runners all were left behind. After Schoop had reached on an error in the fourth, USA-starter Kasey Kiker retired the next eight batters in a row, before being relieved by Geno Espineli in the seventh. The lefthander then gave up three Dutch hits and also the two Dutch runs. With one out, Espineli gave up a single to Danny Rombley and then Hainley Statia followed with an RBI-double. After Kingsale grounded out, Statia scored on a single by Yurendell de Caster, who had two of the five Dutch hits. In the eighth inning, Curt Smith added a double with one out, but would be the last Dutch runner in the game.

After David Bergman ended the sixh inning with a strikeout, he added two more in the seventh, but then gave up a lead-off triple by Tug Hulett in the eighth. Hulett then scored on a sacrifice fly by Buck Coats, which came after he had hit a foul ball right into a light behind home plate. After the debris of the light were removed, Coats hit his sac-fly that made it 8-2. Moments later, the lights also dimmed for the Dutch.
(September 25)

You can find more of the World Cup Baseball in the Internet-magazine Playball Journal (in Dutch)


Dutch eliminated for final?

...Photographer Henk Seppen and Webmaster...
...Marco Stoovelaar took a break in the action...
...on Thursday-morning, drove to Pisa...
...and visited the famous Leaning Tower...
(© Photo: Henk & Marco)
Nederlands
GROSSETO (Italy) - The Dutch National Baseball Team on Thursday-evening was leading 4-0 at one moment and 5-2 at another vs. Canada en route to an important victory in the final round of the World Cup. Important, because Cuba was losing to the USA (which they eventually did) at the same time. A Dutch win and a Cuban loss would have meant that the Dutch Team was still in the race for a spot in the all-deciding for which reigning champion USA already qualified. But, in the end, it all went wrong for the Dutch squad. A homerun not only gave Canada a 6-5 lead, the team even went on to add a 5-run rally to defeat the Dutch 11-5.

With the loss, the road to the final for the Dutch Team becomes a difficult one, but is in theory still possible. But every scenario has some holes in it. The only way to reach to the final is that Cuba has to be defeated on Friday-evening, while both the Dutch and Puerto Rico have to win. In that case, the three will end up in a 3-way tie, just as they did after the second round, meaning the Dutch will finish again in first place, followed by Puerto Rico and Cuba. The scenario to qualify for the Bronze Medal-game also has some holes. In case, Cuba wins, for the Dutch to finish in second place in its pool and therefore qualify for the Bronze Medal-game, is that they have to defeat the USA on Friday-evening. When they don't, the only other possibility in that case to reach the Bronze-game is a loss for Puerto Rico vs. Australia. When the Dutch Team finishes in third place in its pool, it has to return to Messina on Sicily again to play there on Saturday-evening for the fifth and sixth place. And so, in a few days everything suddenly changes from a possible medal-place to maybe nothing. It also underscores how important the 5-2 loss on Wednesday-evening vs. Australia was, which came after a long and tiresome travel day back from Sicily. It also underscores that the format which is used in the final round in Italy, with its several different playing sites, isn't working. This marks the fourth time that a World Championship is held in Italy and everytime, it stages games in different locations. In 1978, there were only three, but ten years later, in 1988, it had expanded to eleven cities, resulting in the event being nicknamed 'The Tour of Italy'. In 1998, one group played its games in the preliminary round on Sicily, the other in the Grosseto-area, where the finals also were played. This year, the Italian organisors stages games in 17 different locations in the second and third round combined, leading to several complaints and logistical problems, such as the late arrival (without some personal luggage) of the Dutch squad in the Grosseto stadium for its game against Australia and the arrival (without equipment) of Chinese Taipei in Nettuno, leading to a delay of one hour and 15 minutes of its game against Cuba. Both the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei, who met on Tuesday in Messina (Sicily), it had been a long day of travel and both teams lost in the evening.


...Starting pitcher Rob Cordemans...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Initially, the game started well for the Dutch with a 4-run rally in the second to take a comfortable early lead. In the second, Sidney de Jong and Curt Smith led off with singles, then moved on a sacrifice bunt by Bryan Engelhardt. A grounder by Sharlon Schoop then enabled De Jong to score the first run. Next, Danny Rombley walked and then Hainley Statia followed with a deep double into leftfield to produce two runs and raise the lead to 3-0. Statia scored himself moments later when Eugène Kingsale also doubled.

Dutch starter Rob Cordemans, who gave up a lead-off single in the first inning, but then retired six batters in a row, gave up two runs in the third inning. With one out, he gave up a single to Chris Robinson and then a 2-run homerun to Jonathan Malo, which narrowed the deficit for the Canadians to 4-2. Hereafter, two more hits followed, hit by Adam Stern and Rene Tosoni, but on the last hit, Stern was thrown out at third base on a strong throw by rightfielder Eugène Kingsale. The Dutch got one run back in the fifth at bat. Eugène Kingsale led off with a walk and advanced on a single by Yurendell de Caster, which led to a pitching change. But then Kingsale moved to third on a flyout by Randall Simon and scored on a grounder by Sidney de Jong. It was the last Dutch run to be scored.

Canada got two more runs on the board in the sixth on a 2-out, 2-run single by Adam Loewen. Hereafter, Rob Cordemans was relieved by Arshwin Asjes, who ended the at bat with a groundout, but then ran into problems in the next inning. Three (professional) pitchers then were unable to hold onto the Dutch lead and let the game slip away. First, Asjes hit lead-off batter Jonathan Malo with a pitch and then, with two outs, he gave up a 2-run homerun to Shawn Bowman that Canada its first lead of the evening, 6-5. Last Sunday, in the game vs. Cuba in Rotterdam, Asjes hurt his arm, went to a hospital in the evening, but eventually was cleared to throw again this week by the medical staff. After giving up a double, Asjes was relieved by Dennis Neuman, who ended the inning with a flyout. In the eighth, Neuman was relieved by Juan Carlos Sulbaran, who faced only three batters. Sulbaran was greeted with a triple by Brett Lawrie, who then scored when Adam Loewen followed with a double. After next batter Chris Robinson reached on an infield-hit, Sulbaran was relieved by Kenley Jansen, but he also couldn't prevent the Canadians from scoring more runs. Jansen started with a walk to load the bases, then a force out at home followed. Next, Jansen issued another walk with the bases loaded and hit the next batter to bring in two more runs. An infield-hit and sacrifice fly added two more runs and lifted the Canadian lead to 11-5, before a strikeout finally ended the at bat.

Trailing 11-5, the Dutch Team was beaten and was retired in order in the top of the ninth to end the game and its chances of reaching the World Cup Final.
(September 24)


...3B Yurendell de Caster is ready to tag out runner Adam Stern...
...who tried to reach third base on a single by Rene Tosoni in the third inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

You can find more of the third day of the third round in the Internet-magazine Playball Journal (in Dutch)


Dutch loss after long travel day
Nederlands
GROSSETO (Italy) - The Dutch National Baseball Team on Wednesday-evening lost 5-2 to Australia after it had traveled around almost the entire day getting back from Sicily to the mainland of Italy. The Dutch Team arrived shortly after 7 PM in the stadium in Grosseto, with the game set to start less than an hour later. On the other hand, Taiwan, which also got back from Sicily after playing against the Dutch on Tuesday-evening, also arrived late for their game in Nettuno vs. Cuba, but oddly enough that match-up started one hour and 15 minutes later than scheduled (9:15 PM), while the Dutch game started at its scheduled game of 8:00 PM. With the loss, a place in the final on Sunday became smaller, but hey, everything is still possible in the last two days of the final round.


...Cheerleaders entertain the fans...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The game against Taiwan on Tuesday-evening lasted almost three hours, so after getting back to the hotel in Catania (which is an hour ride) and having a meal, the players went to bed late and had a short night rest, as they had to wake up early for the flight back to Rome today. But then, things started to get wrong. The plane-flight from Catania to Rome left an hour later than scheduled, meaning the team arrived in the Italian capital in the early afternoon. At the airport in Rome, several pieces of luggage were missing. After waiting for more than an hour, the team (without the missing luggage) left for the hotel in Grosseto, which was a two hour bus-ride. There, it arrived around 4:30 PM only to learn that the list with the room-arrangements was missing at the reception, despite the fact that it was sent to the reception. In the end, Technical Director Robert Eenhoorn penned down all names by hand himself and the finally everyone was able to go to his room. After a quick shower and dinner, everyone had to dress up again for the game, but then the bus for the stadium left at 6:30 PM, which was the scheduled time for the Dutch Team to start batting practice. Finally, the tired players arrived somewhat after 7 o'clock on the field and the long day of travel showed during the game, as the team wasn't as sharp as it was in the previous games. On the other hand, Australia, which also played in Grosseto the previous night, had a relaxed day and of course showed up in time to start their preparations for the game against the Dutch.

Initially, the first five innings were a pitching-duel between Dutch starter Tom Stuifbergen and Australian starter Liam Hendriks, who by the way is listed as an outfielder on the official published roster. Stuifbergen saw six Aussies reach base, including two on lead-off singles in the first and second inning, while Hendriks also gave up only two hits (an one-out single by Curt Smith in the second and a 2-out infield-hit by Eugène Kingsale in the third), but they also accounted for the lone Dutch baserunners in the first six innings. In the end, pitching changes influenced the final score.


...Luke Hughes is greeted after his second homerun...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Stuifbergen was relieved by David Bergman in the sixth inning. He walked lead-off hitter Chris Snelling and then gave up a 2-run homerun to Luke Hughes, which gave Australia the lead, before three flyouts ended the at bat. Australia brought in a new pitcher in the seventh and brought in two more in the same at bat, as things appeared to go wrong for the Aussies. New pitcher Paul Mildren was greeted with a single by Randall Simon and quickly was replaced by Brendan Wise, who then walked Sidney de Jong, but followed with a strikeout on Curt Smith. Hereafter, Wise was replaced by Adam Bright, who then gave up a possible double play-grounder to pinch-hitter Bryan Engelhardt. But a throwing error followed to bring in Simon, but then Sharlon Schoop grounded into a double play to end the inning. In the home of the seventh, Bergman retired the side.

In the eighth at bat, the Dutch came alongside. With two outs, Eugène Kingsale walked and Yurendell de Caster reached on an infield-hit. Next, Randall Simon singled to bring in Kingsale and tie the score. It also brought in new pitcher Matthew Williams, but then Sidney de Jong grounded out, leaving two runners. In the home of the eighth, Australia got back on top right away. Dennis Neuman was brought in to replace Bergman and ran into problems immediately. Lead-off hitter Brad Harman reached third base on two throwing errors, then scored on a wild pitch, which also was the fourth ball for Chris Snelling. Next, Luke Hughes hit his second homerun of the game to make it 5-2, before three flyouts followed. In the ninth, Bryan Engelhardt singled with one out, but then the game ended when Sharlon Schoop grounded into a double play again. Schoop went 0-for-4 tonight, ending his 8-game hitting streak.
(September 23)

You can find more of the second day of the third round in the Internet-magazine Playball Journal (in Dutch)


IN MEMORIAM


...Jim Sieval...
(1952 - 2009)

Former National Team player Jim Sieval passed away
Nederlands
HAARLEM (Neth.) - Former national team player Jim Sieval unexpectedly passed away on Tuesday, 19 days after he celebrated his 57th birthday. A private memorial service was held on Monday, September 28.
On Saturday, September 26, a moment of silence was observed to remember Sieval before the start of a game, played by a team compiled of former national team-players, which participated in the annual so-called Third Series, at the site of Amsterdam Pirates.

Sieval played in the Dutch Major League in the seventies and eighties and was one of the best defensive middle infielders, playing primarily at short. Initially, he was a pitcher and as such he made his debut in the big league in 1974, playing for Haarlem-based Schoten. There he played together with Harm Horeman, with whom he went to Amstel Tijgers in Amsterdam after the 1977 season. During the 1977 season, Sieval set two records as a pitcher, which still stand, throwing the most Complete Games (20) and registering the most Innings Pitched (206 1/3). At Amstel Tijgers, Sieval became the regular short stop and there he formed a great defensive trio with third baseman Harm Horeman and second baseman Charles Urbanus, winning the Dutch title two times. In 1978, Sieval was named the league's Most Valuable Player. In the last year of his career, 1986, Sieval played one season for Haarlem Nicols.

Sieval made his debut in the National Team during the European Championships of 1973 in Haarlem and went on to play more than 50 games for the national squad, with whom he won the European title in 1973 and 1981. In 1981, the Dutch Team was managed by Jim Stoeckel, who currently is the Pitching Coach of the national team. In the Dutch big league as well as in the national team, Sieval, who was a contacthitter, not only was known for his defensive skills, but also for his speed running the bases.
(September 23)


Dutch Team opens third round with big win vs. Taiwan
Nederlands
MESSINA, Sicily (Italy) - The Dutch National Baseball Team opened the third round of the World Cup with a big 11-2 victory against Taiwan. With the win, the Dutch Team is now 29-28 overall vs. the Asian squad with one tie. The 11-2 victory is the biggest vs. Taiwan since it won 20-3 on July 15, 1983 during the Intercontinental Cup in Antwerp (Belgium), which back then was the first-ever win by the Dutch vs. Taiwan. It was the tenth time the countries met during a World Championship and this was the fourth (and biggest) win by the Dutch. Two years ago, the Dutch beat the Asian squad 6-3 in eleven innings when the event was held in Taiwan. The Dutch Team also won vs. Taiwan during the World Cups in 1984 (Cuba) and 1986 (Netherlands). For the Dutch Team, Messina is already a historic place, as it was there in 1998 when the team secured a spot in the World Cup Play-Offs for the first time ever. Two current players of the Dutch Team also were playing in the national squad back then: pitcher Rob Cordemans and then-infielder Danny Rombley. In 1998, the entire World Cup was held in Italy. There was one negative thing to say of this game, the Dutch failed to end the game in the seventh inning with a 10-run difference, as Taiwan scored its second run in the top of the seventh to avoid a mercy-rule loss.


...Randall Simon...
...3 hits, 2 runs, 3 RBI's...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Dutch Team started well in the first at bat when Randall Simon doubled after the first two batters had struckout. Moments later, he scored the first run when Sharnol Adriana walked with the bases loaded. Taiwan got the run back immediately in the second inning when starter Alexander Smit gave up a lead-off homerun to Hung-Yu Lin. The Dutch reacted right away by scoring three runs in the home of the at bat. With one out, Hainley Statia tripled, then the bases got loaded when Eugène Kingsale and Yurendell de Caster walked. Next, Randall Simon connected for a 2-run single to renew the Dutch lead, followed by an RBI-single by Sidney de Jong, but for the second time in two innings, three runners stranded. Randall Simon led the team by going 3-for-4, scoring twice and collecting three RBI's. Sharnol Adriana also had three RBI's, while Sidney de Jong had two hits and two RBI's.

The Dutch Team then took command of the game with a 2-out, 7-run, 8-hit rally in the fifth off Chen-Hua Lin, who had just entered the game for starter Wen-Yang Liao. Sharlon Schoop led off with a double, then Danny Rombley was hit by a pitch and the two advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Hainley Statia. After Eugène Kingsale struckout, Yurendell de Caster (RBI-infield-hit), Randall Simon (1-run single), Sidney de Jong (1-run single), Curt Smith (1-run double), Sharnol Adriana (2-run single), Sharlon Schoop (single) and Danny Rombley (1-run single) followed with seven concecutive basehits to increase the lead to 11-1. Hereafter, finally a pitching change was made and new hurler Wang-Yi Lin ended the inning. Sharlon Schoop singled and doubled in the inning.


...Dushan Ruzic...
...3-hitter...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the meantime, Alexander Smit did a fine job and gave up only four hits in six innings, while striking out six. In the seventh, leading 11-1 and needing three outs for the 10-run difference win, Leon Boyd took over the pitching. However, as he did in the second round, Boyd gave up some hits and eventually a run. With one out, the bases were loaded on two singles and a walk, then a grounder resulted only in a force out at second base, but Taiwan scored to make it 11-2. A line drive by Hung-Yu Lin was then caught by 1B Randall Simon to avoid more runs. Nick Veltkamp threw the remaining two innings for the Dutch Team, which was unable to regain a 10-run lead, meaning the game had to go over nine innings after all, but it was a great way to start the final round of the World Cup for the Dutch squad. Both teams turned two double plays in the last three innings.

The Dutch Team will face Australia on Wednesday-evening in Grosseto. There, Australia lost 2-1 to Cuba on Tuesday, thanks to a first inning 2-run by Alfredo Despaigne off starter Dushan Ruzic, who throws for Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus. Ruzic, who went the distance, threw a strong game, giving upo only three hits. The game in Grosseto was played in front of some 200 fans and was interrupted for almost an hour after seven complete innings, due to a lightfailure. In one of the centerfield light poles, two sets of light suddenly went on black, resulting in a protest by Australian Manager Jon Deeble and discussions between the two managers, the umpire crew and members of the technical committee. Earlier in the day, it rained, resulting in a abbreviated preparation for both teams, but the games started in time (but without the playing of the national anthems). Between innings, the spectators were entertained by cheerleaders on the roofs of the dug-outs. At Nettuno, it also had rained and there, the game between Puerto Rico and Canada started an hour later. It also had rained and thundered earlier in the day at Messina and Catania (where the Dutch Team stayed), as it also had done on Monday after the Dutch had arrived on Sicily. Before the game could start in Messina, some work had to be done to some soft spots on the field, as it was only completed for World Cup-games the day before! But the game started on time and was watched by about 100 spectators.
(September 22)

You can find more of the first day of the third round in the Internet-magazine Playball Journal (in Dutch)



...Rikkert Faneyte...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Faneyte steps down at Amsterdam
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Head Coach Rikkert Faneyte and L&D Amsterdam Pirates has separated, the club announced on Thursday.

Faneyte, who played in the Major League for the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers, ended his second season at the helm of Pirates this year, reaching the Play-Offs. In this semi-final, Amsterdam was eliminated and dethroned by Konic Minolta Pioniers. Last year, Faneyte, in his rookie year, guided Amsterdam to its first championship title in 19 years, which earned him the Coach of the Year Award. In March of this year, Amsterdam qualified for the Final Four of the European Cup-competition, but in June, it didn't perform well in Barcelona and finished in a disappointing fourth and last place.

In a press release it was stated that after evaluating this season, the board of the club and Faneyte decided to end their cooperation. ,,It was a tough and difficult season'', Chairman John Witte said. ,,The goals were accomplished, so it wasn't because of the results, despite the fact that we would liked to have won a prize. After the evaluation we concluded that the chemics between the team and Faneyte was no longer there.''

Witte couldn't name possible candidates yet to succeed Faneyte. Witte: ,,It is difficult to replace a baseball icon like Faneyte, but finding a good successor is having our highest priority.''
(September 17)


Third win for Dutch Team
Nederlands
HAARLEM (Neth.) - In a cold Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem, the Dutch National Baseball Team on Wednesday-evening won its third game in a row, beating Spain 10-5 in the second round of the World Cup.

The Dutch Team struck early, scoring two runs in the first and rallying for seven in the second at bat. Leading 9-0, it appeared that the game would end prematurely because of a 10-run difference, but it didn't come that far. The Dutch added only one more run, while Spain scored five of its own, making it a 3-hour-plus game in cold weather. Former National Team Player and Manager Jan-Dick Leurs threw out the ceremonial first pitch after he was officially inducted moments before into the Dutch Hall of Fame.

In the first inning, Eugène Kingsale led off with a triple and scored on a double by Yurendell de Caster, who then scored himself on a grounder by Sidney de Jong. In the second inning, the Dutch produced seven runs on seven hits to increase the lead to 9-0, highlighted by doubles by Danny Rombley, Yurendell de Caster and Raily Legito. The remaining run was scored in the eighth inning when Hainley Statia scored on a double by Kingsale, who was 3-for-4.

Spain scored its five runs in the third and fourth inning. In the fourth, pitchers Juan Carlos Sulbaran and Nick Veltkamp contributed with four walks. The latter took over for Sulbaran with the bases loaded and started with a walk. After striking out the next batter, a single by Emmanuel Febles gave Spain two more runs. Veltkamp was relieved by Arshwin Asjes, who retired seven batters in a row and was credited with the win. Diegomar Markwell earned a save by throwing the last three innings.
(September 16)

Go for the complete recap and round-up of the third day to the Internet-magazine Playball Journal (in Dutch)


Dutch also win second game

...Dominating starter Rob Cordemans...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - The Dutch National Baseball Team on Monday-evening also won its second game of the second round of the World Cup, beating the all-professional team of Puerto Rico 5-2. This, combined with a surprising 8-1 victory by Spain vs. Venezuela, means qualification for the Final Round (to be held next week in Italy) is coming closer. The Dutch Team plays its next game on Wednesday-evening (7 PM) vs. Spain at Haarlem.

The game started 48 minutes later than scheduled, due to rain and lasted more than three hours, as Puerto Rico came back in the ninth inning to threaten the until then-comfortable Dutch lead.

The Dutch team opened the score in the second inning when Curt Smith reached on an error and scored on a 2-out double by Hainley Statia. The lead was increased to 4-0 thanks to a 2-out, 3-run rally in the fifth at bat. Randall Simon then led off with a walk and advanced on a grounder. Simon then raced home on a single by Curt Smith to make it 2-0. Next, Sharlon Schoop tripled in Smith and scored himself on a wild pitch after a pitching change. In the seventh, the Dutch added an insurance run. Sharlon Schoop, who was 3-for-4 (and earlier hit his second triple in two days), led off with a double, moved on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an infield-hit by Eugène Kingsale.

In the meantime, Dutch pitchers Rob Cordemans (5 innings), David Bergman (2 innings) and Kenley Jansen (1 inning) held Puerto Rico to only four basehits and got fine support (again) from their defense. But in the ninth inning, Puerto Rico sudddenly came to live and threatened the 5-0 lead of the Dutch Team, which used four pitchers in this at bat. New pitcher Leon Boyd walked lead-off hitter Miguel Abreu (who stole second), then gave up an RBI-single to Alex Cintron. After a strikeout, Boyd gave up a double to Irvin Falu and was relieved by Arshwin Asjes, who loaded the bases by walking pinch-hitter Raul Casanova. Asjes was relieved by Nick Veltkamp, who started by striking out Miguel Negron, but then walked Major League-veteran (16 seasons) José Valentin to bring in another run. Hereafter, Manager Rod Delmonico returned to the mound and he brought in Dennis Neuman. Neuman then ended when Luis Matos lined out to centerfield and earned his second save.
(September 14)

Go for the complete recap and round-up of the second day to the Internet-magazine Playball Journal (in Dutch)


Dutch come from behind to defeat Korea
Nederlands

...3B Coach Wim Martinus greets Sidney de Jong...
...after his 3-run homerun in the 8th inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The Dutch Baseball Team on Sunday-afternoon turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 victory vs. Olympic champion South Korea, thanks to a 3-run homerun by Sidney de Jong in the eighth inning. For the Dutch, this was their first game in the second round of the World Cup. On Monday-evening, the Dutch face Puerto Rico at 7:00 PM in Rotterdam.

After the Dutch left the bases loaded in the second inning, Korea rallied for two runs in the third at bat. The Dutch got one run back in the fourth when Raily Legito scored on a triple by Sharlon Schoop, but two more runners stranded.

In the eighth, Yurendell de Caster led off with a double, then Randall Simon singled to mark the end for good-throwing starting pitcher Ji-Woong Yoon. Reliever Kyung-Eun Noh then faced Sidney de Jong, who hit his second delivery over the rightfield-fence for a 3-run homerun and a 4-2 lead.

In the fifth, Dutch starter Tom Stuifbergen was relieved by Diegomar Markwell, who did an outstanding job. After giving up a double, the lefthander retired the next ten batters in order. Dennis Neuman threw the ninth inning to earn a save.
(September 13)

Go for the complete recap and round-up of the first day to the Internet-magazine Playball Journal (in Dutch)


World Cup Roster Dutch Team announced
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - After returning back to their hotel in Rotterdam on Saturday-afternoon, the players who participated in the European Baseball Series were informed about the roster for the World Cup, which opens for the Dutch on Sunday, September 13 at Amsterdam, starting at 3:00 PM. In the evening, Manager Rod Delmonico announced the names of the 24 players who made the World Cup-roster.

P Berry van Driel, P Kevin Heijstek, P Michiel van Kampen, P Nick Stuifbergen, C Martijn Meeuwis, IF Michael Duursma, IF Vince Rooi and OF Bas de Jong, who all participated in the European Baseball Series, didn't made the final roster. Also left off the roster is Pitcher Loek van Mil, who was listed on the preliminary roster for the European Series, but didn't play and also wasn't part of the team. Due to an injury to his right-arm, it was decided not to put him on the World Cup-roster to avoid taking any risks. Last year, Van Mil left the team a few days before the start of the Olympic Games also because of an arm-injury. The selected P Kenley Jansen, IF Yurendell de Caster, IF Sharlon Schoop and IF Hainley Statia were also part of the EBS-roster, but didn't play because of club-commitments in the USA. P Tom Stuifbergen, also chosen, was part of the team during the EBS, but didn't pitch.

The 24-man World Cup roster looks as follows:

Pitchers (11):
Arshwin Asjes (Midwest Sliders, independent), David Bergman, Nick Veltkamp (both Corendon Kinheim), Leon Boyd (Toronto Blue Jays-org.), Rob Cordemans (Sparta-Feyenoord), Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers-org.), Diegomar Markwell (DOOR Neptunus), Dennis Neuman (Boston Red Sox-org.), Alexander Smit, Juan Carlos Sulbaran (both Cincinnati Reds-org.) and Tom Stuifbergen (Minnesota Twins-org.).

Catchers (2):
Sidney de Jong (L&D Amsterdam Pirates) and Dashenko Ricardo (Baltimore Orioles-org.).

Infielders (7):
Sharnol Adriana, Raily Legito (both DOOR Neptunus), Yurendell de Caster (New York Yankees-org.), Mariekson Gregorius (Cincinnati Reds-org.), Sharlon Schoop (San Francisco Giants-org.), Randall Simon (Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, independent) and Hainley Statia (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-org.).

Outfielders (4):
Bryan Engelhardt, Danny Rombley (both Corendon Kinheim), Eugène Kingsale (DOOR Neptunus) and Curt Smith (St. Louis Cardinals-org.).

Coaching Staff:
Rod Delmonico (Manager), Ben Thijssen (1B Coach), Wim Martinus (3B Coach) and Jim Stoeckel (Pitching Coach).

Supporting Staff:
Rob Tamminga (Physical Therapist), Martijn van Berkel (Physical Therapist), Ton Meiresonne (Equipment Manager), Ton Hofstede (Team Manager), Robert Eenhoorn (General Manager) and Loet van Schellebeek (Media Officer).

(September 12)


Dutch beaten; Italy wins European Baseball Series
Nederlands
RAVENNA (Italy) - The Dutch Baseball Team on Friday was beaten 6-4 by Italy, which therefore won the second edition of the European Baseball Series, 2-1 with one tie. The first edition was won 3-2 by the Dutch Team in 2006. Game Four was played in Ravenna, where some 200 spectators attended in the Stadio Comunale, which is located outside the city in the middle of nowhere, but the field conditions were very good, as was the hospitality of the local organisors. After completion of the game, the Dutch Team was presented a barbeque to close the series. By the way, it was another warm, but also humid, day in Italy. The Dutch Team will fly back to Brussels (Belgium) on Saturday-afternoon and travel from there to Rotterdam. In the evening, the final 24-man roster for the World Cup will be announced. In the meantime, Infielders Yurendell de Caster, Sharlon Schoop and Hainley Statia have arrived in Rotterdam, meaning they will be part of the 24-man roster.

The Dutch Team got the bases loaded with one out in the first inning, but (again) didn't score. They also left the bases loaded in the first and second game on two occasions. Eugène Kingsale led off with a bunt-single. After Raily Legito struckout, then the bases got loaded when Randall Simon singled and Sidney de Jong walked. But then Bryan Engelhardt fouled out and Curt Smith struckout.

After Italy stranded two runners in the first inning, it struck with two runs in the second at bat. Dutch starter Alexander Smit first gave up an infield-hit to Juan Carlos Infante, who he then picked off from first base. While Infante was on his way to the dug-out, he was awarded second base as 1B Umpire Sergio Leanza called a balk. Next batter Leonardo Zileri then followed with a triple, scoring Infante. Zileri himself then scored on an one-out single by Andrea De Santis to make it 2-0.

The Dutch Team got one run back in the third inning. Italian starter Matteo D'Angelo walked lead-off hitter Raily Legito, who then advanced on a single by Randall Simon and scored on a single by Sidney de Jong. The inning then ended when Bryan Engelhardt flied out and Curt Smith grounded into a double play.

In the bottom of the third, Italy got runners on second and third with one out when Juan Pablo Angrisano singled and Mario Chiarini doubled, but Alexander Smit then struckout next batter Dean Rovinelli and the inning ended when Juan Carlos Infante flied out. In the fourth, Bas de Jong led off for the Dutch with a walk issued by new pitcher Luca Panerati. Next, Vince Rooi struckout, but the Dutch got runners on first and second when Mariekson Gregorius reached on a bunt-single. But a flyout and a force play-grounder ended the at bat.

Italy added another run in the fourth inning. Leonardi Zileri led off with his second triple in the game and scored on a sacrifice fly by next batter Luca Serafin de Camargo. In the fifth inning, Italy took a decisive 6-1 lead with a 3-run rally off new pitcher Leon Boyd, who made his professional debut this season in the organization of the Toronto Blue Jays. After Boyd struckout Davide Dallospedale, the Canadian-born righthander gave up a double to Juan Pablo Angrisano, which was followed by a grounder for the second out. But then Dean Rovinelli singled in Angrisano and scored himself when Juan Carlos Infante tripled. Moments later, Infante scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-1. In the next two innings, Ashwin Asjes threw two scoreless innings, then Michiel van Kampen closed the game for the Dutch.

In the sixth inning, the Dutch missed coming back to 6-4 by inches. First, Curt Smith and Bas de Jong led off with walks. Pitcher Luca Panerati then was replaced by Franklin Torres, who retired Vince Rooi on a flyout and was replaced by Christopher Cooper. The new pitcher saw Mariekson Gregorius ground out, but then gave up a deep fly to Eugène Kingsale, which was caught by leftfielder Leonardo Zileri just above the yellow-mark on the outfield-fence. When the ball would have hit the fence above the yellow line, it would have been a 3-run homerun, but now it ended the inning.

The Dutch Team got back on the board in the last two at bats. In the eighth inning, new pitcher Junior Oberto was greeted with a single by Curt Smith, an RBI-triple by Bas de Jong and an RBI-single by Vince Rooi. A double play and a flyout ended the inning, but in the ninth Raily Legito led off with a homerun off new pitcher Riccardo De Santis. But hereafter, De Santis struckout Sharnol Adriana and then got two first pitch-grounders from Dashenko Ricardo and Danny Rombley to end the game.
(September 11)


Dutch even European Series
Nederlands
GODO (Italy) - The Dutch Baseball Team on Thursday-evening won Game Three of the European Baseball Series vs. Italy, 6-3, to even the Series at 1-1 with one tie. The fourth and last game will be played on Friday-afternoon at Ravenna. Game Three was played in the city of Godo and was attended by some 400 spectators.

The Dutch team was off to a good start by immediately scoring twice in the first inning. With one out, Raily Legito singled, then former Major Leaguer Randall Simon followed with a 2-run homerun off starter Tiago Da Silva. Italy got one run back in the third inning. Dutch starter Juan Carlos Sulbaran walked lead-off batter Francesco Imperiali, who then advanced on an one-out infield-hit by Filippo Crociati. The two runners advanced on a grounder by Leonardo Zileri, then a wild pitche enable Imperiali to score the first Italian run.

The Dutch team reached base only once from the second through fourth at bat and after Simon's homerun, 11 of the next 12 batters were retired. In the fifth, Mariekson Gregorius led off with an infield-hit, but then Martijn Meeuwis (who had just entered the game) grounded into a double play. The inning ended when next batter Michael Duursma lined out to centerfield.

The Dutch broke open the game with a 4-run rally in the sixth inning. Facing new pitcher Alessandro Ularetti, Eugène Kingsale and Raily Legito led off with singles to put runners on first and third base. After Legito stole second base, Kingsale scored when Randall Simon followed with a sacrifice fly. Legito advanced to third on the throw to home, then Sidney de Jong walked, putting runners at the corners again. Curt Smith (who had taken over in leftfield the inning before) then reached on an infield-hit, which enabled Legito to score. It marked the end for Ularetti, who was replaced by Matteo Pizziconi, but he loaded the bases by walking Sharnol Adriana. Next, Mariekson Gregorius grounded to third baseman Francesco Imperiali, who threw to home for the force out, but that ended up in a throwing error and two more Dutch runs to make it 6-1. Pizziconi then recovered and ended the inning by striking out Martijn Meeuwis and Michael Duursma.

Italy added a run in its sixth at bat when Juan Carlos Infante led off with a homerun off Dennis Neuman, who had taken over the pitching for Juan Carlos Sulbaran in the previous inning. With one out, Neuman walked Juan Pablo Angrisano, then gave up a double to Dean Rovinelli, but the two runners stranded, as the next batter grounded out and Neuman ended with a strikeout. In the seventh, Italy got the bases loaded off new pitcher Nick Stuifbergen, who walked the first two batters he faced. Next, a force play-grounder followed towards short stop Mariekson Gregorius, who threw the ball to second base, appearing to be in time to force out Filippo Crociati, but he was ruled safe by the Italian umpire. With the bases loaded and no outs, next batter Juan Carlos Infante then lined out to Gregorius, who completed a double play and the inning then ended when a grounder followed.

In the home of the ninth inning, Italy was able to add one more run off Nick Veltkamp, who took over for Nick Stuifbergen with a runner of first base in the eighth inning. In the ninth, the lefthander gave up a lead-off double to Francesco Imperiali, who then moved on a wild pitch and scored on an one-out grounder by Filippo Crociati, but then the game ended when veteran Davide Dallospedale also grounded out.
(September 10)


Dutch Team beaten by Italy in Game Two
Nederlands
EINDHOVEN (Neth.) - The Dutch National Baseball Team on Wednesday-evening lost Game Two of the European Baseball Series 1-0 to Italy. After completion of the game, the team traveled to Belgian capital Brussels where it will stay overnight. From there, the Dutch Team flies to Italy on Friday-morning, where the next games will be played on Thursday- and Friday-evening.


...The game in Eindhoven also was well visited despite some drizzling rain...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Dutch starting pitcher David Bergman dominated for three innings, as he retired nine batters in a row, including three with a strikeout. After retiring his tenth consecutive batter to start the fourth inning, Davide Dallospedale became the first Italian to reach base, as he singled. The veteran then advanced to third base on a double by Jairo Ramos Gizzi, but he was then eliminated at the plate trying to score on a grounder to third by Mario Chiarini. A force play-grounder by Francesco Imperiali ended the at bat.

In the fifth, Italy got two more runners, but Bergman added a strikeout and gave up no runs. Bergman was relieved by Kevin Heijstek in the sixth inning. The righthander gave up a lead-off single to Joseph Mazzuca, who then tried to stretch it into a double, but was thrown out at second base on a great throw by leftfielder Curt Smith, who had just entered the game. The lone Italian run was then scored in the seventh inning when Francesco Imperiali led off with a double, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Luca Serafin de Camargo. In the eighth, Berry van Driel became the third Dutch pitcher, gave up two hits, but no more additional runs.

The Dutch team stranded a runner on third base in the second and third inning, then got the bases loaded with one out in the sixth, but then a force play at home followed and another one at second base ended the at bat. In the second inning, Bryan Engelhardt doubled with one out and moved to third on a grounder by Sharnol Adriana, but was left there when next batter Danny Rombley struckout. In the third, it was Mariekson Gregorius who doubled with one out and then advanced on a grounder by Eugène Kingsale. This time, the inning ended when Raily Legito flied out. In the sixth, Mariekson Gregorius led off with an infield-hit, followed by a single by Eugène Kingsale. The two then advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Raily Legito. Next, the bases were loaded when Randall Simon received an intentional pass. But no runs were scored, as Gregorius was forced out at home on a comeback grounder by Dashenko Ricardo, who then was forced out himself on a grounder by Curt Smith.

In the eighth, the Dutch were close to their first run again. With one out, Eugène Kingsale walked and advanced to third base on a failed pick-off. After a pitching change, Raily Legito struckout, then Randall Simon was walked intentionally again and then the inning ended when pinch-hitter Bas de Jong hit a force play-grounder.
(September 9)


...Umpires Olav Steijger (1B), Jan Maarten Kuipers (HP), Winfried Berkvens (2B)...
...and Henk van der Linde (3B)...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Official Scorers Huub Nelissen, Dieks Bannink, Feiko Drost,...
...Linda Steijger and Rienette van Zetten have a laugh before the game...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Managers Rod Delmonico and Marco Mazzieri...
...meet with the umpires...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Eindhoven's Alderman for Sports Marriët Mitteldorff...
...throws out the ceremonial first pitch...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)


Dutch Team opens European Series vs. Italy with tie
Nederlands
BUSSUM (Neth.) - The opening game of the 2nd European Baseball Series between the national teams of the Netherlands and Italy on Tuesday-evening in Bussum ended in an 1-1 tie in a game which was ended after nine complete innings. Game Two will be played on Wednesday-evening at the site of PSV in Eindhoven, starting at 7:45 PM, then continues with games on Thursday and Friday with two games in Italy.


...Jurjan Koenen with his retired number 12...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Before the game (which was attended by 1200 spectators), the winner of a World Cup T-shirt competition was announced, while former National Team-player Jurjan Koenen was honored by his club Mr. Cocker HCAW, which retired his uniform number 12. HCAW's sponsor and general manager Ron Jaarsma mentioned the accomplishments of Koenen in his 22-year career, which he entirely played for the Bussum-club, setting a record for Most Games Played in the Dutch Major League by One Player for One Club. More on Jurjan Koenen in this previous article

The Dutch Team opened the score in the first inning. Lead-off hitter Eugène Kingsale was hit by a pitch from starting pitcher Marco Grifantini and then stole second base. After Raily Legito walked, Randall Simon followed with a single to load the bases with no outs. But then Sidney de Jong struckout and Bryan Engelhardt followed with a force play-grounder. However, Kingsale scored on the grounder and then the inning ended on another force play-grounder by Sharnol Adriana. While having the bases loaded with no outs to start the game, the run by Kingsale would be the lone one scored by the Dutch in this game.


...Some 1200 spectators attended the game...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
In the second inning, a runner stranded at second base. In the third, Raily Legito led off with a walk, then tried to advance to third base on a wild pitch, but was thrown out there. Next, a great play by short stop Jack Santora followed and later a runner was left at first base. In the fourth, Sharnol Adriana led off with a single, but was eliminated in a double play. With two outs, Vince Rooi and Danny Rombley walked, but this inning ended when Rooi was picked off from second base by the Italian catcher.

In the fifth, the Dutch got the bases loaded with one out. New pitcher Brandon Camardese started with a strikeout, but then gave up a single to Raily Legito, who then advanced on a passed ball. Next, Randall Simon walked and a wild pitch enabled both runners to advanced. Camardese loaded the bases by walking Sidney de Jong intentionally and was replaced by Franklin Torres, who then ended the runscoring threat by striking out pinch-hitter Curt Smith and Sharnol Adriana. In the remaining four innings, three Dutch batters would reach base, one being Randall Simon, who hit a 2-out double in the seventh inning.

Italy got the bases loaded in the second inning off starter Rob Cordemans. With one out, the veteran pitcher gave up a single to Jairo Ramos Gizzi, then hit the next two batters with a pitch. But Cordemans escaped unharmed, as next batter Leonardo Zileri grounded into a double play. In the third, Italy had runners on first and second with one out when the lead runner was caught stealing at third base.

Italy then came alongside in the sixth ining when Juan Pablo Angrisano led off with a homerun off Diegomar Markwell, who took over for Cordemans in the fifth. Hereafter, the Azzuri got two more runners on base when Mario Chiarini and Jairo Ramos Gizzi (with one out) both singled. Two grounders ended the Italian scoring opportunity. In the seventh and eighth inning, Italy got two more runners, but the first was caught stealing in a long rundown, while the second was left behind.

Italy left eight runners behind, the Dutch stranded 11 in this game, which was the debut in the Dutch National Team for infielder Mariekson Gregorius and pitcher Ashwin Asjes.
(September 8)


...The selection of the Dutch National Baseball Team for the European Baseball Series 2009...
...Back row: Physical Therapist Rob Tamminga, Manager Rod Delmonico, 3B Coach Wim Martinus, P Kevin Heijstek...
...P Tom Stuifbergen, OF Eugène Kingsale, P Ashwin Asjes, 1B Sharnol Adriana, OF Bas de Jong, 1B Coach Ben Thijssen...
...P Berry van Driel, P Diegomar Markwell, IF Mariekson Gregorius, IF Vince Rooi, P Juan Carlos Sulbaran...
...Pitching Coach Jim Stoeckel and Physical Therapist Martijn van Berkel...
...Front row: C Dashenko Ricardo, OF Bryan Engelhardt, P Rob Cordemans, P David Bergman, P Nick Stuifbergen...
...OF Danny Rombley, IF Raily Legito, IF Michael Duursma, 1B Randall Simon, OF Curt Smith, C Sidney de Jong...
...C Martijn Meeuwis, P Nick Veltkamp, P Michiel van Kampen and Bullpen Catcher Mourik Huijser...
...Not pictured are P Leon Boyd, IF Yurendell de Caster, C Kenly Jansen, P Loek van Mil, P Dennis Neuman...
...IF Sharlon Schoop, P Alexander Smit, IF Hainley Statia (who were all still in the States or traveling)...
...Team Manager Ton Hofstede, Equipment Manager Ton Meiresonne and Media Officer Loet van Schellebeek...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Jurjan Koenen is honored before the game...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)

...A look from centerfield...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)

...Bussum's Mayor Milo Schoenmaker and Alderman...
...Herman Schoon attended the game...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Herman Schoon, Alderman for Sports in Bussum,...
...throws out the ceremonial first pitch...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Umpires Henri van Heijningen (3B), Johan Brandsma (1B)...
...Fred Groenewegen (2B) and Marlo Remilia (HP)...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Off.Scorers Huub Nelissen, Francis Speters, Rienette van Zetten...
...Announcer Dieks Bannink and Sound Operator Huub Baaij...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Short stop Mariekson Gregorius and pitcher Ashwin Asjes, who made their National Team-debut...
(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Juan Pablo Angrisano celebrates...
...after hitting his...
...score-tying homerun in the 6th...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)

...The 7th inning rundown in which Leonardo Zileri...
...was caught stealing 1-3-6-1-4-1-6...
...All four defensive participants are in this shot...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)


Almere wins Promotion/Relegation Series!
Nederlands
ALMERE (Neth.) - Almere Magpies on Monday-evening defeated MediaMonks RCH 5-4 in the fifth and deciding game of the Promotion/Relegation Series. RCH had taken an early 2-0 lead on a homerun by Derick Francisca and was leading 4-3 in the fifth inning, but in the end it could hold onto the lead. Veteran René Rijst again closed the game for Almere to earn his third save of the series.

With the win, First Division-champion Almere is entitled to promote to the Dutch big league, while RCH on the other hand will relegate to the First Division. But this result is far from final, as the Series now will continue with paperwork. A week ago, Almere was informed by the Dutch Federation (KNBSB) that it will not grant a licence to the club in case it would win this series due to financial insecurity. More about this ruling in this story

Almere turned a 2-1 deficit in the Series into a 3-2 win by winning the last two games. When is gets permission to play in the big league it will return to the highest level after a 2-year absence. In 2007, Almere relegated from the Major League to the First Division.


...Almere's Head Coach Marco Wels...
...shouts his team to victory...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
In the fifth and deciding game, it was RCH that appeared to be the favorite to win, as it was leading 4-1 in the fifth inning. In the first inning, with two outs, Almere-starter Kenny van Kampen walked Lex Leijenaar, then gave up a homerun to Derick Francisca. Ricky Daal followed with a double, but then stranded, as next batter Ferd van Stekelenburg flied out. In the second inning, RCH reached base again with two outs. This time, Jaïr Roseburg walked and advanced to third base when Nick Heij followed with a single, but hereafter the inning ended thanks to a great play by third baseman Siegert Flaneur, who forced out Heij at second base on a grounder by Floris Morang. Almere then got one run back in the home of the second inning. Linoy Croes led off with a triple and scored on a following single by Joey Berkenbosch, but Almere failed to add more runs. Berkenbosch stole second and third and then was thrown out at the plate when he tried to score on a hit by Flaneur, which was diverted by pitcher Joran Klarenbeek, turned into a 1-6-2 putout.


...Celebration time after the last putout...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
RCH added a run in the third at bat. Lex Leijenaar led off with a single, which led to a pitching change. Head Coach Marco Wels brought in American Justin Prinstein to relieve Kenny van Kampen, who then gave up a single to Derick Francisca after Leijenaar first had advanced on a passed ball. Next, Francisca stole second and the bases got loaded when Prinstein walked Ricky Daal, but despite having the bases loaded with no outs, only one run was scored. That happened when Leijenaar scored on a sac-fly by Ferd van Stekelenburg. Next, Francisca was eliminated in a rundown between third and home and then the inning ended when Anthony Sandstrom struckout.

RCH increased the lead to 4-1 in next inning. With one out, Jaïr Roseburg walked, moved on a single by Nick Heij, stole third and scored on a grounder by Floris Morang. But there, the scoring for RCH would end, while Almere started to comeback in its fourth and then turned the game in its favor. In the home of the fourth, Joran Klarenbeek hit lead-off batter Joey Berkenbosch and then Churandy La Cruz followed with a 2-run homerun to narrow the deficit to 4-3. In the fifth, Almere came alongside. First, lead-off batter Niels van Weert reached on an error. Klarenbeek was then relieved by Martin Kuipers, but he was greeted with a single by Rhiency Imperator, resulting in another pitching change. Australian Chris Mowday was brought in, but failed to hold onto the lead. He first struckout Giovanni Samboe, but then gave up a single to Linoy Croes that tied the score.


...Closer René Rijst with the last pitch of the game...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
In the remainder of the game, RCH got several runners on base, but was unable to add more runs, thanks to some nice defensive plays, like a catch in centerfield by Wesley Bernardus that ended the fourth inning, a play by 2B Niels van Weert that ended the fifth and a line drive caught by short stop Rhiency Imperator in the sixth at bat. Almere got only one more scoring opportunity and grabbed it. In the seventh inning, Niels van Weert led off with a single, but then was forced out at second base on a grounder by Rhiency Imperator. Next, Giovanni Samboe was hit by a pitch and then the very productive Linoy Croes (who was 3-for-4, scored once and had two RBI's) followed with a double to enable Imperator to score the go-ahead run. Samboe also was waved home, but was thrown out at the plate, but Almere had taken a 5-4 lead.

In the eighth, RCH stranded one runner, then faced veteran closer René Rijst in the ninth inning. After two flyouts, Rijst gave up a single, but then ended the game himself by catching a line drive by Lex Leijenaar.

Did Almere relegate in 2007, for RCH that year was its first in the big league after it had relegated itself in 2002. As a First Divisionist, RCH then qualified for for the promotion pool in 2003, then finished in fifth place in 2004. In 2005, RCH captured the First Division-title, but was swept 3-0 in a best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Series against.......Almere, which therefore remained a big league-team! The next year, 2006, RCH again won the title and then did promote automatically to the big league where it made its comeback in 2007.


...The victory has yet to sink in...
...for Almere's Chairman Fred van Leeuwen...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
This marks the fifth time that RCH relegates from the highest divison. It first played on the highest level in 1938 and then relegated. After promotion, it played in the top again from 1951-1954 and then relegated again, but returned in the 1956 season. However, in that year it relegated again. It then took 40 (!) years before the team returned to the big league, where it made its comeback in 1997. But after six seasons, it regelated in 2002 and came back again in 2007. With the current relegation, RCH closed a disappointing season, which came in its 75th anniversary.

Almere first played in the Dutch big league in 2001, not because of a championship, but because of a merger! In 2000, Amsterdam-based Xanthos (which was a separation of OVVO) finished in ninth and last place in the big league, which had no relegation that season. After the 2000 season, some of the Xanthos-teams returned to OVVO, but the big league-team then merged with Almere '90, which therefore got Xanthos' licence to play in the big league the next year. By the way, in 2000, Marco Wels was the Team Manager of Xanthos and then went on to become the Head Coach of Almere, which he also was this season.

Another merger secured Almere's spot on the national level in 1996. In that season, Almere played in the First Division (which back then was two levels below the big league) and relegated to the Second Division (which had no national status). In 1996, Amsterdam-club De Spartaan played in the so-called 'Overgangsklasse' (a division between the big league and the First Division). However, after that season, De Spartaan left its site at Sportpark Ookmeer (which is the home of Amsterdam Pirates since 2000) to 'move' to Almere where is merged with Almere '90. Because of the status of De Spartaan, Almere didn't relegate, but even went on to play in a higher division in 1997.

When Almere gets the big league-status for next year, it will mark the first time it accomplishes a promotion through a championship title and the winning of a promotion/relegation play-off.
(September 7)

Box Scores
Box Score Game One, Almere vs. RCH, 5-2 (Wednesday, September 2)
Box Score Game Two, RCH vs. Almere, 8-6 (Thursday, September 3)
Box Score Game Three, RCH vs. Almere, 9-2 (Saturday, September 5)
Box Score Game Four, Almere vs. RCH, 7-4 (Sunday, September 6)
Box Score Game Five, Almere vs. RCH, 5-4 (Monday, September 7)


Almere forces fifth game in Promotion Series
Nederlands
ALMERE (Neth.) - On Sunday, First Division champion Almere Magpies forced a fifth and deciding game in the Promotion/Relegation Series vs. MediaMonks RCH, to be played on Monday-evening at Almere, starting at 7:45 PM. On Sunday-afternoon, Almere won Game Four 7-4 to balance the Series at 2-2, but the game also ended in a bench-clearing brawl.


...Moments after the last out in the ninth inning...
...an unnecessary bench-clearing brawl erupted...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
Almere took an early 2-0 lead by scoring runs in the first and second inning. Starting pitcher Sten van de Bedum, who also was the winner in Game One, then gave up a run to RCH in the third inning when Jaïr Roseburg tripled and scored on a single by Nick Heij. However, Almere reacted with four runs in the fourth at bat to take a 6-1 lead, which in the end was too big for RCH to overcome in the remainder of the game. In the fourth, RCH-starter Marek Deska gave up four unearned runs, as two errors contributed. With one out, an Almeran batter reached on an error, then a single followed, but a strikout then would have ended the at bat. But now, with two outs and two runners on, the bases were loaded when Wesley Bernardus walked. Next, the inning could have been over again, but a throwing error on a grounder by Niels van Weert resulted in two runs. Rhiency Imperator followed with a single to bring in two more runs and lift the lead to 6-1.

RCH got one run back in the seventh when Lex Leijenaar tripled and scored on a single by Giovanni Valmont, but Almere added a run in its eighth on another error. In the ninth, RCH narrowed the deficit to 7-4 by scoring two runs, but that was to be all. With one out, veteran René Rijst took over for Sten van de Bedum and earned his second save of the series.

In the ninth, it was the Almere-defense that commited two errors, resulting in two runs. Derick Francisca reached on an error, then Anthony Sandstrom singled, followed by an RBI-single by Lex Leijenaar, scoring Francisca. An error on a grounder by Jaïr Roseburg then enabled Sandstrom to score another run for RCH. But then, with two runners on base, a pop-fly towards third base ended the game. However, at the same moment, as the game ended, a runner of RCH ran into the Almere-third baseman, triggering a bench-clearing brawl. And that was something which was totally unnecessary for this Series, which so far, produced four attractive games, attended by hundreds of spectators. Anyhow, the umpire crew noted the names of three players of both Almere and RCH, while the third base coach of RCH also was booked. On Sunday-evening, it was unclear whether the players involved will be eligible to play in the fifth game on Monday-evening.
(September 6)


...When Almere-starter Sten van de Bedum (left) leaves the mound in the...
...eighth inning, veteran René Rijst takes over and closes the game...
(© Photos: Alfred Cop Fotografie)

...RCH-runner Giovanni Valmont is forced out at second base in the 7th inning...
...by second baseman Niels van Weert, who then flying completes a double play...
(© Photos: Alfred Cop Fotografie)


RCH takes lead in Promotion Series
Nederlands

...Winning Pitcher Dave Draijer...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - MediaMonks RCH has taken a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Series vs. Almere Magpies by winning Game Three 9-2 on Saturday-afternoon. Game Four will be played on Sunday at Almere. When RCH also wins that game, it will secure its spot in the Dutch Major League for next season. When Almere wins, a decisive fifth game will be played next MONDAY-evening.

Veteran pitcher Dave Draijer was the Man-of-the-Match for RCH, as he was a surprise starter and did a great job. The righthander, who turned into a reliever and then a closer in the last years, threw eight complete innings and was relieved when the lead-off batter reached base in the ninth. Ewout Bos then took over, struckout two batters and sealed the victory.

Starting for Almere was American Justin Prinstein, who also started Game Two on Thursday-evening. Two days ago, he threw six-plus innings and left the mound with a 6-4 lead.

...RCH's Head Coach Bernie Beckman...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
However, his relievers were unable to hold the lead and Almere lost 8-6. Today, Prinstein was less successful, as he already had to be relieved in the second inning.

After both teams had scored once in the first inning, RCH struck in the second at bat with a decisive 6-run rally. Lex Leijenaar led off with a single, then Giovanni Valmont followed with a bunt-single. Next, Jaïr Roseburg also singled to bring in Leijenaar and give RCH a 2-1 lead. Valmont then scored on a sacrifice fly by Nick Heij and the third run followed when Floris Morang also singled. This marked the end for Prinstein. He was relieved by Andy Nieuwenhuijse, who started by walking Ricky Daal and then gave up a 3-run homerun to Fred van Stekelenburg, which made it a 7-1 lead. Nieuwenhuijse, a rookie, recovered and went on the throw three scoreless innings, before being relieved in the sixth by Jasper de Heus, another rookie in the Almere-squad.

Both teams then added a run in the sixth inning and RCH scored its final run in the eighth at bat to lift the lead to 9-2. RCH outhit Almere, 10-7.
(September 5)


...Almere takes the lead in the first inning; HP Umpire Johan Brandsma makes the call...
(© Photos: Alfred Cop Fotografie)



...Coaches and players assist to cover the...
...field, but the game rained out...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
Game Three Promotion Series stopped by rain
Nedelands
ALMERE (Neth.) - The third game of the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Series between MediaMonks RCH, the team in last place in the Dutch Major League and First Division champion Almere Magpies, on Friday-evening was stopped in the third inning by heavy rain. At that moment, Almere was leading 2-1.

After a 45-minute delay, the game was canceled and postponed. The game probably will be re-scheduled for next Tuesday-evening, if needed, as it will be the fifth game when it has to be played. The Series continues on Saturday-afternoon in Heemstede, then the fourth game will follow on Sunday in Almere.

Almere had taken the lead thanks to the hitting of Wesley Bernardus, Linoy Croes and Giovanni Samboe, while defensively short stop Rhiency Imperator had showed some nice plays again to support starting pitcher Kenny van Kampen. But in the top of the third inning, the rain became much heavier, resulting in the game being interrupted, delayed and finally being called off.
(September 4)


RCH evens series with late comeback
Nederlands
HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - MediaMonks RCH on Thursday-evening came from behind to defeat Almere Magpies 8-6 in Game Two of the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Play-Off. Game Three will be played on Friday-evening in Almere, with Game Four to be played on Saturday-afternoon in Heemstede.

RCH trailed 6-5 when it scored three runs in the eighth inning to win the game and even the series. Almere took an 1-0 lead in the third inning, but RCH answered with two runs in its own third at bat when Derick Francisca hit a 2-run homerun, then added a run in the fifth when Francisca homered again. However, trailing 3-1, Almere rallied for four runs in the sixth inning to take a 5-3 lead. In the sixth, Rhiency Imperator and Giovanni Samboe led off with singles, then the first scored when a throwing error followed on a grounder by Joey Berkenbosch. Next, a single by Churandy La Cruz enabled Samboe and Berkenbosch to score and give Almere a 4-3 lead, which was increased by a run when another throwing error followed on a grounder by Daniël Zijderveld.

RCH came back with a run in the home of the sixth when Lex Leijenaar doubled, advanced on a single by Jaïr Roseburg and then scored on a grounder by Floris Morang. Almere got the run back in the seventh to make it 6-4 when Niels van Weert singled and scored on a double by Rhiency Imperator. In the home of the seventh, RCH narrowed the deficit to 6-5 when Jerry Breek, who had just taken over the pitching after Jakub Malik walked to lead-off the at bat, walked the next three batters. RCH then decided the game in its favor by scoring three runs in the eighth at bat. Floris Morang led off with a walk, then Ricky Daal reached on a bunt-single, which was followed by a throwing error to put runners on second and third base. Morang then scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Jakub Malik followed with a triple to bring in Daal and give RCH a renewed lead. Malik then scored an insurance run when another wild pitch followed. But in the ninth inning, RCH-pitcher Chris Mowday secured the victory. The Australian went the distance and struckout twelve batters.
(September 3)


Preliminary Roster Dutch Team announced
Nederlands
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Rod Delmonico, the Manager of the Dutch National Baseball Team, has named 33 players to his preliminary roster for the upcoming World Championships, which opens September 9 in five different European countries (Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Spain and Sweden) with the First Round. The Netherlands and Italy already are qualified for the Second Round, as they will organize these rounds. The Dutch and Italian teams will play their first games on Sunday, September 13, which the Dutch opening in Amsterdam. The 33-man roster was announced on Wednesday. Late next week, Delmonico will announce his World Cup-roster, which then has to be brought back to 24 players.

Included in the group of 33 players are 15, who play professionally in American competitions: RHP Arshwin Asjes (Midwest Sliders, Frontier League, Independent), RHP Leon Boyd (New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Double-A, Toronto Blue Jays), RHP Kenley Jansen (Inland Empire 66ers, Single-A Advanced, Los Angeles Dodgers), RHP Loek van Mil (New Britain Rock Cats, Double-A, Minnesota Twins), RHP Dennis Neuman (Lowell Spinners, Single-A Short Season, Boston Red Sox), LHP Alexander Smit (Carolina Mudcats, Double-A, Cincinnati Reds), RHP Tom Stuifbergen (Elizabethton Twins, Rookie League, Minnesota Twins), RHP Juan Carlos Sulbaran (Dayton Dragons, Single-A, Cincinnati Reds), C Dashenko Ricardo (Bluefield Orioles, Rookie League, Baltimore Orioles), IF Yurendell de Caster (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, Triple-A, New York Yankees), IF Mariekson Gregorius (Billings Mustangs, Rookie League, Cincinnati Reds), IF Sharlon Schoop (Connecticut Defenders, Double-A, San Francisco Giants), IF Randall Simon (Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Northern League, Independent), IF Hainley Statia (Arkansas Travelers, Double-A, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and OF Curt Smith (Palm Beach Cardinals, Single-A Advanced, St. Louis Cardinals). Not on the roster are pitcher Jair Jurrjens (Atlanta Braves) and Rick van den Hurk (Florida Marlins), as both are currently on the Major League-roster of their club and therefore are not eligible.

30 of the 33 players will be available for the upcoming 4-game exhibition series vs. Italy, which starts next Tuesday. Kenley Jansen, Loek van Mil and Hainley Statia currently are with their respective clubs, participating in the Play-Offs. On Tuesday, the Dutch and Italian teams meet in Bussum, then play in Eindhoven on Wednesday. Next, two games will be played in Italy, scheduled for Gozo (Thursday) and Ravenna (Friday).

Two players are selected for the first time in the Dutch National Team, being Arshwin Asjes and Mariekson Gregorius. For the latter, however, it will not be the first time that he is involved in Dutch baseball, as his father Didi Gregorius was a longtime pitcher for Amsterdam Pirates, where Mariekson played in youth teams and was bat-boy for the big league-team. All other players played for the Dutch Team before, including some who made their debut during the World Baseball Classic in March of this year, like Jansen, Neuman, Schoop and Smith. Ricardo was a member of the national team during the preparations for the WBC in Florida, but didn't make the final roster. Sulbaran made his debut during the Olympic Games last year in Beijing.

Eight players who were part of the Dutch National Team during the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam in July of this year, are not returning on the preliminary roster. They are IF Jeffrey Arends (DOOR Neptunus), RHP Robin van Doornspeek, IF Mark-Jan Moorman (both Konica Minolta Pioniers), LHP Joey Eijpe (Mr. Cocker HCAW), IF Zaïr Koeiman, IF Nick Urbanus, RHP Pim Walsma (all L&D Amsterdam Pirates) and LHP Jim Ploeger (Almere Magpies). Arends, Eijpe, Koeiman, Moorman, Ploeger and Urbanus all made their national team-debut during the WPT. During this event, Van Doornspeek returned to the squad after a 3-year absence and withdraw from the team himself. Walsma, a closer, was with the national team since early last year.

In the coaching-staff, Ben Thijssen will make his comeback. During the World Baseball Classic, he already was added to the staff. Thijssen will replace Bill Froberg, who is still recovering from a shoulder-injury he sustained during the WPT. Recently, Froberg announced he was leaving the staff, after he agreed to become the new Head Coach of Mr. Cocker HCAW. Another newcomer is Equipment Manager Ton Meiresonne, who is the groundskeeper of big league-team and Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus. Meiresonne succeeds Frans Bergman, who retired after the World Baseball Classic.

The 33-man roster is as follows:

Pitchers (16):
Arshwin Asjes (Midwest Sliders, independent), David Bergman, Michiel van Kampen, Nick Veltkamp (all Corendon Kinheim), Leon Boyd (Toronto Blue Jays-org.), Rob Cordemans (Sparta-Feyenoord), Berry van Driel, Kevin Heijstek, Diegomar Markwell (all DOOR Neptunus), Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers-org.), Loek van Mil, Tom Stuifbergen (both Minnesota Twins-org.), Dennis Neuman (Boston Red Sox-org.), Alexander Smit, Juan Carlos Sulbaran (both Cincinnati Reds-org.) and Nick Stuifbergen (L&D Amsterdam Pirates).

Catchers (3):
Sidney de Jong (L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Martijn Meeuwis (DOOR Neptunus) and Dashenko Ricardo (Baltimore Orioles-org.).

Infielders (9):
Sharnol Adriana, Raily Legito (both DOOR Neptunus), Yurendell de Caster (New York Yankees-org.), Michael Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Mariekson Gregorius (Cincinnati Reds-org.), Vince Rooi (L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Sharlon Schoop (San Francisco Giants-org.), Randall Simon (Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, independent) and Hainley Statia (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim-org.).

Outfielders (5):
Bryan Engelhardt, Danny Rombley (both Corendon Kinheim), Bas de Jong (L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Eugène Kingsale (DOOR Neptunus) and Curt Smith (St. Louis Cardinals-org.).

Coaching Staff:
Rod Delmonico (Manager), Ben Thijssen (1B Coach), Wim Martinus (3B Coach) and Jim Stoeckel (Pitching Coach).

Supporting Staff:
Rob Tamminga (Physical Therapist), Martijn van Berkel (Physical Therapist), Ton Meiresonne (Equipment Manager), Ton Hofstede (Business Manager) and Loet van Schellebeek (Media Officer).

(September 3)


Almere opens series with victory
Nederlands
ALMERE (Neth.) - Less than 24 hours after the Jury of Appeal of the Dutch Federation gave the go-ahead for the playing of the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Play-Off between Almere Magpies and MediaMonk RCH, the Magpies opened the series on Wednesday-evening with a 5-2 victory. Game Two will be played on Thursday-evening (weather permitting) at 7:45 PM in Heemstede. The winner of this series is entitled to play in next years big league. However, a ruling is pending on the situation regarding whether or not a licence will be granted to Almere in case this team wins the series. see complete story


...Winning pitcher Sten van de Bedum...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
Almere set a first step by winning the series opener in front of hundreds of spectators in its home stadium. Initially, it was RCH that appeared to open the score, as it got the bases loaded with two outs in its first inning, but then didn't score. Next, it was Almere that loaded the bases with no outs off starting pitcher Marek Deska. Wesley Bernardus led off with a walk, then Niels van Weert reached on an infield-hit and Rhiency Imperator followed with another walk. A sacrifice fly by Giovanni Samboe then made it 1-0 in Almere's favor. A force play-grounder by Churandy La Cruz (a former RCH-player) followed to increase the lead to 2-0. Deska then got great support from third baseman Reggie Valpoort to end the inning and went on to retire nine of the next ten batters and also escaped the fifth inning unharmed, but then ran into problems again in the sixth.


...Closer René Rijst in lifted in celebration...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
In the meantine, Almere-starter Sten van de Bedum also did a fine job. In the second, third and fourth at bat, he allowed only three batters to reach base, struckout four and got fine support from his defense. The third inning ended with a great play by short stop Rhiency Imperator forcing out a runner on second base, then first baseman Joey Berkenbosch ended the fourth at bat with a fine play. But in the fifth at bat, two errors contributed to RCH's first run. Reggie Valpoort led off with a single, moved on a sac-bunt and an error and scored on another error.

Leading 2-1, Almere increased its lead in the sixth by adding three runs. RCH-starter Marek Deska gave up a lead-off single to Rhiency Imperator, then walked Giovanni Samboe. The two runners advanced after a failed pick-off, then the bases were loaded when Churandy La Cruz also walked. Deska was then relieved by veteran closer Dave Draijer, who saw all three runners score. First, Imperator scored on a wild pitch, then Samboe scored on a single by Linoy Croes and the third run followed in a fielder's choice-situation.

RCH got one run back in the seventh inning. With one out, Jaïr Roseburg singled and moved on a walk and a flyout. It marked the end for Van de Bedum, who was relieved by René Rijst, another veteran reliever, who is the closer for Almere. Rijst first loaded the bases by issueing an intentional walk and then gave up an infield-hit to Derick Francisca (who is a former Almere-player) that scored Roseburg. But hereafter, Rijst, who will turn 46 in October, settled down, did got some baserunners in the eighth inning, but also was supported by his defense and retired the side in the ninth to earn a save and being named Match-of-the-Match. In its last two at bats, Almere was unable to add more runs off Jimmy van der Veldt, who had taken over from Draijer.
(September 2)


No big league licence for Almere, but Series continues
Nederlands
ALMERE (Neth.) - Almere Magpies announced today (September 1) that it will no be granted a licence by the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB) for next season in case of promotion to the highest level. The club was informed about the decision on Monday. Nevertheless, the decisive best-of-five promotion/relegation play-off between Almere, which won the title in the First Division, and MediaMonks RCH, which lost the final series of the Play-Downs in the big league, will start as scheduled on Wednesday-evening, September 2 at Almere.

On August 19, Almere defeated PSV 11-3 to capture the title in the First Dvision, meaning it qualified for the Promotion/Relegation Play-Off against the losing team of the Play-Downs in the big league. In 2007, Almere relegated from the Major League, but by winning the title, it now got the opportunity to return to the highest level. After completion of the regular season in the big league, the four bottom teams had to play a series of Play-Downs to remain in the big league. The two losing teams of the first round in that series faced each other, with the losing team of this second series to be the opponent of the First Division champion. RCH, which finished in last place in the big league, became this team and was scheduled to play the best-of-five against Almere.

The opening game is scheduled for Wednesday-evening September 2 at Almere. Initially, the second and third game were to be played coming week, but the schedule was changed recently with the five games now being scheduled in five consecutive days. Almere protested this, but this remains unchanged, meaning the series will be played (if needed) over five consecutive days, starting on Wedneday. On Thursday, Game Two will be played in Heemstede, then Game 3 follows on Friday-evening in Almere. In the weekend, the fourth and fifth game will be played (if needed) in Heemstede and Almere respectively.

But before the series got underway, Almere was informed by the decision of the KNBSB not to grant the club a licence due to financial insecurity. In the local newspaper Almere Vandaag, Almere Magpies stated today that it handed in their figures of last year, which came after a financial troublesome period in which the club built a considerable debt, which was created a year earlier. Also, the 2008 figures were over the year following its relegation from the big league. The financial situation and the figures handed in for 2010 are not good enough for the KNBSB for a solid base to return to the big league. Almere also stated that it doesn't understand the ruling, as it is recovering from its financial problems.

Almere immediately appealed the decision. The club stated that as the champion of the First Division, it has the right to participate in promotion games, wants to play the series in a normal order (and not five days in a row) and that, when it wins the series, gets the opportunity to come up with a good balanced apply for a licence. On Tuesday-evening, Almere announced that the Jury of Appeal agreed with the club that it has the right to participate in promotion games, meaning the best-of-five will start as scheduled on Wednesday. However, as mentioned, the series will be played in a 5-day period. No decision has yet been taken regarding whether or not a big league-licence will be granted in case Almere wins the series. The KNBSB grants licences to play in the big league, but to obtain one clubs has to comply with several criteria, such as the financial situation.

,,The Jury of Appeal agreed with us regarding the promotion games. We want to do our sportive duty and make the decisions on the field'', Almere's Chairman Fred van Leeuwen stated after he learned from the ruling of the Jury of Appeal.

To be continued.
(September 1)



...Jurjan Koenen...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
HCAW to retire Koenen's number
Nederlands
BUSSUM (Neth.) - Mr. Cocker HCAW will officially retire Jurjan Koenen's uniform number 12 next Tuesday, September 8 in a ceremony that will take place before the first game of the 4-game series between the national baseball-teams of the Netherlands and Italy.

Jurjan Koenen made his big league-debut with the club in 1988 and played in 691 games on the highest level, a record for one player at one club. After he retired after the 2005 season, Koenen made several comebacks in the following seasons, playing in a few more games, including one this year. In 2007 and 2008, Koenen was the Assistant Coach of HCAW, then was the Head Coach for this season. Last week, it was announced that Koenen stepped down to make more time for his family. He is succeeded by Bill Froberg.

Koenen's uniform number 12 is the fourth number to be retired by HCAW. He was preceeded by Jeffrey Cranston (#1), Clive Mendes (#10) and Roy Berrevoets (#24).
(September 1)


Dutch Team to play four games vs. Italy
Nederlands
BUSSUM / EINDHOVEN (Neth.) - The Dutch National Baseball Team will play an exhibition series of four games against Italy next week, two in the Netherlands and two in Italy. For both teams, the series will be the final preparations for the upcoming World Cup, which will open for both teams on September 13 with their first game in Round Two of the event. The First Round of the World Championships opens on September 9 in Barcelona (Spain), Prague (Czech Republic), Regensburg (Germany), Sundbyberg (Sweden) and Zagreb (Croatia). The Netherlands and Italy both are already qualified for the second round. Round Two will be played in Dutch cities Amsterdam, Haarlem and Rotterdam and 12 (!) different cities in Italy. The Final Round then will also be played in Italy (five cities) with the final being scheduled to be played in Nettuno.

The 2nd European Baseball Series opens next Tuesday, September 8 in Bussum on the site of big league-club Mr. Cocker HCAW. The next day, the Dutch and Italian teams will meet in Eindhoven on the site of First Division-club PSV. Both games will start at 7:45 PM.

After Wednesday's game, the two teams will travel to Belgian capital Brussels for the flight to Bologna in Italy, where the next two games will be played. On Thursday, September 10, the teams will play Game 3 at Godo, starting at 9:00 PM. The Series then will be closed on Friday, September 11 at Ravenna, starting at 4:00 PM. The Dutch Team will travel back home on Saturday, September 12 and then will play its first game in the World Cup on Sunday, September 13 at Amsterdam.

Recently, the Dutch handed in a provisionary roster with 54 players to the International BAseball Federation (IBAF). This has to be brought back to 24 players for the World Cup.
(September 1)


Neptunus captures Dutch title!
Nederlands
HOOFDDORP (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus on Saturday captured its first Dutch championship title since 2005 and twelfth overall to tie a 20-year old record. Between 1965 and 1989, the legendary, no longer existing Haarlem Nicols set a record by winning twelve titles and now, 20 years later, Neptunus tied that record. With its last title in 2005, Neptunus had set another record, as that was its seventh in a row.


...Game 4 of the Holland Series in Hoofdddorp was well-visited...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
On Saturday, Neptunus came from behind to win 5-4 vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers and win the Holland Series, 3-1. For long, it appeared that Pioniers was close to forcing a fifth and deciding game, as it was leading 4-2 in the eighth inning, but failed to hold onto the lead, as Neptunus rallied for three runs in the eighth after a lead-off error. Veteran Sharnol Adriana then singled to tie the score and the his pinch-runner Andy Leer scored the go-ahead run.

Neptunus opened the score in the first inning when Benjamin Dille singled with one out, advanced to third on a single by Raily Legito and scored when an error was made on a force play-grounder by Sharnol Adriana. The inning then ended when next batter Jeffrey Arends lined into a double play. Pioniers, which got one runner on base in the first two innings off starter Diegomar Markwell, got the run back in the third inning when Bart Sabel led off with a homerun. A surprise homerun for both Pioniers and Sabel, who played in only 15 games this season and never had hit a homerun before in the Dutch big league in the 45 games he played between 2006 and this season.

In the fourth inning, Pioniers took a 2-1 lead, but also left two runners. Mark Duursma led off with an infield-hit and stole second base, then scored on a 2-out single by Norbert Lokhorst. Hereafter, Mervin Gario walked, but Markwell ended the inning by striking out Jeffrey de Vrieze.

This time, it was Neptunus that came alongside. After Neptunus had scored its first run in the opening at bat, Matt McGraw led off the second inning with a single, but later stranded on third base, also because of a great defensive play and throw from short stop Michael Duursma on a grounder to the deep leftside of the infield by Jeroen Sluijter. In the third, a runner stranded at second base and in the fourth, Pioniers turned a double play, but in the fifth, Neptunus tied the score. With two outs, Pionier-starter Roger Kops gave up an infield-hit to Eugène Kingsale, who then scored when Benjamin Dille followed with a double.


...Neptunus celebrates the championship...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Pioniers got back on the board immediately again and appeared to take a decisive 4-2 lead. Bart Sabel led off with a walk, then the speedy Jefferson Muzo put down a nice bunt down the first base-line for a bunt-single. After the two advanced on a grounder by Michael Duursma, his brother Mark Duursma followed with a 2-run double over the infield to make it 4-2. Glenn Romney then walked and the bases got loaded when Diegomar Markwell also walked Norbert Lokhorst with two outs. But then Markwell ended the threat by striking out Mervin Gario.

In the meantime, Roger Kops appeared to be in no trouble, giving up only six hits in six innings. But after walking lead-off hitter Martijn Meeuwis in the seventh, he was lifted for Maarten Mulder, who got a double play out of next batter Jeroen Sluijter and ended by striking out Shaldimar Daantji. But then things turned around in Neptunus' favor after all in the eighth inning. Lennart Koster, who had taken over for Eugène Kingsale in leftfield, led off with a fly to rightfield, where it was misplayed by rightfielder Bart Sabel. With Koster on second base, Neptunus got the right batters at the right moment. Benjamin Dille (who was 3-for-4, scored twice and had one RBI and was named the Series MVP) followed with a single and then the bases were loaded when Mulder hit Raily Legito with a pitch. Veteran Sharnol Adriana, who was 0-for-3, then did what he does best, producing with runners on base. Adriana lined a 2-run single through the middle (he had seven RBI's in the Series) to bring the score in balance. Adriana was then replaced by pinch-runner Andy Leer and when Maarten Mulder was back on the mound, Legito suddenly took off towards third base. Mulder stepped off and threw the ball to third baseman Mervin Gario to eliminate Legito who slid into Gario, hitting him on his leg, as he was not standing in the right postion. As a result, Gario had to leave the game with an injury. After the game resumed, Andy Leer moved to third on a double by Jeffrey Arends and scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Matt McGraw to make it 5-4. And that was all Neptunus needed.


...Disappointments in the dug-out of Pioniers...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
In the home of the eighth inning, Dushan Ruzic took over the pitching for Jorian van Acker (who had replaced Markwell in the sixth). With one out, he walked Tjerk Hogervorst, but then struckout the next two batters. In the ninth, the Australian walked Mark Duursma with two outs, but ended the inning, the game and the season by striking out Glenn Romney.

For Neptunus, it was its first championship since 2005. Back then, that was its seventh consecutive title in a row, setting a new record. But in 2006, 2007 and 2008, Neptunus was eliminated in the Play-Offs. Corendon Kinheim (2006, 2007) and L&D Amsterdam Pirates (2008) then captured the titles. The two teams faced each other in last years Holland Series, but were eliminated this time by Neptunus and Pioniers, the two losing teams in the Play-Offs of last season.

Neptunus was led this season for the first time by Steve Janssen. ,,Before the season, I already had a good feeling and told the players that this could be our year'', Janssen stated afterwards. A few weeks before the season started, Neptunus lost one of its pitching aces, as Leon Boyd signed a professional contract after his successful appearances in March during the World Baseball Classic. Janssen had to adjust his pitching rotation and went on to move closer Dushan Ruzic to a starting role. In May, Neptunus got a welcome addition in veteran pitcher Richard Orman, the lefthander, who pitched 16 seasons for Pioniers on whose home field Neptunus captured the champion title on Saturday. Another player who made a great contribution again was professional Sharnol Adriana, who returned to Rotterdam after completion of his season in Mexico, just as he did last season.

Bench Coach Jan Collins is the lone Neptunian, who was a member of the team in all twelve championship seasons. Collins made his playing debut for Neptunus in 1978 and on Saturday finished his 32nd season with the club. Collins, a catcher, played for Neptunus between 1978-1990 and is a member of the coachingstaff since 1989. He was a player when Neptunus won its first title in 1981, then was a coach in the next eleven championships.
(August 30)


...The championship team of DOOR Neptunus...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)


Bill Froberg returns as coach of HCAW

...Bill Froberg (left) with Pitching Coach Bert Blyleven...
...at the World Baseball Classic earlier this year...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Nederlands
BUSSUM (Neth.) - Bill Froberg will next season be the Head Coach for Mr. Cocker HCAW, the club announced on Tuesday. Froberg succeeds Jurjan Koenen, who ended his first year at the helm with the club, after being the Assistant Coach of Roy Berrevoets in the two previous seasons. This season, HCAW finished in sixth place, but secured a spot in the Dutch big league for next season by winning the best-of-five Play-Down vs. ADO, 3-2.

Koenen steps down, because he wants to spend more time with his family. Koenen's Assistant Ronald Jaarsma will also be Froberg's Assistant next year. With the stepping down of Koenen an era will come to an end, as he was with the team since he made his big league-debut in 1988. The third baseman (sometimes catcher) played in 691 games on the highest level with the club, setting a record for more games played by a player for one club in the big league. After becoming one of the coaches for the 2007 season, Koenen kept on coming out of retirement for some games each season thereafter, including this year.

For Bill Froberg, it will be a re-acquaintance with HCAW, as he stepped in as the team's Bench Coach during the 2003 season, then was the Head Coach in 2004 and 2005. In both seasons, Froberg led the squad to the Holland Series, but both times lost. Because Froberg returns as clubcoach, he steps down as one of the Assistant Coaches for the Dutch National Baseball Team, which will participate in the World Championships next month.

By accepting the position at HCAW, Froberg returns as Head Coach in the Dutch big league. Previously, he led the teams of Haarlem Nicols (1986-1987), Quick Amersfoort (1993-1996) and Neptunus (1997; 11 games in 1998). On the First Division-level, Froberg was the Head Coach for HMS (1983-1985; 1988-1989) and Twins (1990-1992). In eight seasons in the big league, Froberg's coached in 375 games and has a 220-147 with eight ties.

For seven years, Froberg also has been the Manager of the Dutch National Junior Team (1999-2003; 2007-2008), with whom he participated in three European and three World Championships. In November 2007, Froberg was added to the coachingstaff of the Dutch National Team for the Intercontinental Cup, then rejoined the staff at the end of 2008.
(August 25)


Back in business!
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Grand Slam * Stats & News is back in business! Due to some busy months of the webmaster, the site wasn't updated for several weeks unfortunately and of course an apology to the visitors is in order. But soon, the reports will be back. And more is to come again!
(August 5)


Surprises on National Team roster for WPT
Nederlands
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Eight players will make their national team debut next week when the Dutch National Baseball Team participates in the twelfth edition of the bi-annual World Port Tournament in Rotterdam. Amongst the eight are some suprising choices made by new Manager Rod Delmonico and his staff. Besides the Dutch Team, national selections from Cuba, Japan and Taiwan also will come to Rotterdam. The field of participants will be completed with an All Star team from the Great South League, a college summer league in the southeast of the United States. Coming Wednesday, July 1, the Dutch National Team will play an exhibition game against the National Junior Team at the site of L&D Amsterdam Pirates in Amsterdam, starting at 7:00 PM. The next day, the World Port Tournament will open in Rotterdam.

Lefthander Pitcher Joey Eijpe (Mr. Cocker HCAW), Righthanded Pitcher Kevin Heijstek (DOOR Neptunus), 1B Jeffrey Arends (DOOR Neptunus), infielders Zaïr Koeiman, Nick Urbanus (both L&D Amsterdam Pirates) and Mark-Jan Moorman (Konica Minolta Pioniers) and outfielders Shaldimar Daantji (DOOR Neptunus) and Bas de Jong (L&D Amsterdam Pirates) all will make their national team-debut next week in Rotterdam. RHP Robin van Doornspeek (Konica Minolta Pioniers) might return to the national squad after a 3-year absence, but his comeback is in doubt, as he injured himself last weekend. Currently, Van Doornspeek is the 25th player on the roster. When he is available to play next week, room has to be made on the roster, as only 24 players are allowed. With the selection of rookie Nick Urbanus, an unique moment in history will occur when he takes the field next week. Nick's father Charles Urbanus was a longtime member of the national team and headed the list of most games played in the Orange for several years with 132. Nick's grandfather Han Urbanus also played several years in the national squad and then was the leading pitcher, appearing in 54 games. Nick's uncle Charles Urbanus played briefly in the national squad, but had a long affiliation with the team as Manager or Assistant Coach.

Included on the roster are seven players of Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates, while DOOR Neptunus will supply the national team with eight of its players.

But several experienced players will not be with the team in Rotterdam. Amongst them veteran Dirk van 't Klooster, the outfielder of Corendon Kinheim, who holds the record with 206 games played for the national team and has been a member of it since making his debut in 1998. Van 't Klooster ended his international career himself, as he lacked the pleasure of playing for the national team at the moment. 1B Percy Isenia (Sparta-Feyenoord), who played ten years for the Orange, also resigned for that reason. In the last weeks, experienced players like Catcher Tjerk Smeets (Corendon Kinheim), Catcher Mark Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Pitcher/DH/1B Kenny Berkenbosch (L&D Amsterdam Pirates, who currently leads the league with a .400 batting average), Righthanded Closer Dave Draijer (MediaMonks RCH) and Infielder Jeroen Sluijter (DOOR Neptunus) all were cut from the preliminary roster. Van 't Klooster was the most experienced player on the national squad, participating in three Olympic Games (2000, Sydney; 2004, Athens; 2008, Beijing), five World Championships, five European Championships and the two World Baseball Classics, including the one which was held in March of this year. The Dutch team then surprised the international baseball world by defeating the Dominican Republic twice to advance to the second round. For his many contributions to Dutch baseball, the Dutch Federation named Van 't Klooster an Honorary Member earlier this year.

In the press release of Thursday in which the roster for the WPT was announced, Manager Rod Delmonico calls it ''a blessing for Dutch baseball'' that soo much young, talented new players are stepping forward. But because of the inclusion of the new (young) players, the team will have a completely different face opposed to the World Baseball Classic, which isn't a real good comparison, as it also had active professionals on the roster then. But the current team also will look differently opposed to other tournaments played in the last few years.

Another newcomer will be a member of the supporting staff, as Ton Hofstede succeeded Business Manager Kees Sleegers. Equipment Manager Frans Bergman also ended his career with the national team. His successor has yet to be named. Both Sleegers and Bergman already had announced their resignations, which would have been effective at the end of the Olympic Games of last year in Beijing. However, due to organisational reasons and preparations for the World Baseball Classic in March both remained with the team during the last event, but then stepped down. After being with the team during the 2000 Olympics, Sleegers returned as Business Manager in 2005. Bergman has been with the national squad since 2000, which included 24 international events.

The roster for the National Team during the World Port Tournament is as follows:

Pitchers:
David Bergman, Michiel van Kampen, Nick Veltkamp (all Corendon Kinheim), Rob Cordemans (Sparta-Feyenoord), Robin van Doornspeek (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Berry van Driel, Kevin Heijstek, Diegomar Markwell (all DOOR Neptunus), Joey Eijpe (Mr. Cocker HCAW), Nick Stuifbergen and Pim Walsma (both L&D Amsterdam Pirates).

Catchers:
Sidney de Jong (L&D Amsterdam Pirates) and Martijn Meeuwis (DOOR Neptunus).

Infielders:
Jeffrey Arends, Raily Legito (both DOOR Neptunus), Michael Duursma, Mark-Jan Moorman (both Konica Minolta Pioniers), Zaïr Koeiman, Vince Rooi and Nick Urbanus (all L&D Amsterdam Pirates).

Outfielders:
Shaldimar Daantji, Eugène Kingsale (both DOOR Neptunus), Bryan Engelhardt, Danny Rombley (both Corendon Kinheim) and Bas de Jong (L&D Amsterdam Pirates).


Neptunus moves into first place; RCH, ADO eliminated
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM / HEEMSTEDE / HOOFDDORP (Neth.) - At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus moved into first place for the first time this season after shutting out ADO 10-0 on Saturday-afternoon. With the win, Neptunus moved passed L&D Amsterdam Pirates, which didn't play as it participates in the Final Four this weekend in Barcelona (Spain). Kevin Heijstek went the distance for Neptunus in the 7-inning game and gave up only four hits. Neptunus collected 12 basehits, including triples by Shaldimar Daantji and Martijn Meeuwis. After scoring three runs in the second and one in the fourth and fifth inning, the 10-run difference was reached with a 5-run rally in the seventh at bat. Both teams protested a call in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Andy Leer flied out to centerfield for an apparent sacrifice fly, as Shaldimar Daantji scored from third base. However, the run was reversed when Roy Seltenrijch, the runner on second base, was called out on an appeal play, as he had left his base too soon after the flyout. ADO stated the run doesn't count, Neptunus said it does count.

At Heemstede, MediaMonks RCH won 3-2 vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW in ten innings to move into a tie for seventh place with ADO. Both RCH and ADO are eliminated for the Play-Offs and will play in the Play-Down at the end of the season which is set up the same way as the Play-Offs. The number 5 team meets the number 8 and the number 6 will face the number 7 team in the final ranking. RCH was eliminated last Thursday after the 10-1 loss vs. HCAW, ADO was eliminated today after losing to Neptunus.

At Hoofddorp, Sparta-Feyenoord scored three runs in the eleventh inning to win 5-2 vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers.

(June 20)

Standings & Schedule


Neptunus completes sweep vs. Pioniers
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM / ROTTERDAM / BUSSUM / HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - L&D Amsterdam Pirates, DOOR Neptunus and Corendon Kinheim, the current top-three, won again on Sunday. Amsterdam won big vs. ADO, 12-1 on four homeruns, including two by Kenny Berkenbosch. Bas de Jong and Fausto Álvarez Rizo also homered. The lone ADO-run was a result of a homerun by Shurty Tremus. Neptunus defeated Konica Minolta Pioniers 3-1 and Kinheim shutout Mr. Cocker HCAW 6-0. Sparta-Feyenoord won 6-1 vs. MediaMonks RCH. With these victories, Amsterdam and Neptunus completed a 3-game sweep with the latter registering its first-ever sweep against Pioniers.

(June 14)

Standings & Schedule


Scoreless tie Sparta-Feyenoord vs. RCH; HCAW defeats Kinheim
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM / HAARLEM / THE HAGUE / HOOFDDORP (Neth.) - At Rotterdam, Sparta-Feyenoord and MediaMonks RCH played an unique 12-inning scoreless tie on Saturday with the latter getting the most scoring opportunities and leaving 16 runners behind, including the bases loaded three times. RCH's Jakub Malik was ejected in the eleventh inning for throwing with equipment. Australian starter Chris Mowday threw eleven innings and struckout eleven batters of Sparta-Feyenoord, which left seven runners behind.


...Jason Rees hits his score-tying homerun...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
At Haarlem, Mr. Cocker HCAW handed Corendon Kinheim an 8-4 loss. Trailing 1-0, HCAW scored twice in the fourth on a 2-run single by Randy Daal, but then Kinheim answered with three runs in the sixth on an RBI-double by Tjerk Smeets and (after a pitching change) 2-run single by Kevin Weijgertse. HCAW got one run back in the seventh on a double by Juriën Overman, then came alongside in the eighth when Jason Rees homered off Onno Baur, who had taken over in this inning for starter Patrick Beljaards. In the ninth, Baur walked the lead-off batter and was relieved by Nick Veltkamp, but the lefthander saw a batter reach on an error, gave up a single, walked a batter (which gave HCAW the lead) and was relieved by Michiel van Kampen, who gave up an RBI-single to Bart Gabriëls, hit Quensley Bazoer with the bases loaded and saw another run being scored on a throwing error towards home on a force play grounder to make it 8-4.

At The Hague, L&D Amsterdam Pirates won 5-2 vs. ADO, which now has lost 13 in a row. Amsterdam scored twice in the first inning on a double by Sidney de Jong and single by Fausto Álvarez Rizo, then added three runs in the seventh on a basesloaded walk and singles by Álvarez and Pavèl van Zaane, who both had three basehits. Winning pitcher Adam Blackley gave up only two hits in seven innings.

At Hoofddorp, DOOR Neptunus won 3-1 vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers, which had only three hits. In the third, Pioniers took an 1-0 lead on a 2-out single by Mark Duursma. In the next six innings, only one Pionier-batter would reach base (walk), but was eliminated in a double play. Neptunus came alongside in the sixth on a double by Raily Legito, who then scored the go-ahead run on a single by Jeffrey Arends, who is the leading hitter in the Dutch League at the moment. Neptunus added a run in the seventh on a single by Matt McGraw.
(June 13)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores & Box Scores


Neptunus nips Pioniers
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus nipped Konica Minolta Pioniers 1-0 on Friday-evening to move into second place and extend its winning streak to ten games. Pioniers' winning streak was stopped after six straight victories.

The lone run in the game was scored in the fourth inning when Raily Legito led off with a double and scored on a 2-out single by Jeffrey Arends, who increased his league-lead to 38 runs batted in. For Neptunus, this was its second and last scoring opportunity in the game. In the second, Arends led off with a single, but stranded at third base. After giving up the run, Pionier-starter Ryan Murphy retired 12 of the remaining 13 batters, but ended up empty handed. The Canadian gave up a lead-off single to Matt McGraw in the sixth, but he was caught stealing moments later. For Murphy this was his first loss of the season and he is now 7-1.

Pioniers, which had only four hits, but reached base five more times than Neptunus, stranded two runners in the third inning and came close to a run in the fourth at bat when it got the bases loaded with one out. Lead-off hitter Mark Duursma reached on an error, then Ryan Murphy walked. Next, Duursma was forced out on a grounder by Mervin Gario and then the bases were loaded when Mark-Jan Moorman singled. However, Neptunus-starter Diegomar Markwell avoided giving up a run, as he struckout next batter Bart Sabel and then got Tjerk Hogervorst to groundout to end the inning. In the sixth inning, the lefthander was supported with a double play. Mark Duursma led off with a single, then Mervin Gario walked with one out, but next Mark-Jan Moorman lined out to centerfield, which resulted in the double play, as Duursma returned to his base too late. Berry van Driel threw the ninth inning for Neptunus and earned his first save of the season.
(June 12)

Standings & Schedule
Line Score & Box Score


Amsterdam recovers; Cycle for De Jong; RCH wins again
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM / HEEMSTEDE / HAARLEM (Neth.) - After losing three games in a row last weekend, league-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates recovered on Thursday-evening and handed ADO its twelfth loss in a row, winning 15-2. MediaMonks RCH won its second consecutive game, beating Sparta-Feyenoord 6-2, while Corendon Kinheim returned to second place by winning 7-3 vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW.

At Amsterdam, Bas de Jong hit-for-the-cycle, went 5-for-5, scored four runs and had five RBI's to lead Pirates to a big win vs. ADO, which had only four basehits off Nick Stuifbergen, who went the distance. De Jong doubled in two runs to give the home team a 2-1 lead in the first inning, then added a basesloaded RBI-single in the second, singled again in the third, followed with an RBI-triple in the fifth and completed the cycle in the sixth inning by hitting a solo-homerun, accomplishing one of the most difficult statistical feats in baseball. Besides that, he also did it in only six innings, as the game ended after 6 1/2 inning due to the 10-run mercy rule, making him the first player to do so in a mercy rule-game.
Maikel Benner collected three basehits and scored twice. Kenny Berkenbosch also tripled and had three RBI's, as did Pavèl van Zaane, who singled twice. ADO opened the score in the first inning. Amsterdam-starter Nick Stuifbergen loaded the bases by walking the first two batters he faced, Gregory Hassell and Shurty Tremus, then hit Aeden McQueary-Ennis with a pitch with one out. ADO managed to score only one run when Koen Meershoek reached on an infield-hit. ADO added its second run in the next at bat when Hassell walked again and went on to score on a double by Tremus, who then became the third out in the inning when he was thrown out when he tried to stretch his double into a triple. In the next five innings, ADO added only two more hits. Pirates took over the lead by scoring four runs in the first inning and added four more in the next inning to take a comfortable lead.

At Heemstede, last placed RCH won its second game in a row and now is closing in on seventh placed ADO, trailing only three points. For their 3-game series against RCH, opponent Sparta-Feyenoord had changed its starting rotation. In recent weeks, Rob Cordemans, Tim Roodenburg and Gregory Gustina took the mound in that order, but this time, Gustina is the opening game starter, followed by Roodenburg on Saturday and Cordemans on Sunday in Game Three. In the first inning, lefthander Gustina gave up a lead-off single to Mark Smit, who went on to score on a 2-out single by Czech Jakub Malik. RCH added a run in the second when Derick Francisca led off with a walk and scored on a 2-out single by Reggie Valpoort. Sparta-Feyenoord came alongside by scoring in the third and fifth inning. In the third, Mike Bazuin singled and scored on a single by Nick Eppinga and in the fifth, Imco Rudolph led off with a walk and scored the tying run on a throwing error. But unlike earlier games, RCH this time was able to recover and answered immediately with three runs in the home of the fifth to re-take the lead. After Gustina struckout the first two batters, he gave up a single to Lex Leijenaar, then walked Anthony Sandstrom. Both scored when Jakub Malik followed with double and later scored himself on a single by Ferd van Stekelenburg. RCH added another run in the eighth when Malik walked and scored on a throwing error.

At Haarlem, Kinheim outscored HCAW, 7-3. Kinheim opened the score in the second inning when Bryan Engelhardt scored on a single by Kevin Weijgertse. Hereafter, the home team added two runs in the next at bat on a 2-run single by Jason Halman, who was 3-for-5. HCAW came back with a run in the fourth off starter David Bergman when Jason Rees led off with a double and scored on a grounder by Adrian Anthony. Kinheim took more distance by scoring three more runs off starter Joey Eijpe. The first of these was added in the sixth on a 2-out double by Danny Rombley. In the seventh, Eijpe gave up three consecutive singles and scored twice to make it 6-1. HCAW narrowed the deficit to 6-3 by scoring twice in the eighth when pinch-hitter Arjan Elshof doubled and scored when an error followed single by Jason Rees, who then scored himself on a grounder by Randy Daal. In the eighth, René Cremer led off with a double and scored Kinheim's seventh run on a single by Josh Renick.
(June 11)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores & Box Scores


Starting Pitchers coming days
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The starting pitchers have been announced for the upcoming 3-game series that starts on Thursday-evening and continues on Saturday and Sunday.
(June 10)

Schedule & Starting Pitchers


Leaders Amsterdam, Kinheim defeated
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM / HAARLEM / BUSSUM / THE HAGUE (Neth.) - League-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates and runner-up Corendon Kinheim both lost on Sunday, while followers DOOR Neptunus and Konica Minolta Pioniers both won, meaning the latter two moved into a tie for second place, while Kinheim dropped to fourth place.

At Rotterdam, Sparta-Feyenoord handed Amsterdam its third loss in a row by winning 5-2 in a game which was called after six innings due to heavy rain. The home team opened the score in the first inning on a 2-out single by Eldrion Regina, who then added another RBI-single in a 3-run third. An error and a grounder accounted for the other runs. Amsterdam scored its two runs in the fourth inning on singles by Bas de Jong and Kenny Berkenbosch.


...HCAW's Ronald Jaarsma after being decorated...
...by KNBSB President Ruud van Zetten...
(© Photo: de Gooi- en Eemlander)
At Haarlem, Kinheim was beaten by MediaMonks RCH, 7-4. RCH opened the score with two runs in the first at bat on a single by Jakub Malik and a grounder by Ferd van Stekelenburg. Kinheim tied the score by scoring in the first and fifth inning, but RCH re-took the lead in the seventh by scoring three runs on an error, sac-fly by Malik and double by Van Stekelenburg. Kinheim was able to come back to 5-4 in the home of the seventh on a single by Bryan Engelhardt and a grounder by Tjerk Smeets, who married on Saturday and played in his first game after coming back from an injury. RCH then took more distance by scoring twice in the ninth on a sac-fly by Van Stekelenburg and an error.

At Bussum, DOOR Neptunus won 4-2 vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW. Before the game, HCAW's current Assistant Coach Ronald Jaarsma was decorated by the Dutch Federation, as he became the newest member of the '500 Club' the week before, playing in his 500th game on the highest level. Jaarsma retired after last season, but needed only two games to reach the milestone. He was honored last week already by HCAW before playing his 500th game, then the KNBSB decorated him today, as someone has to play the milestone-game first to be decorated. In today's game, HCAW took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a single by Randy Daal and a passed ball, but Neptunus came back with a run in the second inning on an error, then rallied for three runs in the fifth at bat. RBI-singles by Eugène Kingsale and Raily Legito and a sac-fly by Jeffrey Arends accounted for the runs. Four Neptunus-pitchers gave up only four hits.

At The Hague, Konica Minolta Pioniers outscored ADO, 11-0. Pioniers collected nine basehits and decided the game with an 8-run rally in the fourth inning with all runs being unearned! Three errors led to the first three runs, then Jefferson Muzo followed with a 2-run single. Mark Duursma added an RBI-single and Mervin Gario contributed with a 2-run double to make it 8-0. In the seventh inning, three more runs were scored on a 2-run triple by Mark-Jan Moorman and single by Muzo.
(June 7)

Standings & Schedule


Kinheim defeats Amsterdam again
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM / ROTTERDAM / HOOFDDORP / HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - League-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates on Saturday suffered another loss vs. Corendon Kinheim, which this time won more convincingly, 9-4. At Amsterdam, the Haarlem-team scored three runs in the fourth inning off Australian starter Adam Blackley. Josh Renick led off with a double, then scored on a single by Dirk van 't Klooster. An error and a double play-grounder then made it 3-0. After Amsterdam reacted with a run in its fourth, Kinheim rallied for four runs in the fifth to take a commanding lead. In the at bat, Jason Halman, Rafaël Jozefa and Kevin Weijgertse all hit RBI-singles, while the fourth run was scored in between on a basesloaded hit by pitch for Bryan Engelhardt, who appealed a suspension he was handed last Thursday, following his ejection the week before. Amsterdam was able to come back to 7-4 by scoring a run in the fifth and two in the eighth (on a 2-run single by Wesley Connor), but Kinheim added two more runs in the ninth on singles by Weijgertse and Remco Draijer. In the seventh, Amsterdam's short stop Marvin Bleij was ejected.

At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus shutout ADO, 3-0, scoring all runs in the fourth inning. Neptunus collected six hits, including two in the fourth at bat. With Matt McGraw (walk) and Martijn Meeuwis (single) on base, Jeffrey Arends (who recently was added to the preliminary roster of the national team) hit a 2-run double, then scored himself on a sac-fly by Jeroen Sluijter. Neptunus-starter Diegomar Markwell gave up only two hits in 6 1/3 inning and struckout ten batters.

At Hoofddorp, Konica Minolta Pioniers won 4-1 vs. Sparta-Feyenoord. Pioniers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a single by Mark Duursma and a fielder's choice in a stolen base-situation. Pionier-starter Ryan Murphy retired 14 of the first 15 batters he faced, then gave up two hits in the sixth, but held Sparta-Feyenoord scoreless for seven innings. The Rotterdam-team then scored in the eighth on a triple by Rubinet Koko, but Pioniers reacted wit two runs in its eighth on a 2-run single by Mervin Gario. Sparta-Feyenoord's third baseman Roderick Simon was ejected in the eighth inning.

At Heemstede, MediaMonks RCH held Mr. Cocker HCAW to only one run in eight innings, but then lost 2-1 after all. RCH took an 1-0 lead in the fifth on a 2-out single by Mark Smit, then HCAW came alongside in the seventh on a wild pitch. In the ninth, HCAW scored the winning run off veteran closer Dave Draijer on a 2-out single by Haily de Palm. On the same play, Adrian Anthony was thrown out at the play, when he also tried to score.
(June 6)

Standings & Schedule


Last-inning win Kinheim vs. Pirates
Nederlands
HAARLEM (Neth.) - Corendon Kinheim scored two runs with one out in the home of the ninth to win 4-3 vs. league-laeder L&D Amsterdam Pirates on Thursday-evening and move into second place.

Amsterdam initially took an 1-0 lead in the first inning when Maikel Benner (single) scored on a single by Bas de Jong, but on the same play, Marvin Bleij (single) was thrown out in a close play at the plate when he also tried to score. Kinheim came alongside in the third inning when Kevin Weijgertse walked and went on to score on a double by Remco Draijer. The Haarlem-team then took the lead in the next at bat when Bryan Engelhardt homered with two outs.

Amsterdam re-took the lead in the eighth inning off reliever Nick Veltkamp, who had just replaced starter David Bergman. The lefthander was greeted with singles by Marvin Bleij and Sidney de Jong, who then both socred on a 2-out double by Kenny Berkenbosch. With a 3-2 lead, closer Pim Walsma took over for Amsterdam with two runners on in the eighth, loaded the bases with an intentional walk and ended Kinheim's runscoring possibility, but then gave up two runs in the ninth. With one out, Walsma, who leads the league in saves, walked René Cremer, then gave up a bunt-single to Remco Draijer and saw the bases being loaded when Danny Rombley also singled. Next, Josh Renick, who had committed two errors defensively, drove the ball into deep centerfield for a 2-run, game-ending single.
(June 4)

Standings & Schedule


Pirates, Pioniers need extra-innings to win
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM / HOOFDDORP / ROTTERDAM / HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - League-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates and runner-up Konica Minolta Pioniers needed extra innings on Monday to win their games and close their Whitsuntide 3-game series, but respectively won vs. Sparta-Feyenoord, 4-3 and ADO, 2-1. DOOR Neptunus and Corendon Kinheim won more convincingly. Neptunus won 10-4 vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW and Kinheim beat MediaMonks RCH 11-1.

At Amsterdam, Sparta-Feyenoord opened the score in the second inning when Rodney Michel (who later was ejected after arguing balls and strikes) led off with a single and scored when Percy Isenia followed with a double, but then Amsterdam-starter Frank van Heijst was supported with a run of his own. Fausto Álvarez Rizo led off with a single, then advanced on a wild pitch and groundout and scored on a double by Bas de Jong in the second inning. In the next at bat, Sparta-Feyenoord re-took the lead when Gino Henson singled with two outs, stole second and scored on a single by Rutger Veugelers. In the home of the third, Amsterdam came alongside immediately, as Wesley Connor led off with a double and went on to score on a single by Sidney de Jong off starter Gregory Gustina. Sparta-Feyenoord took the lead for the third time in the game in the seventh inning off relievers Rik Geestman and Kenny Berkenbosch. Geestman walked Mike Bazuin, who then advanced on a sac-bunt off Berkenbosch and scored on a single by Henson. Again, Amsterdam answered right away with a run in its seventh. Maikel Benner doubled with one out and scored on a single by Marvin Bleij. Amsterdam then decided the game in the eleventh off former Pirate Roy Beems. With two outs, Wesley Connor doubled. Next batter Maikel Benner was then walked intentionally, but Beems followed by hitting both Marvin Bleij and Sidney de Jong to bring in the winning run. Amsterdam had 16 basehits, including at least one by all nine starters and three each by Connor and Benner.

At Hoofddorp, Pioniers also trailed and went on to win. In the fifth inning, ADO opened the score when Ludwin Obispo singled, advanced on singles by Koen Meershoek and Myson Cathalina, then scored on sac-fly by Gregory Hassell, but three runners were left behind. As Rodney Michel, who scored the first Sparta-Feyenoord-run, Obispo also was ejected for making remarks. It was to be the lone run for ADO, which stranded nine runners. In the second inning, Mickel Korzeniewski singled, but then was thrown out at the plate when he tried to score on a double by Obispo. Pioniers came alongside in the sixth at bat. Michael Duursma led off with a walk, moved on two grounders and scored on a wild pitch. The winning run then was scored in the eleventh inning when Mark Duursma was walked by reliever Aeden McQueary-Ennis (who relieved starter Jurrian Koks in the ninth). He then advanced on a grounder, was awarded third base on a balk and scored when a fly ball hit by Norbert Lokhorst was missed in the outfield.

At Rotterdam, Neptunus collected ten basehits, including the 500th in the big league-career of Raily Legito. Neptunus scored five runs in the first three innings. Two of them were scored in the first inning on a single by Legito and sac-fly by Jeffrey Arends. Three runs were then scored in the third, including the first on the milestone-hit by Legito and two more on a single by Arends. HCAW came back with three runs in the fourth on a grounder, error and force play-grounder, but Neptunus reacted with three runs of its own on an error and singles by Martijn Meeuwis and Arends. After HCAW scored its third run in the fifth, Neptunus scored two more in the sixth on two more singles by Legito and Arends. Both had three hits in the game with Legito having three RBI's and Arends five. Was HCAW's Assistant Coach Ronald Jaarsma the starting leftfielder in Saturday's game, Head Coach Jurjan Koenen took over at third base in the fourth inning to appear in his 691st career big league-game.

At Heemstede, Kinheim had 15 basehits, including three by Dirk van 't Klooster, Jason Halman and Bryan Engelhardt, who also hit a 2-run homerun. But it was RCH that opened the score in the second inning. Kinheim-starter Duko Jansen gave up a lead-off single to Ferd van Stekelenburg, then advanced on a sac-bunt, which was then followed by two throwing errors on the same play. Kinheim came alongside in the third when René Cremer led off with a double and went on to score on a sac-fly by Danny Rombley. Kinheim took a 2-1 lead in the next at bat on back-to-back doubles by Halman and Engelhardt and added single runs in the fifth and sixth inning, before adding four in the seventh, including two on the homerun by Engelhardt, who also added a 2-run double in the ninth.
(June 1)

Standings & Schedule


Kinheim back in top-4
Nederlands
HEEMSTEDE / AMSTERDAM / HOOFDDORP / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Corendon Kinheim defeated ADO 3-1 on Sunday and took sole possession of fourth place, because Sparta-Feyenoord lost 2-1 to league-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates. Konica mInolta Pioniers won 5-2 vs. ADO and DOOR Neptunus handed Mr. Cocker HCAW a big 13-0 shutout-loss.

(May 31)

Standings & Schedule


Sparta-Feyenoord nips Amsterdam
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM / BUSSUM / HAARLEM / THE HAGUE (Neth.) - At Rotterdam, Sparta-Feyenoord nipped league-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates, 1-0, scoring the lone run in the ninth inning on a single by Nick Eppinga, which scored Roderick Simon. Coincidentally, both played for Pirates some years ago.

At Bussum, Mr. Cocker HCAW was shutout 6-0 by DOOR Neptunus, but also honored Ronald Jaarsma before the game. Jaarsma, who retired as a player after last season to become the Assistant Coach of the team, today started the game as leftfielder to become the latest member of the '500 Club', players who played in 500 games on the big league-level.

At Haarlem, Corendon Kinheim shutout MediaMonks RCH 5-0 on an one-hitter bt David Bergman, who took a Perfect Game into the eighth inning. The righthander retired 21 batters in a row, but then gave up a lead-off single to Ferd van Stekelenburg in the eighth inning, which would be the lone player he allowed to reach the bases, as Bergman retired the next six batters again.

At The Hague, Konica Minolta Pioniers shutout ADO, 10-0.

(May 30)

Standings & Schedule


Starting Pitchers this weekend
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Most starting pitchers have been announced for the upcoming 3-game series during the Whitsuntide-weekend.
(May 29)

Schedule & Starting Pitchers


Amsterdam beats Kinheim again
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - League-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates on Thursday-evening won 11-4 vs. Corendon Kinheim to register its fourth victory of the season against the Haarlem-squad. Amsterdam had opened the season with a 3-game sweep vs. Kinheim.

Kinheim opened the score in the first inning when Danny Rombley led off with a walk and went on to score on a double play-grounder, but Amsterdam responded with three unearned runs in their first at bat. With two outs, Marvin Bleij (fielder's choice) advanced on a single by Sidney de Jong, then scored the tying run on a single by Fausto Álvarez Rizo. Next, De Jong and Álvarez put Pirates ahead by scoring on a double by Vince Rooi. Amsterdam added a run in the third when Fausto Álvarez Rizo homered with two outs, which happen to be the lone earned run (of the six scored) in seven innings.

Kinheim came alongside in the fourth inning. Dirk van 't Klooster led off with a double and scored when Bryan Engelhardt homered with one out. Next, Amsterdam-starter Nick Stuifbergen walked Jeffrey Verbij and saw him score on a single by René Cremer. But again, Amsterdam reacted immediately by scoring twice in the home half of the fourth (which both were unearned again) and take a 6-4 lead, this time for good. Pavèl van Zaane led off with a single and Zaír Koeiman (who played in rightfield tonight instead of second base) reached on an error. An error on a force play-grounder by Maikel Benner and a sac-fly by Marvin Bleij the put Amsterdam ahead. In the eighth, Pirates added five runs to increase the lead to 11-4 on singles by Benner and Bleij, a basesloaded walk, sac-fly and force play-grounder.

All nine starting players of Amsterdam hit at least one basehit and eight of them also scored at least once. Three Amsterdam-pitchers struckout eight batters, including Bryan Engelhardt, who was ejected after being called out in the eighth inning. Closer Pim Walsma earned his seventh save of the season.
(May 28)

Standings & Schedule
Line Score & Box Score


HCAW beats Amsterdam
Nederlands
BUSSUM / ROTTERDAM / HAARLEM / HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - Mr. Cocker HCAW handed league-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates a 3-2 loss and Australian pitcher Adam Blackley his first of the season. HCAW-starter Joey Eijpe threw a complete game for the first time in his 4-year big league career and gave up only five hits. After initially trailing 1-0, HCAW took a 2-1 lead, but then Zaïr Koeiman homered to tie the score. A single by Quensley Bazoer then gave HCAW the win.

Sparta-Feyenoord shutout ADO 3-0 behind the pitching of Tim Roodenburg and Herman Gaarman, who combined on a 5-hitter. Roodenburg struckout nine in seven innings.

Corendon Kinheim win big vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers, 13-3, in eight innings on 12 hits. Jason Halman did the catching for Kinheim, replacing Tjerk Smeets, who got injured last Thursday and will have the weekend off out of precaution.

DOOR Neptunus also won big, winning 14-0 in seven innings vs. MediaMonks RCH on 18 basehits, including four by Jeffrey Arends, who doubled twice and had four RBI's.

(May 23)

Standings & Schedule


Starting Pitchers this weekend
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The starting pitchers have been announced for the remaining two games of this weeks 3-game series.
(May 22)

Schedule & Starting Pitchers


Productive Thursday
Nederlands
BUSSUM / HOOFDDORP / ROTTERDAM / THE HAGUE (Neth.) - With 48 runs scored and 73 basehits, Thursday was a productive day, but for some it also was a painful day, as 13 batters (!) were hit by a pitch, including a record seven in the game between Mr. Cocker HCAW and L&D Amsterdam Pirates, which was won by the latter, 7-5. Corendon Kinheim won 4-2 vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers and DOOR Neptunus, which trailed 5-0 after two innings, won 13-5 vs. MediaMonks RCH. Sparta-Feyenoord won big vs. ADO, 11-1 in eight innings.

(May 21)

Standings & Schedule
Line Score & Box Score


Big shutout-win Pioniers
Nederlands
BUSSUM (Neth.) - Konica Minolta Pioniers handed Mr. Cocker HCAW a big 10-0 shutout-loss on Tuesday-evening in a make-up game, as the original match-up was canceled last Sunday due to field conditions.

Pioniers collected 18 basehits, including four by Mervin Gario, who went 4-for-4, including two doubles, and had three RBI's. Eight of the nine starting players hit at least one basehit, the lone exception being Tjerk Hogervorst, the number nine batter in the order. Ryan Murphy started for Pioniers and struckout nine batters in six innings, giving up only two basehits, which were to be the lone HCAW-hits in the game. Czech pitcher Jan Rehacek took over in the seventh and struckout three batters in a row, then Andley Simmons threw the remaining at bat in the 8-inning game, which was briefly interrupted for seven minutes because of interfering sunshine during sunset. The three Pionier-hurlers combined on 13 strikeouts and allowed only three HCAW-players to reach base. Besides the two basehits, the third one reached on a walk.

Pioniers decided the game early with a 5-run rally in the first inning. Jefferson Muzo and Michael Duursma led off with singles, then Glenn Romney followed with an RBI-single to open the score. An error accounted for the second run, then Mervin Gario contributed with a 2-run double and scored himself on a single by Andley Simmons. Two runs were added in the fourth inning and another one followed in the fifth when pinch-runner Mark-Jan Moorman (who played in his first game of the season for Pioniers) scored on a single by Gario. The 10-run difference was reached in the eighth at bat when Gario scored his third run of the game on the third basehit by Muzo. Simmons, who also singled three times, scored the tenth run on a force play-grounder.

For HCAW, Quensley Bazoer and Sytse Visbeen led off with singles in the second inning, but that was it for HCAW. Hereafter, the next 18 batters were retired in order, before pinch-hitter Haily de Palm (who played in his first game for HCAW) walked in the eighth.
(May 19)

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...Mark Duursma is tagged out at the plate by Sytse Visbeen in the 4th inning after trying...
...to score on a single by Mervin Gario. At left is pinch-runner Mark-Jan Moorman, who scored moments earlier...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)


First victory RCH!
Nederlands
HEEMSTEDE / ROTTERDAM / HAARLEM / BUSSUM (Neth.) - MediaMonks RCH on Sunday defeated league-leader and reigning champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates 9-1 to register its first victory of the season and ending a 15-game losing streak. Australian pitcher Chris Mowday went the distance and threw a 3-hitter. DOOR Neptunus ended its 5-game losing streak and won big vs. Sparta-Feyenoord, 11-1. Corendon Kinheim came from behind to win vs. ADO 14-6, hitting three homeruns. The game between Mr. Cocker HCAW and Konica Minolta Pioniers was canceled because of the condition of the playing field after heavy rain overnight. The game is re-scheduled for next Tuesday-evening.

(May 17)

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Streaks continue and end
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM / AMSTERDAM / HOOFDDORP / THE HAGUE (Neth.) - L&D Amsterdam Pirates, MediaMonks RCH and DOOR Neptunus extended their streaks on Saturday. Amsterdam improved its winning streak to five games, while RCH and Neptunus extended their losing streaks. That of RCH now stands at 15, while that of Neptunus reached five. The 5-game winning streak by Konica Minolta Pioniers ended.

Amsterdam shutout RCH, 6-0, while Neptunus was beaten 7-4 by Sparta-Feyenoord. Pioniers lost 8-3 to Mr. Cocker HCAW and Corendon Kinheim nipped ADO, 3-2, to win its fourth game in a row.

(May 16)

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Amsterdam, Pioniers take more distance
Nederlands
HEEMSTEDE / BUSSUM / ROTTERDAM / HAARLEM (Neth.) - L&D Amsterdam and Konica Minolta Pioniers took more distance from the rest in the Dutch Major League by winning again on Thursday-evening. Amsterdam shutout MediaMonks RCH 10-0, while Pioniers won big vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW, 11-1.
With an 1-0 shutout, Sparta-Feyenoord handed DOOR Neptunus its fourth loss in a row and Corendon Kinheim defeated ADO, 4-1.

At Heemstede, Amsterdam Pirates led 4-0 after six innings vs. RCH, then added six runs in the remaining three at bats. The league-leader collected 13 basehits, including three by Fausto Álvarez Rizo and Maikel Benner. Álvarez also had three RBI's to raise his league-leading total to 22. The Cuban doubled in the first run in the second inning, then scored himself on an error. In the fifth, Pirates added two runs on singles by Benner and Álvarez.

Three runs were then scored in the seventh off Jimmy van der Veldt, the third RCH-pitcher in the game. Wesley Connor (infield-hit), Maikel Benner (single) and Marvin Bleij (bunt) loaded the bases with three consecutive basehits, then Van der Veldt walked Sidney de Jong to bring in a run. A sac-fly by Álvarez and a single by Kenny Berkenbosch then made it 7-0. In the ninth, another 3-run rally followed with runs being scored on singles by Vince Rooi and Berkenbosch and a double play-grounder. Amsterdam-starter Nick Stuifbergen struckout eight and gave up only three hits in 5 2/3 innings. Hereafter, Raban Schalm took over and retired all seven batters he faced, before Pim Walsma retired the side in the ninth.


...Winning pitcher Ryan Murphy...
(© Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)
At Bussum, Pioniers decided the game vs. HCAW by scoring eight runs in the third and fourth inning combined. In the opening at bat, the Hoofddorp-squad scored its first run with two outs when Glenn Romney walked and scored on a single by Ryan Murphy. Romney reached base five times, including three walks, and scored four runs. In the third, the team scored five runs. HCAW-starter Kevin Miner faced nine batters, walked three of them and gave up four hits in the inning. With the bases loaded and one out, a run was scored when Murhy walked, then another one followed on a single by Norbert Lokhorst and two more were added on a single by Mervin Gario. A runscoring grounder by Andley Simmons completed the rally. In the next at bat, Pioniers scored three more runs off new pitcher Kyle Ward on a fielder's choice, double by Romney and sac-fly by Lokhorst. The remaining two runs were scored in the ninth when Mark Duursma hit a 2-run homerun off new pitcher Joep de Wit.


...Glenn Romney scores for Pioniers, while catcher Juriën Overman...
...awaits the ball, umpire Fred van Groningen Schinkel looks on...
(© Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)
The lone HCAW-run was scored in the second inning when Quensley Bazoer tripled with one out and scored on a single by Siemen Korff. With this run, HCAW erased an 1-0 deficit, but then Pioniers answered with the 5-run rally in the third to take a commanding lead. Winning pitcher Ryan Murphy threw six innings, struckout nine and gave up only three hits. Shane Gnade completed the game with two hitless innings.

At Rotterdam, Sparta-Feyenoord scored the lone run in the game against Neptunus with no outs in the ninth inning. At the start of the at bat, Dushan Ruzic took over the pitching for starter Diegomar Markwell, who had struckout nine and gave up only two hits. Sparta-Feyenoord had reached base only five times in the first eight innings, but then reached base four times in a row in the ninth. Rubinet Koko led off with a bunt-single, then advanced to third base on a failed pick-off by Ruzic. Hereafter, the bases got loaded when Ruzic walked Gino Henson and Rutger Veugelers. Next, veteran Rodney Michel singled to bring in the winning run.

Neptunus, which outhit Sparta-Feyenoord 11-4, again left a lot of runners, this time 13. In the second inning, Jeffrey Arends and Martijn Meeuwis singled with one out, but then Arends was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a single by Lennart Koster and then the inning ended with a strikeout. In the third inning, a runner stranded on third base. In the fourth and sixth inning, two batters reached base with two outs, but were left behind. In the seventh, Eugène Kingsale (who was 3-for-4), led off with a single, but later stranded on third base. In the ninth, Kingsale and Benjamin Dille led off with single, but then Kingsale was forced out on third base, then the game ended when Matt McGraw grounded into a double play.

At Haarlem, Kinheim-starter David Bergman had his best outing of the season, as he struckout eight and gave up only four hits in eight innings. He gave up an unearned run in the fifth that tied the score, but Kinheim then reacted immediately with a run of its own on a single by Dirk van 't Klooster, who also doubled in a run in the seventh at bat. Moments earlier, Danny Rombley also had double in a run, before scoring on the hit by Van 't Klooster.

After the first eight Kinheim-batters were retired in order, Remco Draijer walked with two outs in the third, then scored on a single by Josh Renick. ADO came alongside in the fifth when Martijn Riphagen walked with two outs, then later scored on an error that followed on a single by Remco Seitzinger. In the home of the fifth, Kinheim re-took the lead on the single by Van 't Klooster, then made it 4-1 in the seventh.
(May 14)

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Starting Pitchers coming days
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Most starting pitchers for the next 3-game series in the Dutch Major League have been announced. For the coming series seven rotations remained intact when compared to last weekend, except for MediaMonks RCH. Head Coach Bernie Beckman moved Dennis Burgersdijk to the opening game after the righthander started the second game last weekend. In the coming series, RCH meets league-leader L&D Amsterdam. RCH, which came close to its first victory of the season twice vs. Pioniers, is still winless.

Second placed Konica Minolta Pioniers is playing against Mr. Cocker HCAW, which shares sixth place with ADO. That team meets Corendon Kinheim, which is tied with Sparta-Feyenoord in fourth place. Sparta-Feyenoord will play against third placed DOOR Neptunus in a local series in Rotterdam.
(May 12)

Complete Schedule & Starting Pitchers


Amsterdam, Pioniers complete sweep
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM / HOOFDDORP / ROTTERDAM / THE HAGUE (Neth.) - League-leader L&D Amsterdam and Konica Minolta Pioniers both won by only one run on Sunday, but with that the two teams completed a 3-game sweep vs. DOOR Neptunus and MediaMonks RCH respectively. Amsterdam defeadted Neptunus 5-4, while Pioniers won 6-5 vs. RCH. Corendon Kinheim also won its game by one run, an 1-0 shutout vs. Sparta-Feyenoord, while ADO handed Mr. Cocker HCAW a 9-2 loss.

With the three victories, Amsterdam Pirates handed Neptunus its first 3-game sweep since 2003. Back then, Neptunus was beaten 2-1, 6-1 and 6-1 on August 21, 23 and 24 by HCAW.

(May 10)

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RCH close to first win
Nederlands
HEEMSTEDE / ROTTERDAM / HAARLEM / BUSSUM (Neth.) - MediaMonks RCH was close to its first win of the season, as it led 4-1 after four innings vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers, but then lost 6-5 in ten innings. League-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates took more distance by winning 4-2 vs. DOOR Neptunus. Corendon Kinheim shutout Sparta-Feyenoord 6-0 and Mr. Cocker HCAW won 3-1 vs. ADO on Saturday-afternoon.

(May 9)

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Sparta/Feyenoord extends winning streak
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM / AMSTERDAM / HOOFDDORP / BUSSUM (Neth.) - Sparta/Feyenoord extended its winning streak to seven games on Thursday-evening by winning 3-2 vs. Corendon Kinheim, which has lost three of its last four games and two in a row. The last three games Kinheim played all ended in a 3-2 score, two of them being a loss.

At Rotterdam, Sparta/Feyenoord broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning on an error for the win. Short stop Josh Renick batted in both Kinheim-runs, but also made the decisive error that gave the home team the win. Kinheim opened the score in the third inning. Kevin Weijgertse led off with a single, advanced on a sac-bunt by René Cremer and scored on a 2-out single by Josh Renick. Sparta/Feyenoord came alongside in the home of the third. With two outs, Rutger Veugelers singled, moved on a single by Rodney Michel and scored on a double by Eldrion Regina, but two runners stranded.

In the next at bat, Sparta/Feyenoord took the lead when Mike Bazuin (fielder's choice) scored on a single by Rubinet Koko, but on the same play Nick Eppinga was thrown out at the plate when he also tried to score. This time, it was Kinheim that tied the score in the fifth and they did it the same way as two innings before. Kevin Weijgertse again led off with a single and advanced on a sacrifice by René Cremer, followed by a 2-out RBI-single by Josh Renick. But, like in the third, Sparta/Feyenoord also answered with a run this time to make it 3-2. Gino Henson led off with a walk, then advanced on a failed pick-off. With one out, Rodney Michel also walked. The two runners then advanced on a double steal, but short stop Josh Renick made an error on the throw by catcher Tjerk Smeets, enabling Henson to score.

Starting pitcher Rob Cordemans dominated for Sparta/Feyenoord, as he struckout eleven batters in the eight innings he pitched. The first run Cordemans gave up in the third inning was the first earned run that was credited to the veteran righthander after 33 2/3 inning since the start of the season. Cordemans, who was last year's Best Pitcher, raised his record to 3-0. Pitcher Gregory Gustina was used as designater hitter tonight by Sparta/Feyenoord and went 1-for-3. Losing pitcher David Bergman is now 1-4, which is unexpected, as the righthander, who was the Best Pitcher in 2007, lost only four games combined in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 seasons combined, while registering 32 victories in that span!

At Amsterdam, league-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates handed second placed DOOR Neptunus a 9-6 loss. After three scoreless innings, Amsterdam took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning on a double by Fausto Álvarez Rizo and a sacrifice fly by Vince Rooi. Neptunus scored a run in the fifth inning on back-to-back doubles by Lennart Koster and Jeroen Sluijter with two outs, but then Pirates added two runs in its fifth on a 2-run double by Wesley Connor. In the top of the sixth, Neptunus tied the score when Jeffrey Arends hit a 3-run homerun with two outs off new pitcher Mark Kan, who had relieved starter Nick Stuifbergen moments earlier with two runners on base. But again, Pirates reacted with two runs in the home of the sixth to keep the lead for good. With two outs, the runs were scored on singles by Kenny Berkenbosch (who was 4-for-4) and Pavèl van Zaane (who was 3-for-4).

Neptunus made it 6-5 score in the seventh when Eugène Kingsale led off with a triple and scored on a single by Benjamin Dille. In the eighth, Amsterdam increased its lead to 9-5 by adding three runs. With the bases loaded, a run was scored on an infield-hit by Nick Urbanus, his first basehit in the Dutch big league, then another one followed on a single by Maikel Benner, which was followed by a runscoring error. Neptunus added only one more run in the ninth on a single by Eugène Kingsale, who was 3-for-3 and reached base six times. Neptunus left 17 runners behind in the game, including twelve in scoring position and the bases loaded three times.


...HCAW-starter Kevin Miner...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)

...Shurty Tremus forces a sliding...
...Laurens Dammers in 5th inning...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
At Bussum, Mr. Cocker HCAW trailed 4-1 vs. ADO with two outs in the home of the ninth inning when it rallied for three runs to tie the score. The game remained tied at 4-4 and was stopped after eleven innings, because the curfew-rule came into effect. Four HCAW-pitchers struckout 15 batters combined, but two wild pitches proved to be very costly. HCAW opened the score in the second inning. Randy Daal, who left the game with a shoulder injury during his next bat, led off with a single, advanced on a sac-bunt by Sytze Visbeen and a single by Quensley Bazoer, then scored in a double steal-situation. But from the fourth inning on, ADO became to take control of the game. In this at bat, HCAW-starter Kevin Miner walked lead-off batters Aeden McQueary-Ennis and Boudewijn van Elswijk. An error on a pick-off then moved both runners, but the two stayed put on a comeback-grounder. Next, McQueary-Ennis scored the tying run on a wild pitch, which was followed by a walk for Dave Steward and another runscoring wild pitch.

ADO increased the lead to 4-1 by scoring runs in the sixth and seventh inning. In the sixth, Boudewijn van Elswijk led off with a single, then advanced on a sac-bunt by Michel Croes and scored on a 2-out single by Niels Weis. In the seventh, the next run also was scored with two outs. Shurty Tremus was on base with a fielder's choice and went on to score when Aeden McQueary-Ennis followed with a triple. The British/American was 3-for-4 with a double and triple, but also was credited with a Blown Save, as he gave up three runs with two outs in the ninth that tied the score.

After scoring its first run in the second inning, HCAW left six runners in the next six innings and then was one out away from a defeat and seventh place. But then, with two outs, HCAW came back off Aeden McQueary-Ennis, who had relieved starter Tyler Levin the inning before. Lead-off hitter Adrian Anthony hit the ball into rightfield, where it landed just in front of rightfielder Niels Weis, who then let the ball go by him for a 2-base error. Next, Laurens Dammers walked and Bart Gabriëls followed with an RBI-single. The bases were then loaded when Michael Pluijmers walked and the score was then tied when Australian Jason Rees followed with a 2-run single.

ADO got to third base in the tenth, but the runner stranded there. In the home of the tenth, HCAW came close to victory when Sytze Visbeen drilled the ball into deep leftfield, but there it was caught by Boudewijn van Elswijk. In the eleventh, HCAW turned a rare double play. With one out, Remco Seitzinger was hit by a pitch. Gregory Hassell then popped the ball up into the infield, where it was caught but dropped. As a result, Seitzinger, who was unable to move from first base, was forced out at second base, but as batter Hassell still was in the batter's box, he was eliminated at first base to complete the double play, which went 5-6-4. In the home of the eleventh, three HCAW-batters were retired in order, which meant the end of the game, as the 10:50 PM curfew-rule was reached. When will we get rid of that rule?


...Bart Gabriëls (69) is welcomed after scoring the tying run...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)

In Hoofddorp, Konica Minolta Pioniers won 14-0 vs. MediaMonks RCH, which now has lost eleven in a row. RCH registered six basehits off Ryan Murphy, who went the distance and struckout seven. In 2007, Murphy made his big league-debut while playing for RCH, before going on to play for Pirates last season. Pioniers took charge of the game in the first inning by scoring three runs on a force play-grounder by Mark Duursma, sacrifice fly by Ryan Murphy and a throwing error. Four runs were added in the second at bat on a triple by Norbert Lokhorst, singles by Glen Romney and Murphy and sac-fly by Sergino Martis. After Murphy's single, ten Pionier-batters were retired in order, including the first six by Ewout Bos. The next four were retired by Jean-Paul Gulinck, who threw two scoreless innings, before being relieved by Seppo Slaman, who then was credited with six runs in the next at bat. He was relieved by Jimmy van der Veldt, who gave up an additional run that made it 14-0. Michael Duursma singled twice in the sixth at bat.
(May 7)

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Starting Pitchers coming days
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Most starting pitchers have been announced for the upcoming 3-game series with games scheduled for Thursday-evening and on Saturday and Sunday. And again, we have four interesting series.

In the coming series, the two current league-leaders L&D Amsterdam Pirates and DOOR Neptunus will meet each other, with games to be played in Amsterdam on Thursday and Sunday and one in Rotterdam on Saturday.

Konica Minolta Pioniers, which currently is in third place, will play its games against MediaMonks RCH, which is winless in last place. Sparta/Feyenoord, which moved into fourth place last weekend and has a 6-game winning streak, is playing against Corendon Kinheim, which dropped out of the top-four into fifth place last Sunday. The remaining series is going between Mr. Cocker HCAW and ADO, which both share sixth place.
(May 5)

Complete Schedule & Starting Pitchers


Sweep for Sparta/Feyenoord, ADO
Nederlands
HEEMSTEDE / BUSSUM / AMSTERDAM / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Sparta/Feyenoord and ADO completed a 3-game sweep on Sunday, as they again defeated Mr. Cocker HCAW and MediaMonks RCH respectively. Sparta/Feyenoord registered its second shutout vs. HCAW, winning 2-0, while ADO won 10-3 vs. RCH. Because of these results, HCAW and RCH (which is still winless) are now both in the cellar of the league. Konica Minolta Pioniers handed league-leader L&D Amsterdam its second loss in four days, by winning 5-4 and scoring the winning run in the ninth inning on a single by Mark Duursma. DOOR Neptunus, which was empty-handed on Saturday, also came back and this time won 3-2 vs. Corendon Kinheim with the winning run being scored with two outs in the ninth inning on a basesloaded walk for Martijn Meeuwis, after two previous walks had loaded the bases.

(May 3)

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Amsterdam, Kinheim recover
Nederlands
HOOFDDORP / THE HAGUE / ROTTERDAM / HAARLEM (Neth.) - L&D Amsterdam Pirates and Corendon Kinheim both recovered from the loss in the opening game of their 3-game series vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers and DOOR Neptunus respectively. Amsterdam defeated Pioniers 7-4 in eleven innings, breaking a 2-2 tie by scoring five runs in the eleventh. Kinheim came from behind to win 3-2 vs. Neptunus, which set a record with its 964th consecutive game in the Dutch big league. Sparta/Feyenoord won 4-3 vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW, which filed a protest regarding a possible obstruction-situation. ADO won 8-4 vs. MediaMonks RCH, which therefore remained winless.

(May 2)

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Neptunus wins in record-tying game
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus moved within one point of league-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates by winning 6-2 vs. Corendon Kinheim on Friday-evening in a record-tying game. For Neptunus, this was its 963rd consecutive game in the Dutch Major League, meaning it tied the all-time record set by Haarlem Nicols, which accomplished the feat from 1964 through 1993. Nicols had to withdraw from the Dutch big league before the 1994 season, due to financial reasons.


...Jan Collins...
(© Photo: MS)
Neptunus started its streak in the 1986 season after it had promoted to the big league the year before. From 1979-1984, Neptunus already had played on the highest level, but relegated in 1984 to the First Division. In total, Neptunus now has played 1179 big league-games. Bench Coach Jan Collins has been the only one to be with Neptunus in all these games, as he is in his 31st season with the team, including 30 in the big league. From 1979-1988, Collins was the regular catcher for Neptunus, then became a coach in 1989.

Neptunus took a 3-0 lead in the second inning off David Bergman, who now is 1-3. With one out, Matt McGraw reached on an infield-hit, which was followed by a throwing error, enabling him to reach second base. After next batter Andy Leer walked, a flyout followed, but then Shaldimar Daantji doubled in the first run. Next, Eugène Kingsale singled to bring in two more runs. Bergman then recovered and threw three scoreless innings, being supported with two double plays.

Neptunus added its fourth run in the sixth inning. Jeffrey Arends led off with a single and advanced when Matt McGraw walked. Hereafter, Bergman was relieved by Onno Baur, who enabled both runners to advance on a wild pitch. After a strikeout, Baur loaded the bases by hitting Jeroen Sluijter with a pitch. Arends then scored on a force play-grounder by Shaldimar Daantji. The lead was increased to 6-0 when two runs were scored in the seventh at bat. Baur walked Eugène Kingsale and hit next batter Benjamin Dille with a pitch. After the two moved on a grounder by Raily Legito, Martijn Meeuwis and Jeffrey Arends followed with RBI-singles to make it 6-0.

Kinheim was held to only four hits in seven innings by Neptunian starter Diegomar Markwell, who struckout five batters. Two of the four hits were produced by Remco Draijer, who also was the lone Kinheim-player to reach third base while Markwell was pitching, who was supported with two double plays. Kinheim scored its two runs in the eighth off new pitcher Jorian van Acker. The rookie walked Remco Draijer and Josh Renick, then gave up an RBI-single to Dirk van 't Klooster. After Tjerk Smeets followed with a force play-grounder, a throwing error was made on another force play-grounder by Bryan Engelhardt, which led to the second run. But then Van Acker struckout the next batter and another grounded ended the at bat. In the ninth inning, Berry van Driel retired the side to secure the win.
(May 1)

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Pioniers ends Amsterdam-streak; First win ADO
Nederlands
HOOFDDORP / HEEMSTEDE / BUSSUM (Neth.) - Konica Minolta Pioniers ended the 8-game winning streak of league-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates on Thursday-afternoon and did it with a surprising big 13-0 shutout-victory. ADO registered its first win of the season, nipping MediaMonks RCH, 3-2 in ten innings, while Sparta/Feyenoord climbed to a tie for fourth place with a 3-0 shutout-win vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW. The fourth game in this series is scheduled for Friday-evening and will go between DOOR Neptunus and Corendon Kinheim.

But whatever the results, they all meant nothing, as today's games all started after learning the horrible news of the dramatic happenings in Apeldoorn during the festivities on Queen's Day (the annual anniversary of the Queen's birthday in the presence of the Royal Family), resulting in five fatal victims. (coverage of the situation in Apeldoorn (in Dutch).


...Winning pitcher Ryan Murphy...
(© Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)

...Rikkert Faneyte...
...back on the mound...
(© Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)
At Hoofddorp, Ryan Murphy, who last season pitched for the Dutch champion, went the distance for Pioniers and held Amsterdam to only four hits, including two by Björn Henrichs. Leading 1-0, Pioniers rallied for five runs in the second inning off starter Nick Stuifbergen, who walked three and hit two batters in this at bat. Also in this inning, Amsterdam-catcher Maikel Benner was ejected as he had briefly touched Home Plate Umpire Henri van Heijningen. After Pioniers increased its lead to 11-0 in the fourth inning, Pirates' Head Coach Rikkert Faneyte took the mound himself to pitch the remaining two innings and save pitchers for coming weekend's games. It was Faneyte's first big league-appearance since August 26, 2006 when he pitched two innings against Kinheim in the lone game he played the 2006 season when he was the Pitching Coach of the squad. After the 2005 season, in which he played 29 games, he had ended his active career as a player. Fausto Álvarez Rizo, Björn Henrichs and Raban Schalm were the lone players who also played in the game 2 1/2 years ago.

Pioniers opened the score in the first inning when lead-off hitter Jefferson Muzo walked and later scored on a grounder by Mark Duursma. In the second at bat, Tjerk Hogervorst (hit by pitch), Joey Treurniet (fielder's choice) and Andley Simmons (single) loaded the bases with one out, then five runs were scored on only one basehit. The hit came from the bat of next batter Jefferson Muzo, but then Michael Duursma and Mark Duursma walked with the bases loaded, while Norbert Lokhorst was hit by a pitch in between. The last run in the at bat came on a sac-fly by Ryan Murphy. Four runs were added in the third inning off Mark Kan, who took over the pitching for starter Nick Stuifbergen. The righthander walked the first three batters he faced, then gave up another RBI-single to Jefferson Muzo, who had four RBI's, went 3-for-4 and scored three runs. Next, Michael Duursma added a sac-fly. The bases were reloaded when Kan walked Mark Duursma, then two runs were added when both Ryan Murphy and Glenn Romney were hit by a pitch. In the fourth inning, Pioniers made it 11-0 off Raban Schalm, who made his first appearance of the season. He gave up a lead-off triple to Joey Treurniet, who then scored on a grounder by Muzo.

Rikkert Faneyte, who was the pitcher in the fifth and sixth inning, gave up two runs in the sixth. With two outs and Joey Treurniet on first base, he gave up a double to Andley Simmons, followed by an RBI-single by Muzo and an RBI-double to Michael Duursma, who had three RBI's. In total, the four Pirates-hurlers walked ten batters and hit four, while giving up nine basehits. The Pirates-offense was limited to four basehits, including two by Björn Henrichs, who both times was forced out in a double play. Pirates reached second base only once in this game and that happened in the seventh (and last) inning.


...Glenn Romney is forced out at third base...
...in 2nd inning by Pavèl van Zaane...
...In the back in umpire Jos van der Lelie...
(© Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)

...The scoreboard says it all...
..The winning streak of Amsterdam has ended...
...after eight consecutive victories...
(© Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)

At Heemstede, ADO failed to hold onto a 2-0 lead vs. RCH, which tied the score in the seventh inning. But in the tenth inning, ADO secured its first win of the season when Gregory Hassell led off with a single and went on to score on a grounder by Boudewijn van Elswijk.

ADO scored its first run in the second inning. The team from The Hague got the bases loaded when Boudewijn van Elswijk singled with one out, followed by walks for Michel Croes and Martijn Riphagen. But then the lead runner was forced out at home on a grounder by Michel Korzeniewski, however a throwing error then followed, enabling Croes to score. ADO made it 2-0 in the fourth at bat when Aeden McQueary-Ennis led off with a walk, advanced on a single by Van Elswijk and a sac-bunt by Croes, then scored on a wild pitch by Joran Klarenbeek, who made his first start of the season for RCH. In the first six innings, RCH reached base only four times, including on a single by Anthony Sandstrom in the first and a double by Ricky Daal in the fourth. But in the seventh at bat, RCH came alongside. ADO-starter Tyler Levin gave up a lead-off single to Ricky Daal, who then was safe on a throwing error on a force play-grounder by Jakub Malik. Reggie Valpoort followed with another force play-grounder, which this time was handled succesfull by the RCH-defense. But then Daal scored on a grounder by Floris Morang and Valpoort went on to score the tying run on an infield-hit by Mark Smit. In the tenth inning, ADO decided the game. Gregory Hassell led off with a single, moved on a sac-bunt by René Verbrugge and a grounder by Shurty Tremus and scored on a grounder by Boudewijn van Elswijk.


...HCAW centerfielder Jason Rees makes an attempt to catch the ball...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
At Bussum, Sparta/Feyenoord-starter Rob Cordemans struckout eleven batters and gave up only three basehits in a complete game shutout vs. HCAW.

Sparta/Feyenoord initially was held scoreless in the first four innings. With one out, Rutger Veugelers singled in the first inning, but then was caught stealing. Herafter, HCAW-starter Kevin Miner retired the next ten batters in a row. But in the fifth, Percy Isenia reached base on a throwing error, then advanced to third base on an one-out single by Roderick Simon. After the bases were loaded with a walk for Imco Rudolph, Isenia scored on a single by Mike Bazuin, but then a double play ended the at bat. The Rotterdam-squad doubled its lead in the next inning. Rutger Veugelers was hit by a pitch, moved to third on a single by Rodney Michel and scored on a force play-grounder by Percy Isenia. The third run was added in the ninth inning off reliever Kyle Ward, after Miner had pitched the first eight. With one out, Roderick Simon walked, advanced on a wild pitch and stole third base, then scored when Imco Rudolph (who had walked) was caught stealing.

Sparta/Feyenoord-starter Rob Cordemans threw a complete game 3-hitter and struckout eleven batters. The veteran righthander gave up a 2-out double to Sytze Visbeen in the first inning, a 2-out single to Bart Gabriëls in the ninth inning and another one right in the middle, a lead-off single by Quensley Bazoer in the fifth at bat. The latter was the lone runner to reach third base in the same at bat. HCAW got only one more runner in this game and that was Michael Pluijmers, who reached base on an error with one out in the sixth. After the double by Visbeen, Cordemans retired ten batters in a row.
(April 30)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores & Box Scores


Starting Pitchers coming days
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - On Thursday, the second 3-game series of the season will begin in the Dutch Sudtours Major League. The series will be completed with games on Saturday and Sunday. On the three days, 12 games are scheduled and for these games, 18 of the 24 probable starting pitchers have been announced.

In the coming 3-game series, the current top-4 will meet each other, as will the current bottom-4. Unbeaten league-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates meets Konica Minolta Pioniers, while second placed DOOR Neptunus, which also is without a loss, is playing against Corendon Kinheim.

An interesting series will be the one between MediaMonks RCH and ADO, who share seventh place and are both winless this season. The remaining series will be played between Mr. Cocker HCAW and Sparta/Feyenoord.

Amongst the 18 announced starters are eleven who will make their fourth start of the season, while two will start a game for the third time and three others are starting their second. Two pitchers will make his first start of the season, being righthander Joran Klarenbeek, who will start the opener for RCH next Thursday, and RHP Kevin Roovers, who is scheduled to start the third game for HCAW next Sunday.
(April 28)

Schedule & Starting Pitchers


Kinheim wins crazy game; Amsterdam remains unbeaten
Nederlands
HAARLEM / THE HAGUE / HOOFDDORP / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Corendon Kinheim won a crazy game on Sunday-afternoon with a bizar line score vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW. Trailing 11-4 in the eighth inning, Kinheim scored seven runs to come alongside, only to see HCAW regain the lead in the ninth, 14-11. But in the home of the ninth, Kinheim staged another amazing comeback, scoring four runs with two outs to win 15-14. League-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates remained unbeaten and won its eighth game in a row, a 7-2 win vs. ADO, which therefore remained winless. DOOR Neptunus handed Konica Minolta Pioniers a 7-3 loss and MediaMonks RCH suffered its seventh loss in a row, losing 10-1 to Sparta/Feyenoord.

At Haarlem, Kinheim was facing a big loss in the eighth inning vs. HCAW, but managed to come back and win one of the craziest games in history. It again proofed that everything is possible in baseball and also again underscored the legendary statement of famous Yankee-catcher Yogi Berra, who once said ''It ain't over till' its over''. Kinheim played in the weekend without its regular centerfielder Danny Rombley, who was benched out of precaution after pulling a muscle in last Thursday's game.

In the first four innings, the two teams were up to each other with HCAW leading 6-3. HCAW took a 2-0 lead in the second on a grounder by Siemen Korff and a double by Juriën Overman, then added a run in the third on a single by Quensley Bazoer. Kinheim reacted with two runs in its third, scoring on a wild pitch and a single by Bryan Engelhardt, but then HCAW increased its lead to 6-2 by scoring three runs in the fourth. A sac-fly by Michael Pluijmers, single by Bart Gabriëls and wild pitch accounted for the runs. Kinheim came back with a run in the home of the fourth on a force play-grounder by Josh Renick.


...Kinheim celebrates the amazing comeback-victory...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
From the sixth inning on, HCAW started to take more distance and had lifted the lead to 11-4 when the bottom of the eighth started. HCAW added a run in the sixth on another single by Gabriëls and scored three runs in the seventh, thanks to a 2-run triple by Korff and a single by Overman. Kinheim scored a run in the seventh on a single by Dirk van 't Klooster, who later was thrown out at third base trying to advance on a single by Tjerk Smeets. Kinheim got the bases loaded when two batters walked, but three runners stranded. HCAW got the run back in the eighth on a 2-out single by Adrian Anthony, making it 11-4.

In the home of the eighth, one of the stunniest comebacks ever was set into motion when Kinheim rallied for seven runs to tie the score at 11-11! Forstin Coenraad, who had taken over the pitching the previous inning for starter Andre Hughes, gave up a lead-off double to René Cremer and then walked Remco Draijer. The two scored when Josh Renick followed with a double, which marked the end for Coenraad, who was replaced by Rutger Zwaal. But the latter left the mound after five batters and no outs. Zwaal gave up consecutive singles to Dirk van 't Klooster, Tjerk Smeets and Bryan Engelhardt and hit Jeffrey Verbij with a pitch. This led to two more runs, an 11-8 score and got the bases loaded. Next, a run was scored when short stop Bart Gabriëls made an error on a grounder by Rafaël Jozefa. Zwaal was relieved by Kevin Roovers, who gave up a sacrifice fly to Kevin Weijgertse, which put Kinheim within one run. After striking out René Cremer, Roovers gave up a single to Remco Draijer, which tied the score!

After everyone has caught his or her breath again from all the action, both teams had another spectacular inning ahead of them. HCAW recovered from the sudden comeback and re-took the lead by scoring three runs in the top of the ninth. New pitcher Onno Baur walked lead-off hitter Juriën Overman and gave up a single to Andy Raaff and was relieved by Michiel van Kampen. Overman was then forced out on a grounder by Michael Pluijmers, but then Bart Gabriëls walked to load the bases. Next, Jason Rees cleared the bases with a 3-run double to give HCAW a 14-11 lead. In the home of the ninth, HCAW was one out away from victory, but then Kinheim staged another comeback. New pitcher Joep de Wit gave up a lead-off single to Dirk van 't Klooster (who was 3-for-6), but then got two quick outs. Van 't Klooster then advanced on a wild pitch and pinch-hitter Jason Halman singled. De Wit was replaced by Joey Eijpe, who was the starting pitcher of the day before. Eijpe loaded the bases by walking Rafaël Jozefa and then gave up an infield-hit to Kevin Weijgertse, which brought in Van 't Klooster. As a throwing error by first baseman Randy Daal followed the hit, Halman also scored. With runners on second and third base, it was not opted to walk next batter René Cremer intentionally to set up a force play. Instead, Cremer was pitched to and he came throught with a single that scored both runners and give Kinheim an unbelievable come-from-behind 15-14 victory! You had to be there to believe it!

At The Hague, Amsterdam remained unbeaten and defeated winless ADO 7-2 on twelve basehits, including three by Zaïr Koeiman (3-for-3), who now leads the league with a .567 batting average and shares the lead with teammate Wesley Connor with 17 basehits. Koeiman singled in the first run in the second inning with two outs, enabling Vince Rooi (infield-hit) to score. In the fourth, Rooi doubled with one out and scored on a 2-out single by Björn Henrichs. Pirates made it 3-0 in the sixth when Bas de Jong reached second base on a throwing error and scored on an infield-hit by Koeiman, his third hit in three at bats. ADO then scored its first run in the home of the sixth when Shurty Tremus tripled with one out and scored on a 2-out double by Aeden McQueary-Ennis.

Amsterdam increased the lead to 5-1 by scoring twice in the seventh at bat. With two outs, Sidney de Jong doubled and Fausto Álvarez Rizo (the league-leader with 15 RBI's) was walked intentionally. But then De Jong scored on two consecutive wild pitches by starter Ludwin Obispo, who then gave up an RBI-single to Bas de Jong. ADO scored another run in the its seventh on a single by René Verbrugge, but left the bases loaded. In the eighth, Amsterdam again scored two runs. Pavèl van Zaane led off with a single off new pitcher Aeden McQueary-Ennis and Zaïr Koeiman walked and the bases got loaded when Björn Henrichs also singled. The first two scored on sacrifce flies by Wesley Connor and Maikel Benner to make it 7-2.


...Matt McGraw is forced out in 3rd inning...
(© Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)
At Hoofddorp, Neptunus also remained unbeaten (six wins, one tie) by winning 7-3 vs. Pioniers, which came after two tough games with the first ending in a tie and the second in a late come-from-behind-win. This time, Neptunus struck early, scoring three runs in the second inning. Pionier-starter Daan de Jong gave up a lead-off single to Martijn Meeuwis and walked Jeffrey Arends, then gave up an RBI-single to Matt McGraw, a runscoring grounder to Andy Leer and another RBI-single to Jeroen Sluijter. Pioniers got one run back in its second when Mark Duursma led off with a single and scored on a double play-grounder by Sergino Martis. Pioniers left the bases loaded in the third.

Neptunus added two runs in the fourth. De Jong walked Jeroen Sluijter and Shaldimar Daantji, then Shane Gnade took over the pitching, but also walked Eugène Kingsale to load the bases. A single by Benjamin Dille and a force play-grounder by Martijn Meeuwis then lifted the lead to 5-1. In the home of the fourth, Pioniers scored another run when Norbert Lokhorst led off with a double and went on to score on a wild pitch.

In the fifth, Neptunus scored their last two runs in the game. Andy Leer (walk) scored on a single by Shaldimar Daantji, who then went on to score on an error, which followed an infield-hit by Eugène Kingsale. Pioniers had also one run left in its fifth when Michael Duursma doubled and scored on a single by Edwin de Graaf.

At Rotterdam, Sparta/Feyenoord moved into a tie for fifth place after winning 10-1 vs. RCH, which remained winless. Sparta/Feyenoord got 12 basehits, including at least one by all nine starting players. The home team opened the score with two runs in the first inning on a wild pitch and a grounder by Eldrion Regina, but RCH came back with a run in the second. Ferd van Stekelenburg led off with a single and scored on a triple by Reggie Valpoort, who then was eliminated in a double play after next batter Giovanni Valmont grounded out. It was to be RCH's lone run. In the remained of the game, Valpoort became the lone runner to reach third base in the seventh inning, but in the same action was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a single by Jaïr Roseburg.

Sparta/Feyenoord got the run back in the home of the second in a steal-situation, then added two runs in the fourth on a throwing error and a single by Rutger Veugelers. In the seventh, five runs were added to increase the lead to 10-1. RCH's third pitcher in the game, Seppo Slaman made his first appearance of the season, but walked Gino Henson and gave up a single to Rutger Veugelers, which was followed by a passed ball and an RBI-triple to Rodney Michel. Slaman was relieved by Jean-Paul Gulinck, who today pitched in relief after having started two previous games. The lefthander was greeted with an RBI-single by Percy Isenia, walked the next two batters, had two wild pitches and saw two more runs being scored on a single by Mike Bazuin and a throwing error. Ewout Bos then became the third pitcher in the inning and ended the at bat with a double play.
(April 26)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores & Box Scores


Late comeback-wins Neptunus, Kinheim
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM / BUSSUM / AMSTERDAM / HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - On Saturday-afternoon, DOOR Neptunus trailed 5-0 vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers in the eighth inning, but came back to tie the score and went on to win 6-5 in the tenth inning thanks to a throwing error. Corendon Kinheim led twice, 4-0 and 5-1, but Mr. Cocker HCAW tied the score twice, but Kinheim scored seven more runs in the last two at bats to eventually win 12-5. L&D Amsterdam Pirates continued its winning streak, winning 11-3, handing ADO its sixth consecutive loss. Sparta/Feyenoord won 8-1 vs. MediaMonks RCH, which also is winless in six games.

At Rotterdam, after initially leading 5-0, Pioniers was two outs away from a 5-4 victory vs. Neptunus, but was left empty-handed, as it lost 6-5 in ten innings. Pioniers committed four errors in the eighth through tenth inning to give Neptunus five unearned runs.

Neptunus-starter Diegomar Markwell retired the first nine batters he faced, then gave a lead-off single to Jefferson Muzo in the fourth, but no harm was done. However, the lefty and his successor Jorian van Acker ran into problems in the fifth when they were unable to find the strikezone and walked five batters combined. In the inning, Pioniers scored five runs with two outs to take what looked to be a comfortable lead. With one out, Markwell walked Jeffrey de Vrieze and Joey Treurniet, then gave up a single to Tjerk Hogervorst, which loaded the bases. De Vrieze was then forced out at home on a comeback-grounder by Jefferson Muzo and it appeared that Neptunus would escape unharmed. But then Markwell walked Michael Duursma and Norbert Lokhorst to bring in two runs. With the bases still loaded, Markwell was relieved by Van Acker, who started by walking Mark Duursma and make it 3-0. Next, Ryan Murphy singled in a run, which was followed by a throwing error towards home, resulting in a 5-0 lead. But that would be all for Pioniers, as Van Acker gave up only two more hits in the next four innings and Pioniers would reach second base only two more times.

Neptunus left eight runners behind in the first five innings off starter Roger Kops, including the bases loaded in the fifth. Leading 5-0, Robin van Doornspeek took over the pitching for Pioniers and threw two shutout innings, but then was credited with four unearned runs in the eighth. Van Doornspeek first walked Martijn Meeuwis, then Jeffrey Arends reached on an error, which put runners on first and third. Meeuwis then scored on a sac-fly by Lennart Koster, followed by a groundout, which would have been the third out. Next, Jeroen Sluijter walked and Neptunus then scored twice on a double by Shaldimar Daantji, who advanced on an outfield-error. Van Doornspeek was replaced by Maarten Mulder, who gave up a double to Eugène Kingsale that made 5-4. In the ninth inning, lead-off hitter Raily Legito reached on an error, then advanced on a sac-bunt. After stealing third base, he scored the tying run on a single by Jeffrey Arends, but two runners were left behind, meaning the game went into extra innings. In the tenth inning, Neptunus went on to score the winning run. Shaldimar Daantji (3-for-5) led off with a single and was awarded second base when Jan Rehacek (who entered the game the inning before) balked. After Eugène Kingsale walked, Rehacek was replaced by Al Morales Gomes, who saw the two runners advanced on a sac-bunt by Benjamin Dille. The bases were then loaded by walking Raily Legito intentionally to set up a force play. The decision appeared to be effective, as next batter Martijn Meeuwis hit the ball to short stop Michael Duursma for a double play grounder. But Duursma threw the ball passed second baseman Norbert Lokhorst, enabling Daantji to score and give Neptunus the win.


...Michael Pluijmers scores tying run in 4th inning...
...Tjerk Smeets puts on the tag...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
At Bussum, Kinheim failed to hold the lead twice vs. HCAW, but in the end left the field as the winning team, scoring seven runs in the last two at bats to make it 12-5.

Kinheim struck first in the fourth inning by scoring four runs. With one out, Bryan Engelhardt doubled and Jason Halman singled, then Kevin Weijgertse followed with an RBI-single. Next, Rafaël Jozefa hit a 3-run homerun of starter Joey Eijpe to lift the lead to 4-0. However, HCAW reacted immediately and also scored four runs in its fourth at bat. Kinheim-starter Patrick Beljaards walked lead-off hitter Quensley Bazoer, then got two quick outs. The lefthander then made a fielding error himself on a grounder by Laurens Dammers and followed with a wild pitch, putting runners on second and third base. The two scored when next batter Adrian Anthony singled. Michael Pluijmers also singled and this time, the two runners scored on a double by Bart Gabriëls, which marked the end for Beljaards.

In the fifth, Kinheim re-took the lead. Dirk van 't Klooster led off with a walk, whereafter Joey Eijpe was relieved by Kyle Ward, but he would give up a 2-out RBI-single to Kevin Weijgertse, who was 3-for-5. Again, HCAW came alongside in its fifth. Onno Baur, who had relieved Patrick Beljaards, issued a walk to Quensley Bazoer, who then stole second base and went on to score on a sac-fly by Siemen Korff. In the remaining four innings, HCAW reached base eight times, but stranded six runners, including two on third base. In the sixth, they had the bases loaded when Adrian Anthony was caught stealing and the at bat ended with a strikeout. In the seventh, another runner was left at third base.

In the end, HCAW's bullpen was unable to hold Kinheim, which came back with two runs in the eighth inning. Rafaël Jozefa singled and Remco Draijer reached on a throwing error by pitcher Kevin Roovers on his sac-bunt. After the bases were loaded with a walk and the next batter struckout, Dirk van 't Klooster singled to bring in both runners and make it 7-5. In the ninth, Kinheim added five runs off new pitcher Joep de Wit. With one out, Rafaël Jozefa and Remco Draijer singled, then the first scored on an infield-hit by Josh Renick. Next, the bases were loaded when René Cremer walked, followed by an RBI-grounder by Dirk van 't Klooster and a 3-run homerun by Tjerk Smeets to make it 12-5. All players in the Kinheim batting order scored at least once.


...Rafaël Jozefa homers in 4th inning...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)

...Tjerk Smeets homers in 9th inning...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)


...Gregory Hassell steals third base in first inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Fausto Álvarez Rizo...
...3-run homerun...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
At Amsterdam, the home team led only 4-1 after six innings, but Amsterdam went on to win 11-3 to register its seventh win in a row and hand ADO its sixth consecutive loss. Initially, ADO opened the score in the first inning, but that lead lasted only briefly. Amsterdam-starter Adam Blackley walked Gregory Hassell and René Verbrugge to start the game, then gave up an RBI-single with two outs to Michel Korzeniewski, which gave ADO an 1-0 lead. Pirates answered with two runs in the second at bat off Jurrian Koks. Vince Rooi led off with a double and Zaïr Koeiman reached on a fielder's choice, then the two scored on back-to-back singles by Björn Henrichs and Wesley Connor.

After leaving the bases loaded in the third inning and two more runners in the fourth, Pirates added two runs in the fifth. With one out, Kenny Berkenbosch doubled and Pavèl van Zaane walked, then both scored on a double by Zaïr Koeiman. Four runs were then scored in the seventh at bat off Jeoffrey de Groot, who took over for starter Jurrian Koks after Koeiman's double in the fifth. With one out, De Groot gave up a single to Björn Henrichs (who was 3-for-4) and then an RBI-double to Wesley Connor (who was 4-for-6). With two outs, Sidney de Jong walked, followed by a 3-run homerun by Fausto Álvarez Rizo. In the eighth, De Groot gave up lead-off singles to Berkenbosch and Van Zaane, then Koeiman (3-for-5) followed with a 3-run homeun to make it 11-3. ADO had scored twice in the top of the eighth when Mark Kan, who relieved Adam Blackley after six innings, walked Boudewijn van Elswijk and Michel Korzeniewski and hit pinch-hitter Michel Croes with a pitch. A sac-fly by Remco Seitzinger and a single by Dave Steward then gave ADO its two runs, but Pirates reacted with three more of its own.


...Young Pirates-fans watch the game...
(© Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)

...Winning pitcher Adam Blackley...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

At Heemstede, Sparta/Feyenoord broke an 1-1 tie in the sixth inning and went on to win 8-1 vs. RCH, which is still winless. In the third, Sparta/Feyenoord scored its first run when Nick Eppinga singled with Mike Bazuin in first base. Bazuin then was caught stealing, putting Eppinga at second base, who then advanced and scored when next batter Gino Henson flied out and an error followed. RCH came alongside in its third when Jim Leijenaar singled and scored on a single by Anthony Sandstrom, his first basehit in the Dutch big league.

Sparta/Feyenoord took a 3-2 lead in the sixth inning. With one out, Roderick Simon and Eldrion Regina singled, followed by RBI-singles by Imco Rudolph and Mike Bazuin, which led to a pitching change. Sparta/Feyenoord then added five more runs in the last two innings. In the eighth, off rookie pitcher Jurandy Girigori, Eldrion Regina tripled with one out and Imco Rudolph walked, then the two scored on a 2-out single by Nick Eppinga. Three runs were scored in the ninth off new pitcher Ewout Bos. Rutger Veugelers walked and Rodney Michel singled, then the two scored when Percy Isenia doubled. With one out, Regina again tripled to make it 8-1.

After scoring its run in the third, RCH failed to add more runs and left six runners. In the fifth, with an 1-1 score, Jaïr Roseburg singled and Anthony Sandstrom doubled, but Roseburg was thrown out at the plate trying to score. In the sixth, now trailing 3-1, Tomas Casa led off for RCH with a triple, but stranded at third base.
April 25)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores & Box Scores


Come-from-behind win HCAW; First win Sparta/Feyenoord
Nederlands
BUSSUM / THE HAGUE / ROTTERDAM / HOOFDDORP (Neth.) - Mr. Cocker HCAW trailed 3-0 vs. Corendon Kinheim when the home of the seventh started, but the team then came back to score eight runs in the next two at bats to win 8-3. Sparta/Feyenoord shutout MediaMonks RCH 2-0 to register its first win of the season. League-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates defeated ADO 13-1 to remain unbeaten, while Konica Minolta Pioniers and DOOR Neptunus played a 3-3 tie in nine innings.


...HCAW-starter Kevin Miner...
(Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
At Bussum, Kinheim-starter David Bergman dominated vs. HCAW, striking out 13 batters in seven innings. In the first six at bats, the righthander gave up a lead-off single in the second inning to Randy Daal, who would be the lone runner for HCAW in that period! Leading 3-0, Bergman gave up a lead-off double to Bart Gabriëls in the seventh, followed by a 2-run homerun by Jason Rees. But hereafter, Bergman struckout the next three batters. Things went wrong for Kinheim in the eighth inning when HCAW rallied for six runs to win 8-3!


...Jason Rees homers in the 8th inning...
(Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
In the first four innings, HCAW turned three double plays, but also gave up the first Kinheim-run. Starter Kevin Miner, who was supported with a double play in the second and third at bat, walked Tjerk Smeets and Bryan Engelhardt to start the fourth inning, then the bases got loaded when Rafaël Jozefa singled. Smeets then scored when HCAW turned its third double play on a grounder by Kevin Weijgertse. Kinheim then increased the lead to 3-0 in the fifth. With one out, Josh Renick reached on an error and stole second base. With two outs, Dirk van 't Klooster walked, followed by a 2-run triple by Tjerk Smeets, which made it 3-0.

After being silenced by David Bergman for six innings, HCAW started to come back in the seventh inning when Jason Rees hit his third homerun of the season (all hit in home games) to make it 3-2. In the eighth, Siemen Korff also led off with a double, then Laurens Dammers reached on a throwing error by Bergman on a sac-bunt. Hereafter, Bergman was relieved by Nick Veltkamp. Juriën Overman then popped out and next batter Andy Raaff also would have been retired on a foul-fly, but catcher Tjerk Smeets and first baseman Rafaël Jozefa collided, missing the catch. Next, the rookie singled to bring in the tying run. The bases then got loaded when Veltkamp walked Bart Gabriëls and was relieved by Michiel van Kampen. The closer first struckout Jason Rees, but then walked Randy Daal, leading to the go-ahead run. Next, Adrian Anthony cleared the bases with a 3-run triple to make it 7-3 and later scored himself on an infield-hit by Sytze Visbeen.


...SS Bart Gabriëls completes a double play...
...in 2nd inning; Kevin Weijgertse slides...
(Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)

...1B Rafaël Jozefa and C Tjerk Smeets...
...collide in the 8th inning...
(Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)


...Fausto Álvarez Rizo...
...4-for-6, 2 2B, 6 RBI...
(Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Amsterdam-starter...
...Nick Stuifbergen...
(Photo: Henk Seppen)
At The Hague, Amsterdam led 4-1 after seven innings, then added nine more runs in the next two at bats to win big vs. ADO. Amsterdam collected 17 basehits, including four by Fausto Álvarez Rizo, who doubled twice and also had six RBI's. Wesley Connor reached base five times and had three hits. Zaïr Koeiman singled twice, doubled and tripled to also collect four basehits.

The league-leader took charge of the game right away in the first inning by scoring three runs. American pitcher Tyler Levin, who had two fine relief-outings last weekend, made his first start of the season, but gave up three doubles to the first four batters. Wesley Connor led off with a double, then Maikel Benner walked. Sidney de Jong (one-run) and Fausto Álvarez Rizo (2-run) then followed with back-to-back RBI-doubles. ADO reacted with one run in its first at bat, but that would be their lone run. Amsterdam-starter Nick Stuifbergen walked lead-off batter Gregory Hassell, who later scored on a grounder by Boudewijn van Elswijk. After throwing five hitless innings, Stuifbergen gave up an infield-hit to rookie René Verbrugge with one out in the sixth. In the next at bat, Rik Geestman took over and gave up ADO's second and last hit in the game to Ludwin Obispo, who led off the eighth with an infield-hit. Pim Walsma threw the ninth inning for Pirates.

Leading 4-1, Amsterdam rallied for six runs in the eighth inning off reliever Reynaldo Sarmiento Claro, who took over for Tyler Levin. Pavèl van Zaane led off with an infield-hit, then Zaïr Koeiman singled. With one out, the bases got loaded when Wesley Connor was hit by a pitch. Maikel Benner and Sidney de Jong then followed with RBI-singles. Next, Fausto Álvarez Rizo cleared the bases with a 3-run double. Rookie Lukas Reinders was then brought in to relief Sarmiento and saw another run being scored when an error was made on a grounder by Vince Rooi.

Amsterdam increased the lead to 13-1 by adding three runs in the ninth inning. Zaïr Koeiman led off with a triple and Björn Henrichs walked, then Wesley Connor singled in a run. The next two batters then walked to bring in another run and Reinders was relieved by Britan Aeden McQueary-Ennis, who gave up an RBI-single to Fausto Álvarez Rizo to make it 13-1.


...Wesley Connor steals 2B in 2nd inning...
...Shurty Tremus makes the tag...
(Photo: Henk Seppen)

...1B Myson Cathalina (70), SS Shurty Tremus...
...and 2B Ludwin Obispo (2) listen...
...to Fausto Álvarez Rizo...
(Photo: Henk Seppen)

At Rotterdam, Sparta/Feyenoord scored two early runs and held onto the lead to shutout RCH and register its first win of the season. In the first inning, Nick Eppinga led off with a single, stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Jimmy van der Veldt. With one out, Eppinga scored when an error was made on a grounder by Rodney Michel. After leaving runners on second and third base in the second inning, Sparta/Feyenoord added a run in the third inning. The third at bat initially was a repeat of the first. Rodney Michel led off with a infield-hit, stole second and advanced on a wild pitch, then went on to score on a 2-out single by Eldrion Regina.

In the fourth inning, Joran Klarenbeek took over for Van der Veldt and kept Sparta/Feyenoord under control. He struckout eight batters (including the first four he faced) and gave up only three more basehits. RCH stranded seven runners and failed to reach second base in the first eight innings off starter Rob Cordemans, who struckout twelve and gave up only three hits. In the ninth, off new pitcher Roy Beems, RCH came close to a run, but stranded three runners. Derick Francisca led off with a bunt-single, but then his pinch-runner Mark Smit was forced out on a grounder by Jakub Malik. Next, Tomas Casa singled and the bases got loaded when Ferd van Stekelenburg singled with two outs. But then, the inning and the game ended when Reggie Valpoort flied out. Making his debut in a RCH-uniform was short stop Anthony Sandstrom, but the replacement for Czech Petr Baroch struckout in his first three at bats and committed the lone RCH-error. Baroch returned home one day before the season started.


...Under the sunset in Hoofddorp, Niels Harteveld...
...makes his big league-debut with Neptunus...
(Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)
At Hoofddorp, Pioniers led 3-2 in the sixth vs. Neptunus, but the game ended in a 3-3 tie and was stopped after nine innings, because of the 10:50 PM curfew-rule (yes, it still exists). Neptunus initally took a 2-0 lead in the first inning off starter Ryan Murphy. Eugène Kingsale led off the game with a double and advanced on a grounder by Benjamin Dille. With two outs, Martijn Meeuwis walked and then Jeffrey Arends followed with a 2-run single to give Neptunus an early lead.


...Raily Legito is greeted after his...
...homerun in the 6th inning...
(Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)
Pioniers got one run back in its first. Jefferson Muzo led off with a double off rookie-starter Niels Harteveld (who made his big league-debut) and advanced on a wild pitch. He then scored on an one-out single by Norbert Lokhorst. Mark Duursma then walked, but two runners stranded when the 16-year old Harteveld struckout next batters Ryan Murphy and Tjerk Hogervorst. In the second inning, Pioniers got Sergino Martis (double) and Andley Simmons (single) on third and first base with one out, but then Jefferson Muzo flied into a double play.

In the third inning, Pioniers came alongside, but failed to take the lead, stranding three runners. With one out, Norbert Lokhorst and Mark Duursma walked and Harteveld was relieved by Jurjen van Zijl, who loaded the bases by walking Ryan Murphy, but Pioniers went on to score only once. First, Lokhorst was forced out at home on a grounder by Tjerk Hogervorst, then a run was scored when Van Zijl also walked Sergino Martis. But then, the inning ended when Joey Treurniet struckout.

Pioniers took a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning, but again failed to add more runs. Norbert Lokhorst led off with a double and Mark Duursma walked. After a flyout, the bases were loaded when Tjerk Hogervorst reached on an infield-hit. Next, Lokhorst scored the go-ahead run when Sergino Martis also got on with an infield-hit. This time, the inning ended when Joery Treurniet grounded into a double play. Neptunus reacted immediately and tied the score when Raily Legito led off the sixth with a homerun. In the remaining three innings, both teams reached base, but failed to add more runs. Neptunus stranded four runners in the final three at bats, while Pioniers left five runners.
(April 23)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores & Box Scores


Starting Pitchers coming days
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - On Thursday-evening, the first 3-game series of the season starts with games scheduled to be played on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. In this series, two unbeaten teams will face each other as are two winless teams. Konica Minolta Pioniers and DOOR Neptunus, who are both 4-0, open their series on Thursday in Hoofddorp, while MediaMonks RCH and Sparta/Feyenoord, who are both 0-4, meet on Thursday in Rotterdam. League-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates, which is 5-0, will meet winless ADO, which is 0-4, in The Hague on Thursday in their series-opener. The schedule is completed by Mr. Cocker HCAW, which is 2-2, and Corendon Kinheim, which is 2-3, who will meet on Thursday in Bussum.

Almost all probable starting pitchers have been announced for this 3-game series. For some games, a starter has yet to be named, which depends on which pitchers are needed in previous games. Amongst the 18 announced starters are six who will make their first start of the season.
(April 22)

Schedule & Starting Pitchers


Five in a row for Amsterdam
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM / THE HAGUE / HAARLEM (Neth.) - Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam extended its season-opening winning streak to five games by winning 7-4 in eleven innings vs. Sparta/Feyenoord on Sunday. DOOR Neptunus and Konica Minolta Pioniers also remained unbeaten and won their fourth consecutive game since the season opened on April 11. Neptunus came from behind to win 4-3 vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW, while Pioniers won big vs. ADO, 14-2. Corendon Kinheim shutout MediaMonks RCH, 3-0. Are Amsterdam, Neptunus and Pioniers unbeaten, Sparta/Feyenoord, ADO and RCH are still winless in the young season.


...Pinch-runner Orson Slaats is forced out...
...at 2B by rookie Seb Visser in 9th inning...
(Photo: Henk Seppen)
At Rotterdam, Amsterdam Pirates won its second extra inning game in two days. After winning 3-2 on Saturday in 10 innings, the squad needed eleven today to win 7-4, despite leading 4-0 in the fifth at bat. Pirates opened the score with two runs in the first inning. Wesley Connor and Maikel Benner led off with singles and advanced on a sac-bunt. After Fausto Álvarez Rizo was walked intentionally, Sparta/Feyenoord-starter Tim Roodenburg hit next batter Bas de Jong with a pitch, then gave up a sac-fly to Vince Rooi to make it 2-0. Two runs were added in the fifth inning. Wesley Connor again led off with a single, then Sidney de Jong singled with one out, followed by an RBI-single by Fausto Álvarez Rizo. The bases were loaded when Vince Rooi walked with two outs, then a throwing error on a grounder by Pavèl van Zaane enabled De Jong to make it 4-0, but a grounder followed, stranding three runners.


...Nick Eppinga (ex-Pirates) slides passed Maikel Benner (ex-Sparta)...
...to score the tying run in the 8th inning...
(Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the home of the fifth, Sparta/Feyenoord came back with two runs off Pirate-starter Jos de Jong. Roderick Simon and Eldrion Regina singled and went on to score on a single by Imco Rudolph and a sac-fly by Mike Bazuin. After throwing seven fine innings, De Jong was relieved by Kenny Berkenbosch in the eighth with Pirates leading 4-2. However, with two outs, Sparta/Feyenoord came alongside. Sape Wagenaar and Nick Eppinga singled, then the bases got loaded when Gino Henson walked. Rutger Veugelers followed with a single, which tied the score. With runners on second and third base, Percy Isenia was walked intentionally, then the home team left the bases loaded when a flyout followed. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Sparta/Feyenoord was close to the winning run. With one out, Imco Rudolph reached on an error and stole second base. Pitcher Gregory Gustina was then brought in as a surprise pinch-hitter and walked, then was replaced by a pinch-runner at first base. But then a force out and strikeout ended the inning.

In the tenth inning, Pirate-rookie Seb Visser, who entered the game in the fifth to make his big league-debut, reached on an infield-hit, but the visiting team struck with three runs in the eleventh. Herman Gaarman, who had taken over the pitching in the seventh, walked lead-off hitter Wesley Connor, who then advanced on a sac-bunt. After Sidney de Jong was walked intentionally, Fausto Álvarez Rizo followed with an RBI-single to give Amsterdam a renewed lead. Another intentional pass followed, this time for Bas de Jong, resulting in a pitching change. Roy Beems, who last year pitched in the Rookie Team of Amsterdam, took over and saw a run being scored when an error was made on a grounder by Vince Rooi. A basesloaded walk for Pavèl van Zaane then increased the lead to 7-4. Next, Seb Visser fouled out, resulting in a double play, as Bas de Jong, the runner on third base, was caught up in a rundown to end the inning. Mark Kan became Amsterdam's third pitcher in the eleventh, gave up a 2-out double to Imco Rudolph, but gave up no runs to earn a save, his first since 2007.

At Rotterdam, Neptunus was facing a 3-1 deficit in the seventh inning, but then scored three runs to win 4-3. After leaving two runners in the first inning, Neptunus scored the first run in the third inning. With one out, Eugène Kingsale doubled, advanced on a wild pitch, then scored on a fielding error. HCAW was silenced in the first three innings by Kevin Heijstek, but then scored twice in the fourth at bat with two outs. Jason Rees then singled and stole second base, then scored the tying run when Randy Daal followed with a single. Singles by Quensley Bazoer and Sytze Visbeen then gave HCAW a 2-1 lead. HCAW left two more runners in scoring position in the next two at bats, but then added a run in the seventh off new pitcher Jurjen van Zijl. With one out, Adrian Anthony singled and went on to score on a single by Bart Gabriëls, who was 3-fof-5. But then Jason Rees struckout, leaving two more runners in scoring position.

HCAW-starter Joey Eijpe held Neptunus to only four hits in six innings, but the lefthander then walked Matt McGraw to lead-off the seventh inning. Eijpe was relieved by rookie Kyle Ward, who loaded the bases by walking Jeroen Sluijter and Shaldimar Daantji. Ward was replaced by Kevin Roovers, who returned last week from Australia. The righthander started with a flyout, but then ran into problems. A sac-fly by Benjamin Dille led to a run, then Raily Legito followed with a double to tie the score. Next, Roovers uncorked a wild pitch which gave Neptunus a 4-3 lead.


...ADO-hurler Tyler Levin: 5 StrikeOuts...
(Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)
At The Hague, Pioniers collected 15 basehits, including at least one by all nine starting players. Third baseman Joey Treurniet had three basehits, while Michael Duursma scored four runs. Norbert Lokhorst contributed with four runs batted in. Pioniers opened with a 4-run rally in the first inning on RBI-singles by Michael Duursma, Mark Duursma and Joey Treurniet and a triple by Norbert Lokhorst. Two runs were added in the second inning on a grounder and an error, then made it 7-0 in the fourth on a single by Tjerk Hogervorst.

In the home of the fourth, Britan Aeden McQueary-Ennis accounted for a hightlight on ADO's side, as he hit an inside-the-park-homerun. While chasing the ball, centerfielder Jefferson Muzo ran into the fence and left the game an inning later. Pioniers added two runs in the fifth on a balk and a single by Lokhorst, then scored another run in the sixth when Joey Treurniet tripled and scored on a single by Andley Simmons. In the home of the sixth, ADO scored its second run when Shurty Tremus tripled and scored on a single by Boudewijn van Elswijk. Pioniers was then held hitless in the seventh and eighth inning by American pitcher Tyler Levin, who struckout five, but increased the lead to 14-2 by scoring four more runs off his successor Aeden McQueary-Ennis on a basesloaded walk, two sacrifice flies and a single by Jeffrey de Vrieze.

At Haarlem, Kinheim opened the score in the fifth inning vs. RCH, which turned two double plays in the first and third inning. Australian starter Chris Mowday held Kinheim to four hits, but then gave up a run in the fifth. With one out, rookie Kevin Weijgertse singled, advanced on a 2-out error and scored on a single by Josh Renick. Two runs were added in the seventh inning off two relievers. In the seventh, Jurandy Girigori took over for Mowday to make his big league-debut. The lefthander gave up a lead-off single to Jason Halman, who then advanced on a sac-bunt. After walking René Cremer, Girigori got a flyout from the next batter, but was then replaced by Dave Draijer. The veteran loaded the bases by hitting Josh Renick with a pitch, then gave up a 2-run single to Danny Rombley, which made it 3-0.

RCH stranded eight runners. In the third inning, the team got the bases loaded with one out, but then Reggie Valpoort grounded into a double play. In the sixth, Kinheim-starter Duko Jansen (who gave up only two hits, both in the third), walked two batters and was relieved by Patrick Beljaards. The lefthander (and Kinheim) then ended the inning when Tomas Casa grounded into a double play. In the remaining three innings, RCH added five basehits, but reached second base only twice. For Kinheim, this was its second win in a row against its former coach Bernie Beckman, who this season leads RCH. From 1999-2002, Beckman was the Head Coach of Kinheim, with current Kinheim's Head Coach Eelco Jansen being a member of the pitching staff. But this weekend, Jansen led his squad to a victory against his mentor.
(April 19)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores & Box Scores


Amsterdam, Pioniers, Neptunus remain unbeaten
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM / HOOFDDORP / BUSSUM / HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - L&D Amsterdam, Konica Minolta Pioniers and DOOR Neptunus remained unbeaten by all winning on Saturday, while Corendon Kinheim registered its first win of the young season.


...Björn Henrichs...
...Game Winning Single...
(Photo: Henk Seppen)
At Amsterdam, the home team trailed 1-0, but then came ahead thanks to a double by Sidney de Jong and single by Björn Henrichs. However, Sparta/Feyenoord came alongside in the ninth inning to force extra innings. Pirates then decided the game in the tenth inning to win 3-2 when Zaïr Koeiman singled with two outs and scored on another single by Henrichs, who was 3-for-5.

In the first five innings of the game, Amsterdam got the most chances, but failed to score, leaving eight runners behind, including the bases loaded in the fourth at bat. In the first, Wesley Connor led off with a single, then three outs followed. In the second, Bas de Jong and Kenny Berkenbosch led off with singles, but stranded. In the fourth, the first four batters reached base (including one on a force play grounder), but then three runners were left behind. In the fifth, a runner stranded at third base. Sparta/Feyenoord reached base only four times in the first five at bat off Australian starter Adam Blackley, stranded two runners on third base, but then opened the score in the sixth. Rubinet Koko led off with a double, then advanced and even scored on a throwing error by Blackley.

Pirates came alongside in the seventh. With two outs, Maikel Benner, who had reached base on an error, scored on a double by Sidney de Jong. The home team then took lead in the next at bat off new pitcher Gregory Gustina, who relieved starter Rob Cordemans. Vince Rooi led off with a double and went on to score on a 2-out single by Björn Henrichs. Sparta/Feyenoord came alongside in the ninth off closer Pim Walsma to force extra innings With two outs, Eldrion Regina and Nick Eppinga singled, then veteran Roderick Simon followed with an RBI-single to make it 2-2. In the tenth inning, Sparta/Feyenoord got two runners on base with one out. Gino Henson had singled and advanced to third base on a single by Rutger Veugelers. Henson was then eliminated during a failed squeeze attempt in which batter Percy Isenia missed the ball. In the home of the tenth, Zaïr Koeiman singled with one out, was awarded second base when Gregory Gustina balked and scored the winning runs when Björn Henrichs again followed with a single.


...Pionier-starter Ryan Murphy...
...five hitless innings...
(Photo: www.reni-foto.nl)
At Hoofddorp, Pioniers won 5-2 vs. ADO, but the win came in jeopardy halfway. Leading 2-0, Pionier-starter Ryan Murphy was relieved after five innings, despite throwing a No-Hitter. Al Morales Gomes took over, but ran into problems immediately and was relieved by Czech Jan Rehacek, who gave up an RBI-single to Shurty Tremus and issued a basesloaded walk to Michel Korzeniewski, enabling ADO to come alongside. Pioniers reacted immediately with three runs in its sixth inning on a 2-run single by Andley Simmons and a grounder. ,,We protect pitchers early in the season and work with a pitch count of 60'', explained Pioniers' interim Head Coach Theo Geerman the relief of Murphy after the game. Geerman currently fills in for Head Coach Frank Koene, who is sitting out a suspension of last season.

Pioniers scored the first run in the first at bat, but also stranded two runners. With one out, Michael Duursma scored on a single by Ryan Murphy, who also contributed in the second run and controlled the ADO-offense while being a pitcher. In the third, Duursma led off with a double and scored when an error was made on a grounder by Murphy. As a pitcher, Murphy retired nine of the first ten batters he faced, including the first seven in a row and was supported with a double play in the fourth at bat. In the sixth, Al Morales Gomes took over the pitching and gave up an one-out single to Remco Seitzinger, which broke the No-Hitter. After walking Gregory Hassell and René Verbrugge, the bases got loaded and Jan Rehacek was brought in, but he was greeted with an RBI-single by Shurty Tremus, then led the tying run being scored by issueing a basesloaded walk to Michel Korzeniewski. By taking Murphy off the mound, the Pioniers batting order also was adjusted, as the Canadian batted for himself and remained in the game as third baseman. This eventually resulted in seven players being listed in the number 8 slot of the batting order.

With the score now tied at 2-2 Pioniers re-took the lead by scoring three runs in the home of the sixth. With one out, Tjerk Hogervorst (walk), Norbert Lokhorst (single) and pinch-hitter Jeffrey de Vrieze (error) were on base and the three went on to score respectively on a 2-run single by Andley Simmons and a grounder by Jefferson Muzo. In the remainder of the game, ADO was silenced again by three relievers, including Shane Gnade, who made his big league-debut.


...David Bergman...
...3-hitter...
(Photo: Kinheim)
At Heemstede, Kinheim shutout MediaMonks RCH, 11-0 to win its first game after losing its first three of the season. Kinheim had ten basehits, including three by Danny Rombley, who also had three RBI's, as had Tjerk Smeets. David Bergman went the distance and threw a 7-inning 3-hitter.

Kinheim scored in all innings, except the seventh. A single by Tjerk Smeets put Kinheim ahead in the first inning and he then added a 2-run single in the next at bat, which followed and RBI-single by Josh Renick. In this at bat, René Cremer led off with a walk and Remco Draijer reached when a throwing error was made on his sac-bunt. Renick then followed with his RBI-single. After an infield-fly and a single by Dirk van 't Klooster, Smeets batted in two more runs with his single.

In the third inning, Danny Rombley singled in the sixth Kinheim-run with two outs. Another 2-out run was added in the fourth when Rafaël Jozefa doubled and scored on a single by rookie Kevin Weijgertse. The score was increased to 9-0 with two runs in the fifth. Josh Renick (fielder's choice) and Danny Rombley (double) then both scored on a single by Dirk van 't Klooster. The final score was reached in the sixth. René Cremer, Remco Draijer and Josh Renick all walked with two outs, resulting in a pitching change. Joran Klarenbeek took over, but was greeted with a 2-run single by Rombley.

Kinheim-hurler David Bergman gave up a lead-off infield-hit to Floris Morang, who was later doubled up. After Morang's single, Bergman retired eleven batters in a row, before giving up a lead-off single to Tomas Casa in the fifth inning, who became the lone RCH-player to reach second (and third) base. In the sixth, Bergman, who dominated gave up a lead-off single to Lex Leijenaar, the third and final RCH-runner in the game, but also was eliminated in a double play.


...Jason Rees is greeted after his homerun...
(Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
At Bussum, Jason Rees homered in the first inning to give Mr. Cocker HCAW an early lead vs. Neptunus, which came alongside in the fourth. HCAW re-took the lead by scoring twice in the fifth on a 2-run single by Quensley Bazoer, but Neptunus tied the score again, this time by scoring two runs in the sixth on a triple by Martijn Meeuwis and a single by Jeffrey Arends, who was 3-for-5. In the eighth, Neptunus scored three runs to win 6-3, thanks to two basesloaded walks and a grounder.

After HCAW had taken the lead in the first inning and turned a double play in the third at bat, Neptunus tied the score in the fourth. HCAW-starter Andre Hughes walked lead-off batter Raily Legito, who then advanced to third base on a single by Jeffrey Arends, then scored when an error was made on a force play-grounder by Matt McGraw. HCAW recovered by scoring two runs in the fifth off Diegomar Markwell after having left the bases loaded in the previous at bat. Despite making three consecutive errors, Neptunus appeared to escape the fifth inning unharmed, but in the end it gave HCAW a 3-1 lead. First, Laurens Dammers reached on a fielding error, but was caught stealing.

...2B Michael Pluijmers completes a double play...
...in 6th inning after retiring Jeroen Sluijter...
(Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
Next, Michael Pluijmers reached on a throwing error and advanced when another error followed on a grounder by Bart Gabriëls. But then, a force play followed for the second out on a grounder by Jason Rees. Hereafter, Gabriëls and Rees advanced on a wild pitch and Randy Daal was walked intentionally to set up another force play. But this time, Quensley Bazoer singled resulting in two runs.

Neptunus tied the score again in the sixth. Raily Legito led off with a single, which led to the replacement of Andre Hughes. Kevin Miner took over, but gave up a triple to Martijn Meeuwis, who then scored the tying run when Jeffrey Arends followed with a single. Another single followed and the bases got loaded with an intentional pass, whereafter Miner was relieved by Forstin Coenraad, who then was supported with an inning-ending double play.

In the eighth inning, Neptunus took charge of the game by scoring three unearned runs off Coenraad. Matt McGraw led off with a single and Jeroen Sluijter reached on an error with one out. After a flyout, the bases were loaded up when Eugène Kingsale was walked intentionally. But again, the force play set-up failed, as next batter Max Bijster walked to bring in the go-ahead run. Bijster, a rookie, entered the game in the third inning as the replacement of second baseman Benjamin Dille. The Belgian national team-player injured himself when running into a fence after catching a pop-fly on foul territory. Dille had to leave the game and needed some stitches above his left eye. OK, back to the eighth inning, where the bases are still loaded. The next run was then scored when everyone was safe on a force play-grounder by Raily Legito, then the third run was added when Martijn Meeuwis walked. Coenraad gave way to Joep de Wit, who then ended the inning, but the damage was done. HCAW was unable to add more runs in the last four innings, reaching base only twice. The highlight for HCAW and its fans in these at bats was the singing of 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game' by the father of Andre Hughes, as he also did on Opening Day.
(April 18)


...Jason Rees scores HCAW's third run in 5th inning...
(Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)

...Father Hughes sings 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game'...
(Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores & Box Scores


Amsterdam wins third in row in historic first; Starting Pitchers announced
Nederlands
HAARLEM (Neth.) - L&D Amsterdam Pirates completed a 3-game sweep on Thursday-evening by winning 5-4 vs. Corendon Kinheim, which is therefore winless after its first three games of the new season. Amsterdam not only registered its third win in a row, but also did it in a historic first, as two third generation-players played together in the same highest division game for the first time in Dutch baseball history. In the seventh inning, pitcher Rik Geestman and short stop Nick Urbanus both entered the game for the Dutch champion to accomplish this unique milestone. Geestman, who made his big league-debut last season, follows in the footsteps of his grandfather Wim Geestman, Sr. and father Tom Geestman, while Urbanus was preceeded by grandfather Han Urbanus and father Charles Urbanus, Jr. For Urbanus, tonight was his big league-debut.


...Rik Geestman (left) and Nick Urbanus...
...Third generation big leaguers...
(Photos: Henk Seppen)
In the game, two other records were renewed. In the sixth inning, 48-year old Fausto Álvarez Rizo hit a 2-run homerun to break his own record as the oldest player to hit a homerun in the Dutch big league. With this game, Official Scorer Marco Stoovelaar started his record-setting 33rd season in the Dutch big league, which he shares with Ben Goorts and Feiko Drost, who both scored their first game of the season last weekend. With this new season, this trio also broke its own record.

Kinheim took an 1-0 lead after a 10-minute delay because of lightning in the bottom of the second inning. With one out, the umpire crew stopped the game after lightning was followed shortly thereafter by thunder. After the brief interruption, Jason Halman hit the first delivery of Amsterdam-starter Nick Stuifbergen away for a homerun to give Kinheim the lead. Kinheim-starter Robin van Eis held Amsterdam scoreless for four innings, but was supported with two double plays. In the second inning, Kenny Berkenbosch grounded into one to end the at bat. In the third, Amsterdam had Zaïr Koeiman and Björn Henrichs (who both singled) on base when Wesley Connor grounded to third baseman Jeffrey Verbij, who then made a rare double play. Verbij stepped on his base to force Koeiman, then threw to second base to double up Henrichs, instead of throwing to first base.

Amsterdam came alongside in the fifth inning (when it also started to rain). Van Eis walked lead-off hitter Vince Rooi, who then moved on a single by Kenny Berkenbosch. After the two advanced on a wild pitch, Zaïr Koeiman sacrificed to centerfield, enabling Rooi to score, but moments later Berkenbosch was doubled up on second base as he returned too late. In the sixth inning, Pirates took a 3-1 lead. With two outs, Sidney de Jong reached on an infield-hit, then Fausto Álvarez Rizo followed with his 2-run homerun.

Two runs were added in the seventh inning. From here on, it started to rain heavier, but nevertheless the game could be completed. With one out, Kenny Berkenbosch (who was 3-for-4) doubled, which resulted in a pitching change. Onno Baur took over for Robin van Eis, but then a crucial error followed. Zaïr Koeiman grounded to third baseman Jeffrey Verbij, who threw the ball passed first base, enabling Berkenbosch to reach third base and Koeiman to reach second. Next, Björn Henrichs followed with a 2-run double down the rightfield line to make it 5-1.

Amsterdam-starter Nick Stuifbergen was relieved after four innings by Mark Kan, who held Kinheim hitless for two innings and went on to become the winning pitcher. In the seventh inning, Kan was relieved by Rik Geestman, while Nick Urbanus entered the game as the new short stop to accomplish an historic first. Geestman gave up a lead-off single to René Cremer, who then advanced on a sac-bunt by Remco Draijer and scored on a 2-out single by Danny Rombley. Kinheim came within one run in the eighth at bat. With one out, Jason Halman walked and Jeffrey Verbij singled, which marked the end for Geestman, who was relieved by Pim Walsma, who is a second generation big league-player, as his father Marten Walsma also played in the highest league. By the way, Kinheim also had three second-generation players in its line-up: Danny Rombley (son of Tony Rombley), Dirk van 't Klooster (son of Peter van 't Klooster) and Jason Halman (son of Ed Halman). Walsma was greeted by a 2-run double by Rafaël Jozefa, for whom this was his first hit in the Dutch big league. Jozefa's double made it 5-4, but he stranded at second base, as a strikeout and line out followed.

In the ninth inning, Urbanus got his first big league at bat and barely missed a basehit, as he lined out to short stop Josh Renick, who made a diving catch. In the home of the ninth, Renick led off with a single, then moved on a sac-bunt by Danny Rombley. After a flyout, Tjerk Smeets walked, but then the inning and the game ended when Jason Halman was called out on strikes.

In the meantime, the starting pitchers have been announced for the games scheduled for coming weekend.
(April 16)

Standings
Schedule & Starting Pitchers coming weekend
Line Score & Box Score


Schedule announced for Final Four
Nederlands
LAUSANNE (Switzerland) - The Technical Committee of the European Baseball Confederation (CEB) has announced the schedule for the Final Four, the championships weekend for the European Cup, to be played on June 20 and 21 in Barcelona (Spain) with the participation of two Dutch and two Italian clubs.

The event will be opened on Saturday, June 20 with the match-up of Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates meeting Fortitudo Barcelona from Italy, starting at 12:00 PM. Following this game, Corendon Kinheim is playing against last years Final Four winner Danese Caffè Nettuno, starting at 7:00 PM.

On Sunday, June 21, the two losing teams will meet each other at 11:00 AM, then the winners play at 6:00 PM for the European Champions Cup.

The home teams will be decided by draw during the Technical Meeting on Friday-evening, June 19.

All games will be played in Carlos Pérez de Rozas Stadium on Mount Montjuïc in Barcelona, the same location as last years Final Four and also the site of the 2007 European Championships/Olympic Qualifier.
(April 16)


Spectacular come-from-behind win Amsterdam
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM / ROTTERDAM / HEEMSTEDE / HOOFDDORP (Neth.) - After winning 11-0 on Saturday, Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates came-from-behind and scored four runs in the home of the ninth on Sunday to win 9-8 vs. Corendon Kinheim. The other three teams who won on Saturday, also won their game on Sunday. DOOR Neptunus won 10-1 vs. ADO, as did Konica Minolta Pioniers vs. Sparta/Feyenoord. Mr. Cocker HCAW defeated MediaMonks RCH 8-1.

At Amsterdam, Pirates trailed 3-0 when it scored four runs in the fourth inning on 2-run singles by Wesley Connor and Fausto Álvarez Rizo, but then Kinheim re-took the lead by scoring twice in the fifth on a 2-run throwing error. Again, the home team came back and tied the score on an RBI-single by Björn Henrichs. In the sixth, Danny Rombley homered to give Kinheim a 6-5 lead, then the Haarlem-squad added two runs in the seventh on a 2-run double by Rombley, who had four RBI's. In the home of the ninth, Pirates trailed 8-5, but then reached base seven times in a row to tie the score off closer Michiel van Kampen. The bases got loaded by Fausto Álvarez Rizo (walk), Bas de Jong (single) and Vince Rooi (infield-hit), then two runners scored on a double by Pavèl van Zaane. A force play was created by walking Zaïr Koeiman intentionally, but then Björn Henrichs again singled in the tying run. A force out at home followed on a grounder by Wesley Connor, followed by a flyout, but then Sidney de Jong singled in the winning run to complete the spectacular comeback.

At Rotterdam, Neptunus got 16 hits (one at least by all nine starters), including four by Raily Legito (two doubles), who also scored three runs. Jeffrey Arends also reached base four times and scored three runs. Neptunus scored twice in the second and third inning to take an early lead. In the third, ADO-starter Jurrian Koks was ejected after argueing balls and strikes. His British reliever Aeden McQueary-Ennis gave up eleven additional basehits and saw Neptunus extend its lead to 10-1.

At Heemstede, HCAW scored two unearned runs in the first inning, then added two more in the second on a sac-fly by Jason Rees and a double by Randy Daal and scored two more runs in the fourth on a double by Rees and a single by Quensley Bazoer to make it 6-0. In the ninth, Bazoer added a 2-run double.

At Hoofddorp, Pioniers had 12 basehits and reached base on 12 walks, stranded 16 runners (including the bases loaded in four straight innings), but won comfortably vs. Sparta/Feyenoord. Jefferson Muzo reached base five times and stole four bases. Mark Duursma also reached bases five times, including four on a walk. Tjerk Hogervorst also got on base five times and went 4-for-4. Winning pitcher Roger Kops gave up only three hits in seven innings.

(April 12)

Standings, Scores & Schedule
Line Scores & Box Scores


Champion opens with big shutout
Nederlands
HAARLEM / THE HAGUE / BUSSUM / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates started the season the same way it ended the last one, with a huge shutout-win against Corendon Kinheim. In Game Three of last years Holland Series, Amsterdam shutout Kinheim 12-0 in seven innings to claim the title and now, six months later, it handed the Haarlem-club an 11-0 shutout-loss in the 7-inning mercy-rule season opener.
DOOR Neptunus shutout ADO, 4-0, Mr. Cocker HCAW won 7-1 vs. MediaMonks RCH and Konica Minolta Pioniers nipped Sparta/Feyenoord, 4-3.

At Haarlem, Zaïr Koeiman led off the third inning for Amsterdam with a homerun (which was hit a 2:29 PM to become the first homerun of the new season) and triggered a 6-run rally in which Sidney de Jong, Bas de Jong (2-run) and Pavèl van Zaane (2-run) all doubled off starter David Bergman. Amsterdam added four more runs in the sixth and another run in the seventh. Australian starter Adam Blackley made his debut and went the distance for Pirates and gave up only three hits.

At The Hague, the game was scoreless for seven innings, before Neptunus scored its first run in the eighth, then added three in the ninth.

At Bussum, Australian Jason Rees made his big league-debut by hitting a single, triple and homerun in HCAW's win over RCH. Quensley Bazoer hit two triples in his first game for HCAW. Debuting German pitcher Andre Hughes struckout eight and gave up only four hits, while his father sang 'Take Me Out To The Ball Game' during the 7th inning stretch. Ron Jaarsma, who celebrates his 25th year as sponsor of HCAW, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

At Rotterdam, Pioniers trailed 2-0 when it scored three runs in the third inning on an error and a sac-fly, but Sparta/Feyenoord tied the score in the sixth. In the eighth, Pioniers re-took the lead on two errors. All seven runs in this game were unearned.

(April 11)

Standings, Scores & Schedule
Line Scores & Box Scores


Opening Day Rosters
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The Opening Day Rosters for the eight big league-teams are now available on this site.

(April 10)

Opening Day Rosters


Opening Day is around the corner; Starters announced
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Eight games are scheduled in the Dutch Major League, the Sudtours Hoofdklasse, in the coming Easter Weekend, four on Saturday, four on Sunday to mark the Opening Days of a new baseball season in the Netherlands. The season will run through the end of August and will end with the crowning of the 87th national champion in the rich Dutch baseball history. On the eve of the new season, the Opening Day starters were named. The Opening Day rosters will be posted on this site later today.

Coming weekend also will see four big league Head Coach-debuts and two who will be in charge with a new team. Only two teams will be led by last years Head Coaches: Rikkert Faneyte at Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam and Frank Koene at Konica Minolta Pioniers.

The weekend also will mark a new starting time for the Sunday-games, as all games on this day will start at 1:00 PM. This has to do with the launching of the Rookie League in which the second teams of the eight Dutch big league-teams will play. Last season, these teams were part of the First Division (playing interleague games) which now is compiled of twelve teams. The teams of the Rookie League will play their second games of the weekend following those of the big league-squads on Sunday, starting at 5:00 PM. The first games will be played on Friday-evening.

L&D Amsterdam Pirates vs. Corendon Kinheim
Defending champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates, which captured the title last year for the first time since 1990, opens the new season against Corendon Kinheim, its opponent in the 2008 Holland Series. Amsterdam's Head Coach Rikkert Faneyte named Australian lefthander Adam Blackley as the Opening Day starter for Saturday at Haarlem and is going with RHP Jos de Jong in the home opener on Sunday. Kinheim's rookie Head Coach Eelco Jansen named RHP David Bergman and RHP Duko Jansen as his starters. The last time that a lefthander was the Opening Day starter for Pirates was in 2003 when Jeroen Hubert took the mound. The last foreign born Opening Day starter for Pirates was Frenchman Maxime Leblanc, who went the distance in 2002 vs. Pioniers. Last season, Jos de Jong also started the second game and also did that while pitching for HCAW in 2005. For David Bergman, this will be his third consecutive (and fourth overall) Opening Day-start. Since 2001, Bergman threw in eight previous Opening Day weekends in a row, including the first five for Pioniers. For Duko Jansen, this will be his first Opening Day-weekend starting assignment since he started in 2005 for Kinheim and fifth overall. Jansen also had Opening-starts for RCH and ADO. The first game will be played on Saturday at Haarlem, Sunday's game will be played in Amsterdam.

DOOR Neptunus vs. ADO
Steve Janssen, the new Head Coach of DOOR Neptunus named LHP Diegomar Markwell and RHP Kevin Heijstek as his starters for the games against ADO. Leo Voogd, who makes his big league-debut as Head Coach at ADO, named RHP Ludwin Obispo and RHP Jurrian Koks as his starters. For Diegomar Markwell this will be his second Opening Day-start after his first in 2006 when he also started for Neptunus, but it will be his fourth starting assignment in an opening weekend. Kevin Heijstek will be making his second opening weekend start. He also started the second game in 2006. In the last two seasons, RHP Leon Boyd was part of the starting rotation, but he will make his professional debut this season, as he recently signed a contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. Ludwin Obispo and Jurrian Koks both will start their first season opening games. When Obispo takes the mound on Opening Day, it will mark the first time an Antillian pitcher is the starter ADO since Elton Koeiman started the season in 2002. The first game will be played on Saturday in The Hague, Game Two is Sunday in Rotterdam.

Konica Minolta Pioniers vs. Sparta/Feyenoord
Frank Koene, who will start his third season as Head Coach of Konica Minolta Pioniers, named RHP Ryan Murphy and RHP Roger Kops as the opening weekend starters against Sparta/Feyenoord, which will be led by rookie Head Coach Luty Bernadina. The latter assigned veteran righthander Rob Cordemans and RHP Tim Roodenburg as his starters. Ryan Murphy is making his first Opening Day-start and begins the season with his third different team in three years, as he played for RCH (2007) and Pirates (2008) in the previous two seasons. Roger Kops made two previous opening weekend-starts, including Game Two of last season. Rob Cordemans made several Opening Day-starts, including six since 2000. The experienced righthander also was the Opening Day-starter last season for Sparta/Feyenoord. For Tim Roodenburg, this will be his first opening weekend-assignment. The teams will play in Rotterdam on Saturday, then at Hoofddorp on Sunday.

Mr. Cocker HCAW vs. MediaMonks RCH
Jurjan Koenen, the rookie Head Coach of Mr. Cocker HCAW, has named German lefthander André Hughes as his Opening Day-starter, while RHP Kevin Miner has been assigned for Game Two against MediaMonks RCH. Starting for RCH, which is led for the first time by veteran coach Bernie Beckman, are LHP Jean-Paul Gulinck and Australian righthander Chris Mowday. For Hughes, Miner and Mowday, this will be their first opening weekend-assignment in the Dutch big league. Jean-Paul Gulinck makes his first Opening Day-start, but his second in an opening weekend, as he started last years Game Two. HCAW's last lefthanded Opening Day-starter was Jurriaan Lobbezoo in 2000. RCH's last lefthanded Opening Day-starter was Daniël Overbeek in 2001. For RCH, since 2000, Chris Mowday will represent the fourth different country as an opening weekend starter, following Magnus Jönsson (Sweden) in 2000, Ruan Klink (South Africa) in 2002 and Al Morales Gomes (Mexico) in 2008. Game One will be played on Saturday at Bussum, Game Two follows on Sunday at Heemstede.
(April 9)

Schedule & Opening Day Starters


Neptunus, Pioniers win tournaments
Nederlands
BUSSUM / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus and Konica Minolta Pioniers on Sunday became the repeat winners of the Hudson John Tournament and In Memoriam Charles Urbanus Sr. Tournament.

At Bussum, Pioniers went 3-1 in the 27th edition of the Urbanus Tournament to capture first place, just as they did last year. Pioniers opened on Saturday with 8-0 and 1-0 shutout-wins vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW and ADO, then added a 2-1 win vs. ADO on Sunday, but lost 4-1 to host HCAW, which finished in second place. HCAW won twice and lost once and missed a share for first place by playing an 0-0 tie vs. ADO on Sunday-morning. ADO finished in third place and scored only one run in its four games. Mark Duursma of Pioniers was Best Hitter and Most Valuable Player of the event, while HCAW's Kyle Ward was the Best Pitcher.


...Best Pitcher Kyle Ward...
(Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
In the opener on Saturday, Pioniers led 1-0 when it rallied for seven runs in the fourth inning to hand HCAW a big shutout-loss. In the at bat, two runs were scored on basesloaded walks, which were followed by a 3-run double by Norbert Lokhorst. HCAW registered only one basehit, a 2-out double in the fourth inning off starter Al Morales Gomes.

In the next game, Pioniers scored its lone run in the fourth inning when Michael Duursma singled and went on to score on a basesloaded walk for Andley Simmons, but the team left three runners behind. Pionier-hurlers Roger Kops, Robin van Doornspeek and Maarten Mulder threw a combined 6-inning No-Hitter.


...Pioniers' captain Mark Duursma is handed...
...1st prize by HCAW's Chairman Hans Zonneveld...
(Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
Day One ended with HCAW breaking a scoreless tie with three runs in the fifth inning. With two outs, HCAW then scored thanks to a single by Randy Daal and a 2-run single by Jason Rees, who today played in his first games for his new club.

On Sunday, ADO and HCAW played a scoreless 6-inning game. ADO reached base only once, due to a throwing error by pitcher Kyle Ward, who threw five innings and combined with Joep de Wit in a No-Hitter. HCAW got only two basehits.

In the fifth game of the event, ADO took an 1-0 lead in the second inning on a sac-fly by Ludwin Obispo, while opponent Pioniers was held scoreless by Aeden McQueary-Ennis, who gave up five hits, but saw Pioniers strand six runners, including three in the fourth. The British pitcher was relieved by rookie Lukas Reinders in the fifth and then Pioniers came back with two runs in the sixth to win the game, thanks to a single by Mark Duursma and a basesloaded walk for his brother Michael Duursma.

What Pioniers did against ADO, HCAW did againt Pioniers to close the tournament. Pioniers took an 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a single by Joey Treurniet, while starting pitcher Ryan Murphy, who made his pitching debut in yet another uniform in three years, struckout five in the first three innings. Murphy was relieved by Maarten Mulder in the fourth, who then gave up the tying run in the fifth when Quensley Bazoer tripled and scored on a single by Bart Gabriëls. In the sixth, Andley Simmons became the new pitcher for Pioniers, but he gave up three more runs, including two on a throwing error and one on a force play-grounder.

At Rotterdam, Neptunus remained unbeaten in the 11th Hudson John Tournament. After shutting out host Sparta/Feyenoord on Friday-evening, Neptunus shutout MediaMonks RCH 5-0, then added another shutout on Sunday, beating Namur Angels from Belgium 11-0. Sparta/Feyenoord finished in second place with an 18-1 win vs. the Belgians and a 6-3 win vs. RCH, which only one once, a 4-0 shutout vs. Namur. All individual awards also went to Neptunus. Jeffrey Arends was the Best Hitter and Most Valuable Player, while Diegomar Markwell was the Best Pitcher. Last year, Neptunus also was the unbeaten winner.

On Saturday, RCH shutout Namur Angels, 4-0. After scoring once in the third, RCH added two runs in the fifth on back-to-back RBI-doubles by Tomas Casa and Ricky Daal. The fourth run was added in the eighth inning. RCH-pitchers Jean-Paul Gulinck (seven strikeouts in five innings) and Martin Kuipers threw a combined No-Hitter.

In the next game, Sparta/Feyenoord crushed the Belgian squad 18-1. Namur opened the score in the first inning, but the home team came alongside in its first, then took the lead in the fourth at bat. Sparta/Feyenoord then rallied for 16 runs in the fifth inning. In the at bat, 22 players came to bat and produced nine basehits. Gino Henson, Rodney Michel and Percy Isenia all reached base three times in this inning.

Saturday's schedule was completed with a 5-0 shutout-win from Neptunus vs. RCH. The first run was scored in the second inning on an error, then another error accounted for the next run in the fourth at bat. Raily Legito doubled in a run in the fifth, then two runs were added in the seventh when another error was made.

On Sunday, Neptunus opened with an 11-0 shutout-win vs. Namur, which was held hitless by pitchers Niels Harteveld, Dushan Ruzic and Jorian van Acker. Australian Ruzic made his first appearance of the season. Neptunus collected eleven hits, including three by Jeffrey Arends (including two doubles), while American Matt MdGraw had three RBI's. Leading 5-0, Neptunus rallied for six runs in the sixth inning.

The tournament ended with a 6-3 win by host Sparta/Feyenoord, which took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, scoring two unearned runs on two errors. Veteran Gino Henson contributed with a run, two hits and two RBI's.

What the individual awards in Rotterdam is concerned, the winner of the Best Pitcher Award can be labeled as a surprise. Winner Diegomar Markwell (Neptunus) struckout four and gave up one hit in four innings, while Jean-Paul Gulinck (RCH) struckout seven and gave up no hits in five innings.

With these tournaments, the exhibition season ended, as the regular season opens next Saturday. Neptunus was the winner of the exhibition season. The last time Neptunus was the exhibition winner was in 2005 when it also captured its last national title.

(April 5)

Saturday's Line Scores & Box Scores
Sunday's Line Scores & Box Scores
Final Standings Exhibition Season
Exhibition Scores


Rick van den Hurk on Disabled List
Nederlands
JUPITER, Florida (USA) - Dutch professional pitcher Rick van den Hurk will be placed on the 15-day Disabled List by the Florida Marlins, retroactive to March 29. The righthander has an inflammation in his right elbow. The 23-year old Van den Hurk made only one appearance (one inning in relief) during Spring Training after he had pitched for the Netherlands National Team during the World Baseball Classic in which he made two starts. Before the WBC, he had pitched in one game for the Marlins.

Van den Hurk already has had an MRI to check the condition of his arm. In 2005, he underwent Tommy John surgery when he also got elbow problems, which then caused him to miss the first edition of the WBC. He now awaits word from the doctors who will inform him when he can start throwing again. Last year, Van den Hurk started the season as the number 2 starter in the rotation of the Marlins, but threw in only four Major League-games. He also wasn't available to pitch for the Dutch during the Olympic Games in Beijing and made his national team debut this year.
(April 4)


50 years Studio Sport
Nederlands
HILVERSUM (Neth.) - NOS Studio Sport, the leading and oldest TV-sportshow in Dutch history, celebrates its 50th year on television on Sunday, April 5. On this date, 50 years ago, in 1959, the first edition of this sportsmagazine was broadcast by the NTS (the predecessor of the NOS), under the name Sport in Beeld, which then was a cooperation between five Dutch TV-stations. The show was renamed Studio Sport in 1969 (when the NTS becomes the NOS), a name which was invented by Ed van Opzeeland, who worked for the show as its baseball reporter.

In the first edition on April 5, 1959, there were four items in the show: World Championships Table Tennis in Dortmund (West-Gemany), Head-of-the-river Rowing, the hockey-game Netherlands vs. Belgium and the soccer game Ajax vs. Feyenoord.

On Sunday April 5, a special edition of the show will start at 9:55 AM which not only covers actual sports items, but also looks back to the rich history of the program. It will run through 6:00 PM. Later on the day, starting at 8:25 PM, a reunion show will be broadcast with former and current commentators and anchors, including Mart Smeets, Theo Reitsma, Frank Snoeks, Tom Egbers, Dione de Graaff, Jan Stekelenburg and Herbert Dijkstra. These programs will air on Channel 1.
(April 4)


Neptunus shuts out Sparta/Feyenoord
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus opened the eleventh edition of the annual Hudson John Tournament on Friday-evening with a 9-0 shutout win vs. organizer Sparta/Feyenoord.

Neptunus-starter Diegomar Markwell gave up a lead-off double to Rubinet Koko in the first inning, but in the end that was to be the lone basehit for Sparta/Feyenoord in the 6-inning game. Four other batters reached base, but all on a walk. Neptunus opened with two runs in the first inning. After Eugène Kingsale, Benjamin Dille and Raily Legito all singled to load the bases, the first two score on an one-out double by Jeffrey Arends (who had three doubles in the game). After scoring single runs in the third and fourth inning, Neptunus rallied for three runs in the fifth, highlighted by a lead-off triple by Matt McGraw and an RBI-triple by Shaldimar Daantji.
(April 3)

Exhibition Standings, Scores & Schedule
Line Score & Box Score


EC: Kinheim also off to Barcelona
Nederlands
MATINO (Italy) - Corendon Kinheim on Saturday-evening became the last team to qualify for the Final Four in June in Barcelona by winning 8-2 vs. T&A San Marino, which last year played in the final of the first Final Four. Earlier in the day, Bologna qualified itself by winning 2-1 vs. FC Barcelona, which last year had qualified itself for the final event.

Kinheim broke an 1-1 tie with a 5-run rally in the third inning. Dirk van 't Klooster collected three basehits.

(April 4)


EC: Amsterdam qualifies for Final Four
Nederlands
NETTUNO Italy) - L&D Amsterdam Pirates on Saturday became the first team to clinch a spot in the Final Four of the European Cup, which will be played in June in Barcelona (Spain). Amsterdam won 8-4 vs. Buchbinder Legionäre from Regenburg (Germany) to secure at least the second place of the tournament in Nettuno (Italy). The second finalist came from the match-up between Danesi Caffè Nettuno Indians and Rouen Huskies, which was won by the Italians, 7-3.

Initially, Amsterdam trailed 3-1 in the third inning, but then score three runs to take the lead. Four runs were then added in the seventh inning.

(April 4)


EC: Amsterdam wins big vs. Tenerife
Nederlands
NETTUNO (Italy) - L&D Amsterdam Pirates on Friday-evening won big vs. Tenerife Marlins (Spain), 17-9 and is en route to clinching a spot for the Final Four in Barcelona.
However, there now comes a possibility that the tournament ends in a 3-way tie on Saturday-evening when Amsterdam beats the Germans and Nettuno wins against Rouen Huskies.

In the game against the Spaniards, Amsterdam collected 17 basehits, including three by Pavèl van Zaane and rookie Nick Urbanus, who made his debut in the team. Fausto Álvarez Rizo hit a 3-run homerun and had five RBI's in the game.
(April 3)


...Fausto Álvarez Rizo hits a 3-run homerun in 8th inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)


EC: Amsterdam shuts out Nettuno
Nederlands
NETTUNO (Italy) - L&D Amsterdam Pirates on Thursday-evening shutout host Danesi Caffè Nettuno Indians 4-0 to avoid elimination in its European Cup Tournament. The Amsterdam-squad got a great outing from Australian pitcher Adam Blackley, who gave up only three hits in seven innings. Kenny Berkenbosch and Pim Walsma then completed the game.

For seven innings, the game was a pitching duel between Australian national team pitcher Adam Blackley and former American pro Jeff Farnsworth. Blackley gave up only three hits in seven innings in his Amsterdam-debut and struckout six batters. Only two runners were able to reach second base, including Igor Schiavetti, who led off the first inning with a double. But the veteran stranded on second, as Blackley struckout the next two batters, then ended with a groundout. In the third, Nettuno had runner on first and second with two outs when a flyout ended the at bat. In the fifth, Blackley was supported with a double play from the flawless playing Amsterdam-defense.

...Starter Adam Blackley: Strong debut...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
From the fourth through seventh inning, Blackley faced only 13 batters with only two of them reaching base. Farnsworth, who pitched professionally in the minor leagues (A, AA, AAA) for the Seattle Mariners, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox from 1996-2007, threw six innings and gave up only four hits. But one of them led to the first Amsterdam-run in the third inning. With one out, Farnsworth hit Zaïr Koeiman with a pitch, who then stole second base. After striking out Wesley Connor, Farnsworth gave up a single to Maikel Benner, which accounted for the lone run of the game in six innings. Farnsworth, who threw in 44 Major League-games for the Detroit Tigers in 2002 (all in relief), struckout eight Amsterdam-batters. Amsterdam got a big scoring opportunity in the fourth inning when it got the bases loaded with one out. Fausto Álvarez Rizo and Bas de Jong then singled and Vince Rooi walked, but then two strikeouts ended the at bat.

Pirates broke open the game with a 3-run rally in the seventh inning off new pitcher Carlos Pezzullo to take a commanding 4-0 lead. With one out, Pavèl van Zaane and Zaïr Koeiman singled, then both scored when Maikel Benner singled with two outs. Koeiman was able to score all the way from first base, as the leftfielder added an error. Moments later, Benner, who himself had advanced to second base on the fielding error and after Marvin Bleij had walked, scored on a single by Sidney de Jong to make it 4-0.

Kenny Berkenbosch took over for Adam Blackley in the eighth and saw Nettuno threaten to score, but nice fielding work avoided that. With one out, Igor Schiavetti singled and Ramon Tavarez walked, but then a force out and groundout ended the at bat. In the ninth, Pim Walsma closed the door for the Italian squad by retiring three batters in a row.

By winning this game, Amsterdam now still is in the race for qualifying for the Final Four in June in Barcelona. A loss would have meant they would have been eliminated for the final weekend, as Rouen Huskies (France) remained unbeaten after beating Port of Antwerp Greys (Belgium) earlier in the day 5-4 in 11 innings. Amsterdam has the qualification now again in its own hands, but cannot permit missteps in its next games. In case, the games against Tenerife Marlins (Spain) and Buchbinder Legionäre (Germany) are also won, Amsterdam will qualify, while Rouen and Nettuno will battle for the final spot in the last game of the event on Saturday-evening.
(April 2)

Line Score & Box Score
European Cup Schedule


...Head Coach Rikkert Faneyte and Physical Therapist...
...Jeroen Kunstt check on Zaïr Koeiman after he...
...is Hit by a Pitch in the 3rd inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Zaïr Koeiman is able to continue playing...
...Moments later, he steals second base...
...SS Manny Alexander drops the ball...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...And Zaïr Koeiman goes on scoring the first run...
...Zaïr adds two basehits in the game...
...and scores another run in the seventh inning...
...Defensively, he is involved in seven outs...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...LF Vince Rooi makes one of his four catches...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Winning Pitcher Adam Blackley...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Losing Pitcher Jeff Farnsworth...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)


EC: Kinheim beaten by Bologna
Nederlands
MATINO (Italy) - On Day 2 of the European Cup Tournament in Matino, Corendon Kinheim was beaten 6-2 by Fortitudo Bologna on Thursday-afternoon, meaning the Haarlem-squad will finish in second place in their pool. The team therefore likely will meet T&A San Marino (which last season won the Italian championship) on Saturday to decided the qualification for the Final Four in June in Barcelona.

Kinheim didn't play its best game defensively, as it committed six errors, all in the infield, including two by new American short stop Josh Renick. Four of these errors led to five unearned runs in the fifth and sixth inning.

Kinheim took an 1-0 lead in the second inning when Bryan Engelhardt led off with a single and scored when Jeffrey Verbij followed with a triple. But then, Verbij was doubled up between third and home after next batter Jason Halman flied out. In the third inning, the team left the bases loaded. With one out, Josh Renick, Danny Rombley and Dirk van 't Klooster all singled, but then Tjerk Smeets struckout and Bryan Engelhardt flied out. In the fourth at bat, Kinheim had another big scoring opportunity when it got the loaded again with one out, but didn't score. Jeffrey Verbij and Jason Halman both singled, then the first was forced out at third on a grounder by René Cremer. Another force out was in the making on a grounder by Remco Draijer, but this time a throwing error followed to load the bases. But now the inning ended when Josh Renick grounded into a double play.

In the fifth and sixth inning, Bologna struck when the Kinheim-defense failed. Kinheim-starter Patrick Beljaards got the support of two double plays in the first four innings, but in the middle two at bats the Kinheim-defense fell apart. With one out in the fifth, Matthew Stocco doubled and scored the tying run on a single by Daniele Frignani. The latter then advanced to second on a failed pick-off by Beljaards and moved to third when Stefano Landuzzi grounded out. He then scored on an infield-hit by Juan Carlos Infante. Next, first baseman Bryan Engelhardt made an error on a throw by 3B Jeffrey Verbij after a grounder by Giovanni Pantaleoni, which put Infante on third base. Singles by Claudio Liverziani and Eddy Garabito then increased the lead to 4-1.
In the sixth, two more unearned runs were scored. With two outs, Daniele Frignani reached on an erorr by SS Josh Renick, then moved to third when Verbij made a bad throw on a grounder by Stefano Landuzzi. Singles by Juan Carlos Infante and Giovanni Pantaleoni (bunt) then made it 6-1.

Kinheim got one run back in the seventh when Josh Renick homered with one out, but failed to score when its again got runners on base in the eighth inning. Kevin Weijgertse and Jason Halman singled, then the latter was forced out on a grounder by René Cremer. After a strikeout, the inning ended when Cremer was picked off first base by the catcher.

Kinheim outhit Bologna 13-9, but made too many errors. Starter Patrick Beljaards was relieved after six innings by rookie Steven van Groningen, who made his debut in the Kinheim-squad and did a fine job in his first outing. The 21-year old righthander threw the last three innings, retired eight of the nine batters he faced and gave up only one basehit, followed by a double play-grounder.
(April 2)

Line Score & Box Score
European Cup Schedule


EC: Kinheim finally in action, registers first win
Nederlands
MATINO (Italy) - On Tuesday, it was a serious option to transfer the entire tournament to Parma or Rome, but on Wednesday, there was finally action on the field of Stadio Delle Castelle in Matino, as the second European Cup Tournament went underway on Wednesday with two games, a new schedule and a new format. On the first day, Corendon Kinheim defeated Templiers Senart (France) 8-1, while earlier in the day S&A San Marino won 6-1 vs. Draci Brno (Czech Republic). Dutch umpire Marlo Remilia officiated at first base in this opening game.


...Jeffrey Verbij...
...Homerun; 3 Walks...
(© Photo: Kinheim)
Kinheim opened the score in the second inning, but it took until the seventh inning for the Haarlem-squad to take more distance. In the second, with one out, experienced French pitcher Samuel Meurant walked Bryan Engelhardt, then gave up a 2-run homerun to Jeffrey Verbij. Hereafter, rookie Kevin Weijgertse walked and René Cremer was hit by a pitch, but two outs followed. The third run was added in the third at bat, but again two runners were left behind. Meurant hit lead-off hitter Danny Rombley with a pitch, who then advanced to third on a single by Dirk van 't Klooster and scored on a sac-fly by Tjerk Smeets. Bryan Engelhardt followed with a double to bring two more runners in scoring position. Jeffrey Verbij was then walked intentionally, but the inning ended when Kevin Weijgertse grounded into a double play. Weijgertse was added to the big league-squad two weeks ago to be the third baseman when Wouter Heemskerk had to put on the disabled list with a broken ankle. Last season, Heemskerk was the back-up third baseman for Vince Rooi, who left and plays for L&D Amsterdam Pirates this year. Kinheim stranded three more runners in the fourth and fifth inning. In the sixth, American Josh Renick reached on an infield-hit with two outs, but then was caught stealing.

The Templiers (or Les Templiers de Savigny-Lieusaint-Senart as they are officially called) also got several runners in scoring position, but scored only once. In the first inning, Kinheim-starter Duko Jansen gave up a lead-off single to Andrew Smith, then walked Evan Blesoff, but then a double play and flyout ended the at bat. In the second inning Jansen walked two more batters, but didn't encounter any problems, as he also struckout three batters. He then did gave up the first (and lone) run in the fourth. Ernesto Martinez led off with a single, advanced when Julien Brelle Andrade was hit by a pitch and was safe at third base when an error was made on a force play-grounder by Jean-Baptiste Breton to load the bases. Martinez then scored on a sac-fly by André De Sousa Rocha, but a strikeout and groundout prevented more runs.


...Duko Jansen...
...Winning Pitcher...
(© Photo: Kinheim)
Kinheim took more distance in the seventh inning by scoring three runs on reliever Steven Vesques. Lead-off hitter Danny Rombley reached second base on an error, then advanced on a wild pitch and beat the throw to home on a fielder's choice grounder by Dirk van 't Klooster. Tjerk Smeets followed with a single, but Van 't Klooster was then forced out on a grounder by Bryan Engelhardt. Kinheim got the bases loaded when Jeffrey Verbij singled. After pinch-hitter Rafael Jozefa struckout, the Haarlem-team added two runs when Vesques walked René Cremer and Remco Draijer with the bases loaded. Three runners were left behind when the inning ended with a flyout by Josh Renick. The lead was increased by scoring a run in both the eighth and ninth inning. In the eighth, Rombley led off with a triple and scored on an infield-hit by Van 't Klooster. In the ninth, Cremer walked and scored on a single by Rombley.

In the home of the sixth, Duko Jansen walked a batter with one out and was relieved by Nick Veltkamp. The lefthander then ended the inning by striking out the next two batters. Veltkamp added three more strikeouts in the next two innings, then was relieved by Onno Baur, who retired the side in the ninth. Jansen struckout five batters and gave up only two basehits in 5 1/3 inning. Three Kinheim-pitchers struckout eleven batters and gave up only four hits, produced by only two batters, Andrew Smith and Ernesto Martinez, who had two each. Two Senart-hurlers struckout ten batters, but also walked nine batters and gave up eleven basehits.

It was a long day for Kinheim, as the game started some minutes late around 8:30 and ended close to 11:30 in the evening. On Thursday-afternoon, Kinheim meets Fortitudo Bologna (Italy) in a game which will decide first and second place in their Pool.
(April 1)

Line Score & Box Score
European Cup Schedule


EC: Amsterdam handed loss by Rouen!
Nederlands
NETTUNO (Italy) - On Day 2 of the European Cup Tournament in Nettuno, Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates suffered a costly loss on Wednesday, as it was beaten 8-6 by French champion Rouen Huskies 76. Just like on Tuesday against the Belgians, this game was again interrupted by rain and was stopped in the top of the seventh inning. Pirates already trailed 6-1 after two innings, was able to come back from the fifth inning on and got the bases loaded in the seventh, but then the rain ended the game, which also started later than scheduled due to the rain. In the morning, Rouen Huskies had shutout Tenerife Marlins 2-0 in a make-up game, as this match rained out on Tuesday-afternoon. Starting pitcher Keino Perez (who threw a few years ago in the Dutch big league for Almere '90) went the distance, used 109 pitches, struckout six and gave up only three hits.

For several years now, several teams from countries like France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic or Sweden are no longer the 'weaker brothers' in European Cup-tournaments. And today, Rouen Huskies 76 underscored this by winning two games in one day!


...Starter Scott Ronnenbergh...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The game had a desastrous start for the Amsterdam-squad, as it was handed a 4-1 deficit in the first inning and trailed 6-1 after two at bats. Amsterdam opened the score in the first inning when Wesley Connor led off with a double, advanced on a sac-bunt by Maikel Benner and scored on a sac-fly by Marvin Bleij. However, in the next three innings, the team stranded eight runners!
Rouen Huskies, which has several internationally experienced players on its roster, reacted immediately by scoring four runs off rookie pitcher Scott Ronnenbergh, who had a nervous start. The lefthander first gave up a lead-off homerun to Joris Bert in a 3-1 count, which tied the score. The bases then got loaded quickly when Boris Marche walked, Dany Scalabrini singled and Luc Piquet reached when Ronnenbergh made a throwing error on his sac-bunt. Hereafter, David Gauthier singled through the middle to bring in two runs and gave the Huskies a 3-1 lead. The bases were re-loaded when next batter Flavien Peron was hit by a pitch. It was the 26th and last pitch for Ronnenbergh, who was relieved after facing only six batters. took over, but gave up a sac-fly to Nicolas Dubaut, which made it 4-1. The bases were then loaded again when Kan issued a walk to Jordan Bert, but this time the inning ended with a strikeout and flyout.
For your information, Amsterdam-starter Scott Ronnenbergh is the son of former Dutch big league-player Erik Ronnenbergh and big league-softball player Monique Geel, the nephew of former national team and professional pitcher Martin Ronnenbergh and the grandson of former big league-umpire Henk Ronnenbergh.
After Pirates left the bases loaded in the second inning, the French champion added two more runs (both unearned) in its second at bat. With one out, Dany Scalabrini walked and Luc Piquet reached on an error, then scored respectively on a double by David Gauthier and a grounder by Flavien Peron. The lead was then even increased to 7-1 when the French scored another unearned run in the fourth inning. With one out, Scalabrini singled and went on to score on a basesloaded walk for Nicolas Dubaut with two outs. Three French runners then stranded when a grounder ended the at bat.


...Rouen-starter Robin Roy...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Amsterdam reached base frequently in the first four innings, but was unable to score, leaving the bases loaded in the second and fourth inning! The story of the game was the veteran starter for Rouen, Robin Roy, who turns 40 in June. For the righthander, this was his first serious game since the French finals of 2006. With Rouen, he won the French title in 2003 and 2006 and led them to the champion as its Head Coach in 2005. After the 2004 season, his uniform number 21 became the first to be retired by the French club, as he was named as its coach for the 2005 season. He returned to the mound in 2006, but then retired at the end of that season. In August of 2007, Roy was diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent both surgery and chemotherapy. He recovered and during 2008, he started thinking of playing baseball again. In January of this year, Robin Roy decided to come out of retirement to pitch again for the Huskies, for whom he plays since 1991. The Canadian-born Robin Roy is an experienced pitcher, as he also was a longtime member of the French National Team. During the European Championships of 1999 in Italy, he was named Best Pitcher. Therefore, this must have been an emotional comeback for Robin Roy, not only because he was out of baseball for two years, but of course also after recovering from his illness. He showed that he still is one of the better pitchers in Europe.


...The face of Maikel Benner says enough...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
After scoring the run in the first inning, Amsterdam got the bases loaded in the second inning with two outs. Fausto Álvarez Rizo led off with a walk, but then Robin Roy struckout Bas de Jong and Vince Rooi. Roy then loaded the bases by walking Kenny Berkenbosch and Björn Henrichs. The inning then ended when Wesley Connor flied out. In the third inning, Marvin Bleij was hit by a pitch with one out, then Sidney de Jong followed with a double, but they also stranded as a strikeout and groundout followed. In the fourth, Pirates got its first three batters on base, but failed to score. Vince Rooi led off with a single and Kenny Berkenbosch walked, then both advanced when an error was made on a sac-bunt by Björn Henrichs. However, Robin Roy then struckout Wesley Connor and Maikel Benner and ended the inning when Marvin Bleij grounded out.

From the fifth inning on, the Amsterdam-squad finally was able to bring the runners around, but in the end it proofed to be too late. In the fifth, trailing 7-1, two runs were scored. Lead-off hitter Sidney de Jong reached on a throwing error, then Fausto Álvarez Rizo walked. A single by Bas de Jong enabled Sidney to score, then Fausto scored on a double play-grounder by Vince Rooi. Kenny Berkenbosch followed with a single and Björn Henrichs walked, but they stranded again. In the home of the fifth, Rouen got one run back off new pitcher Frank van Heijst, who gave up two singles with two outs and an error that led to the run, but this time, the French left two runners behind. Amsterdam narrowed the deficit to 8-5 by scoring two (unearned) runs in the sixth inning. Maikel Benner reached on an error and stole second, then Sidney de Jong walked with one out. Hereafter, Robin Roy was relieved by T.J. Stanton, who then enabled the two runners to advance on a wild pitch and gave up a sac-fly to Fausto Álvarez Rizo and a runscoring infield-hit to Bas de Jong.


...3B Vince Rooi throws out a French batter...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the seventh inning, Amsterdam was about to break open the game in its advantage, but the rain disrupted this late comeback. Kenny Berkenbosch led off with a double, then scored when Björn Henrichs followed with a single to make it 8-6. Wesley Connor then reached on a force play-grounder, as Henrichs was eliminated on second base. An error trying to complete a double play put Connor on second base. Next batter Maikel Benner then represented the tying run and walked. Hereafter, the bases were loaded when Marvin Bleij also walked with powerhitters Sidney de Jong, Fausto Álvarez Rizo, Bas de Jong and Vince Rooi being the next four hitters! But the game was then interrupted by the umpire crew due to the rain and after a delay, it was stopped definitively, resulting in an 8-6 loss for the Amsterdam-squad.

,,We didn't really lost from the French, we more lost from ourselves'', Amsterdam's Head Coach Rikkert Faneyte reacted afterwards. ,,That we left too much runners behind in the beginning is a pity, but did that ourselves. For me, a crucial error was made when we were in a bunt-situation in the first inning with runners on first and second base an no outs and didn't make the out. Hereafter, they scored three runs. That was a crucial moment. As long as everyone makes the plays, everything is OK for me, but we didn't make the plays and then it becomes a different story. We came back fine, but then the rain did the rest''.

Amsterdam was again outhit, this time only 9-8, but it left 14 (!) runners behind and committed four errors, resulting in three unearned runs and a loss. While Amsterdam of course has enough chances left to qualify for the Final Four, this loss might be very costly in the end.

At the time the Amsterdam-Rouen game was interrupted, the same happened with the match-up between Port of Antwerp Greys (Belgium) and Buchbinder Legionäre (Germany). However, that game was in the fifth inning (with the Germans leading 6-4) when the rain came, meaning it wasn't official yet. This game eventually was cancelled and was re-scheduled for Thursday-afternoon, starting at 4:00 PM. The evening game between host Danesi Caffè Nettuno and Tenerife Marlins (Spain) also was scrubbed and will be played on Thursday-afternoon, starting at 3:00 PM. In the evening, Nettuno will meet Amsterdam with its starting time being pushed back one hour and is now listed to start at 7:00 PM. As a result, the two afternoon-games of Thursday were moved to start at 11:00 AM to make room for the two make-up games. It also means that the German team has to travel from Nettuno to Anzio after its first game to play its second game Yes, it is fun to have an European Cup Tournament in March!
(April 1)

Line Score & Box Score
European Cup Schedule


...Reliever Mark Kan....
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Reliever Frank van Heijst...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Wesley Connor doubles in the first inning...
...He later scores the first run...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Despite a sliding Bas de Jong, SS Dany Scalabrini...
...completes a double play in the 5th...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)


EC: Green light in Matino!
Nederlands
MATINO (Italy) - On Tuesday-evening, the Technical Committee of the European Baseball Confederation (CEB) again reviewed and discussed the situation of the playing field in Stadio 'Delle Castelle' in Matino. The entire day, work was done to improve the situation after the field was rejected on Monday by at least four teams as well as the Technical Committee.

On Tuesday, it even looked as if the entire European Cup-event might have to be cancelled, but it didn't come that far. Because of the work that has been done during the day (and will continued to be done this entire evening and night), including equalizing the field, the safety for the players improved, so the Technical Committee on Tuesday-evening gave its approval. This means that the tournament will start on Wednesday with a new format and a new schedule.

In the new set-up, the six teams were realligned into two pools of three. Group 1 is being formed by FC Barcelona (Spain), Draci Brno (Czech Republic) and San Marino (San Marino), while Group 2 exists of Fortitudo Bologna (Italy), Corendon Kinheim and Templiers Senart (France). Kinheim is scheduled to play its first game on Wednesday-evening against Templiers, however, the team from Haarlem initially remained reluctant towards the playing site, but in the evening decided to go ahead.
(March 31)

New schedule in Matino


EC: Amsterdam opens with win
Nederlands
NETTUNO (Italy) - Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates opened the European Cup Tournament in Nettuno on Tuesday-afternoon with a rainshortened 4-2 victory against Belgian champion Port of Antwerp Greys. At the moment the seventh inning was about to start, the game was delayed because of heavy rain. After an interruption of more than half an hour, it was decided to halt the game, making it an official game, as the necessary five innings were played. The game between Tenerife Marlins (Spain) and Rouen Huskies '76 (France), which was scheduled to be played in neighbouring Anzio in the afternoon, was cancelled because of the rain. On Tuesday-evening, host Danesi Caffè Nettuno (Italy) will play against Regensburg Legionäre (Germany).

The Amsterdam-squad was off to a productive start by scoring three runs in the opening at bat, then added a run in the second inning, but that was it. In the first inning, Maikel Benner singled with one out and advanced on a wild pitch, then Marvin Bleij walked. The two scored when Fausto Álvarez Rizo followed with a triple to open the score. Moments later, Álvarez scored the third run on a grounder by Bas de Jong. In the next at bat, Pirates added a run with two outs. Zaïr Koeiman then reached second base on a missed fly in centerfield, then scored when the Belgian centerfielder also dropped a fly by next batter Wesley Connor. Hereafter, Maikel Benner walked, but two runners stranded.


...Starter Jos de Jong...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
After reaching base only once in the third, fourth and fifth inning, the Amsterdam-team got its first two batters on base in the sixth. Bas de Jong led off with a single and Vince Rooi walked, but then Kenny Berkenbosch grounded into a double play and Pavèl van Zaane grounded out.

The team from Merksem led off the first inning off Jos de Jong with a single by Filip Van der Meiren, but he was picked off from first base and then two outs followed. In the second inning, Bryon Bell led off with a single and later Sam d'Oliveira walked with two outs, but both were left behind. Trailing 4-0, the Greys scored their first run in the third inning. With one out, Filip Van der Meiren walked, then scored on a double by Dennis van Hoof. In the fifth inning, the Belgians added a run off new pitcher Nick Stuifbergen. Filip Van der Meiren again led off with a single, advanced on a sac-bunt by Dennis van Hoof and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He then scored when Gert Rosiers singled. In the sixth, Greys threatened to score again. With one out, two batters singled and advanced on a balk, then the bases were loaded on a 2-out walk, but the three runners stranded when Stuifbergen struckout Rosiers. By the way, five lead-off batters of Greys reached base. The Belgian team left ten runners behind and outhit Pirates 8-4.

When the seventh inning was about to start, it started to rain heavily. The game was interrupted, delayed and eventually stopped.
(March 31)

Line Score & Box Score
European Cup Schedule


...Winning pitcher Nick Stuifbergen...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...That's it for today...
...Amsterdam's Head Coach Rikkert Faneyte and Greys Manager...
...Carl Vanthillo discuss the rainy situation with...
...HP Umpire Allessandro Cappuccini (right) and Field Umpires...
...Sixto Bonilla (left) and Jens Waider...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)


EC: Matino-decision postponed!
Nederlands
MATINO (Italy) - The Technical Commission of the European Baseball Confederation (CEB) has postponed a decision on the status of the European Cup Tournament in Matino (Italy) until 6:00 PM today.

On Tuesday-morning, the playing field was reviewed again and work to prepare it and make it in a better condition will continue throughout the day. On Monday, the field in Matino was rejected by four of the five participating teams, as well as the Technical Committee. As of now, there are still several teams who refuse to play the games on the field.

As a result of this situation, the first three scheduled games, which were to be played on Tuesday, were all cancelled. When it will be decided that the field is playable, the format of the tournament will be changed. Instead of a 6-team tournament with all teams playing against each other, it will become a tournament with two pools of three teams. After three days of competition, there will be semi-finals (cross-overs) played on Saturday, as well as a match-up between the two third placed teams. The winners of the semi-finals will then qualify for the Final Four in June.
To be continued!
(March 31)


EC: Surprises for Pirates, Kinheim; Matino-tournament in jeopardy!
Nederlands
NETTUNO / MATINO (Italy) - Tuesday is the first day of playing in the two European Cup Tournament, which are set to take place in Italy. That is, at least one of them will start there on Tuesday, as the other is in jeopardy and might even be cancelled! Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates and runner-up Corendon Kinheim traveled to Italy with a good feeling on Sunday, but encountered some unexpected surprises after arriving.


...Bas de Jong holds the fence for...
...Sidney de Jong to enter the field...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Amsterdam-squad flew to Rome on Sunday, expecting a bus to wait for them at the airport for the one-hour trip to Nettuno. However, the team had to wait for more than three hours for the bus to arrive and bring them to its hotel. Then it became clear that having a training in the stadium of Nettuno was not possible, but another field was not available. Therefore, the squad of Head Coach Rikkert Faneyte looked around for themselves, found a field in nearby Latina and staged a practice session there. But players had to crawl underneath fences to get on the field. On Tuesday, Amsterdam opens their tournament in Nettuno against Belgian champion Port of Antwerp Greys..


...Players listen to Head Coach Rikkert Faneyte during their practice...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

The problems are much bigger in Matino, which is located in the south of Italy. As of now, Kinheim doesn't know if it will play on Tuesday and when it does where that wil be, as their tournament suddenly came into jeopardy on Monday. Kinheim flew to Bari late Sunday-evening and arrived in the middle of the night in Italy. For the Haarlem-squad no transportation problems, as their bus was waiting for them at the airport for the three hour drive to Matino. But on Monday-afternoon the problems began. While visiting the playing site in Matino, which is used by a Serie B-team, it became clear that the field was not in good shape. It was reported that it was in good condition about a month ago, but it was decided to change grass-parts of the field in the last few days. As it had rained steadily, the work was was deleyaed and the field wasn't ready in time. When Kinheim's Head Coach Eelco Jansen was on the field on Monday, some 40 persons were working hard putting together several grass-parts in the outfield of the site, which also felt soft. ,,This is unbelievable. I've never seen a field like this before. This is unacceptable'', said Jansen, who himself participated in several European Cup-tournaments as well as international events with the Dutch National Team. During the Technical Meeting in the evening, Kinheim, Fortitudo Bologna (Italy), S&A San Marino (San Marino) and Draci Brno (Czech Republic) all sounded unanimously and all rejected the field, making it clear that they refused to play the games on the field in Matino, because of its condition. The fifth and sixth participating teams (Templiers Senart from France and FC Barcelona from Spain) had not arrived yet when the meeting took place. The four teams who attended the meeting got support from the Technical Committee of the European Baseball Confederation, which also declared the field unplayable. Work will continue on the field the entire night, while other solutions will be discussed and reviewed, but a final decision will be made on Tuesday-morning, leaving open three possibilities. The field in Matino is declared playable and the event takes place as scheduled, the entire event will be moved to another site or the entire event will be cancelled! In case Kinheim is playing on Tuesday, it will meet Czech champion Draci Brno. To be continued!
(March 30)

Game Schedule Amsterdam & Kinheim


ADO plays tie vs. Euro Stars; Debut British player
Nederlands
THE HAGUE (Neth.) - ADO trailed 5-1 in the fifth inning on Tuesday-evening vs. First Division-champion Euro Stars, but came back and ended the 9-inning exhibition game with a 6-6 tie.

ADO opened the score in the first inning. Euro Stars-starter Erik de Rijcke walked lead-off batter Gregory Hassell, who then stole second base and went on to score on a single by Remco Seitzinger, but two runners stranded in the at bat. ADO-starter Jurrian Koks allowed only one batter to reach base in the first three innings, but then gave up four runs in the fourth inning. Euro Stars, which is loaded with former big league-players and has a lot of experience on its roster, registered five consecutive basehits, leading to four runs. They got runners on first and second when Ramphis Trinidad (who last season played for Sparta/Feyenoord) and Jeffrey Sprott both singled. Patrick Wabbijn then followed with an RBI-single to tie the score. Next, Euro Stars took the lead on an infield-hit by Stefan Venema and the bases then got loaded when Orlando Eduarda reached on a bunt-single. A passed ball and wild pitch then led to two more runs. Euro Stars made it 5-1 by adding a run in the fifth inning when Idelgardo Raap led off with a single and scored on a double by Jeffrey Sprott.

ADO got one run back in the fifth. Erik de Rijcke walked Niels Weis and René Verbrugge, then struckout the next batter and was relieved by Derrick Isenia, who gave up an RBI-single to Shurty Tremus. Euro Stars increased the lead to 6-2 in the eighth inning off new pitcher Ludwin Obispo, who had retired six batters on a row since entering in the sixth. But now, he gave up lead-off double to Jeffrey Sprott (who was 3-for-4), who then scored on a single by Patrick Wabbijn. ADO came back to tie the score by scoring four runs in the home of the eighth off new pitcher Edison Bito. With one out, Shurty Tremus walked and Koen Meershoek reached on an infield-hit, then the bases were loaded when Boudewijn van Elswijk singled. An infield-hit by Michel Korzeniewski, passed ball and a 2-out error in the outfield then accounted for the four runs and a 6-6 tie.


...Aeden McQueary...
In the ninth, British-born Aeden McQueary-Ennis made his pitching debut for ADO and retired the side, including striking out the last two batters. The righthander was born in England, but moved to the USA when he was seven years old. There, he attended North Florida Community College in 2004 and 2005, where he was chosen in All Star Teams. In 2006 and 2007, he played for Georgia State University and became a leader of the team. In his first season, he hit .303 in 2006 with 32 RBI's and five homeruns and was named MVP of the Panthers. McQueary then signed a professional contract with the San Diego Padres in June of 2007 and went on to play that same season for the Eugene Emeralds and Lake Elsinore Storm, both Single-A teams. In 29 games, he collected 22 basehits, including one homerun and had ten RBI's. In 2008, he started the season again in Single-A for the Padres, but finished the season in the Hickory Crawdads, the Single-A team of Pittsburgh Pirates. In his two professional years, he played in 74 games, registered 42 hits, including one homerun, and had 18 RBI's. While initially being a pitcher, McQueary was used primarily as a catcher at college and during his professional years. In his minor league-seasons, he threw in only two games, striking out three batters in two innings. From 2004-2007, McQueary played for the British National Team, appeared in 23 games and participated amongst other events in the European Championships of 2005 in Prague (Czech Republic) (6 RBI's) and 2007 in Barcelona (Spain). Between his last year at North Florida and first in Georgia, he played one season (2005) for the Fürth Pirates in the German Bundesliga.
(March 31)

Line Score & Box Score


Shairon Martis on 25-man roster!
Nederlands
VIERA, Florida (USA) - Antillian professsional Shairon Martis (who turned 22 on Monday) has made the 25-man roster of the Washington Nationals for the upcoming Major League-season, which opens next week. The righthander will be the fourth starter in the 5-man rotation of Manager Manny Acta.


...Shairon Martis...
(© Photo: MS)
It was reported that RHP Collin Balester will not be in the rotation and was optioned to the AAA-team of the Nationals, meaning that Martis and RHP Jordan Zimmermann became the fourth and fifth starter. The latter however will start the season in the minors, but will be added to the big league-squad to start on April 19 as a fifth starter is not needed before this date.

In five Spring Training-games, Shairon Martis struckout eleven batters and has an 1.42 ERA. In September last season, the righthander was called up to the big league-team and made his Major League-debut. On the site of Major League Baseball, Manager Acta states that ,,he thinks that Martis has pitched better than anybody in camp''. Martis learned from the media on Saturday-morning that he had made the team. Now that he has made the 25-man roster, the decision of Martis to decline an invitation to play for the Dutch National Team in the World Baseball Classic has been a good one. Martis stated back then that he had a chance of making the roster and wanted to focus on that. ,,If I were in the Classic, I wouldn't have had as many starts. I made the decision to stay here the whole Spring Training'', Martis is quoted as saying on the MLB-site. The other positions in the rotation are filled in by John Lannan, Scott Olsen and Daniel Cabrera.

Three years ago, Martis was a member of the Dutch National Team during the first World Baseball Classic and then wrote history by throwing the first and only No-Hitter in WBC-history when the Dutch shutout Panama. With this game, Martis made his debut in the national squad. He added two games during the European Championship/Olympic Qualifier in 2007 in Spain and two moire last year during the Olympic Games in Beijing.
(March 30)


HCAW wins tournament; First win ADO; First loss Sparta/Feyenoord
Nederlands
NIJMEGEN / ROTTERDAM / DEN HAAG (Neth.) - On Sunday, the teams were back on the field, as the weather conditions improved again and were much better than the day before, when all games rained out. As a result, six Dutch big league-teams played a total of six teams combined. Coming weekend, starting on Friday-evening, the exhibition season will be closed with the In Memoriam Charles Urbanus Sr. Tournament in Bussum and the Hudson John Tournament in Rotterdam. The regular season opens on Saturday, April 11. Last years finalists L&D Amsterdam Pirates and Corendon Kinheim arrived in Italy on Sunday for their participation in the European Cup Tournaments. Dutch champion Amsterdam opens on Tuesday against Belgian champion Port of Antwerp Greys in Nettuno, while Kinheim then meets Czech champion Draci Brno in Matino.

At Nijmegen, four games were played in the 21st edition of the Jan van de Vegte Memorial Tournament with Mr. Cocker HCAW again winning the event by winning twice. By the way, last years tournament ended with rain, with HCAW being declared the winner then based on games played. For HCAW, this was its seventh tournament-win in the last nine years.

In today's opener, Konica Minolta Pioniers defeated host De Hazenkamp, 9-1, but led only 3-1 after three innings. Pioniers (which left the bases loaded twice) scored twice in the opening at bat when Jefferson Muzo (walk) and Michael Duursma (bunt-single) scored on singles by Glenn Rombley and Jourick Blanco. The organizing club reacted with one run in its first when it got the bases loaded off starter Al Morales Gomes, whose transfer from RCH to Pioniers became official last week. A 2-out single by David Dalderup gave De Hazenkamp its first run, but then the inning ended when Paul Sabel, who also tried to score, was thrown out at the plate by leftfielder Jefferson Muzo. Pioniers got the run back in the second on a 2-out error, then took more distance by scoring four runs in the fourth inning. The first run in this at bat was scored on a double play, then a single by Jourick Blanco and basesloaded walks for Joey Treurniet and Tjerk Hoogervorst made it 7-1. The final two runs were added in the fifth on a force play-grounder by Jeffrey de Vrieze and a sac-fly by Andley Simmons. De Hazenkamp got only two more runners on base in the remainder of the game, but both were retired when Bas Timmer lined into a double play.

In the next game, Mr. Cocker HCAW trailed 2-1 after three innings, then broke a 2-2 tie by scoring two runs in the fifth inning to win 4-2 vs. MediaMonks RCH. HCAW took an 1-0 lead in the first inning when Michael Pluijmers (who brother Rick throws for RCH) walked, stole second, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Quensley Bazoer (who batted 3-for-3). RCH scored two runs in the third at bat off reliever Joey Eijpe, who walked lead-off hitter Jim Leijenaar, then gave up an infield-hit to Derick Francisca. Next, Ferd van Stekelenburg reached on a bunt-single, which was followed by a bad throw, enabling Leijenaar to score the tying run. Francisca then scored on a double play-grounder. HCAW came alongside in the fourth off new pitcher Ewout Bos. Randy Daal led off with an infield-hit and went on to score on a single by Juriën Overman. HCAW then broke the tie in the fifth with two unearned runs off new pitcher Dave Draijer when Michael Pluijmers led off with a double and went on to score on a throwing error. Quensley Bazoer, who had reached on an infield-hit, advanced to third in the error and later scored on a passed ball.

Hereafter, Mr. Cocker HCAW won 1-0 vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers, which tied the score in the seventh inning. However, that run and the at bat became unvalid, as the time-limit (according to the tournament rules) was reached. The final score and statistics were reversed to six complete inning with HCAW winning 1-0 and therefore becoming the tournament winner. The lone run of the game was scored in the first inning. With two outs, Bart Gabriëls singled, advanced on a wild pitch and scored when Randy Daal followed with a single. From here, HCAW reached base only three more times in the remainder of the game, including one on a single. With two on and two outs in the second inning, the next eleven batters were reached on order, before another one reached base in the sixth inning. Pioniers registered only three hits in its six official innings and reached third base only once. In the seventh, Glenn Romney led off with a single and would score the tying run, but that was declared unvalid.

The tournament ended with MediaMonks RCH winning 5-4 vs. De Hazenkamp. Like the game against HCAW, RCH gave up late runs, which jeopardized its lead. It led 5-1 in the fifth when the host suddenly scored three runs. De Hazenkamp took an 1-0 lead in the second inning with an unearned run off starter Jean-Paul Gulinck. The lefthander walked lead-off hitter Mark Schonenberg, who would scored on a force play-grounder by Mark Flink. RCH then scored four runs in the third inning. With one out, starter Robbert Vos walked Mark Smit, then got the bases loaded when Floris Morang singled and Derick Francisca was hit by a pitch with two outs. A single by Ferd van Stekelenburg then produced two runs, followed by a 2-run throwing error. RCH made it 5-1 in the next at bat when Lex Leijenaar (error) scored on a single by Smit, but it also stranded three runners. De Hazenkamp came back with three runs in the home of the fifth off new pitcher Rick Pluijmers. With a runner on base and one out, he gave up back-to-back RBI-doubles to Steffen Vos and pinch-hitter Bas Timmer, followed by an RBI-single by Wilvin Cespedes. With two outs, the home team got the bases loaded on an error, but a grounder ended the game and the tournament.
Final Standings 1. HCAW, 2. Pioniers/RCH, 4. De Hazenkamp.

At Rotterdam, Sparta/Feyenoord and DOOR Neptunus finally were able to play a game against each other. The first five exhibition match-ups between the teams all were canceled because of the weather conditions, but today it was a 'go', so the teams decided to play an 11-inning game. Neptunus won 7-3, handing Sparta/Feyenoord its first exhibition loss. Neptunus opened with a run in the first inning off starter Tim Roodenburg, who walked lead-off hitter Eugène Kingsale, who then went on to score on a sac-fly by Martijn Meeuwis. Neptunus rallied for five more runs in the third inning to take a commanding 6-0 lead. Shaldimar Daantji led off with a single, then Calvin Martinus walked and the bases got loaded when Kingsale also singled. Next, Roodenburg issued a walk to Benjamin Dille, leading to a run, followed by back-to-back 2-run doubles by Raily Legito and Martijn Meeuwis. Sparta/Feyenoord scored all three runs in the eighth inning off Jurjen van Zijl, the third Neptunus-pitcher in the game. Starter Kevin Heijstek threw three hitless innings, then Diegomar Markwell threw the next three and retired the eight batters he faced in a row, including five consecutive strikeouts. In the eighth, the bases got loaded on a single by Rodney Michel, hit by pitch for Eugène Kingsale and a bunt-single by Gino Henson. A sac-fly by Rutger Veugelers, single by Percy Isenia and grounder by Imco Rudolph then accounted for the three runs. Neptunus added its last run in the eighth off Gregory Gustina. With two outs, Raily Legito walked and scored on a single by Jeffrey Arends.

At The Hague, ADO registered its first exhibition victory, beating First Divisionist DSS, 9-3. ADO also announced it will play an additional game next Tuesday-evening, playing at home vs. First Division-champion Euro Stars. ADO's new Head Coach Leo Voogd made several changes in this game and at one time had replaced almost his entire batting order, including bringing back four players who were replaced earlier in the game and put them in a different spot in the order. The only player, who was not replaced was Martijn Riphagen, who batted in the number 10 spot. ADO decided the game by scoring seven runs in their last three at bats, as it trailed 3-2 when the home of the sixth started.
ADO scored the first run in the first inning when Ludwin Obispo singled with one out and scored on a double by Michel Korzeniewski. DSS came alongside in the second when Hugo Koehorst doubled and scored on a force play-grounder, but ADO re-took the lead in its third on a grounder by Korzeniewski. ADO-starter Reynaldo Sarmiento Claro then gave up two runs in the sixth as the result of a wild pitch and a single by Nick Tieman, which gave DSS a 3-2 lead. In the home of the sixth, ADO started to take control over the game by scoring three runs, thanks to a double by Shurty Tremus, a sac-fly by René Verbrugge and a wild pitch. One run was added in the seventh inning when Martijn Riphagen singled and scored on a double by Michel Croes. ADO then made it 9-3 by scoring three more runs in the eighth inning on back-to-back RBI-doubles by Dave Steward and Shurty Tremus and a sac-fly by Koen Meershoek.
(March 29)

Exhibition Standings, Schedule & Scores
Line Scores & Box Scores


Rain spoils games again
Nederlands
NIJMEGEN / ROTTERDAM / CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL (Neth.) - After two weeks of playing, rain was the big spoiler again today. On Saturday, the opening day was scheduled for the first of the three final preparations tournaments before the start of the regular season, which opens on April 11, but rain made it impossible to play today. Traditionally, Second Divisionist De Hazenkamp organizes a 2-day tournament two weeks before the opening of the season with the participation of three big league-teams. A week before the season opens, Mr. Cocker HCAW and Sparta/Feyenoord organize their tournaments, the In Memorial Charles Urbanus Sr. Tournament and Hudson John Tournament respectively. Last Thursday-evening, another game rained out, the match-up between ADO and Schiedam.
By the way, this coming Saturday/Sunday-night, the clocks will be moved ahead one hour in the Netherlands!

At Nijmegen, Mr. Cocker HCAW, Konica Minolta Pioniers and MediaMonks RCH traveled to this historic city for the 21st edition of the Jan van de Vegte Memorial Tournament, but it was a no-go on Saturday. The field became unplayable after heavy rain in the morning and initially it was opted to start playing somewhere in the afternoon. Eventually, it was decided to give the field a rest and play an adapted schedule on Sunday. The pairings of the Sunday-games were decided by draw.

At Rotterdam, the game between Sparta/Feyenoord and DOOR Neptunus also was canceled because of the rain. It was the fifth scheduled exhibition match-up between the two teams that was dropped because of the weather conditions. The two try to play against each other again on Sunday and they also will face each other next week in the Hudson John Tournament.

At Capelle a/d IJssel, ADO was to play on the first day of the 2-day tournament, organized by First Division-champion Euro Stars, but these games also had to be removed from the schedule. Besides ADO and Euro Stars, First Divionist DSS and the Rookie Team of Sparta/Feyenoord also participate in this event. On Saturday-evening, it was announced that all scheduled games for Sunday also were scrubbed, but that all four teams will play a game after all. Host Euro Stars is playing on its site against the Sparta/Feyenoord Rookies, while ADO will play at home in The Hague vs. DSS. Both games start at 2:00 PM.

Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates and runner-up Corendon Kinheim have no games scheduled this weekend. Both will leave for Italy on Sunday to participate in the European Cup Qualifying Tournaments. Amsterdam will play in Nettuno, while Kinheim travels to Matino. The top-two teams of both tournaments will qualify for the Final Four, to be played on June 20-21 in Barcelona (Spain).
(March 28)

Exhibition Standings, Schedule & Scores


Ponson gets extra minor league-start; Bernadina, Halman sent down
Nederlands
SURPRISE, Arizona (USA) - Aruban pitcher Sidney Ponson will get an additional start in a minor league game next Wednesday, before getting to pitch in a Major League-game. The 32-year old righthander signed a minor league-contract last week with the Kansas City Royals after pitching for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.

Due to a day off and using pitchers in other games, Ponson will make another start against the triple-A team of the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday. Last Saturday, he also faced the Seattle-AAA squad and threw five impressive innings, allowing only one run (a homerun). Ponson is a contender for one of the two remaining spots in the starting rotation of the big league Royals. It is expected that Ponson will get at least two appearances in the big league-team before the start of the season.

In the meantime were outfielders Rogearvin Bernadina and Gregory Halman both sent down to the minor leagues. Bernadina declined an invitation to play for the Orange in the WBC, as he wanted to try to earn a spot on the 25-man roster of the Washington Nationals. Bernadina was sent to the triple-A team of the Nationals in Syracuse last Thursday after having played in 13 games with the Nationals during Spring Training. He batted .250 (6-for-24), had two doubles, scored two runs and had one RBI, while striking out four times.
Halman appeared in four Spring Training-games for the Seattle Mariners and also batted .250 (2-for-8), scored once and struckout four times. Halman, who did play with the Dutch in the WBC, was sent to the double-A team of the Mariners in West Tennessee. Like Bernadina, Gregory was reassigned on March 19.
(March 23)


Kinheim recovers, another loss for HCAW
Nederlands
HOOFDDORP / AMSTERDAM / HAARLEM / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) / SOLINGEN (Germany) - On Sunday, the same five games as Saturday were played with two changes in location.

At Hoofddorp, Konica Minolta Pioniers won 7-2 vs. DOOR Neptunus. No futher details available yet

At Amsterdam, L&D Amsterdam Pirates again won big vs. MediaMonks RCH, this time 12-2 and outhitting the team from Heemstede, 15-4. The home team already led 4-0 after two innings and got a good outing from starting pitcher Rik Geestman. The righthander threw four innings and gave up only one hit, an one-out homerun to Ferd van Stekelenburg in the fourth inning. He allowed two other batters to reach base with a walk. Pirates belted three doubles off RCH-starter Joran Klarenbeek, accounting for the four early runs. In the first inning, Wesley Connor (infield-hit) and Maikel Benner (walk) scored on an one-out double by Fausto Álvarez Rizo. In the second, Pavèl van Zaane singled with one out, then Connor and Benner hit back-to-back doubles with two outs to make it 4-0.
After RCH got on the board thanks to the homerun by Van Stekelenburg and added a run on an error and single in the sixth, Amsterdam rallied for five runs off pitchers Seppo Slaman and Rick Pluijmers in their sixth inning. In the at bat, six hits were registered, including 2-run singles by Marvin Bleij and Bas de Jong. Pirates added three more runs in the seventh, including two on a single by Maikel Benner, who went 3-for-4, scored two runs and had four RBI's. Fausto Álvarez Rizo also had three hits.


...David Bergman...
(© Photo: Kinheim)
At Haarlem, Corendon Kinheim recovered from Saturday's loss and this time won convincingly, 10-0 vs. Port of Antwerp Greys in another 10-inning game. Kinheim outhit the Belgian squad, 15-3. Kinheim-starter David Bergman did outstanding in his first exhibition appearance after returning from the World Baseball Classic. The righthander threw four perfect innings, retired 12 batters in a row and struckout nine of them, including seven in a row. Nick Veltkamp, who took over for Bergman in the fifth, struckout six batters in a row after giving up a lead-off single in the fifth, which was to be the lone Belgian hit in nine innings, before it added two more in the tenth at bat. In total, the four Kinheim-pitchers in this game struckout 19 batters. Of the eleven remaining outs, only two were made in the outfield.
After the Belgian champs turned two double plays in the first three innings, Kinheim scored its first run in the fourth inning. Bryan Engelhardt then doubled with two outs and scored on a single by Rafael Jozefa, who last year played for the Dutch Caribbean Team during the Haarlem Baseball Week and this season will wear the colors of Kinheim. Kinheim then rallied for three runs in the fifth inning when Remco Draijer (walk), American Josh Renick (single) and Danny Rombley (single) scored on the single by the latter, a double by Dirk van 't Klooster and a sac-fly by Tjerk Smeets. Four more runs were scored in the seventh inning off new pitcher Robbe De Jongh, who gave up six hits, including an RBI-single by Dirk van 't Klooster, back-to-back doubles by Bryan Engelhardt and Jason Halman (the latter accounted for two runs) and an RBI-single by René Cremer. In the eighth, Danny Rombley (who was 4-for-6 and scored three runs) tripled and scored on a grounder, then another run was added in the ninth when Jason Halman scored on a wild pitch.

At Rotterdam, Sparta/Feyenoord remained unbeaten and won 7-5 vs. ADO, which remained winless. ADO was en route to its first exhibition victory, as it was leading 2-0 in the fifth inning, but Sparta/Feyenoord then rallied for five runs. ADO took an 1-0 lead in the first inning off starter Tim Roodenburg when Shurty Tremus doubled with one out and scored on an infield-hit by Michel Korzeniewski. After leaving three runners behind in the second at bat, the lead was doubled in the third at bat when Korzeniewski (fielder's choice) scored on a throwing error after a failed pick-off. ADO-starter Jurrian Koks held Sparta/Feyenoord to three hits in the first four innings, but then the home team starting scoring in the fifth. Rookie Eldrion Regina led off with a walk and next batter Imco Rudolph reached on an error. A rundown on a stolen base-attempt, enabled Regina to score the first run. After next batter Mike Bazuin reached on an infield-hit, Koks was relieved by Lukas Reinders with runners on first and third base. Reinders was greeted with an RBI-single by Nick Eppinga, then gave up back-to-back triples to Sape Wagenaar and Rodney Michel, which made it 5-2. Michel, who played in his first exhibition game, then was thrown out at home when he left on a flyout to leftfield by Jan Baldee to complete a double play.
The lead wasn't enough, as ADO was able to recover and tied the score in the seventh inning off new pitcher Herman Gaarman. The bases got loaded when René Verbrugge walked and Boudewijn van Elswijk and Remco Seitzinger singled. The first then scored on a wild pitch, the other two on a double by Shurty Tremus to tie the score. Sparta/Feyenoord re-took the lead by scoring two runs in the eighth when Nick Eppinga (walk) and Sape Wagenaar (error) scored on a double by Rodney Michel and a sac-fly by Jan Baldee, who will leave next Friday for the USA to prepare for his second professional season in the minor leagues for the Houston Astros. Sparta/Feyenoord had twelve batters in its batting order and it were the last four batters, who batted in six runs.

At Solingen (Germany), Mr. Cocker HCAW also lost its second game against Solingen Alligators, this time 6-2. Initially, the game was scoreless for four innings. HCAW-starter Kevin Miner allowed seven batters to reach base in the first three innings, with six of them getting into scoring position, five of which were left behind, including the bases loaded in the third inning. HCAW got on base six time in the first seven innings (no more than one batter in six at bats), then got the bases loaded in the eighth inning, before scoring their two runs in the ninth. Solingen scored its first two runs with two outs in the fifth off reliever Joey Eijpe. Patrick Kanthak led off with a single, then scored on a 2-out double by Chris Beck, who moments later scored himself on a single by Dominik Wulf, who was 3-for-4. Solingen outhit HCAW 13-4.
The German squad made it 5-0 by adding three runs in the seventh off Forstin Coenraad. A wild pitch, a runner beating the throw to home on an infield-grounder and a double by Robin Drache led to the runs. HCAW got three batters on base (all by a walk) with two outs in the eighth, but a force play ended the at bat. HCAW then scored its two runs in the ninth. Tim Berrier led off with a walk, then advanced on a double by Joep van Els and scored on a passed ball. Van Els later scored on a sac-fly by Laurens Dammers. Solingen got one run back in its ninth when pinch-runner Lars Szameitpreuss scored on a force play-grounder by pinch-hitter Oliver Kanthak, who is the Manager of the team and one of 19 players used in this game by the Alligators. Solingen reached base 25 times in this game, HCAW only thirteen times.
(March 22)

Exhibition Standings, Schedule & Scores
Sunday's Line Scores & Box Scores


International losses for Kinheim, HCAW
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM / AMSTERDAM / HAARLEM / THE HAGUE (Neth.) / SOLINGEN (Germany) - On Saturday, five more exhibition games were played and this under fine conditions, as the weather improved compared to last week. Spring finally appears to have been arrived in the Netherlands! Of the five games played, two were against foreign teams, and these two handed Corendon Kinheim and Mr. Cocker HCAW in international loss.

At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus outscored Konica Minolta Pioniers, 11-2. No further details available yet.


...Bas de Jong...
...2 2B, homerun...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
At Amsterdam, L&D Amsterdam Pirates won big vs. MediaMonks RCH, 16-6. Amsterdam-pitcher Jos de Jong had a fine outing, as he struckout eleven batters in the five innings he threw, including striking out the side in the first, third and fourth inning. The righthander gave up three hits, including an one-out double to Mark Smit in the third inning, who moments later scored RCH's first run on a 2-out single by Jim Leijenaar. Pirates got three hits in the first three innings off lefthander Jean-Paul Gulinck, who also had a good outing and threw scoreless innings. In the third, he gave up a 2-out double to Marvin Bleij to put runners on second and third base, but a grounder ended this scoring opportunity. In the fourth, Bas de Jong led off with a double and Vince Rooi reached on an error. Next, Gulinck was relieved with an 1-0 lead by Dennis Burgersdijk and hereafter, Pirates went on to take a 3-1 lead. First, the bases got loaded when Kenny Berkenbosch walked, then an error on a force play-grounder by Pavèl van Zaane accounted for the tying run. Sacrifice flies by Zaïr Koeiman and Wesley Connor made it 3-1.
Pirates then took total command of the game by scoring seven runs in the fifth inning. After Marvin Bleij led off with a walk, six consecutive basehits followed. First, Fausto Álvarez Rizo singled and this was followed by a 2-run double by Bas de Jong, a double by Vince Rooi, RBI-singles by Kenny Berkenbosch and Pavèl van Zaane and a 2-run triple by Zaïr Koeiman, who then scored himself on the second sac-fly by Wesley Connor. In the sixth inning, Pirates scored five (four unearned) runs off new pitcher Dave Draijer to make it 15-1. Bas de Jong led off the at bat with a homerun (his second in the exhibition season), then later in the inning, RCH committed three errors, there were RBI-singles by Björn Henrichs and Fausto Álvarez Rizo and a runscoring wild pitch. Pirates then got the bases loaded on a 13-pitch walk for Bas de Jong, but all three stranded. RCH rallied for four (unearned) runs off reliever Mark Kan in the seventh inning, which was highlighted by a 2-run double by Ferd van Stekelenburg. Amsterdam scored its last run in their seventh on a grounder, then RCH scored its last in the eighth on a sac-fly. Bas de Jong was 3-for-4 (2 2B, HR), scored three runs and had three RBI's.

At Haarlem, Corendon Kinheim lost 4-3 to Port of Antwerp Greys from Belgium in a 10-inning game. The Belgian champion opened the score in the first inning when Filip Van der Meiren led off with a double and went on to score on an one-out single by Bryon Bell. Kinheim tied the score in the second when Bryan Engelhardt opened his exhibition season the same way he ended the World Baseball Classic six days before, with a homerun (OK, he grounded out in his next at bat vs. the USA). There were no reports whether Engelhardt stood 'too long' in the batter's box this time or that there was a brushback to the next batter, but the score was tied, 1-1. Kinheim then took a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning when Tjerk Smeets reached on an error, moved on a single by Engelhardt to third base and scored on a force play-grounder by Jeffrey Verbij.
This time, it was the team from Belgium that came alongside. In the fifth inning, Kevin Roevens led off with a single off new pitcher Robin van Eis, then scored moments later on a sac-fly by Dennis van Hoof. The Greys made it 3-2 in the seventh inning when Nick Vanthillo reached on an error and scored on a double by Filip Van der Meiren, the first batter off new pitcher Patrick Beljaards. As it was agreed to play ten innings, both teams added a run in this at bat. The Greys made it 4-2 when Gert Rosiers led off with a double off closer Michiel van Kampen, then scored on a single by Bryon Bell. In the home of the tenth, Kinheim scored its third run when Remco Draijer led off with a single and scored on two errors. In the coming months, Kinheim has to do without Wouter Heemskerk, its third baseman and back-up catcher, as he broke his ankle on Friday-evening after making an unfortunate move when stepping off his bicycle.

At The Hague, Sparta/Feyenoord won 8-3 vs. ADO. Rob Cordemans, who made some strong relief-appearances during the World Baseball Classic facing Major League-hitters, today started for Sparta/Feyenoord and struckout five of the first six batters he faced. But the righthander also gave up a run in the third, which gave ADO a shortlived 1-0 lead. Michel Croes led off with a double and went on to score on an error. ADO's starter Ludwin Obispo also did fine, as he threw five good innings, giving up four basehits and facing only nine batters in the first three at bats (which included a double play). In the fourth, he gave up the tying run. Sape Wagenaar led off with an infield-hit, then Rubinet Koko also singled. Next, Wagenaar scored on an error to make it 1-1. Sparta/Feyenoord then took the lead by scoring two runs in the sixth off new pitcher Reynaldo Sarmiento Claro. Sape Wagenaar and Jan Baldee led off with singles and went on to score on an one-out single by Gino Henson.
The team from Rotterdam made it 6-1 by adding three runs in the eighth at bat. This time, Jan Baldee and Rubinet Koko started with singles. Gino Henson again followed with an RBI-single, then an error led to the second run and a sac-fly by Rutger Veugelers made it 6-1. In the home of the eighth, ADO scored twice off rookie Jeremy Ishak, who walked Shurty Tremus, then gave up an RBI-single to Dave Steward with one out and a sac-fly to Michel Korzeniewski. Sparta/Feyenoord made it 8-3 in the ninth, scoring two more runs off rookie Lukas Reinders. Imco Rudolph led off with a double and scored on a 2-out double by Jan Baldee, who was 3-for-3. In between, Nick Eppinga reached on a fielder's choice and scored on the third RBI-single by veteran Gino Henson, who had four RBI's.

At Solingen in Germany, Mr. Cocker HCAW played its first of two games against Solingen Alligators, last years champion of the 1.Bundesliga Nord, the northern division of the German big league. HCAW's new pitcher Andre Hughes last season played for the Alligators, so for him this weekend is his official goodbye to Solingen. HCAW took an 1-0 lead in the second inning off Cuban pitcher Enorbel Marquez Ramirez, but also took some risks on the basepaths. QUensley Bazoer led off with a single and stole second, then advanced on an one-out single by Juriën Overman. When the latter took off to steal second base, Bazoer was eliminated trying to advance to home on the throw to second. Overman later scored the first run on a passed ball. Former Alligator Andre Hughes started the game for HCAW and silenced his former teammates in the first three innings, striking out five. His reliever Rutger Zwaal then ran into problems in the fifth when the Alligators scored two runs. Dustin Hughes and Robin Drache led off with singles and went on to score on a basesloaded walk for Florian Götze and a hit by pitch with runners on all bases for Chris Beck, before an infield-fly and a force play followed, leaving three runners behind. HCAW came alongside and re-took the lead hereafter. New pitcher Carlos Mendez had problems with his control in the sixth inning, as the Dominican walked the first four batters he faced, while also throwing two wild pitches. HCAW scored only once, as a double play with the bases loaded supported Mendez, who then gave up another run in the seventh on a single by Bart Gabriëls, but HCAW again stranded two runners.
Trailing 3-2, Solingen rallied for three runs in the seventh inning off reliever Kyle Ward. German National Team-player Dominik Wulf contributed with a 2-run single, while an error led to the third run and a 5-3 lead. The Alligators then added another run in the eighth on a bunt-single by Julian Steinberg.
(March 21)

Exhibition Standings, Schedule & Scores
Line Scores & Box Scores (Kinheim & HCAW games added)


Sidney de Jong in TV Sports Talkshow
Nederlands
HILVERSUM (Neth.) - Sidney de Jong, catcher of the Dutch National Baseball Team and Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates, will be one of the guests next Monday-evening in Sport aan Tafel, the TV Sports Talkshow of digital soccer pay channel Eredivisie Live.

Last Tuesday, De Jong returned home with the national squad from the successful World Baseball Classic, where is defeated the Dominican Republic twice and reached the second round. Last year, De Jong, who made his national team debut in 1998, won the Dutch national championship with L&D Amsterdam Pirates, which captured the title for the first time in 18 years.

Other guests in the show are soccer-player Jan Vertonghen, who plays for Ajax and former soccer-player and current coach John Metgod, who recently led the training sessions of Portsmouth in Engeland. The show is hosted by Jan Joost van Gangelen and starts at 7:30 PM on Monday-evening. The show will be replayed several times in the days hereafter.
(March 20)


New player arrives for Neptunus
Nederlands

...Matt McGraw...
(© Photo: Un.Maine)
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Matt McGraw, a 23-year old Canadian utility player, arrived on Tuesday to join Dutch big league-team DOOR Neptunus. McGraw also has a British passport and might be a candidate for the British National Team, which is managed by former Neptunian Stephan Rapaglia.

After having played baseball for Nelson High School, where was the team's captain and batted .565 as a catcher and designated hitter in 2003, McGraw went to the University of Maine, where he played in four seasons for the Black Bears. In 2004, his first season there, he again was used as catcher and DH, batted .344, scored 23 runs and had 17 RBI's. He also was selected for the Canadian National Student Team, with whom he participated in the World University Championships in Tainan (Taiwan). The next year, McGraw batted .291 with 28 runs and 15 RBI's and also played in the outfield. In 2006, McGraw led the conference in walks, while batting .333 with 55 runs and 29 RBI's and five homeruns in 54 games with the Black Bears. He also stole 17 bases and was selected to several All Star Teams in the region. In his final year in Maine (2007), McGraw won the Dean Smith Award, which is handed out annually to the top male and female atletes at the University of Maine. In his last season, he primarily played in leftfield, had a .288 batting average, scored 43 runs, hit four homeruns, had 28 RBI's and stole 19 bases.

Last year, Matt McGraw played for the Burlington Brants in the Central Ontario Baseball Major League in Canada, hitting .398 with 39 runs scored, 17 RBI's and 30 stolen bases. In the Summer of 2006, between school-years, McGraw played for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in the Alaska Baseball League, which is collegiate summer league and produced several future Major Leaguers. With the Pilots, McGraw appeared in 35 games, hit .221 with 14 runs scored, 11 RBI's and eight stolen bases.
(March 19)


Leon Boyd signs minor league contract!

...Leon Boyd...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Nederlands
CLEARWATER, Florida (USA) / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Dutch National Team-pitcher Leon Boyd will not be pitching this season for DOOR Neptunus in Rotterdam, as the Canadian-born righthander has signed a Minor League-contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday. Boyd is the second Dutch pitcher to sign a contract as a result of the World Baseball Classic. On Tuesday, Sidney Ponson signed with the Kansas City Royals.

The 25-year old Boyd (who was born in Vancouver), who was nominated for the Best Pitcher Award the last two seasons in the Dutch big league, was invited for a try-out after the Dutch Baseball Team was eliminated in the World Baseball Classic on Sunday. Therefore, he didn't return with the team home on Tuesday, but stayed in Florida. Apparently, the Blue Jays liked what they saw, as they signed the tall righthander on Wednesday. Boyd now will report to the Minor League Spring Training-camp of the Blue Jays in Clearwater (Florida) to prepare for the upcoming season. It is not known yet to which team and class, he will be assigned.

Now that Boyd has signed a contract, it means that Neptunus will have to do this season without its pitching ace.

The signing of Boyd also means that he won't be available for the Dutch National Team for the World Port Tournament in July, but will be eligible for the World Cup in September.
(March 19)

Read more about Boyd, his performances during the WBC and his career in this previous article


Six exhibition games played on Sunday
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM / HAARLEM / ROTTERDAM / DIEMEN / CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL (Neth.) - On Sunday, six more exhibition games got in the books. With that, all eight clubs in the Dutch big league have played at least one game. The last one to do so was Corendon Kinheim.

At Amsterdam, L&D Amsterdam Pirates handed Konica Minolta Pioniers a 7-4 loss, collecting nine hits off six pitchers. Amsterdam rallied for four (unearned) runs in the fourth inning off Andley Simmons to seal the win. Only one of the seven Pirates-runs was earned. After both teams had scored a run on an error in the first inning, L&D Amsterdam took a 2-1 lead in the second at bat when Mitchel Koot reached on force play-grounder and went on to score on a sac-fly by Marvin Bleij. The Amsterdam-squad then broke open the game by scoring four runs in the fourth inning. With one out and a runner on second base, Marvin Bleij reached on a throwing error, then Fausto Álvarez Rizo followed with a force play-grounder for the second out. Bleij and Álvarez scored moments later on a triple by Bas de Jong. Next, Kenny Berkenbosch walked and he and De Jong scored when Zaïr Koeiman followed with a double. Konica Minolta Pioniers came back with two runs in the fifth inning. With two outs, Jefferson Muzo walked and scored on a triple by Mervin Gario, who later scored on a passed ball. Pirates got one run back in its seventh when Koeiman doubled and scored on a grounder by Koot. The last Pioniers-run was scored in the ninth. Andley Simmons then doubled and scored on a grounder by Tjerk Hogervorst. Three Amsterdam-pitchers issued nine walks, but gave up only four hits, while six Hoofddorp-hurlers walked six and gave up nine basehits.

At Haarlem, Corendon Kinheim won big vs. DSS, 13-1 on eleven basehits. Kinheim led 5-0 after two innings, then rallied for six more runs in the eighth inning of the game against DSS, with whom it shares the Pim Mulier Stadium. Kinheim collected eleven basehits, including three by Remco Draijer, who last season played for Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam. Five Kinheim-pitchers gave up six hits.

At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus shutout ADO, 5-0 in a 7-inning game. Three pitchers from Neptunus' Rookie Team gave up only one basehit, a lead-off single by Dave Steward in the seventh inning. Neptunus got on the board quickly by scoring three runs in the first inning. With one out, Benjamin Dille singled and Raily Legito was hit by a pitch, then the bases got loaded when Lennart Koster also singled. The first two then scored on a double by Jeffrey Arends, followed by an RBI-single by Calvin Martinus. Neptunus added a run in the fourth when Mourik Huijser reached on an error and scored on a double by Jeroen Sluijter. The fifth run was registered in the sixth. With two outs, Huijser again scored, as he was able to cross home plate on a basesloaded walk to pinch-hitter Max Bijster. ADO reached base six times in the first six innings (including five on a walk), before Dave Steward led off the seventh inning with their first and only basehit of the game,

At Diemen, MediaMonks RCH played a 2-2 tie in a 5-inning game vs. TIW-Survivors, which took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on three consecutive hits off starter Joran Klarenbeek. RCH came back with a run in the third on an error, then tied the score in the fourth.

At Capelle a/d IJssel, Mr. Cocker HCAW played two 5-inning games. In the first game, HCAW lost 7-6 to First Divisionist PSV, which trailed 5-2 in the fourth inning, then scored five runs. In the second game, HCAW won 7-4 vs. Euro Stars, last years champion in the First Division. HCAW was given a 3-0 deficit in the second inning, came alongside, trailed again in the fourth, but decided the game by scoring three runs. All HCAW-runs in this game were unearned.
In the first game, it fell to First Divisionist PSV, 7-6 after leading 5-2 in the fourth inning. HCAW scored four runs in the first at bat. Randy Daal (hit by pitch) and Quensley Bazoer (single) both scored on a double by Sytse Visbeen. With one out, Juriën Overman also singled, then Siemen Korff contributed with an RBI-single, while Overman later scored on a force play-grounder by Michael Pluijmers, who last season played for MediaMonks RCH. PSV got two runs back in the second inning off starter and German national team pitcher Andre Hughes when Daan Cornelissen (walk) and Willem van der Meer (double) both scored on a double by Kessler Rojer. HCAW made it 5-2 in the fourth at bat when Quensley Bazoer (last year playing for ADO) tripled and scored on a sac-fly by Visbeen. PSV got on top by scoring five runs in the fourth inning off new pitcher Kyle Ward, who hit Danny Arribas with a pitch and walked Willem van der Meer to start the inning. A single by Kessler Rojer and an error on a grounder by former HCAW-player Jeffrey Cranston then accounted for two runs, before the bases got loaded with a walk for Niels Brokken. PSV then tied the score on a single by Jurriaan Korff and took the lead on a grounder by Lucas Prins and a single by Harm Boesten. HCAW had only one more run in store on two errors in the fifth.
In the next game, HCAW won 7-4 vs. Euro Stars, but trailed 3-0 after the top half of the second inning. Starter Joey Eijpe walked two batters, threw two wild pitches, including one on a strikeout and another resulting in a run and gave up a 2-run triple to Idelgardo Raap. HCAW scored a run in the second when Adrian Anthony reached third base on an outfield-error and scored on a single by Juriën Overman, then tied the score in the next at bat on a 2-run double by Anthony. Euro Stars re-took the lead in the fourth when Raap hit his second triple with two outs and scored on a double by Jeroen Hermans, but HCAW then scored three runs in its fourth, which started with an error. A grounder, sac-fly and single by Visbeen accounted for the runs. In the fifth, another run was added on another error. All HCAW-runs were unearned. Last season, Euro Stars won the title in the First DIvision and played a best-of-five promotion Play-Off vs. ADO, which won the first two games after marathons of 18 and 14 innings. Euro Stars then brought the series in balance, but lost the decisive fifth game.
(March 15)

Exhibition Standings, Schedule & Scores
Line Scores & Box Scores


Exhibitions wins for Pioniers, Neptunus, RCH, Sparta/Feyenoord
Nederlands
HOOFDDORP / THE HAGUE / ENSCHEDE (Neth.) / MERKSEM (Belgium) - On Saturday, four exhibition games were played, depsite some drizzling rain. With this, seven of the eight Dutch big league-teams have now played at least one exhibition game to prepare for the upcoming season, which opens on April 11.

At Hoofddorp, Konica Minolta Pioniers won 5-3 vs. Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam in a 6-inning game. Pirates took an 1-0 lead in the first inning when Wesley Connor led off with a single and went on to score on a grounder by Fausto Álvarez Rizo. Also in the inning, Pirates-catcher Maikel Benner had to be replaced by a pinch-runner at third base, due to a hamstring-injury. Pioniers reacted with three runs in its first inning off starter Jos de Jong, who walked three batters, while the defense committed two errors. Fielder's choice grounders by Mark Duursma and Norbert Lokhorst and a single by Jeffrey de Vrieze accounted for the runs.
Amsterdam came back to tie the score with runs in the fifth and sixth inning off Al Morales Gomes, the third pitcher for Pioniers. At the moment, Morales' transfer from MediaMonks RCH to Pioniers is still upheld. In the fifth, Morales gave up a single to Wesley Connor, who then scored all the way from first base on a double by Mitchel Koot. In the sixth, the same happened. Bas de Jong led off with a single and scored from first base on a double by Kenny Berkenbosch. In the home of the sixth, Pioniers scored twice to win the rainshortened game. Mark Kan walked the lead-off batter, gave up three hits, then the runs were scored on a sac-fly by Jeffrey de Vrieze and a grounder by Joey Treurniet. New player Andley Simmons, who last year participated with the Dutch Caribbean Team in the Haarlem Baseball Week, played in his first game for Pioniers and went 0-for-3.
On Sunday, the two teams will play in Amsterdam.

At The Hague, DOOR Neptunus won 7-4 vs. ADO in a 7-inning game. After ADO stranded three runners in the first inning, Neptunus scored twice in the third at bat. Lead-off hitter Benjamin Dille reached on an error, then scored on a 2-out single by Jeffrey Arends, who himself scored on a basesloaded walk for Shaldimar Daantji. ADO came back with a run in the fourth on a fielder's choice grounder by Niels Weis, but Neptunus got the run back in the fifth when Jeffrey Arends (who was 3-for-5, scored three runs and had three RBI's) walked and scored from first base on a double by Shaldimar Daantji. ADO also scored a run in its fifth. Rookie René Verbrugge led off with a single and went on to score on a grounder by Remco Seitzinger.
Neptunus made it 7-2 by scoring four runs in the sixth inning, including two on a single by Arends, one on a basesloaded walk and another on an error. In the home of the seventh, ADO scored two more runs. Neptunus' third pitcher Jurjen van Zijl started the inning by hitting Ludwin Obispo and Gregory Hassell with a pitch, then both scored on a 2-out single by Michel Croes. Neptunus played the game with a batting order of eight players.

At Enschede, MediaMonks RCH won big vs. First Divisionist Tex Town Tigers, 12-1. No details are available yet.

At Merksem (a district of Antwerp) in Belgium, Sparta/Feyenoord won 6-3 vs. Port of Antwerp Greys. The Rotterdam-team opened the score in the first inning when Rubinet Koko led off with a walk, then went on to score on two passed balls. The second run was added in the fourth at bat. Percy Isenia led off with a double. Isenia, who was with the Dutch National Team in trainingcamp in Florida to prepare for the World Baseball Classic, but was cut from the final roster on February 22, then scored on an one-out double by rookie Eldrion Regina, who went 2-for-4 (two doubles) in his first game for Sparta/Feyenoord. In the fifth, the third run was scored. Sape Wagenaar was inserted into the batting order as an additional hitter, reached on an infield-hit and scored on a grounder by Rutger Veugelers. Sparta/Feyenoord made it 6-0 by adding three runs in the eighth. Veteran Gino Henson led off with a double and moved on a force play-grounder by Percy Isenia. Both then scored on a double by Roderick Simon, another veteran in the line-up, who later scored himself on an error.
Royal Greys, which opened its exhibition season two weeks ago in Rouen (France) with a 6-4 win and 17-0 loss vs. French champion Rouen Huskies, scored its three runs in the ninth at bat. The team of manager Carl Vanthillo scored all runs off new pitcher Roy Beems, who played in his first game for Sparta/Feyenoord. With one out, Beems walked three batters in a row, then gave up RBI-singles to Sam d'Oliveira and Gert Rosiers and in between walked Filip Van der Meiren with the bases loaded. In the first inning, the Greys had left the bases loaded off starter Tim Roodenburg, then stranded a runner on third in the next at bat. In the sixth, David Herssens doubled with two outs, but was tagged out after overrunning third base on an infield-hit by Andy Ruelle.
(March 14)

Exhibition Standings, Schedule & Scores
Line Scores & Box Scores


Field of participants announced for World Port Tournament
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - The organisation of the World Port Tournament has announced the field of participants for the twelfth edition of the event, to be held July 2-12 of this year.

In the 5-team, 11-day, 21-game tournament, Netherlands Cuba, USA, Japan and Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) will all send a team to the event to be played at Neptunus Familystadium in Rotterdam (Netherlands). In 2007, the same five countries participated. All these countries were also represented with a professional team during the World Baseball Classic, with four of them (Netherlands, USA, Cuba, Japan) advancing to the second round, which starts next Saturday.

During the WPT, there will be two games a day, starting at 2 and 7 PM. Tickets go on sale on April 1.
(March 12)


Assignments for Esselman, Remilia, Verbrugge
Nederlands
LAUSANNE (Switzerland) - Technical Commissioner Jan Esselman has received an invitation for the World Baseball Classic (WBC), while the European Baseball Confederation (CEB) has named the umpires for the two upcoming European Cup-tournaments, which will be played in Italy March 31-April 4. Two Dutch umpires are amongst the assignments, one for each tournament. Esselman also got an assignment for one of these tournaments.

Veteran umpire Arnold Verbrugge will travel to Nettuno, the tournament where Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates will participate, while Marlo Remilia will be one of the umpires in Matino, where Corendon Kinheim will play. Jan Esselman will the Chairman (Delegate) of the Technical Commission in Matino.


...Arnold Verbrugge...
(© Photo: MS)
Arnold Verbrugge brings a lot of experience with him to Italy. He made his international debut in 1997 during the CupWinners Cup-tournament in Hoofddorp (Netherlands), then officiated in his first big event the next year, when he was of the umpires during the World Cup in Italy. Verbrugge will be working in his twelfth Cup-tournament, including six for the European Cup (A and B-pool) and five for the CupWinners Cup (all A-pool). Last year, Verbrugge traveled to Grosseto in Italy for the European Cup-tournament, which then was won by Kinheim, but also officiated during the Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Taiwan.
Besides his eleven Cup-tournaments, Verbrugge was active on two World Cups, three Olympic Qualifiers, two European Championships, one World Junior Championships, one European Baseball Series, one Super Cup, six Haarlem Baseball Weeks and five World Port Tournaments. The umpire-crew in Nettuno include several experienced international umpires. Besides Arnold Verbrugge, they are Patrick Baeyens from Belgium, who last year officiated part of the season in the Dutch big league, American-born Dana Beszczynski (Austria), Sante de Franceschi (Italy) and Jens Waider (Germany). Also assigned for Nettuno are Sixto Bonilla (Spain), Alessandro Cappuccini, Marco Taurelli (both Italy) and Serge Makouchetchev (France). The Official Scorers will all come from Italy.


...Marlo Remilia...
(© Photo: MS)
Marlo Remilia made his international debut in 2007, during the CupWinners Cup-tournament in Hoofddorp (Netherlands) and will be working in his second Cup-event, but his first for the European Cup. Last year, Remilia also traveled to Italy, as he was one of the umpires during the European Championships Cadets there. Remilia also officiated in one Haarlem Baseball Week and one World Port Tournament.
The most experienced umpires in Matino are Italians Pierfranco Leone and Alessandro Maestri. Besides these two, Marlo Remilia will be joined in Matino by Lino Fabrin, Andrea Giabbani (both Italy), Mojmir Jankovic (Slovakia), David Kulhanek (Czech Republic), Frank Lautier (France) and Thomas Pelaez (Spain). In this tournament all Official Scorers also will come from Italy.


...Jan Esselman...
(© Photo: MS)
Jan Esselman received an invitation from Major League Baseball to be a member of the Game Operations Technical Commission during the second round of the World Baseball Classic in San Diego (USA) (March 15-19). Three years ago, during the first WBC, Esselman also served in the Technical Commission during the second round (Anaheim) as well as the final round (San Diego). Esselman will be the only European in the commission and one of six members of the technical commission of the International BAseball Federation (IBAF), who have been invited. In the first round, four IBAF-TC were assigned, Canadian Tom Valcke for Pool A in Tokyo, Puerto Rican George Santiago for Pool B in Mexico City, Cuban Rodolfo Puente for Pool C in Toronto and Japanese Koji Aso for Pool D in Puerto Rico. In the second round, the latter also will be a TC-member in Miami, while Esselman will be in San Diego. In the final round in Los Angeles, American Darin Van Tassell will represent the IBAF. The General Manager of the TC is Ed Burns of Major League Baseball, who also will be in Puerto Rico, Miami and Los Angeles, while Joe Garagiola, Jr. (also of MLB) will head the commissions in Japan and San Diego.
There will be no Dutch umpires in this years WBC. Three years ago Fred van Groningen Schinkel was active during the first round (Miami) and second round (Puerto Rico). This year, more Major League-umpires will participate, as well as two umpires from Canada and several umpires from Central America and Asia.
In the past, Esselman was a member of the Technical Commission, or its Chairman, or its Delegate, during the Olympic Games in 1996 (Atlanta), 2000 (Sydney), 2004 (Athens) and Beijing (2008), the Olympic Qualifiers in 2003 Netherlands), 2007 (Spain) and 2008 (Taiwan), the Olympic Test Event in 2004 (Athens) and several European Championships, World Championships, Intercontinental Cups and European Cup Tournaments.
(March 8)


Two exhibition games canceled
Nederlands
THE HAGUE / DORDRECHT (Neth.) - Both exhibition games scheduled for Sunday-afternoon were canceled due to field conditions.
At The Hague, ADO was to play against its Rookie-Team, while Sparta/Feyenoord was to meet DOOR Neptunus at the site of The Hawks in Dordrecht. Sparta/Feyenoord and Neptunus had four games scheduled against each other in the last two weekends, but all were scrubbed, because of the conditions of their respective playing fields.

Next Saturday, it the first day with a full schedule, as six games are listed. Seven of the eight big league-teams will come into action, except for Mr. Cocker HCAW, which will have a practice session. Sparta/Feyenoord will travel to Antwerp in Belgium to play two games. HCAW will play two games on Sunday, participating in a 3-team event at Euro Stars in Capelle a/d IJssel.
(March 8)

Exhibition Standings, Schedule & Scores


Pirates, HCAW open exhibition season
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM / BUSSUM (Neth.) - Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates and Mr. Cocker HCAW opened the exhibition season on Saturday-afternoon by playing games against their Rookie Teams. Pirates won 13-3, while HCAW triumphed 12-0.

At Amsterdam, the Dutch champion trailed 2-0 after three innings, as the Rookies scored twice in the third off starter Jos de Jong. Michael Kramer (double) and Roelie Henrique (bunt-single) scored on a grounder by Lindell Finsey and an infield-hit by Nick Urbanus, who was 3-for-4. After Scott Ronnenbergh had pitched three scoreless innings to the big league-team, his reliever gave up two runs in the fourth on a wild pitch and a grounder by Mitchel Koot. The team then took a 3-2 lead in the fifth on a double by Bas de Jong. A 6-run rally followed in the sixth inning, highlighted by a 2-run homeun by De Jong, who was 4-for-5, scored two runs and had three RBI's. Also in the inning were RBI-doubles by Koot and Marvin Bleij. In the seventh, two runs were added on four singles, then Kenny Berkenbosch hit a 2-run homerun in the eight to make it 13-3. The Rookies had scored their third run in the sixth inning on a double by Casper Capel.

At Bussum, HCAW played its Rookie-Team with the pitchers throwing for the opposing team against their own teammates. Four pitchers form the Rookie-squad, Robin Schel, Caspar van Beest, Lars SiaHaya and Guido Olgers, combined on a No-Hit/No-Run performance, while pitching for the big league-team, allowing only six players to reach base (three walks, two errors, one fielder's choice). The main squad was held scoreless for three innings by Kyle Ward, Kevin Miner and Joey Eijpe, but then rallied for nine runs of ten basehits in the fourth inning, all of Forstin Coenraad. The team added a run in the sixth off Rutger Zwaal and two more in the seventh off Joep de Wit. In the fourth, Adrian Anthony hit a 2-run single in his first at bat in the inning, then added an RBI-single in his second turn. Joep van Els also hit a 2-run single, while Bart Gabriëls had an RBI-double. Michael Pluijmers and Siemen Korff had runscoring singles. In the seventh, Randy Daal contributed with an RBI-double and Pluijmers (who was 4-for-5) hit another RBI-single.
(March 7)

Exhibition Standings, Schedule & Scores
Line Scores & Box Scores


This weekend exhibition openers?
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - After last week's cancelation of the first two games in the exhibition season of the Dutch big league, there are four scheduled for this weekend to be played.

Like last weekend, Sparta/Feyenoord and DOOR Neptunus initially had two games scheduled against each other. Last weekend, both games were canceled due to the conditions of the playing fields. For this weekend, the field conditions again were not good, resulting in Saturday's game being dropped from the schedule. Both teams plan to meet each other on Sunday at the site of The Hawks in nearby Dordrecht, starting at 2:30 PM.

Mr. Cocker HCAW and L&D Amsterdam Pirates have a game scheduled for Saturday-afternoon. Both teams will play against their Rookie League-team. HCAW will start its game at 1 PM, while Pirates starts at 2 PM. Amsterdam Head Coach Rikkert Faneyte plans to start with righthander Jos de Jong. ,,As of now, we are trying to play on Saturday'', Faneyte said on Friday-evening. The Dutch champion also had a game scheduled for Sunday against its Rookie Team, but that was dropped. HCAW initially also had two games scheduled against its Rookie Team, but will play one instead. When the Saturday-game is played, HCAW will practice on Sunday. When the Saturday-game is canceled it will be moved to Sunday.
ADO will also meet its Rookie Team and have a game scheduled for Sunday, starting at 2 PM.
(March 5)

Complete Exhibition Schedule


Exhibition openers canceled
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - The first two scheduled baseball exhibitions games, on the agenda for this weekend, have been canceled and will not be re-scheduled.

Traditionally, DOOR Neptunus and Sparta/Feyenoord, both from Rotterdam, schedule two games against each other in the last weekend of February or first weekend of March, but almost as traditionally, these games are canceled due to weather conditions. Sparta/Feyenoord informed Neptunus that it didn't want to play the games, as the weather is still unpredictable with low temperatures. Last year, only the second game could be played, which ended in a 10-10 tie in nine innings. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, both games were canceled.

The exhibition season now will open in the weekend of Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8.
(February 27)


Cap Bert Blyleven off to Hall of Fame

...Bert Blyleven...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The cap that Pitching Coach Bert Blyleven wore during the World Baseball Classic will be on display the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown to illustrate the success-story of the Netherlands during the WBC. Maybe this will be the first step for Blyleven to be elected himself into the Hall of Fame. In January, Blyleven was on the ballot for the twelfth consecutive year and finished in fourth place with 338 votes. Despite having an impressive career (he struckout 3702 batters in 23 seasons, which is fifth on the all-time list and won the World Series in 1979 and 1987), Blyleven ended up short every time, while everyone is saying he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

When the team returned home on Tuesday-morning, it was back to reality for the players. There were no reporters and there were no TV-crews, despite their successful appearance in this years WBC. It was reported that there was one TV-crew on Schiphol Airport, but that was for another program, which covers picking up or saying goodbye to passengers (Hello Goodbye). There was interest from the daily TV-show De Wereld Draait Door, which covers all kind of news, but it was said that it fell through as there were not enough players available to come to the recording. Loet van Schellebeek, the team's Media Officer also reported that during the flight back home, players couldn't find coverage of the team's game in the Monday-edition of De Telegraaf-newspaper, but that was of course not possible due to the time difference, since the game against the USA was played in the middle of the night Dutch time. There was an article in Sunday's edition (vs. Venezuela) and in Tuesday's edition (vs. USA). By the way, De Telegraaf and NRC Next were the lone two Dutch newspapers with a reporter on the scene in San Juan and Miami and both had extended coverage of the Dutch Team and the WBC!

The players now will have to turn around again and focus on the upcoming competition. Instead of facing Major League-pitchers or batters, they will have to do with the ones they know from the Dutch league. Coming weekend, they all will be in action again, playing for their respective teams in exhibition games to prepare for the new season, which opens on April 11. But before that, there is another event scheduled for the players of Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates and runner-up Corendon Kinheim, as they will travel to Italy at the end of this month for the two European Cup-tournaments. When they finish on first or second place, they will have another event scheduled on June 20-21 in Barcelona (Spain), which will be the Final Four, competing for the European Champions Cup.
(March 18)


Sidney Ponson signs with Royals!
Nederlands
SURPRISE, Arizona (USA) - Aruban pitcher Sidney Ponson, who pitched for the Dutch National Team during the World Baseball Classic, has signed a Minor League-contract with the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday and has been invited to Major League-camp. Ponson will report on Wednesday in the Spring Training-camp of the Royals in Surprise (yes, this really is the name of the city) in Arizona.


...Sidney Ponson...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
At the Major League-camp, Ponson might even have a chance of making the starting rotation of the big league-team of the Royals. General Manager Dayton Moore confirmed that he will get an opportunity to make the 25-man roster. Currently, Gil Meche, Zack Greinke and Kyle Davies form the starting rotation with Luke Hochevar, Brian Bannister and Horacio Ramirez competing for the fourth spot.

Sidney Ponson played in eleven Major League-seasons, pitching in 284 games for the Baltimore Orioles (1998-2005), San Francisco Giants (2003), New York Yankees (2006; 2008), St. Louis Cardinals (2006), Minnesota Twins (2007) and Texas Rangers (2008) since 1998. Last year, Ponson was 4-1 with a 3.88 ERA in nine games for the Rangers and 4-4 with a 5.85 ERA in 16 games for the Yankees. In eleven seasons, Ponson's record is 90-106.

During the World Baseball Classic, Ponson started the first game of the first round against the Dominican Republic in San Juan (Puerto Rico) and was the winning pitcher in a 3-2 victory. The big righthander, who became a leader in the clubhouse and the dug-out, was relieved in the fifth inning, struckout one and gave up two runs.

He then made his second start last Saturday against Venezuela in the second round-opener in Miami (USA). Ponson threw five complete innings, struckout three and gave up only two hits and two runs. This time, he was the losing pitcher, as Venezuela won 3-1.

Before the start of the World Baseball Classic, Sidney Ponson was one of the players on the Dutch roster in trainingcamp in Florida preparing for the event. He was available to be in training camp as was a Free Agent after last season and was looking for a club for the upcoming season.

The 32-year old Ponson is the second player on the Dutch WBC-roster, who caught the attention of Major League-scouts. Canadian-born Leon Boyd also impressed and got an invitation for a try-out by Toronto Blue Jays (read the story below). Besides Ponson, Puerto Rican catcher Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez, who also was a Free Agent, also probably has found a new club, as the Houston Astros showed interest. After completion of the WBC, Rodriguez will get a physical exam and then will sign a contract.

For Sidney Ponson, this was the first time he was able to play for the Dutch National Team. In 2006, he was one of the 60 players listed on the provisionary Dutch roster for the first WBC, but then didn't make the team. When he made his Major League-debut with the Orioles in 1998, Ponson became the third player from Aruba to reach the Majors. To recognize this feat, the pitcher received a Royal Decoration.
(March 17)


Leon Boyd invited for try-out by Blue Jays!
Nederlands

...Leon Boyd...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
DUNEDIN, Florida (USA) / SCHIPHOL (Neth.) - When the Dutch National Baseball Team returned home on Tuesday-morning, coming back from the successful World Baseball Classic, it came one player short at Schiphol International Airport. Righthanded pitcher Leon Boyd was left behind in Florida, as he had received an invitation for a try-out by the Toronto Blue Jays. The 25-year old Canadian-born pitcher of DOOR Neptunus reported on Tuesday to the Spring Training-camp of the Blue Jays in Dunedin (Florida).

When you have a successful event, it also attracts the attention of several Major League-scouts. Leon Boyd was one of the players who impressed and was invited for a try-out by the Toronto Blue Jays.

While Boyd is a starter when pitching for Neptunus, Dutch Manager Rod Delmonico used him as a reliever. The righthander appeared in four games during the World Baseball Classic, all as a reliever, including three as the closer. In the opener, at San Juan (Puerto Rico), Boyd closed the first game against the Dominican Republic, which was won 3-2. Boyd threw the ninth inning, walked two and struckout one to earn a save. The strikeout (José Bautista) was the final out of the spectacular victory.


...Leon Boyd is interviewed by Pedro Gomez of ESPN...
...after the first game agaisnt the Dominicans during the WBC...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the next game, Boyd also was the closer against Puerto Rico, but time he failed to hold onto the lead and gave up two hits, which resulted in a 3-1 loss. The next day, Boyd had another successful outing again in the 2-1 victory against the Dominicans in eleven innings. He entered the game in the tenth inning and also threw the eleventh. While walking a batter, giving up a basehit and a run, which gave the Dominicans an 1-0 lead in the eleventh, he ended up as the winning pitcher, as the Dutch responded with two runs in their eleventh at bat.

Boyd then threw again last Sunday in the game against the USA in Miami. He threw the sixth inning in which he struckout two batters (David Wright, Ryan Braun), gave up one hit and one run. The USA won the game 9-3, resulting in the elimination of the Dutch squad.

Leon Boyd is pitching for Neptunus since 2007 after having pitched in Belgium the year before with the Hoboken Pioneers, where was 11-1 with an 0.84 ERA and 156 strikeouts). At Neptunus, he is used as a starter. In 2007, he was 10-2 with an 1.64 ERA and struckout 86. Last year, he was 9-0 with an 1.22 ERA and 61 strikeouts. Both times, he was nominated for the Best Pitcher trophy.

Boyd made his national team debut on November 4, 2006 during an exhibition game against China, which was part of the preparations for the Intercontinental Cup in Taiwan. Since then, Boyd appeared in 22 official games for the national squad and participated in the Intercontinental Cup (2006, Taiwan), World Port Tournament (2007, Rotterdam, Neth.), European Championships/Olympic Qualifier (2007, Barcelona, Spain), World Championships (2007, Taiwan), Haarlem Baseball Week (2008, Haarlem, Neth.), Olympic Games (2008, Beijing) and the World Baseball Classic (2009). Before the WBC, Boyd appeared as a starter in 13 of his previous 18 games. In three of the five games he threw in relief, Boyd was the closer, the last time against the USA during last years Olympic Games.
(March 17)


Third report Dutch Team on NOS Studio Sport
Nederlands
MIAMI, Florida (USA) / HILVERSUM (Neth.) - NOS Studio Sport concludes its coverage of the Dutch National Team in Miami with a lookback to their final game against the USA, which resulted in elimination of the World Baseball Classic. Besides a recap of the game, there also will be interviews.

The report will be broadcast in the Studio Sport-show, which starts at 6:40 PM on Channel 1 (Nederland 1).

The Dutch Team returns home on Tuesday-morning. A report from their return is also expected to be shown in Studio Sport later in the day.
(March 16)


Dutch Team eliminated after losing to USA
Nederlands
MIAMI, Florida (USA) - The Dutch Team's 'Cinderella Story' (as it was called by the American media) ended on Sunday-evening with a 9-3 loss vs. the USA at Dolphin Stadium in Miami (where the Florida Marlins won the World Series in 1997 and 2003). For the Dutch, it was their second loss in the second round, meaning they became the first team to eliminated in the second round of the World Baseball Classic. The Americans now will play against the loser of the game between Puerto Rico and Venezuela, who will meet on Monday-evening.

The Dutch Team can leave Miami with their heads up, as everyone is extremely proud of their accomplishments, reaching the second round of the WBC. After losing only 3-1 to Venezuela on Saturday, the USA handed the Dutch their biggest loss in six games. The most offensive damage was done by the first two batters in the batting order for Manager Davey Johnson, Jimmy Rollins and Brian Roberts. The first tripled and homered, scored two runs and had four RBI's, the latter singled, doubled and tripled, scored twice and had one RBI, meaning they accounted for seven of the nine American runs. Rollins played at short for the USA instead of Derek Jeter (who was the DH), while Roberts played in his first game for the team after being added the day before to take the place of the injured Dustin Pedroia. Chipper Jones also left the team with an injury, but cannot be replaced now, since the second round is underway. He can be replaced when the USA qualifies for the final round. At one moment, it even looked as if the Americans would end the game thanks to the 10-run mercy rule, but the Dutch avoided that by scoring three runs in the seventh and eighth inning, including one on a homerun by Bryan Engelhardt, which triggered a disputed brushback-pitch to the next batter.

Before the game, there also was some discussion going on whether the addition of Brian Roberts was legal. It is allowed that injured players may be replaced before the start of a next round (the Dutch brought in Dwayne Kemp to replace injured Hainley Statia), but once a round has started, a new player cannot be added. Except when it is a catcher, as it is a WBC-rule that a team must have at least two catchers at all times. It was reported however that Roberts (who earlier in the day played with the Baltimore Orioles against the Boston Red Sox) learned around 8 PM on Saturday-evening that he was added to the roster of Team USA. At that time, the USA was starting its first game against Puerto Rico, meaning the second round was underway for the Americans. Or did the second round already started with the match-up between the Netherlands and Venezuela? Dutch Manager Rod Delmonico stated that the addition of Roberts was not according to the rules. ,,The roster change had to be made before the start of the second round'', Delmonico said. Initially, the Dutch Team wanted to file a protest, but after discussing the situation with Technical Director Robert Eenhoorn, who during the WBC is the Head of Delegation, it opted not to do so. Chipper Jones left the American team before the game against the Netherlands and will be replaced in case the USA reaches the final round.


...Dutch starter Rick van den Hurk...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Throwing in his home stadium, Dutch starter Rick van den Hurk (who pitches for the Florida Marlins) gave up the first American run right away in the first at bat. With one out, Brian Roberts singled, then the bases got loaded when Van den Hurk walked Derek Jeter and Kevin Youkilis. Roberts then scored the opening run on a sac-fly by David Wright. More runs were prevented, as Van den Hurk ended by striking out Adam Dunn.

In the second inning, the Americans added two unearned runs. With two outs, Curtis Granderson drove the ball into rightfield where Dirk van 't Klooster ran in to catch the ball, missed it and was credited with an error. Next batter Jimmy Rollins then hit a Van den Hurk-delivery into the stands for a 2-run homerun and a 3-0 lead. In the fourth inning, Rollins and Roberts struck again. Chris Iannetta led off with a walk from Juan Carlos Sulbaran, who had taken over the pitching the inning before. After striking out Granderson, Sulbaran gave up back-to-back triples to Rollins and Roberts, which made it 5-0. Moments later, Roberts scored on a force play-grounder by Kevin Youkilis.

In the fifth at bat, another run was scored. New pitcher David Bergman gave up three consecutive singles to Adam Dunn, Ryan Braun and Chris Iannetta to load the bases. Curtis Granderson then grounded to first baseman Randall Simon, who made a great stop, fell down and almost rolled the ball to catcher Kenley Jansen to force Dunn at home. Hereafter, Jimmy Rollins followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-0. In the sixth, now with Leon Boyd on the Dutch mound, Adam Dunn hit a solo-homerun (his third of the event) with two outs, increasing the lead to 8-0. But Boyd also struckout David Wright and Ryan Braun.


...Randall Simon...
...Great play in 5th inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
How did the Dutch do in the first six innings? They collected seven basehits, but were unable to score. After being retired in order in the first (including a line drive flyout by Randall Simon), Sidney de Jong led off the second with a single, but then Bryan Engelhardt grounded into a double play. In the third inning, trailing 3-0, the Dutch got the bases loaded. With one out, Kenley Jansen reached on an infield-hit, then Eugène Kingsale and Yurendell de Caster both singled with two outs. However, the inning ended when Simon popped out. In the fourth inning, De Jong reached on an error, advanced on a grounder and moved to third base on an infield-hit by Dirk van 't Klooster, but the two stranded, as Jansen struckout. In the first four innings, the Dutch offense forced starting pitcher Roy Owalt (17 victories last season with the Houston Astros to throw a lot of pitches and put some pressure on the Americans. It was hoped Oswalt could have throw six innings, but instead he left after four. In the sixth, two more runners were left behind. With one out, De Jong singled again, followed by a basehit off the bat of Bryan Engelhardt, but this time two grounders ended the at bat.

In the seventh inning, trailing 8-0, the Dutch Team started to get things moving. With one out, Sharlon Schoop reached on an infield-hit (his first hit in the WBC), then Eugène Kingsale singled through the middle. Yurendell de Caster followed with a double, enabling Schoop to score the first Dutch run. After the Americans were held scoreless in their seventh at bat, the Dutch scored two more runs in a lively eighth. Matt Lindstrom became the new American pitcher and his first pitch (a fastball) was drilled into rightfield by Bryan Engelhardt for a homerun (the first by the Dutch in the WBC). Engelhardt briefly stood at the plate looking at the ball, before starting his homerun trot. After returning to the dug-out and being congratulated by his teammates, Lindstrom threw his next delivery behind the back of next batter Vince Rooi, resulting in furious reactions from the Dutch dug-out with players pouring onto the field, yelling at Lindstrom (who, by the way, is the roommate of Rick van den Hurk, as both play for the Florida Marlins and share a house in closeby Jupiter). Lindstrom apparantly didn't like the reaction of Engelhardt after hitting is homerun. But hey, aren't there also some Major League-players who watch from the batter's box to their batted balls leaving the stadium for a homerun? And how will the American pitchers react (if they reach the final round) in case they face Cuba, whose hitters are known for watching the balls sail out of the stadium? That can trigger some fireworks then. OK, back to the game. Home Plate Umpire Bruce Dreckman warned both teams and the game continued. Vince Rooi flied out, but then Lindstrom walked Danny Rombley and gave up a single to pinch-hitter Sharnol Adriana. This brought Rombley to third base, who then scored on a deep sac-fly by Sharlon Schoop. Then suddenly, the trainer of the Americans had to come out, as Lindstrom apparently had some kind of injury (?) and had to leave the field. John Grabow took over, walked Eugène Kingsale, but then got out of the inning with a flyout. In the home of the eighth, Team USA added another run when new pitcher Berry van Driel walked Kevin Youkilis and gave up a 2-out double to pinch-hitter Brian McCann, who then finished the game playing in leftfield. In his entire Minor and Major League-career, McCann (who is a catcher) never had played in leftfield, but no harm was done there, as the Dutch were retired in order in the ninth on two grounders and a strikeout.

And so, the World Baseball Classic ended for the Netherlands National Team. And it had been a great one in which the Dutch got the attention from the entire international baseball world, stunning it by defeating the Dominican Republic twice, eliminate the favorite for the tournament-victory and advanced to the second round. It has been a great series in which all 28 players earned 20.000 dollar per person for reaching the next round. And it (again) put Dutch baseball on the world map. Again, congratulations to players and staff. We're proud of you!
(March 15)

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


Dutch Team-report 2nd Round on NOS Studio Sport
Nederlands
MIAMI, Florida (USA) / HILVERSUM (Neth.) - NOS Studio Sport will broadcast another report from Miami on Sunday-evening (March 15) about the Dutch National Team during the second round of the World Baseball Classic with images of their time in Miami, the game against Venezuela, reactions and interviews.

The report is scheduled to be broadcast in the Studio Sport-show that starts at 6:10 PM on Channel 1 (Nederland 1). Kees Jongkind will do the report.
(March 15)


Small loss Dutch Team in second round-opener
Nederlands
MIAMI, Florida (USA) - The Dutch National Team played another great game and outhit Venezuela 6-3 on Saturday-evening in the opner of the second round of the World Baseball Classic, but nevertheless lost 3-1, as all three Venezuelan hits accounted for their runs, as two of them were homeruns. The Dutch Team now will play against the loser of the match-up between the USA and Puerto Rico, which will be played later on Saturday. The game between the Netherlands and Venezuela can be seen on ESPN America on Sunday-morning, starting at 9:30 AM. A report of the game can also be seen in NOS Studio Sport on Saturday-evening. As of now, the broadcast time is 9:15 PM during the live broadcast of the World Cup Skating from Vancouver.

Venezuela immediately struck in the first inning off starting pitcher Sidney Ponson. Endy Chavez led off with a triple and scored when next batter Melvin Mora grounded out. But that was it for the time for the strong Venezuelan squad. After Mora's groundout, Bobby Abreu walked and Miguel Cabrera reached on a fielder's choice, but then Ponson retired the next eight batters in a row, before giving up an one-out homerun to Cabrera in the fourth inning. Hereafter, Ponson retired five batters in a row, before being relieved by Rob Cordemans, who took over in the sixth inning.

Trailing 1-0, the Dutch team got an opportunity to move in front themselves in the second inning, but only scored the tying run. Lead-off hitter Yurendell de Caster reached on an error, then was waved home on a double by Bryan Engelhardt. The decision proved to be too risky, since the leftfielder was already turning to throw the ball when De Caster had reached third base, so he ended up short and was thrown out at the plate.

...Dutch starter Sidney Ponson...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Next, Vince Rooi singled to bring Engelhardt for the tying run. A strikeout and groundout then ended the inning. In the third inning, Sharnol Adriana singled with two outs, but he was left behind. In the fourth, Bryan Engelhardt singled with one out, but then Vince Rooi grounded into a double play. In the home of the fourth, Miguel Cabrera homered for Venezuela to give his team a 2-1 lead.

The Dutch offense was silenced by starting pitcher Carlos Silva, who gave up four hits and struckout four in seven innings. The righthander needed 79 pitches to do so, pitchers are allowed to throw 85 in the second round. After Vince Rooi grounded into a double play to end the fourth inning, Silva retired the side in the next three at bats and therefore retired the last ten batters he faced. In the eighth inning, the Dutch got runners on base again. Yoel Hernandez took over for Silva and gave up an one-out single to pinch-hitter Sidney de Jong, then saw Sharlon Schoop reach on an error. Hernandez was relieved by Carlos Vasquez, who got a pop-out from Eugène Kingsale and was relieved by Francisco Rodriguez. This hardthrowing closer ended the inning with a groundout by Sharnol Adriana.

In the meantime, the Venezuelan offense was held to only two (!) basehits, but both accounted for their runs, the triple in first and the homerun in the fourth inning. Rob Cordemans threw the sixth and seventh inning and retired all six batters he faced. In the eighth, Dennis Neuman became the third Dutch pitcher, but his first delivery to José Lopez, a changeup, ended up in a homerun to give Venezuela its third basehit, an insurance run and a 3-1 lead. Neuman then walked next batter Ramon Hernandez and was replaced by Alexander Smit. The lefthander picked off Hernandez' pinch-runner Geraldo Parra at first base, issued a walk to next batter Cesar Izturis, but then got two pop-flies to end the inning.

In its last at bat, the Dutch team added its sixth basehit. With one out, Yurendell de Caster singled, but then Francisco Rodriguez struckout Bryan Engelhardt and got a grounder from Vince Rooi to end the game and earn a save.
(March 14)

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


2nd round Broadcast Schedule ESPN America
Nederlands
KIRKCALDY, Scotland (Great Britain) - ESPN America will broadcast eight of the 12 second round games live and two others tape-delayed. Hereafter, the two semi-finals and final can also be seen live.

Due to live broadcasts of some College Basketball Games, which are part of the qualifying process for the Final Four championships, and two live games from the National Hockey League, no live baseball games are scheduled for Saturday-night. The first game of the Netherlands against Venezuela, which will be played on Saturday-evening (starting at 6 PM Dutch time) will be broadcast tape-delayed on Sunday-morning 9:30. A replay of this game is not scheduled. When the Dutch win this game, it will play again on Monday-evening against the winner of the game between USA and Puerto Rico. A loss means the Dutch will play their next game on Sunday-evening against the loser of the USA-Puerto Rico match-up. Both these game will be broadcast live. As was the case in the first round, the team which has two losses will be eliminated.

On Saturday-afternoon, starting at 12 noon, ESPN America has added the game in which the Netherlands beats the Dominican Republic for the second time to clinch for the second round to its schedule as Game of the Week.
(March 13)

ROUND TWO Broadcast Schedule ESPN America
Saturday, March 14Thursday, March 19
12:00 PMDominican Republic vs. Netherlands(replay; San Juan)2:00 PMJapan vs. Cuba (replay)(game 5, San Diego)
Sunday, March 15Friday, March 20
9:30 AMNetherlands vs. Venezuela(tape-delayed)(game 1, Miami)1:30 PMJapan vs. Korea(tape-delayed)(game 6, San Diego)
0:30 AMNetherlands vs. USA(game 3, Miami)
4:00 AMMexico vs. Korea(game 2, San Diego)Saturday, March 21
6:00 AMW Game 5 vs. W Game 4 (replay)(game 6, San Diego)
Monday, March 162:00 AMSemi-Final 1: Venezuela vs. Korea(Los Angeles)
1:00 AMVenezuela vs. Puerto Rico(game 4, Miami)
4:00 AMCuba vs. Mexico(game 3, San Diego)Sunday, March 22
1:00 AMSemi-Final 2: USA vs. Japan(Los Angeles)
Tuesday, March 17
3:30 PMVenezuela vs. Puerto Rico (replay)(game 4, Miami)Monday, March 23
6:00 PMCuba vs. Mexico (replay)(game 3, San Diego)5:30 PMSemi-Final 1: Venezuela vs. Korea (replay)(Los Angeles)
0:00 AMPuerto Rico vs. USA(game 5, Miami)8:00 PMSemi-Final 2: USA vs. Japan (replay)(Los Angeles)
4:00 AMJapan vs. Korea(game 4, San Diego)2:30 AMFinal: Korea vs. Japan(Los Angeles)
Wednesday, March 18Tuesday, March 24
1:30 PMPuerto Rico vs. USA (replay)(game 5, Miami)8:00 PMFinal: Japan vs. Korea (replay)(Los Angeles)
4:00 PMJapan vs. Korea (replay)(game 4, San Diego)
0:00 AMUSA vs. Venezuela(game 6, Miami)Wednesday, March 25
4:00 AMJapan vs. Cuba(game 5, San Diego)5:30 AMFinal: Japan vs. Korea (replay)(Los Angeles)


Dutch Team-report on NOS Studio Sport
Nederlands
MIAMI, Florida (USA) / HILVERSUM (Neth.) - NOS Studio Sport will broadcast a report from Miami on Friday-evening (March 13) with images from the practice in Dolphin Stadium, interviews and a look-back to the spectacular results in the first round of the World Baseball Classic.

As of now, the report is scheduled for around 11:30 PM during Studio Sport's live broadcast of the World Championships Skating in Vancouver (Canada) on Channel 2 (Nederland 3). Another report is scheduled for Saturday. Kees Jongkind will be the reporter.
(March 13)


Kemp replaces Statia on Dutch roster
Nederlands
MIAMI, Florida (USA) - Infielder Hainley Statia has left the Dutch National Team and will be replaced on the 28-man roster for the second round of the World Baseball Classic by Dwayne Kemp. Teams are allowed to make roster-changes before the start of the next round.

Hainley Statia strained his hamstring during the first round of the WBC in San Juan (Puerto Rico), making him unavailable to play in the third and fourth game of the event. Major League Baseball instructed Statia to return to his club Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for treatment.

Dwayne Kemp, who plays professionally in the organisation of the Chicago Cubs, flies from the Netherlands to Miami on Thursday and will be with the team on Friday for their practice-session in Dolphin Stadium. The 21-year old Kemp was one of the players who were part of the national team during the trainingcamp in Florida, preparing for the WBC, but was dropped from the roster on February 22. He then traveled back home to Rotterdam, because of visa-reasons, but now will return again to the national squad. During the trainingcamp, Kemp made his national team-debut, played in two games, hitting 1-for-3, scored three runs and had two RBI's. When he plays in Miami, he will make his international game-debut with the Orange.
(March 12)


Dutch Team Runner-up in Pool D after shutout-loss
Nederlands
SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico) - The Dutch National Baseball Team closed Pool D in San Juan (Puerto Rico) in the runner-up position after being shutout 5-0 by Puerto Rico on Wednesday-evening. Both teams are now off to Miami fo the second round, which will start next Saturday. The Dutch Team will meet the winner of Pool C in its first game, which is the winner of the match-up between the USA and Venezuela, which was in progress when the Dutch game ended with the Venezuelans leading. Venezuela remained on top, defeated the USA 5-3 and therefore are the top seed and the opponent of the Dutch next Saturday in Miami in the opener of the second round of the World Baseball Classic.

Dutch Manager Rod Delmonico has altered his starting line-up on several places for this last game in Pool D. Vince Rooi played at first base instead of Randall Simon, who today took Sharnol Adriana's spot as the DH. Sidney de Jong took over behind the plate for Kenley Jansen, who caught the first three games, Curt Smith was in leftfield for Bryan Engelhardt and Danny Rombley started in rightfield fo Eugène Kingsale, who again started in centerfield. Like yesterday, Michael Duursma played at second base again and Sharlon Schoop was the short stop, as Hainley Statia is unable to play at the moment due to a strained hamstring.

A 5-0 shutout-loss, does that means that the magic of the last three games is gone? Or is the Orange magic still going on? Hey, losing only 5-0 to a starstudded opponent like Puerto Rico is not a shame. And giving up only one run in the first four innings, forcing the Puerto Ricans to strand eight (!) runners, is a great accomplishment, striking out powerhitters Ivan Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran (they were both struckout by Pim Walsma and David Bergman) is a nice feat. So hey, the magic is still there, only this time it wasn't translated into runs.

...Manager Rod Delmonico talks to starter Pim Walsma...
...Catcher Sidney de Jong, 3B Yurendell de Caster,...
...SS Sharlon Schoop and 2B Michael Duursma also listen...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The difference in this game was the pitching and the timely hitting. Five Dutch pitchers struckout eight batters, but also walked nine, while eight Puerto Rican pitchers gave away only one walk and struckout thirteen batters. In the previous games, the Dutch batters were able to produce on the moments it was needed, but that didn't happen this time. On the other hand, Puerto Rico did hit when it had to hit in this game. But hey, a new series starts next Saturday and the Dutch are part of it! They belong to the top-8 in this World Baseball Classic.

Initially, it appeared as if the Dutch Team again would score first. In the first at bat, veteran Randall Simon singled with two outs, then was waved home all the way from first on a double by Yurendell de Caster, but was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. In the home of the first, Pim Walsma had a nervous start in his first appearance in the WBC and had problems finding the strikezone. The righthander walked four of the first five batters, but pitched himself out of the jam and gave up only one run. Walsma needed 36 pitches in the opening at bat (14 strikes, 22 balls). He walked lead-off hitter Jesus Feliciano (who advanced to third on a wild pitch), then walked Ramon Vazquez. A force play followed on a grounder by Carlos Beltran, but that enabled Feliciano to score the first run. The bases were then loaded when Carlos Delgado and Alex Rios also walked. However, Walsma registered a big strikeout, throwing the ball passed Ivan Rodriguez, then ended with a flyout. In the second, he gave up a lead-off single to Felipe Lopez and walked Ramon Vazquez with two outs, but then, with runners on second and third base, he struckout Carlos Beltran.

In the third inning, it was David Bergman, who threw two important strikeouts. After a lead-off single by Carlos Delgado and a line out, Bergman struckout Ivan Rodriguez, but walked next batter Geovany Soto. But again two runners stranded, as Bergman struckout Felipe Lopez. In the fourth, he got a runner on first base with two outs when he struckout Carlos Beltran.


...Jesus Feliciano slides into third base on a wild pitch...
...in the first inning. 3B Yurendell de Caster is not in time to tag...
...Canadian Umpire Corrie Davis is ready for the call...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Puerto Rico then broke open the game by adding two runs in the fifth inning. Carlos Delgado led off with a walk, then scored on a triple by Alex Rios to centerfield where Eugène Kingsale made an unsuccessful catch-attempt. Moments later, Rios scored on a single by Ivan Rodriguez. Bergman was relieved by Alexander Smit, who struckout Geovany Soto, then got a force play-grounder and a flyout to end the inning.

Puerto Rico made it 4-0 in the sixth inning off new pitcher Berry van Driel, who made his first apperarance. With one out, Carlos Beltran singled and his pinch-runner Hiram Bocachica scored on a basesloaded 2-out single by Geovany Soto. Bocachica had advanced on a passed ball, then Carlos Delgado was walked intentionally, but the bases got loaded when Van Driel walked Alex Rios. He then struckout pinch-hitter Bernie Williams, but Soto followed with his RBI-single. However, Puerto Rico stranded three more runners, as Van Driel ended by striking out Felipe Lopez.

After a scoreless seventh, Michiel van Kampen gave up the fifth run in the eighth. Hiram Bocachica led off with a single, then scored on a single by pinch-hitter Alex Cora.

Eight Dutch batters were retired in order after the double by Yurendell de Caster in the first at bat and in the remainder of the game only one more runner would reach second base. With two outs in the fourth, it was DeCaster who became a runner again with a walk, but then Vince Rooi struckout out. In the fifth, Sidney de Jong led off with a single, but a pop-fly and two strikeouts left him at first base. In the sixth, Eugène Kingsale also led off with a single, but this time a double play and strikeout ended the at bat. In the eighth, pinch-hitter Bryan Engelhardt led off with a single and advanced on a single by Dirk van 't Klooster, but two strikeouts and a force play-grounder by three different pitchers avoided a Dutch run.
(March 11)

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


...Sidney de Jong dives back to first base during a pick-off...
...attempt by Orlando Roman in the fifth inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Randall Simon is tagged out by catcher Geovany Soto in the...
...first inning; Umpire Eric Cooper makes the out-call...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez was struckout...
...by Pim Walsma and David Bergman...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...3B Yurendell de Caster throws to 1B...
...on an infield-hit by Carlos Delgado in 3rd inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Dutch pitcher David Bergman...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Carlos Delgado dives back into first base during a...
...pick-off after reaching on an infield-hit in 3rd inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Technical Director Robert Eenhoorn and Manager Rod Delmonico...
...overlook the situation from the Dutch dug-out...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Eugène Kingsale singles in the sixth inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)


Walsma gets start in Pool Final

...Pim Walsma...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Nederlands
SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico) - The Dutch National Baseball Team will close Pool D on Wednesday-evening with the final against host Puerto Rico. The winner of this game ends up in first place and will face the runner-up in Pool C next Saturday in Miami in the opener of the second round of the World Baseball Classic. USA and Venezuela qualified in Pool C and will face each other in their pool's final later tonight.

Dutch Manager Rod Delmonico gives the ball to righthander Pim Walsma on Wednesday-evening for the match-up against Puerto Rico, which won 3-1 in the first game between the two teams last Monday. In the first three games, Walsma, who pitches for Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates, wasn't used yet.

The rest of Delmonico's starting line-up hasn't been announced yet, but short stop Hainley Statia will not play. On Tuesday, he also didn't play against the Dominican Republic, due to a strained hamstring. Teams are allowed to make roster changes before the start of the next round.

Tonight's game against Puerto Rico starts at 10:30 PM and can be seen live at ESPN America.
(March 11)


DUTCH OFF TO MIAMI AFTER ANOTHER SHOCKER!
Nederlands
SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico) - The Dutch National Team stunned the international baseballworld again on Tuesday-evening, as it came back to win 2-1 in the bottom of the eleventh inning to qualify for the second round of the World Baseball Classic and eliminate heavy-favored Dominican Republic in an exciting and spectacular match-up.

The Dutch Team did it AGAIN! Unbelievable, what can you say about this feat? You only can make a deep bow to the team and its staff for what they have showed the baseballworld since Saturday. CONGRATULATIONS!!!
After the major upset on Saturday, the Dutch team forced the Dominicans to go into extra innings on Tuesday, then faced an 1-0 deficit going into the home of the eleventh! But they came alongside and went on to win the game, 2-1 to clinch a spot in the second round and eliminate David Ortiz and his multi-million dollar Major League-teammates!

It was all or nothing for the Netherlands and the Dominican Republic on Tuesday-evening, at least in Pool D. In a rematch of last Saturday, when the Dutch pulled off a stunning 3-2 victory, the team of rookie international Manager Rod Delmonico did it again. And by winning this game, the Netherlands became the second team in Pool D to advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic. Puerto Rico was the first to clinch after winning 3-1 against the Dutch on Monday-evening. With the loss, the Dominican Republic was eliminated. The Orange squad now will conclude the action in Pool D with the game against Puerto Rico on Wednesday to decide who will be the top seed team, which is needed for the filling in of the scheduled in the second round, which will start in Miami next Saturday.

...Celebration Time II - Off to Miami...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Puerto Rico and the Netherlands will be joined in Miami by the USA and Venezuela, who qualified in Pool C. The other second round will be played in San Diego with the participation of the qualifiers from Pool A in Tokyo, Japan and Korea and the top-two teams from Pool B in Mexico City, which wasn't decided yet at the moment this game ended. The game against the Dominicans will be replayed on ESPN America on Wednesday-afternoon, starting at 2:00 PM. The final against Puerto Rico will be broadcast live on Wednesday-evening, starting at 10:00 PM. In Miami, the Dutch Team will play at least two more games, as again the double elimination format will be in effect.

Dutch Manager Rod Delmonico made two changes in his starting line-up today. Michael Duursma started at second base, instead of Sharlon Schoop, who moved to short, replacing Hainley Statia (strained hamstring). In the outfield, Dirk van 't Klooster played in his first game of the WBC as the rightfielder, where he took the place of Eugène Kingsale, who moved to centerfielder instead of Gregory Halman. Van 't Klooster, the recordholder in international games played for the Dutch squad, was used as a back-up player during the 7-game exhibition series in Florida, where he started only one game and was brought in during five other games.


...Starter Tom Stuifbergen...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
And again, it was great pitching combined with solid defense and hitting when it was needed. For the success, Pitching Coach Bert Blyleven has been credited with a lot of influence the last days, as the 23-year Major League-veteran worked closely with his pitching staff.
But there was also great pitching on the Dominican side, as six pitchers struckout 15 (!), walked only one (an intentional) and gave up only five hits. The six Dutch pitchers struckout six, walked seven (!) and gave up seven hits.

This time, it was righthander Tom Stuifbergen who started for the Dutch squad and did an outstanding job. Facing the Major League All Stars of the Dominicans, he threw four scoreless innings, despite getting runners on base in each at bat. In the first, he gave up a 2-out single to Hanley Ramirez and then faced powerhitter David Ortiz. But despite the reputation of the designated hitter of the Boston Red Sox (playing in the Majors since 1997 in 1301 games, hitting 290 homeruns and having 969 RBI's), Stuifbergen threw the ball by 'Big Papi' and struck him out! In the second, Stuifbergen, who himself pitches in the minors for the Minnesota Twins, faced two more Major League-veterans, who also both play in the big league since 1997: Miguel Tejada (Houston Astros, 1713 games, 271 homeruns, 1099 RBI's) and José Guillen (Kansas City Royals, 1421 games, 9 teams). Tejada led off with an infield-hit, but then Guillen grounded into a double play. Robinson Cano (New York Yankees) followed with another basehit and advanced on a wild pitch, but then Stuifbergen had another great inning-finisher, as he struckout Nelson Cruz(Texas Rangers). In the third, Stuifbergen walked Willy Taveras (Colorado Rockies) with two outs, but again got a big out, this time a grounder to second baseman Michael Duursma. In the fourth inning, Stuifbergen got out of a big jam, as the Dominicans got runners on first and third with no outs and got the bases loaded with two outs, but two more big outs with runners on base were registered in this at bat. David Ortiz led off with a double, then advanced on an infield-hit by Miguel Tejada. But then José Guillen flied out to Dirk van 't Klooster and Robinson Cano struckout. The bases got loaded when Nelson Cruz walked. The inning then ended when Miguel Olivo (Kansas City Royals) hit a force play-grounder.


...Eugène Kingsale is forced out at second base...
..in the ninth by short stop José Reyes...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Dutch were silenced in their first four bats by Dominican starter Ubaldo Jimenez (Colorado Rockies), who struckout seven of the first eight batters he faced and set a record with ten (!) strikeouts. After striking out the first two batters in the first inning, Jimenez gave up a single to Randall Simon (who advanced on a passed ball), but the righthander then struckout the next four batters, before Michael Duursma grounded out. Eugène Kingsale then followed with a single, but was caught stealing to end the at bat. In the fourth, Jimenez added three more strikeouts to set the WBC-record.

The Dominican Republic got another runner in the fifth inning off new pitcher Alexander Smit, but he also stranded, as did two more in the sixth at bat off Rob Cordemans. In the sixth, Cordemans walked lead-off hitter Miguel Tejada, then got a foul-fly and a line out (which almost got Tejada on first base in a double play), but then also walked Nelson Cruz. But this Dominican scoring chance ended when Miguel Olivo flied out.

The Dutch faced veteran Pedro Martinez in the fifth, sixth and seventh inning in relief of Ubaldo Jimenez. Martinez, who currently is without a club, retired the first five batters he faced, but then hit Eugène Kingsale with two outs in the sixth, before striking out Sharlon Schoop. The experienced righthander then retired the side again in the seventh inning.

In the latter innings, the ball was hit harder and deeper by both teams. In the seventh Dominican at bat, Hanley Ramirez drove the ball into deep leftfield, but there Bryan Engelhardt made the catch. In the home of the seventh, Randall Simon had a long flyout into leftfield. Then, in the eighth, there were two more outfield flies by the Dominicans and pinch-hitter Vince Rooi went deep on the first pitch he saw, but his batted ball was caught just before the wall by leftfielder Nelson Cruz. In the top of the ninth, Nelson Cruz and Miguel Olivo hit hard flyouts to center and left off Dennis Neuman, who had come on in relief in the eighth inning for Cordemans (and then retired the side). Hereafter, Neuman was replaced by lefthander Diegomar Markwell, who gave up a single to José Reyes, but then got an inning-ending groundout from veteran Major Leaguer and pinch-hitter Moises Alou. In the Dutch ninth, Eugène Kingsale got on base with one out after an error, but then two grounders followed, bringing the game into extra innings, the first of this WBC to go that far.


...Five members of the Dutch coachingstaff...
...Hensley Meulens (Hitting), Rod Delmonico (Manager), Wim Martinus (3B)...
...Bert Blyleven (Pitching) and Ben Thijssen (Auxiliary Coach)...
...At right is Dutch Physical Therapist Rob Tamminga...
...The two coaches not in the photo are...
...Bill Froberg (1B) and Jim Stoeckel (Bullpen)...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the tenth, Diegomar Markwell got two outs (including a line drive out into leftfield), then was relieved by Leon Boyd, who hit Miguel Tejada and gave up a single to José Guillen, but then ended the inning with another flyout. In the home tenth, the first two batters also were retired, but then Vince Rooi singled. The inning, however, then ended with a strikeout for Gregory Halman.

The Dominicans then scored first in the eleventh inning after the first two batters were retired again. Leon Boyd then walked José Reyes. And as it did against Puerto Rico, this walk also went on to score. Next batter José Bautista (who was the final out on a called strikeout in the first game) then hit a line drive into rightfield, where Eugène Kingsale attempted to make a sliding catch, but barely missed and the ball just went under his glove to the wall for what was ruled an error to give the Dominicans an 1-0 lead. Boyd then ended the inning with a strikeout. But the game was far from over! In the bottom of the 11th, Dominican Manager Felipe Alou brought in his ace-closer, Carlos Marmol (one of the best relievers in the Majors), while Delmonico send pinch-hitter Sidney de Jong to the plate. In his first at bat of the tournament, De Jong drilled the ball into deep left-centerfield for a double, then advanced on a line drive groundout through the middle by pinch-hitter Curt Smith, who also wasn't used yet. Legendary suspense director Alfred Hitchcock couldn't have written a better script, as it was then up to Eugène Kingsale to set things straight after he missed the catch in the top of the at bat. And he did just that by hitting a single, enabling De Jong to score the tying run and leaving the Dominicans and everyone in the stands just stunned! Moments later, Kingsale raced to third base when a pick-off attempt by Marmol failed and ended up in a throwing error. Sharlon Schoop then struckout and powerhitter Randall Simon was walked intentionally to set up a force play. Yurendell de Caster, who was 0-for-4, including three strikeouts, next hit a line drive off the glove off first baseman Willy Aybar for a game-ending hit (which was ruled an error) to give the Dutch a 2-1 victory! WOW!!!
(March 10)

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


...Emotions afterwards for Randall Simon and Juan Carlos Sulbaran...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Coach Ben Thijssen phones home after the...
...spectacular victory...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...The fountain on Plaza de Colón...
...which commemorates Christopher Columbus...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...A tower near La Fortaleza (The Fortress)...
...the official residence of the...
...Governor of Puerto Rico...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)


Dutch close to another major upset!
Nederlands
SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico) - The Dutch National Team was very close to another major upset on Monday-evening, leading 1-0 against Puerto Rico (which has 21 players with Major League-experience) in the eighth inning, but went on to loose 3-1. With this victory, Puerto Rico clinched a spot in the second round of the World Baseball Classic, while the Dutch now will face the Dominican Republic again. This game will be played on Tuesday-evening and will be broadcast live again on ESPN America, starting at 1:00 AM in the Tuesday/Wednesday-night. By the way, this is one-and-a-half hour later, as the game already starts at 11:30 PM, meaning there is a possibility that the channel will switch to San Juan when the game is in progress, as it first broadcasts the match-up between Italy and Venezuela live, starting at 10:00 PM. The game against Puerto Rico will be replayed on Tuesday, starting at 2:00 PM. The game against the Dominicans will be replayed (and then in its entirety) on Wednesday-afternoon, also starting at 2:00 PM. The winner of the Netherlands-Dominican match-up also will qualify for the second round, while the loser will be eliminated.

OK, the Dutch lossed against Puerto Rico, but no one can deny that the squad played another thriller and another great game with solid defense and good pitching, which for the first time this tournament failed in the eighth inning. But Dutch baseball definitely is on the map. It already was when it beat Cuba during the Olympic Games in 2000 in Sydney, then underscored its strength under the guidance of Manager Robert Eenhoorn when it finished in fourth place on two consecutive World Cups in 2005 and 2007 (in the latter event again beating the Cubans) and registering the first No-Hitter on the first WBC when Shairon Martis held Panama hitless in 2006. But by winning vs. the Dominicans and putting the pressure on Puerto Rico for seven innings in this WBC, the Dutch baseballteam really has to be taken very seriously from now on.


...Pitching Coach Bert Blyleven (center) talks with starter...
...Rick van den Hurk with catcher Kenley Jansen at left...
...and 3B Yurendell de Caster at right...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
That baseball really is a game of inches was proven again in this game. The Dutch took an 1-0 score in the second, then could have put runners in scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. But it was decided not top opt for a bunt, resulting in the first of the three Puerto Rican double plays.

...Puerto Rican fans...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Puerto Rico was in scoring position five times before the eighth inning, but failed to score, as a veteran player was thrown out at the plate, a double play ended an inning, a runner not scoring on a wild pitch and big league-super stars being retired on important moments, including three strikeouts. The bullpen again did a great job, but as mentioned, in the eighth inning had to gave way.

Dutch Manager Rod Delmonico started with the same line-up (batting order and defensively) as he did against the Dominican Republic on Saturday, while his Puerto Rican colleague (and former Major Leaguer, New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals) José Oquendo went with Yadier Molina behind the plate, as he had announced earlier, instead of Ivan Rodriguez, who hit two homeruns against Panama on Saturday. Oquendo couldn't confirm on Sunday whether Rodriguez would be tonight's designated hitter, but of course the powerhitter was in the line-up.

Puerto Rican starter Ian Snell (four seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates) went through the batting order one-two-three in the first at bat, including two strikeouts, as he relied on a sharp slider. Dutch starter Rick van den Hurk also retired the first three batters in a row, including 40-year old lead-off hitter Bernie Williams (groundout) and powerhitter Carlos Beltran (flyout).

In the second inning, it was the Dutch team that again scored first. Gregory Halman led off with a double into leftfield passed (misjudged?) Bernie Williams, who isn't really accustomed to playing leftfield, as he played in centerfield in most of his 2076 games in 16 seasons (1991-2006) with the New York Yankees. There, was a teammate of former Dutch Manager Robert Eenhoorn, who is now the Technical Director of the Dutch Federation and is with the team in Puerto Rico. After having not played for two seasons, Williams is aiming or a comeback in the Major League this season.

...Bernie Williams is tagged out at home by catcher Kenley Jansen...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Yurendell de Caster followed with a single down the first base line, enabling Halman to score the first run. Next, Sharnol Adriana singled up the middle to put runners on first and second base with no outs. Manager Rod Delmonico opted not to go for bunting over the runners with batter Bryan Engelhardt, who then grounded into a double play, followed by a strikeout to end the inning.

In the second Puerto Rican at bat, Carlos Delgado led off with a double after catcher Kenley Jansen had dropped a pop foul. However, Delgado, who played in 2009 Major League-games since 1993 and currently is with the New York Mets, stranded at second base, as Rick van den Hurk struckout next batters Alex Rios (Toronto Blue Jays) and Ivan Rodriguez. The latter is playing in the Majors since 1991 and appeared in 2267 games with the Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees. 'Pudge' played in 82 games for the Tigers and 33 for the Yankees last season, but currently is without a team. With two outs, Mike Aviles popped up behind second base where centerfielder Gregory Halman was coming to catch the ball, but second baseman Sharlon Schoop was running back, almost collided with Halman, but caught the ball to end the inning.

Puerto Rico got on the bases again in the third inning. With two outs, Van den Hurk walked Bernie Williams and Ramon Vazquez, then gave up a single into rightfield to Carlos Beltran (New York Mets, in Majors since 1998). 40-year old Williams was waved home, but was thrown out at the plate on a strong throw by rightfielder Eugène Kingsale to end the inning.


...Yadier Molina is thrown out at the plate in the 8th inning...
...on a throw from LF Danny Rombley to catcher Kenley Jansen...
...Moments earlier, Molina had doubled in two runs...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the fourth inning, Puerto Rico got its lead-off hitter on base for the second time and again it was Carlos Delgado and again, he was left behind. In the second, he led off with a double and this time, he walked. With one out, Delgado stole second base, then advanced on a single by Ivan Rodriguez. Rick van den Hurk then had reached his pitch-limit (72, pitchers are allowed to finish the batter) and was replaced by David Bergman. The righthander was supported immediately with another fine defensive play, as Mike Aviles grounded into a double play. In the fifth inning, Bergman retired the side, including a nice catch by third baseman Yurendell de Caster on a pop-fly by Bernie Williams.

After Randall Simon led off with a walk in the fourth inning, the next seven batters were retired in order, including the last four by new pitcher Pedro Feliciano. With one out in the sixth, Sharlon Schoop walked, then Simon followed with a single to put runners on first and second base. Feliciano was then relieved by Giancarlo Alvarado, who got the support of a double play to end the inning.

Puerto Rico threatened again in the sixth inning. With one out, Carlos Beltran singled into leftfield where Danny Rombley almost caught the ball on a great diving attempt, then next batter Carlos Delgado was hit by a pitch. Alex Rios then flied out to rightfield, which enabled Beltran to advance to third base and brought out Manager Rod Delmonico to the mound. Juan Carlos Sulbaran entered the game and the 19-year old ended the inning and the threat by striking out Ivan Rodriguez!

In the seventh inning, Yurendell de Caster led off with a walk, but didn't advanced. Sharnol Adriana first flied out, then Danny Rombley struckout and De Caster was caught stealing to complete a double play.


...The almost collission in the second inning...
...Sharlon Schoop catches the ball, with Gregory Halman...
...coming in from centerfield and Eugène Kingsale...
...approaching from rightfield...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Puerto Rico was more than close to its first run in its seventh at bat when their fans also came back to life again. Mike Aviles led off with a double, then next batter Yadier Molina's sac-bunt failed, as he bunted the ball into the air to be caught by first baseman Randall Simon. Next, Alex Cora was hit a pitch and Jesus Feliciano loaded the bases when he hit an infield-hit, which was deflected by pitcher Juan Carlos Sulbaran, which might have been a double play if the pitcher wouldn't have attempted to field it. Then, on an 1-1 count, Sulbaran threw a wild pitch, but Aviles remained at third base, as he waited whether the ball would come back from the fence, so the bases remained loaded. Ramon Vazquez then popped up for an infield-fly to set up almost sureley the biggest moment in the young life of Sulbaran (or was that striking out Rodriguez in the sixth with runners on first and third?). With the bases loaded, the 19-year old faced Major League superstar Carlos Beltran and got him to ground out to Simon at first base to end the inning.

Puerto Rico finally struck in the eighth inning when the Dutch bullpen was unable to come out of the inning for the first time in the tournament, as two pitchers walked three batters, who all would score on hits off the third pitcher to give their team the eventual victory. Dennis Neuman started the inning in relief of Juan Carlos Sulbaran and walked lead-off hitter Carlos Delgado, who was then replaced by pinch-runner Andy Gonzalez. He then got to a 2-0 count on next batter Alex Rios and was relieved by Michiel van Kampen, who completed the at bat, but walked the batter. With runners on first and second base, Van Kampen kept his cool facing Ivan Rodriguez (who fouled off one bunt-attempt and one 'regular' foul) and struckout the multi-million dollar powerhitter, who reacted angrily after returning back in the dug-out. But the bases were loaded when Van Kampen also walked Mike Aviles. This brought Manager Delmonico out of the dug-out again and he brought in Leon Boyd, who did a great job closing the game on Saturday against the Dominicans. But this time, the move didn't work, as Boyd gave up a 2-run double to Yadier Molina, one of three brothers to catch in the Major League. This Molina is since 2004 playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom he won the World Series. A flyout then followed, but Puerto Rico added a run when Jesus Feliciano (who replaced Bernie Williams in the sixth) singled. Aviles scored, but Molina was thrown out at the plate by Danny Rombley to end the inning. However, Puerto Rico had taken a 3-1 lead.

The Dutch Team was unable to answer to this late rally and were retired in order in the ninth inning by two pitchers, including the last two by closer Fernando Cabrera. And this time, it was Puerto Rico that erupted into celebration on the field. But hey, it ain't over till' it's over. The Dutch have another chance. And the Dominicans know what the Dutch are able to.
(March 9)

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


...Randall Simon and Rick van den Hurk take a ride...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...The enthousiastic Puerto Rican crowd in San Juan...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...The site of history: Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)


Update Broadcast Schedule ESPN America
Nederlands
KIRKCALDY, Scotland (Great Britain) - In this article, you'll find an update of the broadcast schedule of ESPN America (formerly NASN).

The game between the Netherlands and Puerto Rico will be shown live on Monday-evening, March 9, starting at 11:30 PM and will be replayed on Tuesday, March 10, starting at 2:00 PM.

When the Dutch Team wins this game, it will qualify for the second round and will play the final of Pool C on Wednesday, March 11. This game will also be broadcast live, starting at 10:00 PM and will not be replayed.

When the Dutch Team loses the game, it will play on Tuesday, March 10. This game will also be broadcast live and starts at 1:00 AM Tuesday-night and be replayed on Wednesday, March 11, starting at 2:00 PM.
(March 9)

Broadcast Schedule ESPN America
Tuesday, March 10Tuesday, March 17
2:00 PMNetherlands vs. Puerto Rico(replay)3:30 PMRound Two Miami(replay)
4:30 PMCanada vs. Italy(tape-delayed)(game 4, Toronto)6:00 PMRound Two Miami(replay)
10:00 PMItaly vs. Venezuela(game 5, Toronto)0:00 AMRound Two(Miami)
1:00 AMDominican Republic vs. Netherlands(game 5, San Juan4:00 AMRound Two(San Diego)
3:00 AMCuba vs. Australia(game 4, Mexico City
Wednesday, March 18
Wednesday, March 111:30 PMRound Two Miami(replay)
2:00 PMDominican Republic vs. Netherlands(replay)4:00 PMRound Two San Diego(replay)
4:30 PMCuba vs. Australia(replay)0:00 AMRound Two(Miami)
10:00 PMNetherlands vs. Puerto Rico(game 6, San Juan)4:00 AMRound Two(San Diego)
1:00 AMVenezuela vs. USA(game 6, Toronto)
3:00 AMMexico vs. L Cuba-Australia(game 5, Mexico City)Thursday, March 19
2:00 PMRound Two San Diego(replay)
Thursday, March 12
3:30 PMW Venezuela vs. USA(replay)Friday, March 20
6:00 PMMexico vs. W Cuba-Australia(replay)1:30 PMRound Two(tape-delayed)(San Diego)
5:30 AMW Mex-Cuba/Aus vs. L Cuba-Australia(tape-delayed)(game 6, Mexico City)
Saturday, March 21
Friday, March 136:00 AMRound Two San Diego(replay)
4:00 PMW Mex-Cuba/Aus vs. W Cuba-Aus.(replay)2:00 AMFirst Semi-Final(Los Angeles)
Saturday, March 14Sunday, March 22
No games scheduled 1:00 AMSecond Semi-Final(Los Angeles)
Sunday, March 15Monday, March 23
9:30 AMRound Two(tape-delayed)(Miami)2:00 AMFinal(Los Angeles)
0:30 AMRound Two(Miami)
4:00 AMRound Two(San Diego)
Monday, March 16
1:00 AMRound Two(Miami)
4:00 AMRound Two(San Diego)


Dutch practice on 'the day after'

...Rick van den Hurk...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Nederlands
SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico) - The Dutch National Team had a relaxed two hour practice session on Sunday on 'the day after'. After accounting for a major upset, labeled by many American reporters as the most historic victory in any sport internationally, the Dutch players had the day off and practiced from 2 to 4 PM. On Saturday, the Dutch Team opened with a stunning 3-2 victory against the Dominican Republic, whose roster is filled by 28 Major League-players, earning 83 million dollar combined!

On Monday-evening, the Dutch will play their second game of the World Baseball Classic, meeting Puerto Rico, which opened its tournament with a 7-0 shutout-win vs. Panama. The winner of this game will advance to the second round of the event, to be played in Miami (Florida), the loser will meet the Dominican Republic, which eliminated Panama on Sunday-evening.

Dutch Manager Rod Delmonico confirmed that righthander Rick van den Hurk, who is on the 40-man roster of the Florida Marlins, will start on Monday against Puerto Rico. Righthander Ian Snell will be the starter for Puerto Rico, while Yadier Molina will do the catching instead of Ivan Rodriguez, who hit two homeruns vs. Panama. Manager José Oquendo wouldn't say if he is planning to use Rodriguez as the designated hitter. The game between the Netherlands and Puerto Rico can be seen live on Monday-evening on ESPN America, starting at 11:30 PM (Dutch time).
(March 8)


DUTCH UPSET DOMINICANS!
Nederlands
SAN JUAN (Puerto Rico) - The Dutch National Baseball Team accounted for a major upset in Pool D of the World Baseball Classic by winning 3-2 against the heavy-favored Dominican Republic.
The Dominican squad is loaded with multi-million dollar Major League-players (all 28 play in the Majors), including David Ortiz, Miguel Tejada, Robinson Cano and Pedro Martinez, but has to without injured Abert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez, who withdrew one day before the event. But it were the Dutch players, including 14 professionals, who dominated and won thanks to strong defensive play and fine relief pitching. The Dutch Team produced only three basehits (two bunt-singles and one infield-hit) and hit only three balls into the outfield. From the second through ninth inning, only three Dutch players reached base (a walk, bunt-single and hit by pitch), as the Dutch did all the damage in the first inning and hold onto the lead. The Dominicans collected eight basehits, but stranded eleven batters, including seven in scoring position.
The Dutch Team now will play on Monday against Puerto Rico, which defeated Panama 7-0 on Saturday-evening. ESPN America (former NASN) adjusted its broadcast schedule, as that game initially wasn't scheduled, but the game will be broadcast live, starting at 11:30 PM (Dutch time). Originally, the game between the two losing teams in the Toronto-pool was scheduled in that slot.

The Dutch struck early, scoring all three runs in the first at bat. Eugène Kingsale led off with a bunt-single, then Sharlon Schoop followed with another bunt. Catcher Miguel Olivo fielded the ball, but threw widely towards first base, not in time to get Schoop. Initially, it was ruled a bunt-single (which it probably was, as Schoop also would have reached first base on a good throw), but it was changed to a throwing error (and sacrifice bunt) later in the at bat, making all runs scored unearned.

...Celebration Time...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
With runners on first and second base, Randall Simon flied out and Gregory Halman struckout, but then the bases got loaded when Yurendell de Caster walked. Dominican starter Edinson Volquez, who needed a lot of pitches, then uncorked a wild pitch, enabling Kingsale to score the first run. Next, Sharnol Adriana hit the ball up the middle for an infield-hit, scoring another run, but then short stop Hanley Ramirez threw the ball passed first base, resulting in another run, making it 3-0 in Dutch favor. And so the opening game in Pool D got a surprising start.

In the second inning, Edinson Volquez recovered. Kenley Jansen led off with a walk and went on to advance to third base on a sac-bunt by Hainley Statia and grounder by Eugène Kingsale. But starting with Statia's bunt, nine batters were retired in order, including six by Volquez and three by new pitcher Rafael Perez. In the fifth inning, veteran Pedro Martinez became the new pitcher and gave up a bunt-single (with one out) to Eugène Kingsale, but then Sharlon Schoop grounded into a double play.


...The ESPN announcers at work before the game...
...At left is play-by-play commentator Gary Thorne...
...At right is analyst Steve Phillips...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Dutch starter Sidney Ponson needed several pitches himself in the first inning, but was backed with some nice and solid defense. Willy Taveras led off with an infield-hit, then Ponson threw out Robinson Cano on a comeback-grounder and walked Hanley Ramirez. But then the 33-year old Ponson got two more grounders to end the inning. There was more good fielding in the second inning. With one out, Willy Aybar and Nelson Cruz singled, but then Miguel Olivo lined to second baseman Sharlon Schoop. He appeared to catch the ball, but it dropped (intentionally?) and Schoop turned a double play to end the inning.

In the third inning, Ponson issued his second walk, this time to lead-off hitter Willy Taveras, who moved on a grounder. Hanley Ramirez then drove the ball into leftfield, but not deep enough, as he flied out to Bryan Engelhardt. The inning ended when David 'Big Papi' Ortiz grounded out. In the fourth inning, the Dominicans did score their first run when Miguel Tejada led off with a homerun to rightfield, however followed by three outs. In the fifth inning, Ponson was closing in on his 70-pitch limit and saw the Dominicans get their lead-off hitter on base for the fourth time, as Miguel Olivo led off with a single. Ponson then walked Willy Taveras, which was the last batter he faced. Lefthander Alexander Smit was brought in and saw the bases being loaded when Robinson Cano bunted down the third base-line. Hanley Ramirez followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in Olivo and narrow the deficit to 3-2. Ramirez' fly also enabled Taveras to advance to third base. Smit then threw the ball in the ground (which was labeled a passed ball), which moved Cano to second base, while Taveras remained at third base, but could have had a scoring chance as he had left immediately when the ball was in the ground, instead of hesitating.

...Vince Rooi (left) and Randall Simon (right)...
...embrace closer Leon Boyd...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Smit then loaded the bases by walking David Ortiz intentionally, which brought out Manager Rod Delmonico for another pitching change. Rob Cordemans took over with the bases loaded and got a great play from third baseman Yurendell de Caster, who turned a double play on a hard grounder by Miguel Tejada. In the sixth inning, Cordemans gave up an one-out double to Willy Aybar, but then Nelson Cruz lined out to leftfield and Miguel Olivo struckout to end the inning.


...The Home Plate meeting before the game...
...Major League HP Umpire Larry Vanover (left) goes over the...
...ground rules with Managers Felipe Alou and Rod Delmonico...
...At right are ML-ump Eric Cooper and Canadian umpires...
...Corrie Davis and Stephan DuPont...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
After Eugène Kingsale's single in the fifth inning, the Dutch was unable to reach base off Pedro Martinez, who retired the last seven batters he faced. In the meantine, Dutch veteran Rob Cordemans also did his job very well. After ending the fifth inning with a double play and the sixth with two important outs, Cordemans got two quick outs in the seventh inning. He then gave up a single to Hanley Ramirez and walked David Ortiz (but several pitches were pretty close to the strikezone). With runners on first and second, Cordemans again threw a scoreless inning, as powerhitter Miguel Tejada flied out.

In the eighth inning, Juan Carlos Sulbaran became the fourth Dutch pitcher. With one out, he walked Willy Aybar, but then he also got defensive support with two flyouts. In the ninth, the Dutch got on base again for the first time since the fifth inning. After ten batters were retired in order, lead-off hitter Randall Simon was hit by a pitch and replaced by pinch-runner Michael Duursma, who then was awarded second base on inteference after some good baserunning during a rundown in which he ran into first baseman Fernando Tatis. However, he stranded on second base, as three strikeouts followed. In a tenseful bottom of the ninth inning, the Dominicans got two baserunners. New pitcher Leon Boyd walked lead-off hitter Willy Taveras, who advanced on a grounder by Robinson Cano, but then was caught stealing at third base on a great throw by catcher Kenley Jansen. Next, Hanley Ramirez also walked and appeared to have stolen second base, but batter José Bautista was called out on strikes, resulting in a Dutch eruption on the field.
(March 7)

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


...The site were history was written on Saturday...
...Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan (Puerto Rico)...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Dominican powerhitter David Ortiz...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...The last action of the game: Hanley Ramirez steals...
...second base, but batter José Bautista strikes out...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Robinson Cano shows disappointment...
...after the game...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)


Dutch end up short vs. Minnesota
Nederlands
FORT MYERS, Florida (USA) - The Dutch National Baseball Team ended its preparations for the World Baseball Classic on Thursday-afternoon with a 4-2 loss vs. the Minnesota Twins, who held the Dutch offense hitless for 7 2/3 inning, before Sidney de Jong ended the No-Hitter. The Twins decided the game with a 3-run rally in the seventh inning. After the game ended, the team immediately had to travel to the airport, as their charter plane was to leave somewhat over two hours after the game ended for the 2 1/2 hour flight to San Juan in Puerto Rico. There, the Dutch Team will play its first WBC-game on Saturday against the Dominican Republic, which lost 4-1 to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday, meaning they lost two consecutive games.

For the third day in a row, Manager Rod Delmonico started with the same line-up, but had made one adjustment to his batting order, as the American switched Sharnol Adriana (who batted fifth in the previous two games) and Yurendell de Caster (who batted sixth).

For Dutch Pitching Coach Bert Blyleven it was the second time in three days that he faced a former team. On Tuesday, the Dutch played his former team Pittsburgh Pirates and today the Minnesota Twins, the club where he made his Major League-debut in 1970. Blyleven played for the Twins from 1970-1976, then again from 1985-1988 and won the World Series with them in 1987.


...Manager Rod Delmonico...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Starter Tom Stuifbergen...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Minnesota reached base four times off Dutch starter Tom Stuifbergen (who is a prospect in the Twins organization) in the first three innings, including two basehits. But before the first basehit was registered, the Twins already had scored their first run. In the first inning, Stuifbergen had walked a batter with one out, but came unharmed out of the inning when two flyouts followed. In the second inning, however, he walked lead-off hitter Michael Cuddyer (who is playing for the Twins since 2001) and this time the 'walk' scored. Cuddyer moved on a grounder and a balk, then scored on a sacrifice fly by rookie Brock Peterson, who is a non-roster invitee to Spring Training-camp. Hereafter, Jason Pridie hit the first Twins-hit, but then the third out followed. In the third, Stuifbergen gave up a lead-off single to Carlos Gomez, but then the next three batters were retired.

The Dutch offense was unable to reach base in the first three innings off Minnesota-starter Kevin Slowey, who retired the first nine batters in a row. The righthander, who was 12-11 last season for the Twins, struckout two batters and got five of the last six batters to ground out. In the fourth inning, Slowey was relieved by Bob Keppel, who threw in 12 games so far on the big level for the Kansas City Royals (2006) and Colorado Rockies (2007). The rookie had problems finding the strikezone, as he walked the first two batters he faced, Eugène Kingsale and Sharlon Schoop. Kingsale advanced on a force play-grounder by Randall Simon, then scored the tying run on a grounder by Gregory Halman, but Keppel ended the at bat by striking out Yurendell de Caster. In the fifth inning, Keppel retired the side in order.

The Twins threatened again in the fourth and fifth inning, but were unable to score. In the fourth, Dutch non-roster player Nick Stuifbergen took over the pitching for his brother and saw the Twins load the bases on two walks and an error. But then the inning ended when Matt Tolbert lined into a double play. In the fifth, Dennis Neuman took the mound and walked Joe Crede with two outs. Crede plays in the Major League since 2000 and since then played all his seasons for the Chicago White Sox, with whom he won the World Series. Last season, he was bothered by back problems and had only 39 plate appearances in the second half of the season. On February 21, Crede, who was a Free Agent, signed an one-year contract with the Twins for 2,5 million dollar, which can rise to 7 million if he has 525 plate appearances this season. After reaching first base, Crede was replaced by pinch-runner Toby Gardenhire, the son of Minnesota-Manager Ron Gardenhire, who plays in the minor leagues and was added to the team for today's game. Next, Jason Kubel singled, but then Neuman ended the at bat with a strikeout.


...Dirk van 't Klooster, the Dutch recordholder in international...
... games played, looks on from the dug-out...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Gregory Halman: 2 RBI's...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the sixth inning, Drew Butera, who entered the game as new catcher in the top of the at bat, led off with a walk off new pitcher Diegomar Markwell, but the lefthander then got three outs in a row. The Twins then took charge of the game in the seventh inning off new pitcher Berry van Driel. The righthander faced only five batters and then had to be replaced, as he gave up four consecutive singles and walked the fifth batter. After Dustin Martin and Steven Tolleson had led off with singles, Toby Gardenhire and David Winfree followed with RBI-singles to give the Twins a 3-1 lead. Next, Van Driel walked Luis Matos and was replaced by Leon Boyd with the bases loaded. He retired three batters in order, but one of them hit an RBI-grounder to make it 4-1.

The Dutch in the meantime was unable to reach the bases. After Bob Keppel retired the side in order in the fifth, Philip Humber and Mike Gosling did the same in sixth and seventh inning. This meant that the Dutch Team reached base only twice in seven innings, both on a walk in the fourth inning. In other words, the Minnesota-pitching was throwing a No-Hitter, but that ended in the eighth inning. With two outs, Sidney de Jong, who had entered the game in the seventh inning as catcher, singled to break the No-Hitter, but hereafter the third out followed.

In the eighth, Pim Walsma became the seventh Dutch pitcher. The righthander gave up an one-out single and hit a batter with two outs, but then ended the inning with a flyout. In the ninth, the Dutch Team was able to add three more basehits and a run. Vince Rooi was brought in as pinch-hitter for Dirk van 't Klooster, who had just entered the game the inning before as the new rightfielder. Rooi led off with a single, advanced on a grounder by Sharlon Schoop and scored on a 2-out single by Gregory Halman, who therefore accounted for both runs. Yurendell de Caster, who had struckout in his previous three at bats, followed with another single, but then the inning and the game ended when Sharnol Adriana grounded out, resulting in a 4-2 victory for the Twins.

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


...Manager Rod Delmonico (2nd from right) observes with coaches...
...Bill Froberg (1B, at left), Bert Blyleven (Pitching)...
...and Hensley Meulens (Hitting, sitting at right)...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Twins-Manager Ron Gardenhire (left) looks on with coaches...
...Steve Liddle (Bench, right) and Rick Anderson (Pitching, 2nd from right)...
...Standing besides Gardenhire is Twins AAA-Team Manager Stan Cliburn...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)


...Hammond Stadium, the Spring Training home of the Twins...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
On Thursday, Italy was leading 2-0 with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning against the New York Mets, but lost 3-2. With the 2-0 lead, experienced pitcher Kasey Olenberg took over the pitching in the ninth, but then things turned out in favor of the Mets. With one out, Cory Sullivan tied the score with a 2-run homerun, then pinch-hitter Daniel Murphy singled and went on to score the winning run, batted in by Jeremy Reed. Italy had scored two runs in the third inning on RBI-singles by Chris Denorfia and Giuseppe Mazzanti.

other scores on Thursday
Boston Red Sox vs. Puerto Rico 5-9
Philadelphia Phillies vs. USA 6-9
Houston Astros vs. Panama 7-5
New York Yankees vs. Canada 0-6
Atlanta Braves vs. Venezuela 8-4
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Australia 10-5
Oakland A's vs. South Africa 6-1
Colorado Rockies vs. Mexico 3-7

(March 5)


Dutch beaten in 10 innings by Reds
Nederlands
SARASOTA, Florida (USA) - The Dutch National Baseball Team on Wednesday-evening trailed 3-0, but came alongside, then lost 4-3 to the Cincinnati Reds, which scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the tenth inning. It could have turned out differently, as the fourth inning proved to be costly for the Dutch when two errors and a balk led to two runs. For Cincinnati, this was their first and only game against a World Baseball Classic-team. The Dutch Team completes its preparations for the World Baseball Classic on Thursday vs. the Minnesota Twins, then flies to Puerto Rico in the evening. There, the Ducth will meet the Dominican Republic in its first game next Saturday.

The Dutch Team faced experienced righthander Bronson Arroyo in the first four innings. Arroyo, who is named after actor Charles Bronson and turned 32 ten days ago, made his Major League-debut in 2000 pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, but played in his first full season in 2004 with the Boston Red Sox, with whom he won the World Series then. Since 2006, Arroyo pitches for Cincinnati and also is an avid musician, who recorded several CDs. In nine big league-seasons, Arroyo's record is 71-70.

Dutch Manager Rod Delmonico penciled in the same starting line-up (both in batting order and defensive positions) as the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates the day before. Starting for the Dutch squad was righthander Rick van den Hurk, who finally was making his debut in the national team. Van den Hurk was part of preliminary rosters several times before, including the first World Baseball Classic in 2006 and the Olympic Games of last year. In 2006, he was unavailable because he was recovering from an injury, last year, he also was coming back from an injury, but also was a member of the Major League-squad of the Florida Marlins and therefore not eligible to play.


...Dutch rookie Manager Rod Delmonico...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Cincinnati Reds call their Spring Training-season this year the 'Sunset Season', as they will leave Sarasota after this spring and move to Arizona next year. In the game notes the Reds Media Department handed out before the game, it was mentioned that the Dutch Team had several players with Major League-experience, including Van den Hurk, Randall Simon, Sidney Ponson, Eugène Kingsale and Yurendell de Caster, but it also informed the readers that other famous people from the Netherlands are Rutger Hauer (actor), Rik Smits (basketball), Vincent van Gogh (painter) and Eddie Van Halen (musician).

Besides Dutch pitchers Alexander Smit and Juan Carlos Sulbaran pitching in the minor leagues for the Reds, their was another Dutch connection. Cincinnati-Manager Dusty Baker was the Manager of the San Francisco Giants when Rikkert Faneyte made his Major League-debut in 1993.


...Dutch starter Rick van den Hurk...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Dutch Team started well with two basehits in the first inning off Bronson Arroyo, but didn't come beyond first base. Eugène Kingsale led off with a bunt-single, but was forced out on a grounder by next batter Sharlon Schoop, who was then picked off first base by Arroyo. Next, Randall Simon also singled, but then the inning ended when Sharnol Adriana struckout. In the first Cincinnati at bat, Rick van den Hurk retired the first two batters he faced, then gave up a single to Jay Bruce, one of the three players in the starting line-up who made his Major League-debut last year. A flyout ended the at bat. The Reds threatened more in the second inning, when Van den Hurk walked the first two batters, then gave up a single to Jeff Keppinger to load the bases. But then Kevin Barker grounded into a double play and another grounded followed to end the inning. After giving up the two singles in the first inning, Arroyo retired the next ten batters in order, including two strikeouts, six flyouts and two groundouts. Arroyo was relieved in the fifth inning by Arthur Rhodes, a 17-year Major League-veteran, who made his debut in 1991 with the Baltimore Orioles and threw in 714 big league-games . The lefthander, who will turn 40 in October, gave up an 2-out single to Bryan Engelhardt in the lone inning he pitched.


...Edwin Encarnacion is tagged out at home by catcher...
...Kenley Jansen in a double play in the 2nd inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the third inning, Cincinnati registered its third basehit off Van den Hurk. After striking out lead-off hitter Chris Dickerson, he gave up a single to veteran Alex Gonzalez, the most experienced player in the Reds line-up. The short stop made his debut in the Majors in 1998 with the Florida Marlins and is playing for the Reds since 2007. Due to a fractured left knee he missed the entire 2008 season. For Gonzalez, who played in 1117 Major League-games, this was his first game of the season and today was used as the designated hitter. With Gonzalez on first base, next batter Jay Bruce flied out and that meant the end for Van den Hurk, as pitchers who are on Major League-rosters are limited to throw only 50 pitches during the exhibition games against Major League-teams. David Bergman took over and ended the inning with a flyout.

The fourth Cincinnati at bat was marked by poor defensive play on the Dutch side, as two errors were made. Leftfielder Bryan Engelhardt (first inning) and short stop Hainley Statia (third inning) already had made an error, this time, thid baseman Yurendell de Caster made two errors with two outs (a fielding and throwing error). Besides that, David Bergman added a runscoring balk and Chris Dickerson an RBI-single and through this all, the Reds were able to score two runs, who both were (of course) unearned. Cincinnati added a run in the fifth inning. Alexander Smit took over in that at bat for David Bergman and was greeted with a single by Jacque Jones, another veteran in the Reds line-up. But then Jones, who plays in the Majors since 1999 (1302 games), was picked off first base by lefthander Smit. However, Jay Bruce followed with a homerun to make it 3-0. In 2007, Bruce and Smit both played for the Sarasota Reds in the Single-A Advanced. Bruce then played in 67 games for that team, while Smit appeared in four games after being traded by the Minnesota Twins. Smit ended with a flyout and strikeout and only gave up a pinch-hit double in the sixth.


...Yurendell de Caster is greeted by Sharnol Adriana...
...after hitting a 2-run homerun in the 7th inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the top of the sixth, the Dutch Team came on the board for the first time off new pitcher Francisco Cordero. Hainley Statia led off with a walk, stole second and advanced on a throwing error, then scored the first Dutch run when Randall Simon singled (again) with two outs. In the next inning, the Dutch Team came alongside. In the sixth and seventh inning, Cincinnati-Manager Dusty Baker decided to bring in several replacements, including six rookies with no Major League-experience.

...Pim Walsma and Sidney de Jong...
...have a talk in the 9th inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Amongst them lefthander Matt Maloney, who started the seventh inning. Sharnol Adriana, the veteran in the Dutch line-up, led off the at bat with a single, then scored when Yurendell de Caster followed with a homerun to make it 3-3. Hereafter, the Dutch got two more runners on base when pinch-hitter Curt Smith walked and Hainley Statia singled with one out, but a strikeout and groundout ended the at bat, leaving the two runners behind. Maloney also threw the eighth and ninth inning, retiring all six batters he faced. The Reds got two runners on base in its ninth. Pim Walsma walked lead-off batter Yonder Alonso, who advanced on a grounder. With two outs, Walsma walked Jacque Jones to set up a force play, then a flyout ended the inning, meaning the game went into extra innings.

And in the tenth inning (which would have been the last inning if the score would have remained tied), it was Cincinnati that decided the game. In the top of the at bat, the Dutch got a runner in scoring position, but couldn't score. New pitcher Daniel Ray Herrera saw lead-off hitter Hainley Statia reach on an error and advancing on a sac-bunt by Danny Rombley. But Statia stranded, as two outs followed. In the Reds' tenth, Luis Bolivar led off with a double and advanced on a grounder. After Berry van Driel, who had started the tenth as the sixth Dutch pitcher (and was brought in together with new catcher and non-roster player Martijn Meeuwis), issued an intentional pass to next batter Darnell McDonald, the righthander uncorked a wild pitch, enabling Bolivar to score the winning run.

The game was the first of the exhibition series of WBC-teams against Major League-squads which went into extra innings. One game on Wednesday ended in a tie, which was the match-up between Houston Astros and Venezuela (4-4), but that was stopped after nine innings.

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


...Mike Costanzo...
...2-run homerun...
(© Photo: Orioles)
On Wednesday-afternoon, Italy defeated the Florida Marlins 5-1. The Italian squad outhit the Marlins 10-5 and broke an 1-1 tie with a 3-run rally in the sixth inning. In the third inning, Italy took an 1-0 lead on an RBI-single by Nick Punto, but Florida tied the score in the fourth on a single by Logan Morrison. In the sixth inning, the Italians re-took the lead when Philadelphia-born Mike Costanzo (Baltimore Orioles) hit a 2-run homerun with two outs and Chris Denorfia hit an RBI-triple. The Italians will close their preparations on Thursday vs. the New York Mets.

The American Team lost 6-5 to the Toronto Blue Jays, which decided the game with a 3-run rally in the home of the ninth inning when trailing 5-3. The Dominican Republic, the first opponent of the Dutch Team, was beaten 6-1 by the Baltimore Orioles.

Other scores on Wednesday
Philadelphia Phillies vs. Canada 9-2
Detroit Tigers vs. Panama 3-9
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. South Africa 13-6
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Mexico 4-19
Tampa Bay Rays vs. Puerto Rico 1-2<
Seattle Mariners vs. Australia 9-11p> (March 4)


Dutch suffers one-run loss vs. Pittsburgh
Nederlands
BRADENTON, Florida (USA) - The Dutch National Baseball Team on Tuesday-afternoon opened its series of three exhibition games against Major League-teams with a 5-4 loss vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates, despite outhitting the Bucs 13-6. The Dutch squad faced an early 4-1 deficit and got several scoring opportunities, but stranded ten runners. The Orange Team will complete its preparations for the World Baseball Classic with games against the Cincinnati Reds (Wednesday) and Minnesota Twins (Thursday).
At Viera, Italy was beaten 9-6 by the Washington Nationals, thanks to a 3-run, walk-off homerun by Rogearvin Bernadina with two outs in the ninth inning.

In front of almost 1800 spectators, the Dutch Team opened the score in the first inning thanks to basehits by the two most experience players in the line-up: Eugène Kingsale and Randall Simon. Kingsale led off with a single and scored on an one-out single by Simon. Between 1996-2003, Kingsale played in 211 Major League-games for the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres and Detroit Tigers, while Simon appeared in 537 big league-games playing for the Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Philadelphia Phillies between 1997-2006. Another experienced player started on the mound for the Dutch Team, righthander Sidney Ponson, who threw in 284 games for the Baltimore Orioles, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers from 1998-2008. Ponson, who currently is a Free Agent, saw the Pirates answer with two runs in its first at bat. Ponson walked lead-off hitter Anderson Machado, then gave up a double to Luis Cruz. With one out, the two scored on a single by rookie Garrett Jones. The Pirates added two runs in the third inning on a single by Jones and a double by Andy Phillips, with 259 Major League-games one of the more experienced players in the Pirates' starting line-up. The Dutch Team came back with a run in the fourth at bat when Gregory Halman led off with a homerun off Denny Bautista, who had just entered the game as the third hurler for Pittsburgh. Last season, Halman hit 29 homeruns in the minor league.


...Randall Simon...
...3-for-5, 2 RBI's...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...The entrance of Pirate City in Bradenton...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the fifth inning, the Dutch narrowed the deficit to 4-3. With one out, Hainley Statia doubled then scored when an error was made on a grounder with two outs by Sharlon Schoop. Dutch starter Sidney Ponson was relieved by Rob Cordemans in the fourth inning. Cordemans struckout two batters and walked two, but allowed only one runner to reach second base in the two innings he pitched. Dennis Neuman took over in the sixth inning. In the seventh inning, the Dutch Team got the bases loaded, but was unable to score. Sidney de Jong, who had entered the game in the previous inning as catcher, led off with a single, then advanced on a sac-bunt by Hainley Statia. After Eugène Kingsale struckout for the third time, pinch-hitter Michael Duursma walked and Randall Simon singled. But then the inning ended when Danny Rombley, who had replaced Gregory Halman in centerfield the inning before, grounded out. Pittsburgh added another run in the eighth inning when Jeff Salazar homered with one out in the eighth inning off Michiel van Kampen. In the ninth inning, the Dutch scored their last run. Hainley Statia led off with a walk, then advanced on an one-out single by Michael Duursma and scored when Randall Simon followed with another basehit. Simon was 3-for-5 in the game. But with runners on first and second base, Danny Rombley and Sharnol Adriana were retired to end the game.

The Dutch Team faced eight Pittsburgh-pitchers in the game and hit at least one basehit off each of them. Besides Randall Simon going 3-for-5, Hainley Statia and Gregory Halman also contributed big in their first game of the season for the National Squad. Statia went 2-for-2 (including a double), reached base three times (he also walked) and scored twice, while Halman went 2-for-3, including a homerun. For both Statia and Halman, it was their first game in the orange shirt since the World Cup of 2007 in Taiwan, as both were unavailable for last years Olympic Games. The eight Pirate-hurlers threw ten strikeouts, including seven with runners on base. The five Dutch pitchers struckout six, but walked nine batters, but only of them scored. Defensively, the Dutch team turned two double plays, as did Pittsburgh.


...Starting Pitcher Sidney Ponson...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Manager Rod Delmonico put ten players in his starting line-up with a professional background. Eight of them are current professionals (including Sidney Ponson, who at the moment is Free Agent), while the remaining two are former pros and play in the Dutch Big League: Eugène Kingsale (DOOR Neptunus) and Bryan Engelhardt (Corendon Kinheim). Besides Kingsale and Engelhardt only Gregory Halman (Kinheim) played regularly in the Dutch league, while Sharnol Adriana briefly played for Neptunus at the end of last season. Halman was the only Dutch-born player in the starting line-up, all other were born on either Curaçao or Aruba.


...Dutch Pitching Coach Bert Blyleven giving instructions...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Randall Simon played for the Pittsburgh Pirates during his career, as did Pitching Coach Bert Blyleven, who won the World Series with the club in 1979. A few days ago, Blyleven invited former teammate and pitcher Kent Tekulve, who is now an instructor with the Pirates, to talk with the Dutch pitchers. Tekulve was one of the premium relievers in the National League and for the Pirates and was known for his submarine-sidearm pitching. In 16 seasons (12 with the Pirates), Tekulve threw in 1050 games (all in relief!), which is the eighth highest total on the all-time list. Tekulve recorded 184 saves in his career. For Simon, it was not another acquaintance with the Pirates, it also brought back a story for which he will be known forever. While playing with the Pirates against the Milwaukee Brewers Milwaukee in 2003, a sausage race was held between innings. While the sausages ran by the Pirates dug-out, Simon struck one of them (the Italian sausage...) with his bat, who then fell down. While Simon's intention was to be humoristic, it didn't fell well and he even was arrested, had to pay a fine, was suspensed for three games and was traded shortly after that to the Chicago Cubs.

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


...Dutch Short Stop Hainley Statia forces out...
...Pittsburgh-catcher Erik Kratz in 2nd inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the meantime, the four Asian participants in the WBC have closed their exhibition series at Tokyo, where the WBC will open next Thursday.
Japan ended its series of six exhibition games on Sunday with a 2-1 win in 10 innings vs. the Yomiuri Giants to register its fifth victory. Japan started its series in Miyazaki, then played two games against Australia in Osaka and finished with two games in Tokyo against the Seibu Lions and Yomiuri Giants. As mentioned in a previous story, Ichiro Suzuki was 0-for-9 in the last two games, but he was only 3-for-23 in the entire series. Nevertheless is everyone in the Japanese squad, nicknamed 'Samurai Japan', confident that the outfielder will be productive again during the WBC.
South Korea closed with a 3-0 shutout-loss vs. the Yomiuri Giants on Tuesday-evening. Korean player Seung-yeop Lee hit a 2-run double in the first inning to deliver the game-winning hit. The 26-year old Lee, who led in homeruns and RBI's in the first WBC and also played an important role during in the Olympic Games, which was won by Korea, declined an invitation to play with the national squad this time to focus on his preparations for the new season with the Giants. With the loss, Korea ended its preparations with a 5-1-1 record.

...Italian Manager Marco Mazzieri (right) with...
...Bullpen Coach Gilberto Gerali...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) closed its exhibition series with two losses against the Japanese pro-teams Yomiuri Giants and Seibu Lions. On Monday, the Giants won 7-6, on Tuesday, the Lions defeated Taiwan 13-2.
Japan and Korea are the favorites in Pool A to advance to the second round of the WBC.

Italy played three exhibition games before it started its series against Major League-teams. The Italians, who are managed by Marco Mazzieri, won one of their games, a 4-1 victory in a 6-inning game against a minor league-team of the Florida Marlins last Wednesday in Jupiter. It then was beaten 5-4 in 8 innings vs. a minor league-squad of the New York Mets in Port St. Lucie on Friday and lost 5-2 to a minor league-combination of the Washington Nationals on Saturday in Viera. The Italian squad has ten players on its roster, who play in the Italian Baseball League, including veterans Davide Dallospedale, Giuseppe Mazzanti and Mario Chiarini. Fifteen players play professionally in the American minor league, while the remaining three are currently free agent. Eight of their players also participated in the first World Baseball Classic. Manager Mazzieri is assisted by six coaches, including four Americans. Mike Hargrove, former Major League-player, who managed the Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners, is the Bench Coach, former Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs-manager Tom Trebelhorn is the 3B Coach and former Los Angeles Dodgers/New York Mets-catcher Mike Piazza is the Hitting Coach. In 2006, Piazza played for the Italian squad during the first WBC. Bill Holmberg, international scout for the Chicago Cubs, is the Pitching Coach. Holmberg already is active as a coach in Italy since 1989.


...Rogearvin Bernadina...
...Gamewinning Homerun...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Italy faced the Washington Nationals in its ML-exhibition game on Tuesday and lost 9-6, thanks to a Dutch homerun! After trailing 6-0 after six innings, Italy scored two runs in the seventh inning, then added three more in the eighth inning. Two of these runs were scored on a 2-out, 2-run homerun by Valentino Pascucci, who played in 32 Major League-games for the Montreal Expos in 2004. In the ninth inning, Italy came alongside, but (as so many times before), it was a Dutch player, who handed the Azzuri a loss, as Rogearvin Bernadina hit a walk-off 3-run homerun with two outs in the home of the ninth. Bernadina was one of 45 players nominated for the Dutch WBC-roster, but informed Manager Rod Delmonico that he was not available, as he wants to win a spot on the 25-man roster of the big league Nationals. In the fourth, fifth and sixth inning, the Italians faced pitcher Shairon Martis, who struckout two, walked one and gave up two hits, but no runs. Last week, the Dutch management learned from Martis in an interview that he wasn't available to pitch for the Dutch National Team, as he also wants to focus on the coming season.

other exhibition results:
Toronto Blue Jays vs. Canada, 4-6
Florida Marlins vs. Dominican Republic, 1-10
Atlanta Braves vs. Panama, 11-2
Minnesota Twins vs. Puerto Rico, 3-2
Detroit Tigers vs. Venezuela, 7-5
New York Yankees vs. USA, 5-6

(March 3)


Dutch Team & other open WBC Spring Training
Nederlands
SARASOTA, Florida (USA) - The Dutch National Baseball Team is ready for the final preparations for the World Baseball Classic, which opens next Thursday in Tokyo (Japan). The Dutch Team will play its first game next Saturday vs. the Dominican Republic in San Juan (Puerto Rico). You can watch this game live on ESPN America (previously known as NASN), starting at 5 PM (Dutch time). ESPN America will broadcast 30 of the 39 games scheduled between March 5 and 23. Check the schedule (all times listed are Dutch times) for the coming days.
The organization of the World Baseball Classic has a plan under consideration for expansion from 16 to 24 countries and territories for the third edition, to be held in 2013. In this format, there will be qualifying rounds as a preface to reach the main competition.

Broadcast Schedule ESPN America
Thursday, March 5
10:30 AMChina vs. Japan(game 1, Tokyo)
8:00 PMChina vs. Japan(replay)
Friday, March 6
10:30 AMTaiwan vs. South Korea(game 2, Tokyo)
6:00 PMTaiwan vs. South Korea(replay)
4:30 AML Game 2 vs. L Game 1(game 3, Tokyo)
Saturdag, March 7
11:00 AMW Game 1 vs. W Game 2(game 4, Tokyo)
5:00 PMNetherlands vs. Dom. Republic(game 1, San Juan)
8:00 PMCanada vs. USA(game 1, Toronto)
2:00 AMItaly vs. Venezuela(game 2, Toronto)
5:00 AMCanada vs. USA(replay)
Sunday, March 8
10:30 AMW Game 3 vs. L Game 4(game 5, Tokyo)
9:30 PML Game 2 vs. L Game 1(game 3, San Juan)
1:00 AMW Game 1 vs. W Game 2(game 3, Toronto)
4:00 AMAustralia vs. Mexico(game 2, Mexico City)
Monday, March 9
10:30 AMW Game 5 vs. W Game 4(game 6, Tokyo)
5:30 PMW Game 1 vs. L Game 2(replay G 3, Toronto)
8:00 PMAustralia vs. Mexico(replay)
11:30 PML Game 2 vs. L Game 1(game 4, Toronto)
3:00 AML Game 2 vs. L Game 1(game 3, Mexico City)
Tuesday, March 10
three live-broadcasts
two replays
Wednesday, March 11
three live-broadcasts
three replays
Thursday, March 12
three replays
On Sunday, the Dutch team changed locations from Bradenton to Sarasota, where it will have its World Baseball Classic Spring Training, which officially started on March 1. On that date, players on Major League-rosters were allowed to join their respective teams. So, on Sunday-afternoon, RHP Rick van den Hurk (Florida Marlins), infielder Hainley Statia (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and outfielder Gregory Halman (Seattle Mariners) joined the Dutch team in Sarasota. Also arriving was Hensley Meulens (Hitting Coach Triple-A San Francisco Giants), who will be the Hitting Coach for the Dutch squad, as well as four Major League Baseball-staff members. All 16 participating countries have four Major League-employees assigned to them, namely a Travel Manager, Equipment Manager, Trainer and Security Agent. For the Dutch Team Jason Holowaty will be the Travel Manager, Jeff Risch will handle the Equipment with Dutch Team Equipment Manager Frans Bergman, Mike Freer will the Trainer, handling the medical matters with Dutch Physical Therapist Rob Tamminga and Scott Larson is the Security Agent. Three years ago, Mike Freer also served as the MLB-trainer for the Dutch Team during the first World Baseball Classic. Travel Manager Jason Holowaty also is known to the Dutch Team, as he works for Major League Baseball International, is based in London and visits the Netherlands frequently.

In the next three days, the Dutch Team will play against three Major League-teams. On Tuesday, it will meet the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, then on Wednesday the Cincinnati Reds will be the opponent in Sarasota and on Thursday, the Dutch will play vs. the Minnesota Twins at Fort Myers. After completion of that game, the team will travel to the airport and fly to San Juan (Puerto Rico) in the evening.

Three years ago, the Dutch Team played an exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves, which then was a split-squad of the Major League-team. This time, the national squad will face the 'real' Major League-teams, as will ten other participating countries in the World Baseball Classic. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Australia (2), Canada (3), Dominican Republic (3), Italy (3), Mexico (2), Panama (3), Puerto Rico (3), South Africa (2), Venezuela (3) and USA (3) also will play games against Major League-teams. All sixteen Major League-teams, who have their Spring Training-camps in Florida will play at least one game against one of the national teams. Eleven of the 14 teams who have their Spring Training in Arizona also will meet national squads in the coming days. The only Major League-teams not to face a WBC-squad are the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers.

Besides the four Asian teams, Cuba is the lone team not to play exhibition games against Major League-teams. They're preparing in Puebla (Mexico) and play against teams from the Mexican Major League. So far, Cuba won 8-3 vs. Las Aguilas de Veracruz (on Thursday) with Frederich Cepeda, Rolando Meriño and Alexander Malleta hitting homeruns, then Cuba shutout Pericos de Puebla 19-0 (on Saturday) with homeruns by Yulieski Gourriel, Frederich Cepeda, Alfredo Despaigne, Yoennis Céspedes, Leslie Anderson and Eduardo Paret and defeated Puebla 7-4 on Sunday (eh, no homeruns this time).

China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan (Chinese Taipei) don't face American Major League-teams during their exhibition games, as they're playing the first round of the WBC in Tokyo (Japan). They do meet teams from the Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese professional leagues.
Japan first played two games against Australia at the Osaka Dome in Osaka, winning both. On Tuesday, Japan won 8-2, the next day, 11-2. Australia will play its first WBC-game next Sunday against and in Mexico. Before that, the Aussies will play two exhibition games against Major League-teams in Arizona. At the Tokyo Dome, in front of almost 42.000 spectators, Pool A-host Japan on Saturday-evening was beaten 7-2 by Seibu Lions, which in November last year won the Japan Series by winning Game 7 vs. favorite Yomiuri Giants. On Sunday, Japan won 2-1 in 10 innings vs. the Giants. Star-outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was 0-for-9 in these two games.
On Saturday-afternoon, also in the Tokyo Dome, the Giants won 9-2 vs. China.

...The entrance of Les Murakami Stadium...
...in Honolulu (Hawaii)...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
South Korea, which arrived in Tokyo on Sunday, is doing fine in its preparations. The Koreans came to Japan from Hawaii, where it had held a trainingcamp since February 16, practicing at Patsy T. Mink Central O'ahu Regional Park, the same facility where the Dutch National Women Softball Team played two games in March last year during their preparations for the Olympic Games. There, the Koreans played three games against the Hanwha Eagles, one of the teams from the professional Korean Baseball Organization, which has its Spring Training on Hawaii. The two teams also met in two games in Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu. The Koreans, managed by Eagles-manager In-sik Kim, won four games and played one tie. After arriving in Tokyo, the Korean squad played against the Seibu Lions on Monday and won 4-2, thanks to a 2-run homerun by Tae-kyun Kim, who is a player of the Eagles.

...The Dutch National Softball Team played at Central...
...O'ahu Regional Park in March 2008...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Taiwan arrived in Tokyo on Friday, but didn't do well in its preparations against three teams from the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL). After winning 6-1 vs. Brother Elephants, it lost 7-5 to a weakened Uni President Lions and 9-4 to Sinon Bulls. The Taiwanese squad is unable to bring its best roster to the WBC, as the Doosan Bears and Sinon Bulls will not release their players, fearing injuries. Besides that, three pitchers, who performed well during the Olympic Games and five premium professionals who play in the States will not be with the team, including starting pitcher Chien-ming Wang, who got no permission from the New York Yankees, as he is recovering from an injury. The team now is compiled of nine minor league-players, twelve players from the CPBL, five amateurs and two players, who are candidates to be signed by a CPBL-club. Taiwan will play two more exhibition games against the Yomiuri Giants and Seibu Lions, before starting the WBC.
The Asian Qualifiers will face Major League-teams in exhibition games before Round Two, which is played in Miami and San Diego. Japan, which won the first World Baseball Classic in 2006, opens the second edition next Thursday in Pool A vs. China. Taiwan and Korea will meet in Game Two on Friday.

WBC-Schedule upcoming days

Pool A (Tokyo Dome, Tokyo, Japan)
Thursday, March 5: Japan vs. China (game 1)
Friday, March 6: Korea vs. Taiwan (game 2)

Pool B (Estadio Foro Solo, Mexico City, Mexico)
Sunday, March 8: Cuba vs. South Africa (game 1)
Sunday, March 8: Mexico vs. Australia (game 2)

Pool C (Rogers Centre, Toronto, Canada)
Saturday, March 7: USA vs. Canada (game 1)
Saturday, March 7: Venezuela vs. Italy (game 2)

Pool D (Hiram Bithon Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Saturday, March 7: Dominican Republic vs. Netherlands (game 1)
Saturday, March 7: Puerto Rico vs. Panama (game 2)

(March 2)


Dutch Team shuts out Manatee College
Nederlands
BRADENTON, Florida (USA) - The Dutch National Baseball Team on Wednesday-evening shutout the team from Manatee Community College, 4-0, in its fourth of seven exhibition games. In the next three days, the team will continue practicing to prepare for the World Baseball Classic to conclude the first part of their trainingcamp in Florida. The team then opens the WBC Spring Training the next day on March 1. Players on Major League-roster will then join the 16 participating countries in the second edition of the event, which for the Dutch Team means they will see the arrival of RHP Rick van den Hurk (Florida Marlins), infielder Hainley Statia (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and outfielder Gregory Halman (Seattle Mariners). On March 3, 4 and 5, the Dutch squad will play three more exhibition games, facing the Major League-teams of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds.

On Wednesday-evening, the Dutch team scored all four runs against the Manatee Lancers in the first and second inning of the speedy game, which lasted just over two hours. Tom Stuifbergen started the game, threw two innings and was credited with the victory. The righthander was followed on the mound by Juan Carlos Sulbaran, Dennis Neuman, Diegomar Markwel, Berry van Driel, Pim Walsma and Nick Stuifbergen. All threw one inning, except for Van Driel, who threw two. Nick Stuifbergen, who closed the game, was one of seven players who were dropped from the finale WBC-roster, which was announced on Tuesday, but he will remain with the team through the entire trainingcamp to serve as 'an extra arm' for Manager Rod Delmonico.

Pitching Coaches Bert Blyleven and Jim Stoeckel were more than satisfied after completion of the fourth exhibition game, as seven of their pitchers flirted with a No-Hitter and gave up only two basehits to the Lancers. The first ten Manatee-batters were retired in order by starter Tom Stuifbergen (first and second inning), Juan Carlos Sulbaran (three strikeouts in the third) and Dennis Neuman, who hit a batter in the fourth after he struckout the lead-off hitter. In the fifth, Diegomar Markwell retired the side, including two strikeouts, then Berry van Driel faced only three batters in the sixth inning to keep the No-Hitter intact.

...Jonathan Rodriguez...
...broke No-Hitter in 7th...
(© Photo: Manatee College)
But in the seventh, the Manatee-squad broke the No-Hitter when Jonathan Rodriguez singled with one out off Van Driel, who then also gave up a 2-out single to Gus Schlosser. In the eighth, Pim Walsma hit a batter with one out, then Nick Stuifbergen closed the game with a perfect ninth. The Lancers reached base only five times and got on second base only once. Despite the dominating performance by the pitching staff, it of course was a disappointment that the No-Hitter was eventually broken.

The team of Manatee Community College faced an early 4-0 deficit, as the Dutch team scored its four runs in the first two innings. In the opening at bat, Eugène Kingsale led off with a double, advanced on a grounder by Sharnol Adriana and scored on a wild pitch. In the second inning, three runs were added with two outs. Sharlon Schoop led off with a single and advanced on a wild pitch. after Curt Smith flied out and Kenley Jansen struckout, Michael Duursma walked. Next, Eugène Kingsale hit his second double to bring in Schoop. Veteran Sharnol Adriana followed with a single, which enabled Duursma and Kingsale to lift the lead to 4-0. But that was to be all for the Dutch squad, which added five more basehits in the remainder of the game, but failed to add more runs, reaching second base only two more times. In the third Danny Rombley singled with one out, stole second and advanced on a grounder, but then stranded. In the fifth, Sharnol Adriana led off with a single, but was caught stealing moments later. In the sixth, Sharlon Schoop singled with one out, but then next batter Curt Smith grounded into a double play. In the seventh, the team got two runners on base again. With one out, Michael Duursma was hit by a pitch and Bryan Engelhardt followed with an infield-hit, but then a flyout and strikeout followed. In the eighth, Vince Rooi entered the game as a pinch-hitter and led off with a single, but was then thrown out trying to advance to second base. Danny Rombley next walked, but was forced out on a grounder by Sharlon Schoop. In the ninth, Michael Duursma walked with one out and reached base for the third time, but then Bryan Engelhardt grounded into a double play.

In the meantime, the Dutch team appears to take shape for the upcoming World Baseball Classic and Manager Rod Delmonico seems to find both his right batting order as well as defensive line-up. So far, Eugène Kingsale has been the lead-off hitter in all four games, while Sharnol Adriana batted in the number 2 slot three times. Michael Duursma was the number 9 hitter in all four games. In the last two games, Randall Simon batted third and Yurendell de Caster batted in the clean-up spot, followed by Danny Rombley and Sharlon Schoop, meaning the first through sixth spot in the batting order seems to be set. It now appears that the leftfielder (Curt Smith or Bryan Engelhardt might bat as seventh hitter, whille the catcher (Kenley Jansen or Sidney de Jong) will bat eighth. Defensively, the infield looks to be as follows: Randall Simon at 1B, Michael Duursma at 2B, Sharlon Schoop at short and Yurendell de Caster at 3B with Kenley Jansen probably being the starting catcher. Eugène Kingsale is the centerfielder and Danny Rombley looks to be the rightfielder, while the leftfield-position has been split between Curt Smith, Bryan Engelhardt and Dirk van 't Klooster.

Wednesday's opponent Manatee Community College (NJCAA Division I) is one of the most successful teams in the Junior College-competitions. It won the JuCo World Series nine times, was Florida State-champion twelve times and appeared in 38 State Tournaments, all records in the State of Florida. 174 of its players turned professional, with 26 of them reaching the Major League. The team is led by Head Coach Tim Hill, who is with the team for 27 seasons and guided the Lancers to more than 900 victories.
(February 25)

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


Dutch come back to play tie vs. South Florida
Nederlands
TAMPA, Florida (USA) - The Dutch National Team faced a 4-0 deficit after four innings on Tuesday-evening, but came back with a 4-run rally with two outs in the seventh inning to even the score vs. the University of South Florida Bulls in its third exhibition game (out of seven) to prepare for the World Baseball Classic. The game ended in a 4-4 tie, as it was agreed to play only nine innings.

Just like Sunday vs. the Korean squad, the Dutch Team was put behind early with three runs in the first inning. Starting pitcher Sidney Ponson, who also started last Saturday's game, gave up three hits and three runs, walked two batters and hit another in the first inning to the South Florida Bulls, who are managed by wellknown coach Lelo Prado. Ponson gave up a lead-off single to Mike Consolmagno, then hit Jonathan Koscso. After the two advanced on a double-steal, Ponson walked Ryan Lockwood to load the bases. A passed ball then resulted in the first run, then a single by Stephen Hunt made it 2-0 for the team from Tampa. After a strikeout, Ponson issued a walk to Sam Mende to reload the bases and after another strikeout he gave up an RBI-single to Trey Manz, before the inning ended with a grounder. In the second inning, Ponson gave up two lead-off singles, then was supported with a double play and ended the at bat with a strikeout. In the third inning, he was relieved by Rob Cordemans, who saw two batters reach base, but didn't gave up runs. In the fourth, David Bergman gave up the fourth Florida-run. Lead-off batter Mike Consolmagno reached on an error, advanced on a wild pitch and went on to score on a single by Ryan Lockwood to make it 4-0. Bergman came out of the inning thanks to a double play and a pop-up. In the fifth, Bergman struckout the side, then was relieved by Alexander Smit, who threw an one-two-three sixth and also faced three batters in the seventh, two of whom reached base. But the first was caught stealing and the second picked off first base. Michiel van Kampen and Leon Boyd completed the game.

After having had only two runners to reach second base (one reached third) in the first six innings (in which four basehits were registered), the Dutch rallied for four runs on three runscoring doubles when the fourth Florida-pitcher entered the game. In the fourth, the Dutch was a few feet from its first run when it had Yurendell de Caster (single) on third base and Danny Rombley (error) on first with two outs, but then the latter was picked off to end the at bat. In the fifth, the first three batters reached base, but two of them hit into a force play. In the sixth, Randall Simon and Yurendell de Caster singled with two outs, but this time the inning ended when pinch-hitter Dirk van 't Klooster grounded into a force play. When Junior Carlin, who had played six innings in leftfield, came on in relief in the seventh, he walked lead-off batter Sharlon Schoop, then got two quick outs, but went on to give up four runs after that. With Schoop on second base, Michael Duursma singled, then Eugene Kingsale followed with an RBI-double. Next, Sharnol Adriana walked and Randall Simon then contributed with a 2-run double to make it 4-3. Adriana then scored the tying run on a double by Yurendell de Caster, who was 3-for-4. The team left runners on second and third base as the inning ended when Dirk van 't Klooster grounded out. In the last two innings, the Dutch team was unable to add more runs.

The next game will be played on Wednesday against the team from Manatee Community College.
(February 24)

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


World Baseball Classic Rosters announced
Nederlands
NEW YORK, New York (USA) - On Tuesday-evening, Major League Baseball announced the 28-man rosters for the 16 teams that will participate in the second World Baseball Classic, which opens on March 5 in Tokyo.

Dutch Manager Rod Delmonico and his coachingstaff had to cut seven players from the 35-man roster that came to Florida on February 17 to start a trainingcamp to prepare for the event. The seven players that didn't make the WBC-roster include three active professionals. The seven are: RHP Dave Draijer (Konica Minolta Pioniers), 1B Percy Isenia (Sparta/Feyenoord), IF Dwayne Kemp (Chicago Cubs-org.), C Martijn Meeuwis (DOOR Neptunus), C Dashenko Ricardo (Baltimore Orioles-org.), OF Kalian Sams (Seattle Mariners-org.) and RHP Nick Stuifbergen (L&D Amsterdam Pirates). Draijer, Isenia and Stuifbergen did participate in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006. The players who were dropped from the roster were informed after completion on Sunday's game against the Woori Heroes from South Korea. Ricardo and Sams returned to Minor League Spring Training-camp, while Kemp flew back to the Netherlands for visa-reasons and then travels back to his Minor League Spring Training-camp next week. Draijer also left the team and returns home on Wednesday-morning, while Isenia remains in the States to have a holiday. Stuifbergen will stay with the team through the WBC Spring Training on March 5 as an additional pitcher, while Meeuwis will stay with the team as its bullpen-catcher, including the World Baseball Classic. Stuifbergen and Meeuwis are eligible to play in all remaining exhibition games.

RHP Jair Jurrjens (Atlanta Braves) and RHP Shairon Martis (Washington Nationals) (who both played for the Dutch in 2006 WBC) declined an invitation in the last few days to play for the Dutch squad this time to focus on Spring Training for the coming season, but RHP Rick van den Hurk (Florida Marlins), IF Hainley Statia (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and OF Gregory Halman (Seattle Mariners), who also are on Major League-rosters, will join the team on March 1 when the WBC-Spring Training officially starts. Coach Hensley Meulens then also will join the coachingstaff. The Dutch Team then will meet the Pittsburgh Pirates, Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds in its final three exhibition games before traveling to Puerto Rico. On March 7, the Dutch will meet the Dominican Republic in its first WBC-game. The Dominican roster was labeled on Wednesday as maybe the best of the entire World Baseball Classic. The entire team will consist of Major League-players as is that of the USA. The Dominican Republic, the USA, Japan, South Korea, Cuba and Mexico are mentioned to reach the semi-finals to be played in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The Dutch World Baseball Classic Roster looks as follows:

Pitchers (13):
David Bergman, Michiel van Kampen (both Corendon Kinheim), Leon Boyd, Berry van Driel, Diegomar Markwell (all DOOR Neptunus), Rob Cordemans (Sparta/Feyenoord), Rick van den Hurk (Florida Marlins), Dennis Neuman (Boston Red Sox), Sidney Ponson (no club), Alexander Smit, Juan Carlos Sulbaran (both Cincinnati Reds), Tom Stuifbergen (Minnesota Twins) and Pim Walsma (L&D Amsterdam Pirates).

Catchers (2):
Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Sidney de Jong (L&D Amsterdam Pirates).

Infielders (8):
Sharnol Adriana (Rojos del Aguilla de Veracruz, Mexico), Yurendell de Caster (Washington Nationals), Michael Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Vince Rooi (L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Sharlon Schoop (Los Angeles Dodgers), Randall Simon (Neward Bears, independent), Curt Smith (St. Louis Cardinals) and Hainley Statia (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim).

Outfielders (5): Bryan Engelhardt, Dirk van 't Klooster, Danny Rombley (all Corendon Kinheim), Gregory Halman (Seattle Mariners) and Eugene Kingsale (DOOR Neptunus).

Boyd, van Driel, Engelhardt, Halman, van den Hurk, Jansen, Neuman, Ponson, Rooi, Schoop, Smith, T. Stuifbergen, Sulbaran and Walsma will play in their first WBC. The remaining 14 also participated in 2006.
(February 24)


Dutch and Koreans play undecisive game; Martis unavailable
Nederlands
BRADENTON, Florida (USA) - The Dutch National Baseball trailed 3-0 in the first inning against the Woori Heroes on Sunday-afternoon, but then came back to tie the score against the professional team from the Korean Baseball Organisation. The 9-inning game ended that way also, 3-3. The game was the second in a series of seven exhibition games to prepare for the World Baseball Classic. Was the comeback and solid pitching of the relievers good news for the Dutch staff, on the other hand, there also was less positive news. On Sunday, the Dutch Team learned through the website of Major League Baseball that pitcher Shairon Martis will decline his invitation to be with the squad during the WBC. As reported from Florida, Martis did not inform anyone of the coachingstaff or Technical Director Robert Eenhoorn of his decision, as did Jair Jurrjens a week ago. Martis is on the 40-man roster of the Washington Nationals and wants to stay in Spring Training Camp trying the get a spot on the 25-man Opening Day roster. The Dutch Team plays its next game on Tuesday against South Florida University. On Monday, the roster, which now consists of 35 players, has to be brought back to 28 to make up the final WBC-roster. But it is a definitive set-back for the Dutch that both Jurrjens and Martis will not be available.

The professional Korean squad was of a much better caliber than that of Eckerd College, the team the Dutch faced the day before. The Asians underscored their strength in the first at bat by scoring three runs on six hits (including a homerun) off starter Juan Carlos Sulbaran, who made his debut in the Dutch Team last year in a game prior to the Olympic Games in Beijing (China). But the Dutch Team held the Koreans to that lone productive at bat, as they were unable to add more runs, while it recovered itself and came back to score three runs and even the score. As it was decided to play no extra innings and stop the game after nine innings, it ended in a 3-3 tie.

On Sunday, former Major Leaguer Randall Simon (Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates) played in his first game for the Dutch since 2006 and contributed with two basehits, including a double. Trailing 3-0, the Dutch came back with two runs in the fourth inning on a 2-run single by Danny Rombley, scoring Curt Smith and Randall Simon. In the next at bat, the Dutch came alongside when Eugène Kingsale scored on a single by Simon. The Dutch Team collected seven hits in the game.

Starting pitcher Juan Carlos Sulbaran (who recovered after the first inning) was followed by Tom Stuifbergen, Dennis Neuman, Diegomar Markwell, Nick Stuifbergen, Berry van Driel and Pim Walsma. Neuman became the seventh player to make his debut in the Dutch Team after six already had played their first game on Saturday. Sulbaran's relievers allowed only two more Korean basehits in the remainder of the game!

In the first inning, Sulbaran gave up three hits to the first three batters, with the third one, hit by American Doug Clark, resulting in a run, while another runner was thrown out trying to advance. After striking out American Cliff Brumbaugh, Sulbaran gave up a 2-run homerun to Ji-Man SOng, which made it 3-0.

In the fourth inning, the Dutch reacted with two runs. Randall Simon led off with a double, then Curt Smith reached on an infield-hit with one out. Both then scored when Danny Rombley followed with a double.

In the fifth, the Ducth came alongside, but that could have been more. Lead-off hitter Michael Duursma struckout, but reached base on a passed ball, then was replaced by pinch-runner Dwayne Kemp, who advanced when Eugène Kingsale walked. But then, Kemp was picked off second base and moments later Kingsale advanced on a passed ball. After Kingsale moved on a flyout, he scored on a single by Randall Simon, who was 2-for-3.
(February 22)

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


Dutch Team opens exhibition series with huge win
English
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (USA) - The Dutch National Baseball Team opened its exhibition series as preparation for the World Baseball Classic on Saturday-evening with a big 18-1 victory against the Tritons, the baseball-team of Eckerd College at Turley Field in St. Petersburg. In 2006, the two teams met twice during the preparations for the first WBC. The Dutch Team won both games, 3-1 and 10-0. The Dutch Team kept its winning record against the team intact, as it won comfortably, but it didn't looked that way initially, as it was only 2-0 after six innings. The Dutch then had two big rallies, scoring seven runs in the seventh inning and six in the eighth at bat to increase their lead, then added three more in the ninth. The Tritons scored their lone run in its eighth. The next game is scheduled for Sunday-evening and then the opponent can be expected a lot stronger, as the Dutch then play against the Woori Heroes, one of the teams from the professional Major League in South Korea. The Dutch team is playing seven exhibition games through March 5. The last three are against Major League-teams and are played during the WBC Spring Training.

There were several firsts in Saturday's game. First of all, it was the first led by new Manager Rod Delmonico, who succeeded Robert Eenhoorn on January 1. Delmonico was named Manager in December. Eenhoorn, who managed the squad since 2001, became Technical Director of the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association on that date. Also, it was the national team's coaching-debut for Bert Blyleven, the 23-year Major League-veteran, who won the World Series in 1979 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and in 1987 with the Minnesota Twins. Dutch-born Blyleven is fifth on the All-Time StrikeOut-list and is the Pitching Coach for the Dutch squad during their camp in Florida and the World Baseball Classic. Blyleven was named Pitching Coach in December. It also marked the return of Jim Stoeckel in the Dutch coachingstaff and he was making his debut as a coach, as he was Manager of the team in his previous affiliations with the team. Stoeckel managed in 1981-1983 came back for a 3-year period from 1989-1991. He also served as interim-manager for a tournament in Taiwan in November 1984. This year, Stoeckel will be the Pitching Coach of the Dutch Team and was named into that position last month.

Six players made their debut in the Dutch National Team on Saturday: Kenley Jansen, Dwayne Kemp, Sidney Ponson, Dashenko Ricardo, Sharlon Schoop and Curt Smith, who are all active professional players. Jansen, Ponson and Schoop also were on the provisional 60-man roster for the Dutch Team for the first World Baseball Classic in 2006, but then were not part of the final roster. Jansen and Schoop also were listed on the preliminary roster for the 2008 (Olympic) season, but then also weren't part of the final selections. On Saturday-evening, Ponson (who currently is Free Agent and without a club) was the starting pitcher with Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers) being the starting catcher. Schoop (Los Angeles Dodgers) started as short stop, while Smith (St. Louis Cardinals) was the designated hitter. Ricardo (Baltimore Orioles) later came into the game as pinch-hitter/designated hitter, while Kemp (Chicago Cubs) later played at second base.

On a nice evening, with temperatures around 16 degrees Celsius and more people attending the game than three years ago, the Dutch team scored its first run in the third inning, then added another one in the fifth at bat. But the really scoring was done in the last three innings, when 16 runners crossed the plate to increase the lead to 18-1. Most latter runs were the result of some walks and errors in the Eckerd-defense. Vince Rooi led off the ninth inning with a solo-homerun. Sidney Ponson threw the first two innings of the game, then was relieved by Rob Cordemans (two innings), Alexander Smit (one), David Bergman (one), Leon Boyd (one), Dave Draijer (one) and Michiel van Kampen (one). The Dutch team collected 17 basehits off nine pitchers, while its seven pitchers gave up only four hits to the Eckerd-team.

In the third inning, Eugène Kingsale led off with a triple, then Sharnol Adriana was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and third base. Next, Curt Smith singled to bring in Kingsale and gave the Dutch an 1-0 lead. Smith singled in his first two at bats.

In the fifth, Percy Isenia was one of five players who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in this at bat (but only one run was scored) and doubled with one out. Next, pinch-hitter Dashenko Ricardo was hit by a pitch. Kalian Sams, the third PH, followed with a single on which Isenia tried to score, but he was thrown out at the plate. Fourth PH Dirk van "t Klooster also singled and this time Ricardo (who had advanced to third base) scored the second run in the game. The inning ended when fifth PH Vince Rooi popped out.

The Dutch then broke open the game with a 7-run rally in the seventh inning on only three hits, as the Eckerd-defense committed four errors, resulting in all runs being unearned. In the inning, Adam Whitlow, the seventh Eckerd-pitcher, walked three batters in a row to bring in a run, then gave up an RBI-grounder to Eugène Kingsale, a 2-run single to Percy Isenia and an RBI-single to Dashenko Ricardo to make it 9-0, before being lifted after having faced ten batters.

In the eighth, six more runs were scored when new pitcher Brian Hill added five walks and gave up a baseclearing, 3-run double to Kalian Sams, who was 3-for-4, scored once and had four RBI's. In the home of the eighth, Dave Draijer became the sixth Dutch pitcher and walked lead-off batter Tyler Howard, who went on to score an unearned run on a grounder by Matt Heller. Vince Rooi then led off the ninth with a homerun and two more runs were added on a sac-fly and wild pitch.

Besides Sams collecting three hits, Eugène Kingsale, Percy Isenia, Curt Smith and Sharlon Schoop all had two hits. Kingsale and Schoop were the only two players to play the entire game, in which Manager Rod Delmonico used 24 players.
(February 21)

Complete Box Score & Play-by-Play


Dutch Team off to Florida with some question marks
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The Dutch National Baseball Team travels to Bradenton (Florida) on Tuesday to start preparations for the World Baseball Classic next month. In the coming two weeks, the team not only will practice at the Spring Training-site of the Pittsburgh Pirates, it also will play seven games, as one additional game has been added to the schedule. But there are also some question marks for new Manager Rod Delmonico regarding hit pitchingstaff, as pitcher Jair Jurrjens announced he will not pitch for the team and Shairon Martis is rumored to be in doubt.

While Jair Jurrjens on Sunday stated he has decided to decline the opportunity to pitch for the Netherlands during the World Baseball Classic, the Dutch team management had not yet received a comfirmation whether the righthander indeed will not be available. Therefore, an official announcement has not yet been made. At the Spring Training Camp of the Atlanta Braves, Jurrjens said on the Major League-website that he had made his decision when the Braves had told him they expect him to return to Spring Training after making his start in the first round of the WBC. ,,I don't want to go for one game and come back, but do the whole thing'', said Jurrjens, who added he will get another change to throw in the WBC in the future. Jurrjens, who threw a career-high 188 innings last season, now will focus on his spot in the starting rotation for the upcoming season. Atlanta-Manager Bobby Cox said that ''when Jurrjens would gave gone, it wouldn't have been for much time probably'', meaning Cox didn't expect that the Dutch team would qualify for the second round. ,,But'', added the longtime Manager. ,,It's an honor to play for your country and if they wish to do so, it's fine with us.'' Last week, shortly before the Dutch roster of 37 players was announced, Outfielder Rogearvin Bernadina has informed Manager Delmonico that he won't be available. Bernadina, who played in 26 Major League-games last season for the Washington Nationals, is trying to secure a spot on this years roster during Spring Training.

Jurrjens and Bernadina aren't the only players to decline an invitation to play for their country. Also on Sunday Australian LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith decided not to play on the WBC. He wants to stay on the Spring Training-site of the Seattle Mariners to concentrate on getting a spot in the starting rotation. Powerhitter Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday confirmed that he won't play for the Dominican Republic (the first opponent of the Netherlands). Pujols recently underwent surgery on his right elbow and wants to prepare himself to be ready for the coming season. On Monday, Catcher Cole Armstrong of the Chicago White Sox decided not to play for Canada, as he decided his priorities are in being in the big league camp, hoping to become the back-up catcher of the White Sox.

Of the 37 players (including five players on Major League-rosters), who were named to the Dutch roster last week, 32 are scheduled to participate in the first part of the trainingcamp in Bradenton. Before February 24, the list has to trimmed to 28 players, who will form the WBC-roster and continue the second week of practice. In these first two weeks, four games will be played, instead of three, as one additional game has been added for February 25. On March 1, the World Baseball Classic Spring Training officially begins and teams will then be joined by players on Major League-rosters. In this period, the WBC-teams are playing exhibition games against Major League-teams. The Dutch will play three games.

Exhibition Schedule Dutch Team:
February 21 vs. Eckerd College Tritons (at St. Petersburg)
February 22 vs. Woori Heroes (Professional Team from Korea) (at Bradenton)
February 24 vs. South Florida University Bulls (at Tampa)
February 25 vs. Manatee Community College (at Bradenton)
March 3 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates (at Bradenton)
March 4 vs. Cincinnati Reds (at Sarasota)
March 5 vs. Minnesota Twins (at Fort Myers)

After completion of the last game, the team will fly to Puerto Rico in the evening for the first round of the World Baseball Classic.
(February 16)


37 players named to preliminary WBC-roster
Nederlands
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - On Wednesday, a preliminary roster for the Dutch National Team for the upcoming World Baseball Classic has been released with 37 players being named to it by new Manager Rod Delmonico and his staff. On February 17, the squad travels to Florida to held its preparations during a training camp in Bradenton, the Spring Training-site of Major League-club Pittsburgh Pirates. Included in the group of 37 players are five, who this weekend will open Spring Training on a Major League-roster and are not eligible to participate in the training camp. They will join the team on March 1 when the World Baseball Classic Spring Training officially begins. These five are pitchers Rick van den Hurk (Florida Marlins), Jair Jurrjens (Atlanta Braves) and Shairon Martis (Washington Nationals), infielder Hainley Statia (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) and outfielder Gregory Halman (Seattle Mariners). Van den Hurk, Jurrjens, Martis and Halman all are on the 40-man roster, while Statia is a non-roster player.

Amongst the 32 who will be in camp for the first part are twelve who are on Minor League-rosters, one on a Mexican roster and one without a club. On February 24, the final roster of 28 players has to be handed in. The Dutch coachingstaff for the WBC has been expanded with Ben Thijssen, who led Corendon Kinheim to the national title in 2006 and 2007 and retired after the 2008-season in which Kinheim was swept in the Holland Series by L&D Amsterdam Pirates. Thijssen has been a coach of the Dutch National Team before, as he was the 3B Coach in the staff of Robert Eenhoorn in 2001-2006.

On January 19, a preliminary roster of 45 players was announced. Not included from that roster in the 37-man squad are pitchers Kenny Berkenbosch, Jos de Jong (both L&D Amsterdam) and Mike Bolsenbroek (Philadelphia Phillies), catcher Tjerk Smeets (Corendon Kinheim), infielders Raily Legito and Jeroen Sluijter (both DOOR Neptunus) and outfielders Rogearvin Bernadina (Washington Nationals) and Raynard Doran (Minnesota Twins).

In February, players on the preliminary roster will play three exhibition games, all to be played in Bradenton. The Dutch team opens on February 21 vs. Eckerd College Tritons, then meets a professional team from South Korea on February 22 and closes vs. South Florida University Bulls on February 24. Hereafter, then definitive 28-man roster of the Dutch team plays three more games during the WBC Spring Training, facing the Major League-teams of the PIttburgh Pirates (March 3 at Bradenton), Cincinnati Reds (March 4 at Sarasota) and Minnesota Twins (March 5 at Fort Myers). After completion of the last game, the team will fly to San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, in the evening for the first round of the WBC where it will meet the Dominican Republic on March 7.

The 37-man preliminary roster is as follows:

Pitchers:
David Bergman, Michiel van Kampen (both Corendon Kinheim), Leon Boyd, Berry van Driel, Diegomar Markwell (all DOOR Neptunus), Rob Cordemans (Sparta/Feyenoord), Dave Draijer (MediaMonks RCH), Rick van den Hurk (Florida Marlins), Jair Jurrjens (Atlanta Braves), Shairon Martis (Washington Nationals), Dennis Neuman (Boston Red Sox), Sidney Ponson (no club), Alexander Smit, Juan Carlos Sulbaran (both Cincinnati Reds), Nick Stuifbergen, Pim Walsma (both L&D Amsterdam) and Tom Stuifbergen (Minnesota Twins).

Catchers:
Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers), Sidney de Jong (L&D Amsterdam), Martijn Meeuwis (DOOR Neptunus) and Dashenko Ricardo (Baltimore Orioles).

Infielders:
Sharnol Adriana (Rojos del Aguilla de Veracruz, Mexico), Yurendell de Caster (Washington Nationals), Michael Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Percy Isenia (Sparta/Feyenoord), Dwayne Kemp (Chicago Cubs), Vince Rooi (L&D Amsterdam), Sharlon Schoop (Los Angeles Dodgers), Randall Simon (Neward Bears), Curt Smith (St. Louis Cardinals) and Hainley Statia (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim).

Outfielders: Bryan Engelhardt, Dirk van 't Klooster, Danny Rombley (all Kinheim), Gregory Halman, Kalian Sams (both Seattle Mariners) and Eugène Kingsale (Neptunus).

Coaching Staff:
Rod Delmonico (manager), Bill Froberg, Wim Martinus, Hensley Meulens, Ben Thijssen (coaches), Bert Blyleven and Jim Stoeckel (both pitching coach).
Supporting Staff:
Martijn van Berkel, Rob Tamminga (both physical therapist), Frans Bergman (equipment manager), Kees Sleegers (business manager) and Loet van Schellebeek (press officer).
(February 12)


Australian pitcher for Dutch champion
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Dutch baseball-champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates announced on Monday that is has added Australian national team-pitcher Adam Blackley to its roster for the upcoming season. Amsterdam opens the season on April 11 vs. Corendon Kinheim, which it swept in three games in last years Holland Series.


...Adam Blackley...
Lefthanded pitcher Adam Blackley, who will turn 24 on February 22, played professionally in the organisation of the Boston Red Sox from 2003-2007 in the Rookie League and Single-A teams of the club. In his first professional season, Blackley played in seven games in the Rookie League-team, where he also started the 2004 season. He then was promoted to the Single-A level and went on to win four games. In 2005, the lefthander added eight more victories. Overall, Blackley threw in 99 professional games and was used as started and as reliever. He started 47 games, meaning he threw 52 in relief. In five seasons, Blackley threw 332 1/3 inning, struckout 349 batters and walked only 123. He finished his professional career with a 16-16 record.

Adam Blackley started his career in Australia for Cheltenham, but also played for the Victoria Aces in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009. With the Aces, Blackley recently participated in the Claxton Shield, the Australian championship series, which ended last weekend. In six games, he was 4-1 and struckout 19 batters for the Aces, with whom he reached the semi-finals, but then were eliminated. In 2007, the team captured the national title.

Since 2006, Blackley is a member of the Australian national team and traveled three times to Taiwan since then. First, in 2006, he made his debut during the Intercontinental Cup there, then he returned to this country in November of 2007 for the World Championships and in March of 2008 he was there again to participate with Australia in the Final Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Blackley started one game, threw nine strikeouts in five innings, but had no decision. Australia finished in fourth place, therefore didn't qualify for the Olympic Games in Beijing. During the World Championships in 2007, he started two games and had one victory, which came vs. Mexico.
(February 9)


New name for NASN
Nederlands
KIRKCALDY, Scotland (Great Britain) - NASN, the popular sports channel which is available on most Dutch cable networks, has been re-named ESPN America since February 1.


...Grand Slam Webmaster Marco Stoovelaar with...
...ESPN's Erin Andrews in Wrigley Field,...
...the home of the Chicago Cubs...
(Photo: George Presburg)
At the end of 2006, the owners of NASN (North American Sports Network), Benchmark Capital Europe and Sentanta Sports, sold NASN to ESPN for 70 million Euro. After ESPN obtained NASN in 2007, it was announced in October 2008 that the name NASN would change to ESPN America on February 1, 2009.

All wellknown ESPN-sportshows, such as Baseball Tonight, NBA Fastbreak, NHL on the Fly, Pardon The Interruption, Around The Horn, The Sports Reporters, College GameDay and NASCAR Now will return into the schedule, just as they were in the NASN-schedules. ESPN America will continue the style as it was known with NASN, broadcasting over 800 live and/or tape-delayed games from Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, National Football League, NCAA Basketball/Football and Major League Lacrosse.

ESPN America is the home of Major League Baseball, broadcasting up to ten games a week coupled with complete live coverage of the All-Star festivities as well as live coverage from the Play-Offs and every World Series game. Besides that, it will broadcast the World Baseball Classic, as well as the NCAA College Baseball World Series and the finals of Little League Baseball World Series.

ESPN has an experienced crew, who cover the Major League Baseball-games, including Dave Campbell, Jon Miller, Dave O'Brien, Dan Shulman, Gary Thorne (play-by-play commentators), Orel Hershiser, John Kruk, Buck Martinez, Joe Morgan, Steve Phillips, Jayson Stark, Rick Sutcliffe, Fernando Vina (analysts), Erin Andrews (sideline reporter), Rece Davis, Brian Kenny, Karl Ravech (anchors Baseball Tonight), Orestes Destrade, Buster Olney (contributors Baseball Tonight), Tim Kurkjian (reporter Baseball Tonight), Peter Gammons (studio analyst Baseball Tonight), Norby Williamson (executive vice president), Jed Drake (executive producer), Jay Levy and Tim Scanlan (senior coordinating producers).
(February 2)


Dutch champion opens vs. vice-champion
Nederlands
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - The schedule for this years season in the Dutch Major League has been released and Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates opens vs. Corendon Kinheim, whom it swept in three games in last years Holland Series to capture its first title since 1990. The Sudtours Hoofdklasse opens on Saturday, April 11.

L&D Amsterdam (Head Coach Rikkert Faneyte) opens the season on the road, as it travels to Haarlem on April 11 to play against Corendon Kinheim (Head Coach Eelco Jansen), then the champion hosts this team the next day in Amsterdam. DOOR Neptunus (Head Coach Steve Janssen), which was eliminated by Amsterdam in the Play-Offs, also begins on the road, playing vs. ADO (Head Coach Leo Voogd), which last year finished in last place, but then secured its spot for this year by winning an exciting 5-game series vs. First Division-champion Euro Stars. Konica Minolta Pioniers (Head Coach Frank Koene), which was eliminated by Kinheim, begins the new season also with a roadgame, playing at Sparta/Feyenoord (Head Coach Ludwin Bernadina). Mr. Cocker HCAW (Head Coach Jurjan Koenen) opens at home vs. MediaMonks RCH (Head Coach Bernie Beckman).

Six of the eight teams will be led by a new Head Coach in 2009. Only two teams stick with their 2008 Head Coach: Rikkert Faneyte (Amsterdam) and Frank Koene (Pioniers).

Eleven times this season, games are scheduled on a weekday, mostly to be played on Thursday-evening. When it is Neptunus' turn to play at home in a weekday, it will play on Friday-evening. The first weekday games will be played on Thursday, April 23. The last game in the regular season is scheduled for Sunday, August 2. Hereafter, the Play-Offs and Holland Series will follow to be completed before the start of the World Championships, which will be held in seven European countries in September.

New this season is the Rookie League. In this league, the so-called second teams or minor league-teams of the eight big league-clubs are playing. Until last season, these teams played in the First Division and met the teams of that competion in interleague-games. Now, these two divisions are split again and both will open on Friday-evening, April 10. In the Rookie League, DOOR Tridents (the second team of Neptunus) opens vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW 2, while in the First Division, DSS hosts Sparks Haarlem. Dutch champion Amsterdam Pirates 2 opens the season at home on Saturday, April 11 and meets De Kroon Kinheim. First Division-champion Euro Stars also opens at home on Saturday, meeting Tex Town Tigers.

The season will be interrupted when the Dutch National Team participates in the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands), which is scheduled for July 2-12. After completion of the season, the Dutch participate in the World Cup and before the start of the season, it participates in the World Baseball Classic.
(February 1)


IN MEMORIAM


...Henne Kalisvaart...
(1954 - 2009)
(photo: reni-foto)

Baseball-fan Henne passed away
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Hendrik Kalisvaart, who was better known under his nickname 'Henne', passed away on January 26 after a short, but severe illness. Henne had turned 54 in December. The cremation ceremony for Henne took place on Friday, January 30 in Amsterdam.

For years, Henne was a very loyal baseball-fan and visited many games. Initially, he was a supporter of Amstel Tijgers in Amsterdam, where infielder Robert Knol was his favorite player. When Amstel Tijgers club merged after the 1988 season with HCAW, Henne became an avid follower of Kinheim in Haarlem. Since then, he was in attendance at most of the home games of Kinheim, but he also frequently visited games of Amsterdam Pirates and of HCAW. Besides that, Henne also visited most games of the Dutch National Team when it played in tournaments held in the Netherlands, like the Haarlem Baseball Week, World Port Tournament, European Championships or World Championships.

Henne was a colorful figure on the Dutch baseball-fields and mostly sat at the third base-side and was also known for his 'coaching', as he gave his own 'signals' to players in the field and at bat. When he supported the team, whether it was a clubteam or the national squad, he was recognized immediately by his voice. He therefore was known to many players in the Dutch big league and of the national team. Henne's presence at the games will surely by missed by everyone who knew him.
(January 30)


45-man roster announced for World Baseball Classic
Nederlands
NEW YORK, New York (USA) - On Monday, January 19, at 6:00 PM local time (midnight Dutch time), Major League Baseball announced the names on the 45-man rosters for the sixteen countries that will participate in the 2nd World Baseball Classic, which will open 45 days from now on March 5.

The Dutch National Team will play its games again in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, just as it did three years ago in the inaugural edition of the prestigious event. The Dutch, which for the first time will be headed by new Manager Rod Delmonico, plays its first game on March 7 against the Dominican Republic in Pool D, while Panama meets Puerto Rico. The two winning teams will then meet two days later on March 9, while the two losing squads meet each other on March 8. On that date, the tournament will be come to an end for one team, as the double-elimination system will be used this time, meaning that whenever a team is losing its second game, it will be eliminated. The first round runs from March 5 through 12 and will be played in Toronto (Rogers Centre), San Juan (Hiram Bithorn Stadium), Tokyo (Tokyo Dome) and Mexico City (Estadio Foro Dol). On March 5, defending champion Japan opens the event against China in the Tokyo Dome.

The Pool-alignments are as follows:
Pool A - China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Korea.
Pool B - Australia, Cuba, Mexico, South Africa.
Pool C - Canada, Italy, USA, Venezuela.
Pool D - Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Panama, Puerto Rico.

Hereafter, Round Two will be played from March 14-19 again with a double-elimination with games scheduled to be played in Miami (Dolphin Stadium) and San Diego (PETCO Park). The semi-finals follow on March 21 and 22, to be followed by the final on March 23. These last games will all be played in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

Last Friday, all sixteen countries had to hand in their provisional rosters to the organization, which have now become the official 45-man rosters. Only players from this rosters will be eligible to be placed on the final roster of 28 players, which has to be filled in on February 24. From now on, no new players can be added. The World Baseball Classic is the only tournament in which players from active 25-man Major League-rosters are eligible to participate in.

The Dutch National Team will travel to Florida on February 17 to start its outdoor preparations and will be stationed in Bradenton at the Spring Training-site of the Pittsbugh Pirates. On February 24, a game will be played vs. South Florida University (at Tampa), followed by a game against a Korean squad on March 28 (at Bradenton). On March 1, when the WBC-Spring Training officially starts, the Dutch Team will switch to Sarasota, but will conduct another practice at Bradenton the next day. On March 3, a game will then played vs. the Pittsburgh Pirates (at Bradenton), on March 4 vs. Cincinnati Reds (at Sarasota) and on March 5 vs. Minnesota Twins (at Fort Myers). After completion of the last game, the team will fly in the evening to Puerto Rico.

22 players on the Dutch roster are active professionals, while the other 23 are on the rosters of Dutch Major League-clubs, including 19, who will play for the top-three of last season. Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates has six players, as has vice-champion Corendon Kinheim, while DOOR Neptunus has seven players on the Orange-roster. Two are coming from Sparta/Feyenoord, while MediaMonks RCH and Konica Minolta Pioniers each are represented by one player.

Amongst the 22 professionals are four players, who are not yet known here. The four newcomers all come from Curaçao and are: RHP Dennis Neuman, 19 years old, who played for the Lowell Spinners (Single-A Boston Red Sox) in 2008, Catcher Dashenko Ricardo, 18, who played for the Gulf Coast League Orioles (Rookie League Baltimore Orioles), 1st Baseman Curt Smith, 22, who played for the Quad Cities River Bandits (Single-A St. Louis Cardinals) and Outfielder Raynard Doran, 21, who played for the Dominican Summer League Twins (Rookie League Minnesota Twins). Also for the first time on a Dutch roster are pitchers Mike Bolsenbroek and Jos de Jong and infielder Dwayne Kemp. Bolsenbroek, who pitched briefly in the Dutch big league for Mr. Cocker HCAW, pitched professionally last season in the Rookie League-team of the Philadelphia Phillies, while Dwayne Kemp (ex-DOOR Neptunus/Sparta/Feyenoord) played in the Single-A team of the Chicago Cubs. Jos de Jong is on the roster of Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam. Sidney Ponson is the most experienced pro in the Dutch staff. The 32-year old Aruban pitcher received a Royal decoration when he reached the Major League in 1998, pitching for the Baltimore Orioles. Since then, the righthander threw for Orioles through 2005. In 2003, he also pitched ten games for the San Francisco Giants. In the last three seasons, Ponson threw for four different clubs: New York Yankees (2006; 2008), St. Louis Cardinals (2006), Minnesota Twins (2007) and Texas Rangers (2008), but he currently is a free agent. Ponson threw in 284 games and has a career 90-106 record with 999 strikeouts. In 2006, Ponson was one of 60 players on the then-preliminary roster for the WBC, but didn't make the final roster.

Not on the Dutch roster is veteran Major League-outfielder Andruw Jones, who played ten seasons with the Atlanta Braves, then had an unsuccessfull season last year with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who released him last week after a disappointing season. In 2006, Jones was a member of the first Dutch WBC-team and then played in two of the three games by the Dutch squad.

The 45-man Netherlands Roster

PITCHERS
David Bergman, Michiel van Kampen (both Corendon Kinheim), Kenny Berkenbosch, Jos de Jong, Nick Stuifbergen, Pim Walsma (all L&D Amsterdam), Leon Boyd, Diegomar Markwell, Berry van Driel (all DOOR Neptunus), Rob Cordemans (Sparta/Feyenoord) and Dave Draijer (MediaMonks RCH).
Professionals:
Mike Bolsenbroek (Philadelphia Phillies Rookie League), Jair Jurrjens (Atlanta Braves Major League), Shairon Martis (Washington Nationals Major League), Dennis Neuman (Boston Red Sox Single-A), Sidney Ponson (Major League free agent), Alexander Smit (Cincinnati Reds Single-A), Tom Stuifbergen (Minnesota Twins Rookie League), Juan Carlos Sulbaran (Cincinnati Reds Rookie League) and Rick van den Hurk (Florida Marlins Major League).

CATCHERS
Sidney de Jong (L&D Amsterdam), Martijn Meeuwis (DOOR Neptunus) and Tjerk Smeets (Corendon Kinheim).
Professionals:
Kenley Jansen (Los Angeles Dodgers Single-A) and Dashenko Ricardo (Baltimore Orioles Rookie League).

INFIELDERS
Michael Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Percy Isenia (Sparta/Feyenoord), Raily Legito, Jeroen Sluijter (both DOOR Neptunus) and Vince Rooi (L&D Amsterdam).
Professionals:
Sharnol Adriana (Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz, Mexico), Yurendell de Caster (Washington Nationals Single-A/Double-A), Dwayne Kemp (Chicago Cubs Single-A), Randall Simon (Newark Bears Independent League), Sharlon Schoop (San Francisco Giants Single-A), Curt Smith (St. Louis Cardinals Single-A) and Hainley Statia (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Double-A).

OUTFIELDERS
Bryan Engelhardt, Danny Rombley, Dirk van 't Klooster (all Corendon Kinheim) and Gene Kingsale (DOOR Neptunus).
Professionals:
Rogearvin Bernadina (Washington Nationals Major League), Raynard Doran (Minnesota Twins Rookie League), Gregory Halman (Seattle Mariners Single-A/Double-A) and Kalian Sams (Seattle Mariners Rookie League).

(January 19)


IN MEMORIAM


...Bertie Caster...
(1939 - 2009)

Former player, coach Bertie Caster passed away
Nederlands
THE HAGUE (Neth.) - On Thursday, January 8, former player and coach Bertie Caster passed away at the age of 69 after a long illness.

Bertie Caster played baseball on Aruba and in the Netherlands. After coming to the Netherlands, he went on to play for Storks in The Hague and played with them in the Dutch big league in 1975. Later in his career, he became a coach at Storks.

Mr. Caster also served as chairman of the board for Celeritas (also from The Hague), where he a Member of Merit. Besides that, he was a loyal supporter to both baseball and softball.

The memorial service for Bertie Caster took place on Wednesday, January 14, at the H. Bonifatius Church, located at the Van Vredenburchweg 69 in Rijswijk. Hereafter, his family accompanied Bertie for a closed cremation ceremony.
(January 12)


Finals European Cup-tournaments dropped
Nederlands
LAUSANNE (Switzerland) - The Technical Committee of the European Baseball Confederation (CEB) has decided and informed the participating teams that the final games in the two upcoming European Cup-tournaments have been dropped, as they are of no value.

Last year, a new formula was introduced for the European Cup Championship, as the CupWinners Cup-competition was removed from the schedule. In June, there were two tournaments, one in Germany (Regensburg) and one in Italy (Grosseto). The teams in first and second place not only qualified for the newly created Final Four-tournament, but also played a final game within the tournament. As a result, FC Barcelona won the event in Germany, while Corendon Kinheim won in Italy. These two, as well as losing finalists Danesi Nettuno and Grosseto Orioles, qualified for the Final Four in September in Barcelona. In Spain, San Marino took the place of Kinheim, which was unable to participate, and Nettuno went on to win the event to become the European Cup Champion.

As the best two teams of the European Cup-tournaments both qualify automatically for the Final Four, a winner of the event has no means, as the winner of the Final Four wins the European Cup. By dropping the final game, participants and organizers can also save money, as the tournament takes one day less to complete. The upcoming tournaments, who both will be played in Italy, are now scheduled to open on Tuesday, March 31 and end on Saturday, April 4. Dutch champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates will travel to Nettuno, while vice-champion Corendon Kinheim will play its games in Matino, as it was finally announced that this will be the location for the other tournament. Matino is located near Brindisi and Lecce in the 'heel' in the south of Italy. The Final Four will be played on June 20 and 21 in Barcelona.

Because of the World Cup Baseball in Europe in September, the Final Four has been moved from September to June, with the two touraments being moved from June to March/April. Due to the fact that the competition is early in the season it's for this year allowed to hand in the Final Team Roster on Monday, March 30, consisting of a maximum of 24 players instead of 20 players. The Provisional Team Roster have to be received by the European Federation before March 17, instead of one month before the event.
(January 12)


Jim Stoeckel Pitching Coach Dutch Squad

...Jim Stoeckel, here as Manager...
...at the European Championships...
...of 1991 in Nettuno (Italy)...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Nederlands
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Former Dutch National Team-Manager Jim Stoeckel has been named the new Pitching Coach of the Dutch Squad in the staff of new Field Manager Rod Delmonico, the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association announced on Monday, January 5. In December, it already was announced that former Major League-pitcher Bert Blyleven will act as the team's Pitching Coach during the World Baseball Classic coming March in Puerto Rico. Stoeckel succeeds Brian Farley, who was the Pitching Coach until last year, but now will focus more on the development of young pitchers with the National Junior Squad. With the naming of Stoeckel, the coachingstaff of the Dutch Team is now complete. Bill Froberg and Wim Martinus were named earlier, while Hensley Meulens will be added during the World Baseball Classic.


...Jim Stoeckel being interviewed...
...by Canadian Television during...
...the 1990 World Championships...
...in Edmonton (Canada)...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)


...Jim Stoeckel talks with...
...then-Haarlems Dagblad reporter...
...Pauline Blom at the 1990...
...World Championships in Edmonton...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

Jim Stoeckel has a familiar name in Dutch baseball, as he is associated with the program since 1981. In that year, he was appointed as new Field Manager of the Dutch National Team, becoming one of the youngest in history. In 1981, the Dutch captured the European title by defeating Italy in the Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem. A year later, he led the Dutch squad to sixth place, the highest qualification ever at that moment, during the World Championships in Seoul (Korea). In 1983, the Dutch lost the European title again to Italy during the Championships in Grosseto (Italy).

In November 1984, Stoeckel returned temporarily as Manager during the Chung Hua Cup-tournament in Taiwan, filling in for then-Manager Harvey Shapiro, who was unable to go due to working commitments at his university.

Stoeckel's third association with the Dutch National Squad came in 1989 when he was appointed for a second 3-year period to lead the team. Again, there were two European Championships, but both times, in 1989 (Paris, France) and 1991 (Nettuno, Italy), the title was captured by Italy. In between, in 1990, the team participated in the World Championships in Edmonton (Canada). There, the team was en route to qualification for the play-offs, but a very disputable umpiring call in a weird situation (where a so-called fourth putout was needed) in the game against host Canada cost the Dutch to qualify. In these years, Steve Matthew, the Chief Scout of the Dutch Dutch, was a member of Stoeckel's coachingstaff.


...Jim Stoeckel with Robert Eenhoorn during the Major...
...League International Try-Outs in Amsterdam in May 2007...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
In his six full seasons as Manager, the Dutch Team participated in two Haarlem Baseball Weeks, finishing in third place in 1990. The team also participated in two World Port Tournaments. In 1989, Stoeckel led the team to its first tournament title in Rotterdam.

During Stoeckel's second 3-year period, Robert Eenhoorn, until last year the team's Manager and since January 1 the Technical Director of the Dutch Federation, was one of the players on the national squad. In the 1990 season, the short stop went on to play for Davidson College in South Carolina, where Stoeckel then was the Head Coach. Later that year, Eenhoorn made his professional debut in the organization of the New York Yankees.

After leaving the national team as Manager after the 1991 season, Stoeckel remained interested in the Dutch program and followed the development, keeping in touch with several people. After his first stint with the Dutch team, Stoeckel went into professional baseball as he became a (pitching) coach and then Manager in the minor league-system of the Los Angeles Dodgers (1983-1987; 1998-1999). From 1990 through 1998, the American also served as the International Scout Supervisor for the Dodgers and was based in it's Spring Training facility in Vero Beach, Florida. In November 2006, Stoeckel was appointed as International Scout for the Cincinnati Reds, where he was named Director of International Operations in January 2007. In between, he worked as Pitching Coach for Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce (Florida). After graduating from Harvard University in 1974, he got the opportunity to sign a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but opted to play American Football with the Hamilton Tiger Cats in the Canadian Football League. Shortly thereafter, he returned to baseball. Stoeckel came back to the Netherlands briefly in May 2007 as one of the Major League Scouts, looking at young and talented players during a Major League work-out at the site of Amsterdam Pirates in the Dutch capital, organized by Major League Baseball International.
(January 5)


Bert Blyleven National Team Pitching Coach
Nederlands
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Former Major League-pitcher Bert Blyleven will be the Pitching Coach of the Dutch National Baseball Team during the World Baseball Classic in March, the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association announced on Thursday. Rik Aalbert Blyleven was born on April 6, 1951 in Zeist (Netherlands), but moved oversees when he was only two years old and was raised in Canada and the USA. During the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006, former Major League-pitcher Bob Welch served as Pitching Coach of the Dutch national squad.

In the announcement, Robert Eenhoorn, who will become the Federation's Technical Director on January 1, stated: ,,It's fantastic that someone with his background will join us. It will enlarge our credibility towards players, clubs and player agents''. On January 1, Eenhoorn hands over the duties as the Field Manager of the national team to American Rod Delmonico, who was named recently as his successor.


...Bert Blyleven, while being with Texas in 1977...
...during a game in Oakland...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
When he was 19 years old, Bert Blyleven made his Major League-debut on June 5, 1970 while pitching for the Minnesota Twins and was the winning pitcher vs. the Washington Senators, throwing seven innings. In his first big league-season, the righthander appeared in 27 games, struckout 135 and went 10-9. In 1976, Blyleven was traded to the Texas Rangers, where he also played the next year. In December 1977, he was then traded to and became a pitching ace for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1978-1980, before (after being traded in December 1980) becoming a member of the rotation of the Cleveland Indians from 1981-1985. In August 1985, he returned to the Twins (after another trade), where he remained until 1988 and then (after being traded again in November 1988) closed his career as a pitcher of the then-called California Angels (now known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). After becoming a Free Agent after the 1991 season, Blyleven re-signed with the Angels for the 1992-season. He then became a Free Agent again after 1992 and signed a contract with the Twins for 1993, but eventually announced his retirement. In his impressive 23-year big league-career, Blyleven threw in 692 games and finished with a 287-250 record.

In 4970 innings, he struckout 3701 batters, which is the fifth highest total on the All-Time list behind Noland Ryan, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and Steve Carlton, but is the third highest for a righthander behind Ryand and Clemens. In January, Bert Blyleven again is eligible to be elected in the Hall of Fame.

In 1979, he won the World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates, beating the Baltimore Orioles 4-3, then won another one with the Minnesota Twins in 1987, beating the St. Louis Cardinals, 4-3. Blyleven threw in two All Star Games, in 1973 and 1985.

Foreign Pitching Coaches
Dutch National Team
1998-1999Jim HovorkaUSA
1999-2000Bernie BeckmanCanada
2001-2002Brian FarleyUSA
2002-2005Steve JanssenBelgium
2005-2008Brian FarleyUSA
2006Bob Welch (WBC)USA
2009Bert Blyleven (WBC)USA
In 1993, a few months after his retirement, Blyleven was a member of the Major League Baseball International All Stars-team which participated in the 5th World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands). In the same team, current national team-player Sharnol Adriana played. Blyleven threw the first two innings of the first game vs. Canada, striking out three batters and that would be his only appearance in the event, which was won by MLBI. Currently, the 57-year old Blyleven is the Color TV-Commentator for the Twins-games.

Remarkable enough, the post of Pitching Coach with the Dutch National Team have been filled in by foreign coaches since 1998, including Americans Jim Hovorka, Brian Farley and Bob Welch, Dutch-born Canadian Bernie Beckman and Belgian Steve Janssen. In 1975, a Pitching Coach was named for the first time and it was Dutchman Leen Volkerijk who served in that capacity from 1975-1978 and returned in the same role in 1985-1988. Volkerijk was succeeded by Jan-Dick Leurs in 1979 and 1980, who returned in 1984. In 1981-1983, there was no official Pitching Coach named when the coachingstaff of the national team existed of only two coaches. While being named just Assistant Coach, Charles Urbanus served as the Pitching Coach from 1989-1991, then no coach was responsible for the pitchers from 1992-1997 when former pitcher Jan-Dick Leurs was the Manager and handled the pitching himself. Since 1998, a (foreign) Pitching Coach has been named for every event the Dutch team participated in.
(December 11)


Rod Delmonico new Manager National Baseball Team
Nederlands
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - American Rod Delmonico has been named Manager of the Dutch National Baseball Team, succeeding Robert Eenhoorn, who led the national squad since 2001 and announced his resignation earlier this year. Delmonico's assignment becomes effective as of January 1, 2009. On the same date, Eenhoorn will resume his new duty as Technical Director of the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association (KNBSB). Delmonico's naming was announced on Monday by the KNBSB.


...Rod Delmonico...
(Photo: KNBSB)
The 50-year old Delmonico will head the Dutch team for the first time during the World Baseball Classic in March. The Dutch team then will face Cuba, Dominican Republic and Panama in the First Round of the event in San Juan (Puerto Rico). Three years ago, during the first WBC, the Dutch team also played its games on Puerto Rico. The inaugural edition was won by Japan. Bill Froberg and Wim Martinus have been appointed as Assistant Coach, while the naming of a Pitching Coach is expected shortly. Martinus has been with the team since November 2006, while Froberg was a member of the coachingstaff during the 2007 World Cup in Taiwan. Paul van den Oever, who served as both Bench Coach and 1B Coach since 2007, and Brian Farley, who was the Pitching Coach since August 2005, will not return in the coachingstaff. Farley has been named Head Coach of the National AAA-team.

Rod Delmonico is the 14th American, who will lead the Dutch national team, since Ron Fraser became the first in 1960. He is the first American to be appointed Manager since Pat Murphy led the squad for six months in 2000 and only the second since Jim Stoeckel was Manager in 1991. Since then, the national team was led by two successful Dutch coaches, Jan-Dick Leurs and Robert Eenhoorn. Leurs was Manager from 1992 until April 30, 2000, then Eenhoorn succeeded Murphy in November 2000 after the Olympic Games in Sydney (Australia). In 2003, Eenhoorn's American Bench Coach Davey Johnson took over briefly as interim-Manager during the World Port Tournament and European Championships. Jim Stoeckel holds the record for most seasons managed by an American (six full years). Jan-Dick Leurs holds the overall record with 8 years and 4 months. Eenhoorn has been Manager for 8 years and two months, but leads all coaches with games coaches and victories. Including Leurs and Eenhoorn, six Dutch coaches led the team since 1956 when Henk Keulemans was the first person to be appointed Coach of the national team, while four others filled in during a tournament. There also has been a Canadian coach briefly in 1959.

American Managers
Dutch National Team
1960-1962Ron Fraser
1963Bill Arce
1964Archie Allen
1965Glenn Gostick
1966Howard Fetz
1967Hal Smeltzly
1968Bill Alhouse
1971Hal Smeltzly, Bill Arce
1972-1973Ron Fraser
1974-78Ernie Myers
1981-1983; 1984Jim Stoeckel
1984-1986Harvey Shapiro
1987Pat Murphy
1988Tom Petroff
1989-1991Jim Stoeckel
2000Pat Murphy
2003Davey Johnson (interim)
Rodney James (Rod) Delmonico was born on May 14, 1958 and graduated in 1980 from Liberty University. In the same year, he made his coaching debut as an assistant at Gloucester County College in New Jersey. From 1981-1983, he was the Graduate Assistant Coach at Clemson University, then was named Assistant Coach at Florida State University, where he also was the head recruiter, worked with outfielders, first baseman and was the baserunning coach. The Seminoles led their league in stolen bases twice. In his six years at FSU, the team finished in the national top-15 annually and appeared in three College World Series, while 21 players were drafted by Major League-clubs.

In 1990, Delmonico was appointed Head Coach of the University of Tennessee and it was there, that he became one of the nations top coaches. At Tennessee, he became the winningest coach in school-history, breaking the record of longtime coach Bill Wright. Delmonico based his success on solid pitching and defense, along with agressive offense. Again, his team led in stolen bases twice, but also led in fielding twice.

In his years at Tennessee, Delmonico was named Coach of the Year six times, including National Coach of the Year in 1995. He was named Southeast Conference Coach of the Year twice and Tennessee Coach of the Year three times. In 1995, he led the Volunteers to the College World Series for the first time since 1951 and also played in the event in 2001 and 2005. After the team didn't qualify in 2006 and 2007, Delmonico was released from his duties by Tennessee in June 2007. In 18 seasons with the Volunteers, his record was 699-396, including nine seasons with 40-plus wins and two with 50 or more victories. Before he came to Tennessee, the team never had won 40 games in a season.

Overall, Delmonico's teams appeared in six College World Series and 14 NCAA Regional Championships, won 10 Conference or Division titles and nine Conference Tournament championships. He coached R.A. Dickey and Augie Ojeda, who in 1996 won the Bronze Medal with Team USA during the Olympic Games in Atlanta. During his 18 years at Tennessee, 73 players were drafted, including 10 first-round picks, while a total of 95 players signed a professional contract, including Todd Helton, Jimmy Key, Luis Alicea and Paul Sorrento. For Major League Baseball International, Delmonico was a speaker on clinics in the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, Croatia and Austria in the last two years. He also wrote four instruction books.

After leaving Tennessee, Delmonico was a volunteer Assistant Coach with Florida State University in 2007. Two months ago, Rod Delmonico joined the Florida International University to become an Assistant Coach of the Golden Panthers in the staff of Head Coach Turtle Thomas.
(December 1)


Dutch Softball Women
New date, site for 2010 World Championships
Nederlands
PLANT CITY, Florida (USA) - The International Softball Federation (ISF) and Amateur Softball Assocation/USA Softball on November 3 announced that next years ISF Women's World Championships will have to be pushed back to a later and a new location. The Championships were to be played July 16-26 in Oklahoma City (USA), but these dates conflict with the XXI Central American & Caribbean Games, which are taking place July 17-August 1 in Mayaguëz (Puerto Rico).


...Don E. Porter Stadium in Oklahoma City...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
When the World Championships were awarded to Oklahoma City on October 31, 2008, the dates mentioned for the tournament were July 9-19. However, between then and the World Cup of Softball, which were held in Oklahoma City last Summer, the dates were changed to July 16-26. One of the reasons being mentioned for the move was TV-coverage. Did the original date already had three days that overlapped the Central American & Caribbean Games (CACG), the new dates fell completely in the same period. The games in Oklahoma City were to be played in Don E. Porter Stadium at the ASA National Hall of Fame Complex, which also is the site of the NCAA Women's College World Series the last 15 years, as well as the World Cup of Softball, which had its fourth edition last July and included participation of the Dutch National Softball Team. As European champion, the Dutch Team qualified for participation in next years World Championships.

The CACG is a multi-sport event, which is held every four years, and also includes a softball-tournament. Participating herein are Cuba, Dominican Republic and Venezuela, who also qualified for the World Championships. During the ISF Congress, held at the end of October in Juan Griego, Isla Margarita (Venezuela), the conflict of dates were being brought up and discussed and it became clear that there was a problem.


...Don Porter (left) and Ron Radigonda...
(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)
ISF President Don Porter and ASA/USA Softball Executive Director Ron Radigonda announced on Tuesday that the World Championships needed to be moved to a later date and a different site in order to ensure complete participation. During next years event, the 45th anniversary of the first World Championships will be celebrated. The first Championships were held in 1965 in Melbourne (Australia), so it might be appropriate when next years event could be held in Australia.

In a statement, ISF President Don Porter (who in Venezuela was re-elected for a new 4-year term as ISF President) said: ,,We are disappointed to not have the World Championships in Oklahoma City, but know that it is imperative for our sport to have worldwide participation and a complete field of 16 teams. We don't want to leave any countries out. The ISF is already working hard to find another host country and we will make a date and site announcement as soon as possible.'' ASA/USA Softball Executive Director Ron Radigonda said: ,,The ASA and USA Softball were really looking forward to hosting the World Championships in Oklahoma City, but understand the importance of a complete field of participating countries from every region of the world. Our 2010 stadium schedule is booked and unfortunately the July dates were the only feasible dates to host the event.'' Radigonda added that a smaller event now might be organized in Oklahoma City in July and hopes to attract some teams who also participate in the Championships.
(November 3)


André Prins named Technical Manager of Gryphons
Nederlands

...André Prins to lead Gryphons...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
ROSMALEN (Neth.) - Veteran coach André Prins has been named Technical Manager of the softball-team of Gryphons, which relegated this season after losing a best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Play-Off vs. Olympia Haarlem, 3-2. Prins succeeds Mary-Ann Hatt, who stepped down after the season. Her assistant Vera Van De Ven will be one of the coaches of Twins next season. Prins will be assisted next season by Mariana Atanasova and Wout Isbouts. Yonina Sint Jago, one of the players of the team, will conduct the conditioning and running practices.

André Prins can look back to a long career in coaching and instructing, but became known first as an umpire. He officiated in both the baseball and softbal big leagues and went on to umpire in World Championships on both the senior and junior-level in basebal and softball, which is an unique combination. From 1992-1995, he was the softball umpire commissioner. After he initially retired as an umpire in the early nineties, he returned in 2002, but retired again in 2004.


...Mariana Atanasova...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
While umpiring, he also started his coaching career and through the years, he instructed several clubs. Prins also coached abroad, giving clinics in Greece and becoming the Head Coach of Moscow-based team Carrousel, as well as the Russian National Team, whom he led to second place during the European Championships in 2003. In 2005, Prins as a member of the coachingstaff of both the Dutch National Team and the Dutch Youth Team as its Pitching and Hitting Coach, while also being the Manager of the Dutch Junior Team. From 2005 through this year, Prins was involved in all national youth softball-teams, as its Manager. In 2007, he led the Junior-team to its first-ever Play-Offs during the World Junior Championships in Enschede (Netherlands), captured the European title with the Dutch Cadets Team in Plzen (Czech Republic) after winning the final against Great Britain, 1-0 and won the Kingdom Games in The Hague (Netherlands) with the Under-18 team the same year, beating the Netherlands Antilles 3-2 in the final. In 2008, his National Junior Team won the European Championships in Deggendorf (Germany), winning 4-3 vs. Italy in the final. This year, the Under-16 Cadets surprised during the first-ever World Championships Under 16 in Prague (Czech Republic) by reaching the final, then settled for the silver medal after losing 15-0 to Japan. At Alkmaar (Netherlands), he also led the Dutch Cadets Team to the final of the European Championships, but lost the final 3-1 to Russia. Prins also led the Dutch Juniors this year during the Kingdom Games in Aruba. For his involvement in player development, Prins received the Nol Houtkamp Award in 2005. In October of the same year, he was elected into the ISF Hall of Fame.

Mariana Atanasova, the wife of André Prins, also had a career in umpiring. Representing Bulgaria, she officiated the European Championships Men Softball in 2005 in Nijmegen (Netherlands), amongst other events. Since 2006, she was one of the coaching of the Dutch Youth Softball Team, which were led by her husband. Wout Isbouts this year was the General Manager of the big league-squad Gryphons and coached the club's Junior-team the last three years.

Gryphons, whose goal it is to return to the big league, also announced that Catcher Cherry Winklaar, Infielder Maartje Mantel and Outfielder Maartje van Dijk have retired. The team also lost Infielder Silea Bos (Centrals) and Outfielder Sandy Lauwers (Twins). It added Infielder/Outfielders Kiki Draaier (Robur '58) and Cindy van der Zanden (Blue Hitters).
(November 2)


Saskia Kosterink off to Italy; more changes
Nederlands

...Saskia Kosterink...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
HAARLEM / SANTPOORT (Neth.) - With the addition of promoted DSS and Olympia Haarlem, the Haarlem-area will be represented next season with four teams in the Dutch big league, with Sparks Haarlem and Santpoort-based Iber Lengua Terrasvogels being the other two. Because of this, a lot of transfer-action was expected there as all four teams needed new players, but in the end, only a few players switched teams.


...Marloes Fellinger...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Sparks Haarlem lost its entire regular outfield, as Jolanda Kroesen, Saskia Kosterink and Marloes Fellinger all with not be with the team next season. Kroesen and Fellinger retired, while national team-player Kosterink will play in Italy in 2010. There, she will play for Sanotint Bollate, which this season finished in third place in the regular season, but was then eliminated in the Play-Offs by Forlì. Sparks also will have to do without Catcher Kim Kafoé and 2B Lynn Geertman, who also retired. Coming to the Noordersportpark in Haarlem are national team-outfielders Nathalie Gosewehr and Areke Spel, who respectively played for Iber Lengua Terrasvogels and Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers. Returning to Sparks Haarlem is Catcher Lyanne Horeman, who this year also played for Terrasvogels.

With Kroesen, Kosterink and Fellinger Sparks is losing is three best hitters of this season. The three combined on 118 basehits, 31 extra basehits (including nine homeruns), 81 runs scored and 64 runs batters in! Marloes Fellinger (35 games) hit .420 to lead her team and finish in third place in the league. Besides that, the former national team-player led both her team and the league with 31 runs, 28 RBI's and five homeruns, making her a candidate for the MVP Trophy. Her 42 basehits (7 doubles, 3 triples, 5 homers) are third best in the league. Saskia Kosterink (35 games) batted .381 (40 hits, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homeruns), scored 29 runs and had 16 RBI's, while leading the league with 18 stolen bases. Jolanda Kroesen (29 games), also a former national team-player, batted .409 with 36 hits (6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homeruns), 21 runs and 20 RBI's. Regular catcher Kim Kafoé (35 games) hit .307 (7 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homeruns), scored 14 runs and had 16 RBI's. Veteran Lynn Geertman (who played over 500 games in her career) was limited to only eight games due to a knee-injury, but batted .263, scored three runs and had five RBI's. Newcomer Areke Spel (29 games) batted .270 this season with 20 hits (2 doubles, 2 triples, 1 homerun), scored 11 runs and had 10 RBI's.


...Nathalie Gosewehr...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Besides losing Nathalie Gosewehr and Lyanne Horeman, Iber Lengua Terrasvogels also said goodbye to Catcher Olga Kleinlooh and 1B Annemiek van Riessen, who both retired. Coming to Santpoort are RHP Mariëlle Vleugels, who played for Euro Stars and the National Junior Team, Marije Schoenmaker from neighbouring Onze Gezellen, with whom the club has a working agreement, and Outfielder Eva de Bruin, who in 2007 was the Best Hitter of the World Junior Championships, playing for the Dutch Juniors.


...Lyanne Horeman...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Nathalie Gosewehr (35 games) had a productive season and was named MVP during the Cup Winners Cup-tournament in Parma (Italy) in August. The national team-player batted .317 with 39 basehits (4 doubles and team-leading 4 triples), scoring 22 runs (second best in her team) and collecting 11 RBI's. Lyanne Horeman (28 games) shared her playing time between the outfield or catching or being the designated player. She batted .207 with 12 hits (one double, three triples), scored nine runs and had five RBI's. In the final of the Cup Winners Cup-tournament, Lyanne delivered the game-winning single that gave Terrasvogels a 3-2 victory and the Cup. Olga Kleinlooh (33 games) batted .176 with 12 hits, four runs and 12 RBI's, while Annemiek van Riessen (31 games) batted .270 with 24 hits (four doubles) with seven runs and nine RBI's. Newcomer Mariëlle Vleugels pitched in only six games for Euro Stars and was 0-2 with seven strikeouts in 15 2/3 inning.

The other six teams, who this year played in the big league, and the two who will do so next season, didn't have many changes. Besides Areke Spel, Dutch champion Tex Town Tigers also lost Outfielder Lotte Holvast (Centrals), while Twins lost RHP Chelsea Engle and Catcher Charlotte Haen. The first returned to the USA, the latter will play on a lower level for Roef! Twins added five players, including former player Sandy Lauwers, who played for Gryphons this season. The other four are young, talented players, including National Junior player Debby Barbé and Anouk in de Kleef, the daughter of former national team-catcher Jeanette van de Heijkant.

Lotte Holvast (27 games) batted .205 with nine hits, 11 runs and two RBI's. Sandy Lauwers (33 games) batted .235 with 20 hits, 14 runs and seven RBI's. Charlotte Haen (33 games) was .171 with 12 hits, seven runs and four RBI's, while Chelsea Engle was 2-6 with a 3.39 ERA in nine games, striking out 33 in 51 2/3 inning.
(October 31)

Go here for a complete listing of softball transfers and more news


André van Overbeek elected Vice-President ISF

...André van Overbeek...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Nederlands
JUAN GRIEGO, Isla Margarita (Venezuela) - Dutch executive André van Overbeek has been elected Vice-President for Europe in the council of the International Softball Federation (ISF). The election took place on Saturday, October 24, during the ISF Congress, which currently is underway on the beautiful Isla Margarita off the coast of Venezuela.

On February 7 of this year, Van Overbeek already was elected President of the European Softball Federation (ESF). In September 2004, Van Overbeek took over the softball-position in the Board of the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation (KNBSB) and was officially elected as member of the Board in March in 2005 for a 4-year term. During the elections of March 2009, Van Overbeek, who is not up for re-election, is succeeded by Anton Kops, but stays on as interim-boardmember for a few additional months, while the latter recovers from an illness.

Also elected as ISF Vice-President for Europe was Ami Baran from Israel. Van Overbeek and Baran succeed Mike Jennings and Jelena Cusak.
(October 24)


Tex Town Tigers and Coach Eldredge separate
Nederlands

...Kaleo Eldredge...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - Dutch softball-champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers has to find a new coach for the coming season, as the team and its Head Coach Kaleo Eldredge have separated, the club confirmed. It marks the second year in a row that Tex Town Tigers will change coaches after having captured the champiomnship title.

In 2008, American Monti VanBrunt led Tex Town Tigers to its first title in club-history in his second season with the club. While VanBrunt initially was to come back for the 2009 season, he left the club in February to coach in Italy where he became the Head Coach of Italian title-defender and European Cup-winner Legnano. VanBrunt was succeeded by Hawaiian-born Kaleo Eldredge, who arrived in Enschede in March. She also had a successful season and led the Enschede-team to its second title in a row, but finished in fifth place in the European Cup-tournament in Italy.

Recently, the technical committee of the club held talks with the team's staff, its board and the group of players and after that, it was decided not to continue with Kaleo Eldredge. The TC then informed the board of their decision, meaning the club started its search for a new Head Coach. It also has to find a successor for Assistant Coach Ingrid Oosterveld, who announced not to be avaiable again next season.

After a disappointing season in Italy where Legnano lost both the Italian title and the European Cup, Monti VanBrunt returned to Tex Town Tigers, but there he will be the new Head Coach of the baseball-team of the club next year.
(October 18)


Jeroen Deken new Head Coach Terrasvogels
Nederlands

...Jeroen Deken...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
SANTPOORT (Neth.) - Former National Team and Dutch big league-pitcher Jeroen Deken has been named the new Head Coach of Iber Lengua Terrasvogels, the club announced on Friday. The 40-year old Deken succeeds American coach Leigh Podlesny, who led the team to winning the European CupWinners Cup in August. In September, Terrasvogels swept Sparks Haarlem 3-0 in the best-of-five Play-Offs to advance to the Holland Series. In the season's final, Terrasvogels was beaten by Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers, which won its second Dutch title in a row. In the same release, Terrasvogels stated that Australian pitcher Aimee Murch and Italian infielder Christina Rolla probably will return next season.

Jeroen Deken, who is married to former Terrasvogels-player Sandra Gouverneur (who holds the record for most games played in the National Team), played eight seasons on the highest level after having started his career with The Herons in Heerhugowaard. The righthanded pitcher made his big league-debut in 1998 while playing for Amsterdam Pirates. From 2002-2004, Deken played for Mr. Cocker HCAW and returned to Amsterdam for the 2005 season. Hereafter, he stepped down from the big league level, but continued playing for his former club The Herons on a lower level. There, he also started coaching. Between 1998 and 2002, Deken appeared in 11 games for the Dutch National Baseball Team, with whom he won the European Championships in 2001 and also participated in the World Championships of 1998, two Haarlem Baseball Weeks and one World Port Tournament.

Terrasvogels is the recordholder with 14 national championships and 29 appearances in European Cup-tournaments, winning 12 of them.
(October 16)


Olympia Haarlem returns to big league; Gryphons relegates
Nederlands
HAARLEM / ROSMALEN (Neth.) - Olympia Haarlem, which relegated from the Dutch Major League last season after having played on the highest level for 19 consecutive seasons, returns to the highest division next year, as it won the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Play-Off vs. Gryphons, 3-2. Olympia Haarlem completed the series last Sunday with a 7-0 shutout-win. For Gryphons, the loss meant relegation from the big league in which it played the last two seasons.


...Fill-in coach Han Consent led...
...the team to promotion...
(© Photo: Robert Jan de Vries)
After a merger with TYBB, the former DSC '74 was officially renamed Olympia Haarlem and that name became into effect before last season. This year, the club moved to a new complex (at the site of TYBB), which is named after former National Softball Team Head Coach Nol Houtkamp, who in 1990 was the Head Coach of then-DSC '74 in its first season back at the highest level, which also came after an one year stint in the First Division after having relegated the year before. 1990 marked the start of a streak of 19 consecutive seasons in the Dutch big league. The complex, with two softball-fields and a baseball-field, was officially opened during a pre-season tournament.

In the regular First Division-season, Olympia Haarlem finished in a tie for second place with Alcmaria Victrix behind champion DSS, which promoted automatically by winning the title. To decide the second place, Olympia and Alcmaria played an one-game play-off on Wednesday, September 16 at the site of Iber Lengua Terrasvogels. Olympia won the game 5-2 to qualify for the Promotion/Relegation Play-Off against Gryphons, which finished in seventh place in the big league. Robur '58 finished in last place and therefore relegated automatically.

During the Promotion/Relegation Play-Off, Olympia Haarlem was led by Han Consent, who filled in for Head Coach Wendell Hato since September 13 when the team played its last regular season games vs. Hoofddorp Pioniers. Due to family and working commitments, this was the only time for Wendell Hato to go on vacation, meaning he had to miss these games. Consent has been involved with the club for a longtime and led the team as its Head Coach in the eighties, including in its first three seasons in the Dutch big league (1987-1988). By filling in, Consent realized a remarkable feat, as he now has led the team to the big league three times. In 1986, Consent guided the team to the First Division-title for the first time. After the team relegated in 1988, Consent coached the team again to the title in 1989 to return to the big league. And now, he was at the helm again when the team promoted for the third time.


...Christie Hill, who threw a 2-hit shutout...
...in the fifth and deciding game...
(© Photo: Robert Jan de Vries)
Game 1 - September 19
The best-of-five series started on September 19 with a double-header at Haarlem, where Gryphons won the opener, 4-3 and outhit Olympia 9-4, including three hits by Yonina St. Jago. Gryphons struck early by scoring two runs in the first and two in the third inning off pitcher Christie Hill. Pitching for Gryphons was former national team-player Anouk Mels, who came out of retirement again specially for this series. The lefthander was the winning pitcher, giving up only three hits in 4 1/3 inning. Marjolein Merkx threw the remainder of the game to earn a save.

In the first inning, Yonina St. Jago led off with a single, advanced on a sac-bunt and stole third base, then scored on a single by Sandy Lauwers. The latter scored on a sac-fly by Britt Breure. In the third, Yonina St. Jago again led off with a single, then Silea Bos also singled. Both scored on an one-out single by Claudia Kranendonk. After Gryphons left the bases loaded in the fifth inning, Olympia Haarlem got back into the game with a 3-run rally in the home of the fifth. Laura Burggraaf led off with a walk, moved on a grounder and a single by Courtney Lyons, which was followed by an outfield-error, resulting in a run. Next, Nanda Eijgenhuijse's single also was followed by an outfield-error, enabling Courtney to score, which led to a pitching change. Olympia then loaded the bases when Inge Consent singled and Christie Hill was walked intentionally. A force out at home followed, but then Olympia narrowed the deficit to 4-3 when Inge scored after Lisanne van den Berg was hit by a pitch. But Olympia then left the bases loaded behind as next batter Maranca Ham grounded out. In the sixth inning, Olympia threatened to score again when the Gryphons-defense again committed two errors, but two runners stranded.


...The last out of Game 5 has been made...
...Olympia Haarlem promotes to the big league...
(© Photo: Robert Jan de Vries)
Game 2 - September 19
In Game 2, Olympia won 7-2, but was outhit again, 8-7. Initially, Olympia trailed again, as Gryphons scored twice in the second inning. The home team then came alongside in the third at bat and added five more runs in the fifth and sixth inning. Winning pitcher Marisela de Wind struckout none, but went the distance.

In the second inning, she gave up a lead-off single to Britt Breure, then Anouk Mels followed with a bunt-single. The two scored when next batter Cherry Winklaar tripled, but then the inning ended when two flyouts and a groundout followed. Olympia came alongside in the third on three basehits. Marit Molenaar and Courtney Lyons (bunt) both singled, but then two outs followed. Gryphons-starter Marjolein Merkx then loaded the bases by walking Christie Hill intentionally to create a force play, but that backfired as next batter Cindy Baretta singled to bring in two runs and tie the score.

In the fifth inning, Olympia struck with three runs. Courtney Lyons led off with a single and Inge Consent reached on an error with one out. Next, Christie Hill was walked intentionally again to set up the force play, but it didn't work again this time, as Olympia took the lead when next batter Cindy Baretta walked. Anouk Mels was brought to relief Marjolein Merkx, but hit next batter Lisanne van den Berg with a pitch to bring in another run. After an infield-fly, Laura Burggraaf reached on an error, which enabled Christie Hill to score, but the inning ended when Cindy Baretta was thrown out at the plate when she also tried to score. In the sixth inning, Olympia added two more runs. After Marit Molenaar singled and Courtney Lyons walked, Chantal Kradolfer relieved Anouk Mels, but enabled the two runners to advance on a wild pitch. After two groundouts, Christie Hill this time was not walked and singled in two runs to make it 7-2.


...Cindy Baretta, 4-for-5, 5 RBI's in Game 3...
...Overall, Cindy had 8 RBI's in the Series...
(© Photo: Robert Jan de Vries)
Game 3 - September 26
Game 3 and 4 were played on the site of Gryphons at Rosmalen. There, Olympia Haarlem took a 2-1 lead in the series by winning the exiting opener of the double-header 11-7 in nine innings, after having trailed 4-1 in the first inning and 6-4 when the seventh inning started. After both teams scored once in the eighth, Olympia rallied for four runs in the ninth at bat. Cindy Baretta led the team by hitting 4-for-5 and collecting five Runs Batted In, while Inge Consent scored four runs. Christie Hill went 2-for-2 with two RBI's and scored three runs, while also being the winning pitcher, going the distance and striking out five. Only two of the seven runs she gave up were earned, as Olympis committed four errors.

Initially, Olympia opened the score with a run in the first inning on an RBI-single by Cindy Baretta, but Gryphons reacted with four runs on three hits and three errors. After a lead-off single by Silea Bos, the bases were loaded when two errors were made. A force play at home followed, but then Britt Breure hit a 2-run single. Next, Cherry Winklaar doubled in a run and when an outfield-error followed the fourth run was scored. Gryphons added a run in the fourth inning on a single by Yonina St. Jago to make it 5-1, but then Olympia came back with three runs in the fifth at bat. Courtney Lyons led off with a double and scored when an error was made on a grounder by Inge Consent, followed by a 2-run homerun by Christie Hill. Gryphons got one run back in the home of the fifth on an RBI-double by Britt Breure, but then Olympia scored twice in the seventh inning to tie tie score. With one out and Inge Consent at first base, Christie Hill was walked intentionally, then the two advanced on a passed ball, followed by another RBI-single by Cindy Baretta.

...Former National Team Nol Houtkamp congratulates...
...the team after winning Game 5...
...At right is Nathalie Franssen...
(© Photo: Robert Jan de Vries)
Hereafter, Anouk Mels was brought in to take over the pitching, but started with a wild pitch, which gave Olympia the tying run. Lisanne van den Berg followed with a single on which Cindy Baretta tried to score, but she was thrown out at home. A strikeout then ended the inning. In the home of the seventh, Gryphons got two runners on base with two outs, but then Christie Hill ended the inning with a strikeout, meaning the game went into extra innings.

In the eighth, Olympia took the lead for the first time when pinch-tie-break runner Marit Molenaar scored on a double by Nathalie Franssen. Gryphons came alongside in its eighth when tie-break runner Illiandra Figaroa scored on a sac-fly by Yonina St. Jago. Olympia then decided the game by scoring four runs in the ninth inning. Tie-break runner Nanda Eijgenhuijse advanced to third on a sac-bunt by Inge Consent, who herself reached first base. Next, Christie Hill was walked intentionally again, but then Cindy Baretta struck again. She cleared the bases with a 3-run triple, then scored herself on a sac-fly by Lisanne van den Berg to make it 11-7. In the home of the ninth, Gryphons stranded two runners.

Game 4 - September 26
In Game 4, Gryphons recovered from the loss in the opener and won 3-1 to force a fifth and deciding game in the series. Gryphons struck early and held a 3-0 lead after three innings.

Gryphons opened the score off starter Marisela de Wind with two runs in the second inning. Cherry Winklaar led off with a single, then Cherry Winklaar doubled. With one out, Maartje Mantel also doubled to bring in the two runners. Gryphons added a run in the third, but also left the bases loaded. Two walks and a single loaded the bases, then Christie Hill was brought in as reliever, but was greeted with an RBI-single by Cherry Winklaar to make it 3-0. But the inning then ended when a force out at home, a strikeout and another force play-grounder followed. Olympia got one run back in the sixth inning. Inge Consent led off with a single, but was thrown out at third base trying to advance on a single by Christie Hill. The latter scored moments later on a single by Lisanne van den Berg, but was to be it for Olympia in this game off pitcher Chantal Kradolfer, who went the distance.


...The players of Olympia Haarlem celebrate the return to the big league...
(© Photo: Robert Jan de Vries)
Game 5 - September 27
Olympia Haarlem decided the best-of-five in its favor with a 7-0 shutout-victory on Sunday, resulting in promotion and returning to the big league after only one year of absence, while Gryphons will play in the First Division again next year. Olympia needed only one inning to decide their season, scoring seven runs in the third inning and therefore was being able to end the game after 4 1/2 inning because of the 7-run mercy rule. Christie Hill went the distance for Olympia and threw a 2-hitter.

In the third inning, Olympia scored its seven runs on seven hits, while the Gryphons-defense committed two errors. In the at bat, Laura Burggraaf led off with a bunt-single, then advanced on a sac-bunt by Nathalie Franssen. After Courtney Lyons also singled , Laura scored on a bunt-single by Nanda Eijgenhuijse. An error then followed on a force play-grounder by Inge Consent, leading to another run. Next, two more runs were scored when Christie Hill doubled. After Cindy Baretta singled, Chantal Kradolfer took over the pitching for starter Marjolein Merkx, but gave up an RBI-double to Lisanne van den Berg. An error was then made on a grounder by Maranca Ham, which gave Olympia another run. The seventh run was registered on a sac-fly by Laura Burggraaf in her second at bat in the inning. In the fourth inning, the first two Gryphons-batters reached base, but a groundout and double play followed. Then, in the fifth inning, Christie Hill retired the side to end the game.

(September 27)


...The succesfull team of Olympia Haarlem which promoted to the big league...
(© Photo: Robert Jan de Vries)


Tex Town Tigers repeats as Dutch champion!
Nederlands
ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers on Sunday also won Game Three of the Holland Series, beating Iber Lengua Terrasvogels 9-0 in a 4 1/2 inning game to complete a 3-game sweep. Last year, Tex Town Tigers won the Dutch title for the first time in club-history and then defeated Sparks Haarlem.


...Lindsey Meadows scores one of her two runs...
(© Photo: Erik Schaddelee Fotografie)
Lindsey Meadows struckout four and pitched a Perfect Game to win her third game of the Series. Afterwards, she was named Series MVP, as she also was last year.

Tex Town Tigers decided the game with a 5-run first inning off starter Aimee Murch, then added a run in the third and three more in the fourth off reliever Femke van Dusschoten, who took over in the second inning.

In the first at bat, Tex Town Tigers collected five hits, including three doubles. Britt Vonk and Merel Oosterveld led off with singles, then the bases got loaded when Lindsey Meadows walked. Next, the first run was scored when Meike Witteveen hit a sacrifice fly. Petra van Heijst then hit an RBI-double, which was followed by a throwing error from the outfield, resulting in another run. Next batter Virginie Anneveld also connected for an RBI-double, as did Karin Tuk, after Areke Spel had moved the runner to third on a sacrifice bunt. The inning then ended with a groundout by the ninth batter in this inning, Nadine Marinus, but TTT had taken a 5-0 lead.

In the third, Virginie Anneveld and Areke Spel singled with one out, then Karin Tuk walked to load the bases. But only one run was scored, on a sac-fly by Nadine Marinus, as a flyout ended the at bat.

The 7-run difference to end the game early was reached in the fourth inning when three runs were scored to increase the lead to 9-0. This time, Merel Oosterveld led off with a single and Lindsey Meadows walked. With two outs, Virginie Anneveld hit a 2-run double, then scored herself when Areke Spel reached on an error.

Terrasvogels was unable to get on base and hit four balls into the outfield. In the fifth inning, TTT-first baseman Nadine Marinus accounted for all three putouts to end the game.

Combined with the regular season, Tex Town Tigers has won all eight games played against Terrasvogels. But Terrasvogels is not complete empty-handed. Last month, it won the European CupWinners Cup, which they will defend next year. By winning the title, Tex Town Tigers again will play in the European Cup Tournament in which it finished in fifth place this year. By winning the CupWinners Cup, Terrasvogels secured a second spot for a Dutch team in that event, which will be Sparks Haarlem, which finished in third place in the regular season.
(September 27)


...End of the game, celebration time...
(© Photo: Erik Schaddelee Fotografie)

...Tex Town Tigers celebrates its second championship...
(© Photo: Erik Schaddelee Fotografie)

...Time to open the champaign bottles...
(© Photo: Erik Schaddelee Fotografie)

...The championship trophies...
(© Photo: Erik Schaddelee Fotografie)

...Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers: second Dutch title in a row...
(© Photo: Erik Schaddelee Fotografie)


Second win for Tex Town Tigers
Nederlands
SANTPOORT (Neth.) - Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers also won the second game of the best-of-five Holland Series, shutting out Iber Lengua Terrasvogels 2-0 on Saturday. Game Three will be played on Sunday at Enschede. A fourth and fifth game will be played next weekend, when needed.

Tex Town Tigers-pitcher Lindsey Meadows struckout eight batters and gave up only one basehit, a 2-out triple by Cambria Miranda in the first inning. Next, Meadows walked Christina Rolla, but the two runners stranded as next batter Linda Hoenderdos grounded out.

Aimee Murch, who pitched for Terrasvogels, retired the first five batters she saw before giving up a single to Virginie Anneveld in the second inning, but then struckout Areke Spel. The Australian pitcher the walked lead-off hitter Karin Tuk in the third, but three outs followed. Terrasvogels also got a runner again in its third at bat when Olga Kleinlooh reached on an error with two outs, but then Cambria Miranda struckout.

Tex Town Tigers got one real scorin opportunity and grabbed it in the fourth inning, scoring twice on four hits. With one out, Meike Witteveen tripled and then beat the throw to home, scoring on a fielder's choice bunt by Petra van Heijst. The bases were then loaded when Virginie Anneveld and Areke Spel followed with singles. Next, Karin Tuk also singled to bring in Petra and keeping the bases loaded. But then the inning ended when Nadine Marinus grounded into a double play.

Terrasvogels got another runner in its fourth when Solange Starrenburg walked with two outs, but hereafter eight batters were retired in order. In the home of the seventh, trailing 2-0, Terrasvogels got a scoring opportunity. With one out, Solange Starrenburg (who was the last batter to reach base in the fourth) walked again, then advanced to third base when an error was made on a grounder by Shannah van der Kaaij. But Lindsey Meadows didn't let the lead get in jeopardy as she struckout pinch-hitter Marije Schoenmaker and then got Femke Haage to ground out to end the game.
(September 26)


Tex Town Tigers opens Holland Series with one-run win
Nederlands
ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - Reigning Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers opened the Holland Series vs. Iber Lengua Terrasvogels on Thursday-evening with an 1-0 win, scoring the lone run in the sixth inning and having some narrow escapes in the beginning of the game. Game Two will be played on Saturday-afternoon at Santpoort, Game Three follows on Sunday in Enschede.

The first game of the best-of-five series was a pitching duel between Lindsey Meadows (Tex Town Tigers) and Aimee Murch (Terrasvogels). The first struckout 16 batters, but also saw Terrasvogels reach base frequently in the game. In the first inning, Cambria Miranda reached on an error, but stranded on third base. In the second, Solange Starrenburg led off with a single, but later was caught stealing. In the third, Terrasvogels loaded the bases when Femke Haage and Nathalie Gosewehr singled and Christina Rolla walked with two outs, but then a strikeout ended the at bat. After Terrasvogels was retired in order in the fourth and fifth inning, Cambria Miranda led off with a hit by pitch in the sixth, but then three outs followed. In the seventh, Iris Kolman singled with two outs, but also was left behind.

Tex Town Tigers was held hitless in the first four inning. In the second, Petra van Heijst became their first runner when she reached on an error. In the third and fourth at bat, Karin Tuk and Lindsey Meadows walked. Then, in the fifth, Areke Spel led off with the first hit of her team, but was called out when she left first base too early. Tex Town Tigers then decided the game in the home of the sixth inning. Britt Vonk reached on a bunt-single, as pitcher Aimee Murch crossed the throwing line of 3B Cambria Miranda, who therefore couldn't make the throw. Next, Lindsey Meadows bunted, which resulted in a 3-base throwing error, enabling the speedy Britt Vonk score what would be the lone run of the game.
(September 24)


Tex Town Tigers, Terrasvogels open Play-Offs with win
Nederlands
ENSCHEDE / SANTPOORT (Neth.) - Reigning Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers and European CupWinners Cup-winner Iber Lengua Terrasvogels opened the best-of-five Play-Offs on Thursday-evening with a victory. Tex Town Tigers shutout Euro Stars 5-0, while Terrasvogels defeated Sparks Haarlem 3-2.


...Petra van Heijst...
...2 RBI's...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
At Enschede, Tex Town Tigers decided the game early by scoring four runs in the first inning off starting pitcher Felicity Witt. Britt Vonk (who stole second) and Merel Oosterveld led off with singles, then an error on a sacrifice bunt by Lindsey Meadows accounted for the first run. After the bases were loaded when Meike Witteveen was hit by a pitch, Petra van Heijst followed with a 2-run double to make it 3-0, while Meike was thrown out at the plate when she also tried to score. On the throw to home, Petra advanced to third base, then scored on a grounder by Virginie Anneveld.

In the third inning, TTT reached base again when Euro Stars committed two errors, but two runners stranded. The fifth run was then added in the fifth at bat when Merel Oosterveld led off with a single and scored when an error was made with two outs on a grounder by Petra van Heijst.

Winning pitcher Lindsey Meadows struckout eight and gave up only two hits, a lead-off single by Ellen Venker in the first inning and a 2-out single by Kim Donkers in the third. Ginger de Weert threw the last two innings and gave up an one-out single by Manon Schol in the seventh at bat.


...Aimee Murch...
...8 StrikeOuts...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
At Santpoort, Terrasvogels rallied for three runs in the fourth inning off starter Rebecca Soumeru. Nathalie Gosewehr led off with a single and advanced on a fielder's choice, then scored when Miranda Cambria followed with a single. The latter was then forced out on a grounder by Christina Rolla, who advanced on another grounder by Linda Hoenderdos. Next, the inning could have been over, but an error on a grounder by Solange Starrenburg enabled Christina Rolla to give Terrasvogels an additional run. A single by Annemiek van Riessen followed to increase the lead to 3-0.

After Terrasvogels left two runners in the fifth inning, Sparks collected three hits and scored once in the sixth at bat. With one out, Kim Kluijskens singled and Marloes Fellinger did the same with two outs. Debby Connor followed with another single to make it 3-1, but a strikeout then ended the at bat, stranding two runners.

Sparks Haarlem, which outhit Terrasvogels 6-4, added another run in the seventh. Jolanda Kroesen led off with a double and then surprisingly was replaced by pinch-runner Kirsten Scheele (one of the pitchers), who then scored when next batter Judith Diepeveen also doubled. The latter then moved to third base on a wild pitch, having the tying run at third with no outs. But then Terrasvogels-pitcher Aimee Murch struckout Noémi Boekel, followed by grounders from Kim Kafoé and Kim Kluijskens to end the game.

Winning pitcher Aimee Murch went the distance and struckout eight batters.
(September 17)


First & Fourth place to be decided on final day
Nederlands
DE BILT / HAARLEM / APELDOORN / CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL (Neth.) - Despite losing 3-1 to Iber Lengua Terrasvogels on Saturday, Euro Stars remained in fourth place, but Twins got closer after shutting out Robur '58 6-0. Centrals was eliminated for fourth place after losing 2-0 to Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers. Gryphons, which currently is in seventh place, lost 5-3 to Sparks Haarlem.

The regular season will close coming Saturday, but two decisions remained to be settled. Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers, Iber Lengua Terrasvogels and Sparks Haarlem already qualified for the Play-Offs, but their order in the ranking has yet to be decided. Also, the fourth place is still a race between Euro Stars and Twins. And everything is still possible. Terrasvogels and Tex Town Tigers, who currently share first place, will face each other on Saturday at Santpoort, starting at 3:00 PM. In case one of the two teams wins twice, it will of course finish in first place. In case, the double-header is split, Tex Town Tigers will finish in first place, as its current record against Terrasvogels this season is 3-0. Sparks Haarlem has no chance of finishing in first place, but second place remains an option. When TTT and Sparks both win twice on Saturday, Sparks will finish in a tie with Terrasvogels and then will finish in second place, as Sparks is 3-2 vs. Terrasvogels, which then will be in third place. When Terrasvogels and Sparks both win twice, Sparks will finish in a tie with TTT, but then the latter will finish in second place with a 3-2 record, meaning Sparks will finish in third place. In the fourth place-situation is Euro Stars leading Twins by only one point. Euro Stars meets Sparks Haarlem on Saturday, while Twins meets Gryphons. In case the two teams finish in a tie, Twins will be awarded fourth place, as it is 5-0 vs. Euro Stars this season.

At De Bilt, Tex Town Tigers scored its two runs vs. Centrals in the fourth and fifth inning and in both Lindsey Meadows was involved. In the fourth, she reached on an error, advanced on a sac-bunt by Meike Witteveen and scored on a single by Areke Spel. In the fifth, Britt Vonk (fielder's choice) advanced on a bunt-single by Petra van Heijst and scored when an error was made on a grounder by Lindsey. Centrals was off to a good start in the first inning when Anne Blaauwgeers and Maaike Blaauwgeers both led off with a single, but then three outs followed. From the second through sixth inning, only one batter reached base off Lindsey Meadows, being Amber Dammers, who walked. In the seventh, Leah English and Amber Dammers started with singles, but then again three outs followed.

At Haarlem, Sparks Haarlem scored twice in the first inning to take an early lead vs. Gryphons. Kim Kluijskens then scored on a single by Marloes Fellinger, who later scored on a wild pitch. A basesloaded walk for Noémi Boekel accounted for the third run in the third at bat. Two more runs were added in the sixth. Saskia Kosterink led off with a bunt-single and advanced to third when Noémi Boekel singled. Saskia then scored on an error on a sac-fly by pinch-hitter Kirsten Scheele, who batted for pitcher Dagmar Bloeming, who entered the batting order, because of a defensive change when she relieved starting pitcher Rebecca Soumeru, who in her turn had taken over at third base. Noémi later scored on a sac-fly by Kim Kluijskens. After six scoreless innings, Gryphons suddenly scored three runs in the seventh inning off Kirsten Scheele, who took over the pitching in this at bat. A force play-grounder by Silea Bos produced a run, then Claudia Kranendonk followed with a 2-run double, but that was to be all for Gryphons, which, when it finishes in seventh place, will have to play a Promotion/Relegation Play-Off against the number two team of the First Division.

At Apeldoorn, Twins collected 11 basehits vs. Robur '58, including three by Fabiënne van Uden. In the first inning, Sandra Catoen opened the score with a 2-run triple, then scored herself on a single by Andee Lindgren. In the second, Sandra belted an RBI-double and scored on an error, meaning she was involved in five of the six runs. In the fifth, the sixth run was scored when Andee Lindgren singled and scored on a single by Michelle Haen. Robur got only two hits off Andee Lindgren, registered by Pamela Huernink and Lizzy uytendaal.

At Capelle a/d IJssel, Terrasvogels took an early 3-0 lead, then hold on to it in the remainder of the game, letting the lead not get into jeopardy.
(September 5)


DSS returns to big league after 24 years!
Nederlands

...The DSS-team of 2009...
(© Photo: DSS)
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - The softball-team of DSS on Saturday-afternoon split its double-header vs. Banda Di Kas Danger II at Rotterdam, but the victory was enough for the team from Haarlem to claim the title in the First Division and return to the Dutch big league after a 24-year absence.

DSS, which was coached this year for the first time by Berend Mannessen, won the opener 5-0, then lost Game Two, 3-1. With the victory, DSS became unreachable for the two remaining contenders Olympia Haarlem and Alcmaria Victrix. Olympia saw its double-header at Hoofddorp Pioniers rain out, while Alcmaria split at Amsterdam Pirates, losing the opener 5-4, then winning the next game, 6-0. Both Olympia and Alcmaria remain in the race for the second spot in the First Division. Does the champion promote automatically to the big league, the second placed team has to play a Play-Off series against the number seven of the Major League. Currently, Gryphons is in seventh place with two games remaining in the regular season. DSS will take the spot in the big league of Robur '58, which relegated in its first season back in the top league.


...Berend Mannessen...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The last time DSS played in the highest division was back in 1985. In that year, the team relegated after having played 20 consecutive seasons in the big league, since this division was created for the 1966 season. In its big league-years, DSS was one of the major contenders for the championship title and participated twice in European Cup-tournaments (1978, 1984). In the (late) sixties and seventies, DSS was the most successful softball-team, capturing the national title seven times (1966, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1976 and 1977). Through the years, DSS had several prominent players in its teams, including several members of the Dutch National Team. Leading the teams in the seventies were players like Loes Buenting, Erna van Ewijk (Best Hitter 1975), Wil Huisman (MVP 1974), Ria Koehorst, Ans Kroon (MVP 1972), Helma Kuyper, Jeanette Lacourt, Ineke Mulder (Best Pitcher 1974) and Elly Zweers (MVP 1977, 1980). Some of them were joined in the eighties by players like Jacqueline van Berloo, Marian van Deursen, Karin Fictoor, Marianne van Ling, Ellen Metselaar, Carolien Smit, Nicolette van Vilsteren and Ellen Volkers. Ans Kroon later went on the become the Head Coach of the team (1982-1984). In her last season, she was assisted by Johan Kluijskens, who has been Assistant Coach of the team for eight seasons between 1975 and 1984. He then went on to become a successful Head Coach himself, leading the teams of Bloemendaal, TYBB and Sparks in the big league-level.

In the 1985 season, DSS finished in seventh place with a 12-22 record and one tie. Nuenen finished in eighth place and relegated automatically. DSS had to play a series of games against DSC '74 and Twins, the two champions of the First Division (back then, there were two First Divisions). But after this series, the three teams finished in a 3-way tie, resulting in an additional series of games where all teams were to play each other in one day. On this decisive day in 1985, DSS lost the opener vs. DSC '74, 11-0, then also lost the next game vs. Twins, 3-1, meaning the Haarlem-squad relegated after having played 20 seasons on the highest level.

But today, almost 24 years after that day, DSS captured the title in the First Division to return to the big league, where it will make its comeback next season. ,,It has been a great season, we were leading the league almost from the beginning'', said Head Coach Berend Mannessen, who will return at the helm next season. For Mannessen, this was his first year with DSS after having led Hoofddorp Pioniers in the previous 13 seasons. A few weeks ago, the team suddenly suffered a big loss, as American pitcher Amanda Hess had to return home due to visa problems. Mannessen: ,,She called us tonight to congratulate us and would have loved to be at the championship party. After Amanda's departure, the team of course was disappointed, but it recovered greatly and continued its good form.'' On Saturday, veteran pitcher Sonja Pannen threw the first game of the double-header, throwing a shutout. DSS rallied for four runs in the third inning, then added a run in the seventh at bat. In the next game, Petra Voogt threw for DSS.
(September 5)


Dutch Team-players participate in Right To Play-happening

...Rebecca Soumeru, Anne Blaauwgeers, Petra van Heijst and...
...Saskia Kosterink with NOC*NSF Chairman Erica Terpstra...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Nederlands
ARNHEM (Neth.) - Four players of the Dutch National Softbal Team, including its three team-captains, on Wednesday-afternoon joined representatives of Right To Play and Netherlands Olympic Commitee (NOC*NSF) Chairman Erica Terpstra to participate in a happening at Papendal. There, the winners were announced of a fundraising held by children, resulting in Right To Play receiving a donation of 25.000 Euro.

National Team-players Anne Blaauwgeers and team-captains Petra van Heijst, Saskia Kosterink and Rebecca Soumeru on Wednesday traveled to National Sports Center Papendal near Arnhem for the announcement of the winners of a children's fundraising that started in April. The four players were accompanied to Papendal by Head Coach Craig Montvidas and Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar.

On Monday, June 15, the Dutch National Softball Team became an Ambassador of Right To Play, the charity organization that offers children around the world a chance for a good future by letting them play and enjoy several aspects of sports.

NOC*NSF Chairman Erica Terpstra stated that a lot of athletes in several sports accomplished great feats in the last few days during European and World Championships, but she also wanted to memorize and congratulate the Dutch National Softball Team for winning the European title some weeks ago and underscored the importance of athletes supporting these kind of activities and charities.
(September 2)

Read the complete story on the site of the Dutch National Softball Team


Double victory Sparks Haarlem vs. Terrasvogels

...Decorated Lynn Geertman (left) and Jolanda Kroesen...
...with KNBSB-President Ruud van Zetten...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Nederlands
HAARLEM / APELDOORN / DE BILT / CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL (Neth.) - Sparks Haarlem handed league-leader Iber Lengua Terrasvogels a double loss on Saturday, 4-3 and 10-3. Before the first game of the double-header, longtime Sparks-players Lynn Geertman and Jolanda Kroesen were both honored by the Dutch Federation. Jolanda last week played in her 400th career big league-game, while Lynn already has played in 484 games on the highest level. Both also played for a long time in the Dutch National Team. Jolanda appeared in 86 national team-games, Lynn in 93. For their accomplishments, the two were decorated by KNBSB-President Ruud van Zetten.

In the opener, Terrasvogels took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a sac-fly by Solange Starrenburg and single by Cambria Miranda in her first at bat in the Dutch big league. In the third inning, Terrasvogels appeared to add another run as Solange drove the ball into deep left-centerfield for an almost surely runscoring extra basehit, by at the same moment runner Cristina Rolla was called out for leaving first base too soon, reversing Solange's at bat. Sparks came back with four runs in the fourth inning. With two outs, Marloes Fellinger homered, then Kim Kafoé added an RBI-single to tie the score, followed by a 2-run single by Judith Diepeveen that gave Sparks a 4-2 lead. Terrasvogels was able to add only one more run in the sixth on a double by Solange.

In Game Two, Terrasvogels again took the lead in the first inning, this time scoring three runs on a double by Cristina Rolla, single by Cambria Miranda and an error, but this time Sparks came alongside in the home of the first, thanks to a single by Marloes Fellinger and a 2-run double by Jolanda Kroesen. Sparks then took the lead with a 5-run rally in the second inning. With one out and Kim Kluijskens and Saskia Kosterink (both infield-hit) on base, Marloes Fellinger hit her second homerun of the day. After Jolanda Kroesen walked, Debby Connor followed with a line drive homerun into centerfield to make it 8-3. A 2-run double by Debby increased the lead to 10-3 in the third at bat.

At Apeldoorn, Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers won 12-0 and 9-1 vs. last placed Robur '58. In the opener, TTT had twelve hits, including three by Britt Vonk, who hit an inside-the-park-homerun, and Virginie Anneveld, who had four RBI's. Britt and Merel Oosterveld each scored three runs. Winning pitcher Lindsey Meadows threw a 6-inning No-Hitter and almost threw a Perfect Game. After retiring the first 14 batters in a row, she walked Valesca van den Boogerd, who became Robur's lone runner. Lindsey struckout 14 batters. In Game Two, TTT had 12 basehits, including three by Lindsey Meadows. Merel Oosterveld again scored three runs.

At De Bilt, Centrals defeated Gryphons twice with the same score, 4-1. In the opener, Centrals trailed 1-0 when it scored four runs in the fourth inning with two outs. Singles by Nikki Harte, Emma Barnes and Maaike van Aarle (2-run) accounted for the runs. In Game Two, Centrals scored runs in the first and fourth inning, before Gryphons scored its run in the fifth. The home team then added two runs in the sixth when Maaike Blaauwgeers hit an RBI-double and scored on a wild pitch. An error accounted for the run in the first inning. In the fourth, Leah English led off with a triple and scored on a sac-fly by Maaike Blaauwgeers. Lizzy Prescott was winning pitcher in both games.

At Capelle a/d IJssel, Twins shutout Euro Stars twice, 1-0 and 2-0. In the opener, the lone run was scored in the fourth inning when Fabiënne van Uden led off with a triple and scored on single by Sandra Catoen. Winning pitcher Andee Lindgren gave up three hits. In Game Two, Twins scored both runs in the fifth inning. Charlotte Haen led off with a single and scored on a grounder, while Fabiënne van Uden scored on a a single by Andee Lindgren. Winning pitcher Chelsea Engle threw a 2-hitter.
(June 6)

Standings & Schedule


Robur ends losing streak
Nederlands
OOSTERHOUT / SANTPOORT / ENSCHEDE / ROSMALEN (Neth.) - At Oosterhout, last placed Robur '58 ended its 16-game losing streak on Saturday by winning 1-0 vs. Twins in the opener of their double-header. Twins won Game Two, 3-0. In the opener, Tiffany McDonald struckout ten batters and threw a 3-hitter for Robur and also scored the lone run of the game in the second inning on an infield-hit by Maaike de Wolf. In Game Two, Twins-pitcher Chelsea Engle gave up only two hits and struckout eleven.

At Santpoort, league-leader Iber Lengua Terrasvogels won 4-0 and 8-2 vs. Euro Stars, but lost experienced 3B Dana Horeman, who probably will be out for weeks. In the first inning of the opening game, Euro Stars' lead-off hitter Ellen Venker hit the ball towards 2B Cristina Rolla, who clearly caught the ball just above the ground. However, it was ruled that the ball had touched the ground, resulting in Ellen reaching first base with an infield-hit. Next batter Michelle van Driel then popped up the ball, which was caught near home plate by Dana, who then turned to make a possible double play, but got hurt in the action, as her leg got stuck in the ground. Unfortunately, Dana had to leave the game and was brought to a hospital with an apparent severe knee-injury. In the coming days, it will become clear what the damage is and how long she will be sidelined. Dana, all the best!

At Enschede, Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers shutout Gryphons twice, 4-0 and 6-0.

At Rosmalen, Sparks Haarlem defeated Gryphons twice, 2-1 and 7-0. In the opener, Sparks trailed 1-0, then scored its two runs in the fifth and sixth inning. Winning pitcher Dagmar Bloeming struckout eight and gave up five hits, as did Gryphons-hurler Kate Robinson, who struckout ten. In Game Two, Kirsten Scheele threw a 2-hitter with six strikeouts and retired the first ten batters in a row, while her teammates collected eight basehits, including a homerun by Debby Connor.

(May 30)

Standings & Schedule


Terrasvogels, Tex Town Tigers win again
Nederlands
OOSTERHOUT / HAARLEM / CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL / APELDOORN (Neth.) - League-leaders Iber Lengua Terrasvogels and Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers won again on Thursday. Terrasvogels shutout Twins 3-0 on a 2-hitter by Aimee Murch, who struckout 13 batters. Tex Town Tigers initially trailed 2-0 vs. Sparks Haarlem, but then turned the game around to win 3-2, as the Sparks-defense committed several errors. Euro Stars again defeated Centrals, this time 6-3, while Gryphons shutout Robur '58, 5-0.

Four foreign players made their debut on Thursday. Tiffany McDonald pitched for Robur, which last weekend added infielder Shannon Robinson. Chelsea Engle, also a pitcher, made her debut for Twins, entering the game as a pinch-hitter and Lizzy Prescott pitched her first game for Centrals, for whom also Czech player Petja Sokolová made her debut in the outfield.

(May 21)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores & Box Scores


Terrasvogels back in first place
Nederlands
SANTPOORT / ENSCHEDE / DE BILT / ROSMALEN (Neth.) - Iberlengua Terrasvogels moved back into first place on Saturday by winning 2-1 and 3-1 vs. Twins at home where Solange Starrenburg homered in the second game to put Terrasvogels on top. With the double win, Terrasvogels moved by Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers, which split with Sparks Haarlem. Tex Town Tigers won the opener 5-4, but saw Sparks come back from a 5-0 deficit, then lost Game Two 6-4 after leading 3-0. Euro Stars registered two important victories, beating Centrals 2-0 and 2-1. Gryphons won 1-0 and 6-1 vs. Robur '58, which now has lost 13 games in a row.

(May 16)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores


Tex Town Tigers moves into tie for first place
Nederlands
ENSCHEDE / HAARLEM / ROSMALEN / DE BILT (Neth.) - Reigning champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers won 1-0 and 4-2 vs. league-leader Iber Lengua Terrasvogels to move into a tie for first place. The two are followed by Sparks Haarlem, which defeated Euro Stars twice with a 9-2 score. Saskia Kosterink ans Noémi Boekel both collected six basehits for Sparks, while the first also homered. Twins shutout Gryphons 1-0, but then lost 4-1 to remain tied for fourth place. Centrals won big twice vs. Robur '58, 8-1 and 8-0. Anne Blaauwgeers hit an inside-the-park grand slam homerun for Centrals.

(May 9)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores


Dutch Team opens Holland Tour with two wins
Nederlands
CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL (Neth.) - The Dutch National Softball Team opened the 30-game Holland Tour on Sunday with a double victory vs. Euro Stars, one of the eight teams in the Dutch Major League. The Dutch Team will play its next two games on Wednesday-evening at Nieuwegein, starting at 6:00 PM and facing the Dutch National Junior Team on the site of Nieuwegein Diamonds. Next Sunday, the Orange team travels to De Bilt to play two games against big league-team Centrals, starting at 2:00 PM.

In the opening game, the squad of Head Coach Craig Montvidas won 7-3 on 15 basehits, including a triple by Nathalie Gosewehr, who went 3-for-5. Britt Vonk went 4-for-4 with a double and had two RBI's. Annemiek van Riessen also collected two RBI's on a double in a 4-run second inning. Nadine Marinus went 3-for-4 and was one of seven players who made their debut in the national squad. Pitcher Kirsten Scheele went the distance, struckout eight and gave up five hits.

In Game Two, winning pitcher Dagmar Bloeming threw a complete game 2-hitter in an 8-2 victory. This time, the Dutch had nine basehits, including a triple and homerun by Karin Tuk, who made her debut, as did Virginie Anneveld, who tripled in her first at bat. Saskia Kosterink also tripled.
(May 3)

Complete recap, Photos & Box Scores on the official website of the Dutch National Team


Terrasvogels, Sparks, TTT win twice
Nederlands
SANTPOORT / APELDOORN / CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL / OOSTERHOUT (Neth.) - League-leader Iber Lengua Terrasvogels defeated Gryphons twice on Saturday. After winning the opener 4-1, Game Two ended after 4 1/2 inning with a 15-4 victory. Terrasvogels collected 24 hits in the two games, including 14 in Game Two. Nathalie Gosewehr, Linda Hoenderdos and Solange Starrenburg each had four hits. Kate Robinson hit her fourth homerun of the season for Gryphons, which lost short stop Monique White for an undisclosed amount of time, as she injured her knee in a collission.

Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers collected 28 basehits (14 in each game) and defeated Euro Stars 5-1 and 8-0. Britt Vonk and Petra van Heijst both had five hits, while the latter also had six RBI's.

Twins and Centrals split. Centrals won the opener 3-1, Twins Game Two 8-2. In the opener, Centrals broke an 1-1 tie in the seventh inning when Anne Blaauwgeers singled and scored on an error, then added another run. In Game Two, Twins trailed 2-0 when it scored three runs in the fourth en route to a victory.

Sparks Haarlem won 12-1 and 8-0 vs. Robur '58 (no details available yet).

(May 2)

Standings & Schedule
Line Scores


Victories for Gryphons, Twins, Euro Stars
Nederlands
ROSMALEN / HAARLEM / CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL (Neth.) - On Thursday, the three most southern clubs in the Dutch big league registered a victory. Gryphons defeated Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers, 2-1, while Twins shutout vice-champion Sparks Haarlem 1-0. Euro Stars shutout Robur '58, 7-0.

But whatever the results, they all meant nothing, as today's games all started after learning the horrible news of the dramatic happenings in Apeldoorn during the festivities on Queen's Day (the annual anniversary of the Queen's birthday in the presence of the Royal Family), resulting in five fatal victims. (coverage of the situation in Apeldoorn (in Dutch).

At Rosmalen, Gryphons trailed 1-0 when it came alongside in the third inning and then went on to win the game when Monique White hit a walk-off homerun with two outs in the seventh inning.

After stranding two runners in the first inning, Tex Town Tigers took an 1-0 lead in the second at bat. Nadine Marinus led off with a single, then reached third base on two consecutive passed balls and went on to score on a 2-out single by Britt Vonk. Gryphons tied the score in the third inning off Lindsey Meadows, after she had retired eight of the first nine batters she faced. With two outs, Sandy Lauwers reached second base on a throwing error, then scored when next batter Yonina St. Jago singled. From hereon, Meadows retired the next eleven batters again in order, before Monique White decided the game with a walk-off homerun with two outs in the seventh inning. Tex Town Tigers got a chance to re-take the lead in the fifth inning off starter Kate Robinson. With one out, Petra van Heijst tripled, then next batter Lindsey Meadows was hit by a pitch. The bases were then loaded by walking Areke Spel intentionally to set up a force play. The decision was succesfull, as Van Heijst was then forced out at home on a grounder by Karin Tuk, followed by an inning-ending grounder. Winning pitcher Kate Robinson raised her league-leading record to 6-1.


...Daisy Verstappen...
...12 StrikeOuts...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
At Capelle a/d IJssel, Euro Stars-pitcher Daisy Verstappen dominated by striking out 12 batters and giving up only four basehits. For Euro Stars, MacKenzie Smith contributed with three RBI's, including two on a 2-out homerun in the third inning.

The home team scored its first run in the first inning when Ellen Venker led off with a single, moved on two grounders and scored on a single by MacKenzie Smith. Two runs were added in the third at bat off starter Esther Felder. With two outs, Anouk van den Heuvel reached on an error, then MacKenzie Smith homered to make it 3-0. The remaining runs were scored off Roos Vaessen, who took over in the third. Two runs were produced in the fourth. Ellen Venker led off with an infield-hit, followed by a single by Kim Donkers and a passed ball. With one out, a force play was set-up by walking Mackenzie Smith intentionally, but then both Ellen and Kim scored on a deep infield-hit by Shulaika Balentina. Ellen was 3-for-3, reached base four times and scored three runs. The 7-run difference was reached by scoring twice in the sixth at bat. Michelle van Driel led off with a single, then Ellen Venker walked with one out. The two advanced on a sac-bunt by Kim Donkers and both scored on a single by Anouk van den Heuvel making it 7-0.

Winning pitcher Daisy Verstappen struckout twelve, with the sixth inning being the lone one with only one strikeout. The righthander gave up only four hits, two by Lizzy Uytendaal, who also was the lone Robur-player to reach third base.

At Haarlem, Twins broke a Perfect Game in the fifth inning when Daisy de Peinder led off with a single and went on to score the lone run vs. Sparks Haarlem on a squeeze bunt by Sarah Vandermeieren.

Sparks-starter Dagmar Bloeming threw four perfect innings, striking out five batters, but then gave up the lone run of the game in the fifth at bat. Daisy de Peinder led off with a single, advanced on a following error, moved to third base on a grounder by Sandra Catoen, then beat the throw to home on a squeeze-bunt by Belgian Sarah Vandermeieren. A double play then ended the inning. In both the sixth and seventh inning, a batter led off with a walk, but both stranded on second base. Sparks Haarlem got on base more than Twins (11 vs. 5), but was unable to score off Andee Lindgren. In the first inning, Saskia Kosterink led off with a walk and went on to reach third base, but was left there. In the fourth, two runners were on base with one out, when a double play followed. In the sixth, Kim Kafoé broke Lindgren's No-Hitter with a lead-off single and went on to advance to third base, but also stranded. In the seventh, two more runners were left in scoring position. Debby Connor led off with an infield-hit, followed by a double play, then Noémi Boekel and Lynn Geertman singled to put runners on first and third base. After Lynn's pinch-runner Chantal Versluis moved to second base on a fielder's choice, Twins secured the win when next batter Kim Kafoé grounded out.
(April 30)

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Big shutout-win for Terrasvogels
Nederlands
DE BILT (Neth.) - League-leader Iber Lengua Terrasvogels registered a big 13-0 shutout-win on a cold, clammy and foggy Tuesday-evening vs. Centrals. Leading 6-0, Terrasvogels rallied for seven more runs in a long seventh at bat, leading to a playing time of two hours and 14 minutes. Three other games are scheduled for next Thursday.


...Aimee Murch & Femke van Dusschoten...
...14 StrikeOuts...
(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)
Terrasvogels started the game well by scoring three runs in the opening at bat off starting pitcher Amy Harre. With one out, Linda Hoenderdos and Dana Horeman walked, then both scored when Cristina Rolla followed with a 3-run homerun, her second of the season and second in two games. Two more batters reached base hereafter, but then Harre retired six batters in a row. Terrasvogels then added a run in the third at bat when Cristina Rolla walked with one out and scored on a double by Solange Starrenburg. The lead was increased to 6-0 in the fourth inning. Iris Kolman, who was the starting catcher tonight, led off with a triple and Femke Haage followed with a walk. With two outs, Iris scored on a wild pitch. Next, the bases were loaded when Dana Horeman and Cristina Rolla both walked again. When next batter Solange Starrenburg also walked, Terrasvogels lifted the lead to 6-0 and was Amy Harre (who walked eight batters) relieved by Vendy Draha. The Czech pitcher held Terrasvogels scoreless in the next two innings, meaning the 7-run difference wasn't reached to end the game prematurely.

But then Terrasvogels went on to score seven runs in the seventh at bat to increase the lead to 13-0. In this inning, Olga Kleinlooh led off with a walk and scored on a triple by Shannah van der Kaaij, who tonight played at first base. The bases were loaded when Femke Haage reached on an infield-hit with one out and Linda Hoenderdos walked with two outs. Hereafter, four runs were scored when Dana Horeman walked (she and Rolla both walked three times), Cristina Rolla hit a 2-run single and Olga Kleinlooh added an RBI-single and two more on two defensive errors.

Winning pitcher Aimee Murch struckout ten batters and gave up only four hits in five innings, including two by Amber Dammers, who had three of her teams six basehits. Femke van Dusschoten pitched the last two innings for Terrasvogels and added four more strikeouts
(April 28)

Standings & Schedule
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First loss for Terrasvogels
Nederlands
SANTPOORT / ENSCHEDE / ROSMALEN / OOSTERHOUT (Neth.) - League-leader Iber Lengua Terrasvogels was handed its first loss of the season on Saturday by Sparks Haarlem, which shutout its regional rival 5-0 in the opener of their double-header. Former Terrasvogels-pitcher Dagmar Bloeming held her former teammates to only four basehits, while the league-leader played poor defensively. In Game Two, Terrasvogels recovered and was strong offensively, collecting 12 basehits, including a 3-run homerun by Cristina Rolla, which gave the home team the lead in the third. Later in the game, Linda Hoenderdos contributed with an RBI-double and a 2-run triple when six runs were added in the fifth and sixth inning.


...Dagmar Bloeming...
...4-hitter...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
At Santpoort, Sparks Haarlem opened the score in the first game vs. Terrasvogels by scoring three runs in the third at bat. Chantal Versluis led off with a triple off Australian pitcher Aimee Murch and scored on a wild pitch. With two outs, Debby Connor and Jolanda Kroesen both singled, then scored when a pop-fly was missed and a throwing error followed. In the seventh inning, Sparks Haarlem added two runs. Lead-off hitter Kim Kafoé reached on an error and Saskia Kosterink followed with an infield-hit. The two advanced on a sac-bunt by Chantal Versluis and after Kim Kluijskens was walked intentionally, the runs were scored when an error was made on a single-turned-force play and a single by Debby Connor. Terrasvogels had only four basehits off former teammate Dagmar Bloeming, including a deep double into left field by Solange Starrenburg, who missed a homerun by inches.


...Cristina Rolla...
...3-run homerun...
(© Photo: MS)
In Game Two, Terrasvogels had a strong offensive outing, collecting seven hits off starter Kirsten Scheele, who last season also played for the Santpoort-club and five more off Dagmar Bloeming. This time, it was Terrasvogels that scored three runs in the third inning. Femke Haage led off with a single and Linda Hoenderdos singled with one out, then Cristina Rolla homered with two outs. Sparks came back with a run in the fourth when Marloes Fellinger walked and scored on a single by Judith Diepeveen. In the fifth, Sparks had the bases loaded when a critized double play ended the bat. With Noémi Boekel, Kim Kafoé and Chantal Versluis on the bases, Kim Kluijskens grounded to Annemiek van Riessen, who threw the ball to catcher Olga Kleinlooh for the force out. There, Boekel slid hard into the catcher, which forced the home plate umpire to also call out batter Kluijskens, ending the inning. Sparks initially protested the decision, as they stated the wrong runner was called out, but in all scenarios the inning would end with this double play. In the first inning of Game One, Sparks also discussed an interference-call when Marloes Fellinger was called out while standing in the batter's box during a (missed) pop-fly near home plate.
In the home of the fifth, Terrasvogels added three runs. Nathalie Gosewehr led off with an infield-hit and scored on a double by Linda Hoenderdos. After a pitching change, Dana Horeman singled in the next run and went on to score herself on a single by Annemiek van Riessen. Sparks then scored its second run in the sixth when Marloes Fellinger led off with a single and scored on a hit by Noémi Boekel. Terrasvogels reached the 7-run difference in the home of the sixth. Femke Haage and Nathalie Gosewehr then both scored on a triple by Linda Hoenderdos (who was 3-for-3), who then scored herself on a basesloaded walk for Olga Kleinlooh to end the game. For Linda, this was her league-leading 11th run.


...Virginie Anneveld...
...four basehits...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
At Enschede, Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers shutout Robur '58 twice with the same score, 7-0. In the two games, Robur had only five hits combined, while Tex Town Tigers collected 19 basehits, including four by Virginie Anneveld.

In the opener, Lindsey Meadows gave up only one basehit in four innings, a 2-out single by Lizzy Uytendaal after having retired the first eight batter in order, including six with a strikeout. In the fifth, Austrian pitcher Martina Lackner took over and gave up a double to Roos Vaessen and a single to Valesca van den Boogerd, but then three strikeouts followed. TTT scored its first run in the first at bat when Britt Vonk led off with a bunt-single and went on to score on an one-out single by Virginie Anneveld. Four runs were added in the second inning on a 2-run double by Britt, an RBI-bunt single by Virginie and a wild pitch. In the third, TTT made its 6-0 when Karin Tuk walked and scored on a single by Meike Witteveen, who was 2-for-2. In the fifth, the 7-run difference was reached when Lotte Holvast led off with a bunt-single and scored on an one-out single by Nadine Marinus.

In the second game, the line score for the first three innings was the same as in the opener. Again, Britt Vonk led off the first with a bunt-single and scored on a fielder's choice situation. Four runs were again added in the second at bat, this time on a 3-run throwing error, which followed on a grounder by Britt, who then scored on a single by Virginie Anneveld. In the third, Mieke van der Zwaan singled and scored on a single by Nadine Marinus to make it 6-0. In the fourth, the seventh run was added when Meike Witteveen led off with a single and scored on an error. Winning pitcher Ginger de Weert gave up only one hit in three innings, a 2-out single by Pamela Huernink in the third. Martina Lackner threw the last two innings for Tex Town Tigers.

At Rosmalen, Gryphons defeated Centrals 7-0 and 3-1 and had a major player in Kate Robinson. The American was the winning pitcher twice and homered in both games. In the opener, she threw a complete game 3-hitter with eight strikeouts, in Game Two she won in relief, throwing the last two innings. In the second game, Centrals-pitcher Amy Harre struckout twelve, but gave up a 2-run homerun to Robinson in the sixth which gave Gryphons a 2-1 lead.

In the opener, Kate Robinson threw a complete game 3-hitter and struckout eight batters. Amber Dammers was the lone player of Centrals who reached third base and did it twice. Gryphons struck early, scoring two runs in the first at bat. Starting for Centrals was Amy Harre, who in 2006 played together with former Dutch national team-player Sandra Gouverneur in the Italian Softball League for Nuoro (where Sandra again plays this season). The American walked lead-off batter Sandy Lauwers, who advanced on a grounder and a wild pitch, then scored when Kate Robinson homered. Amy Harre and Kate Robinson know each other, as both play professionally in the National Pro Fastpitch. Amy plays for Philadelphia Force and Kate for Akron Racers and both faced the Dutch National Team last year during its NPF Tour through the USA. Two runs were added in the second inning when Maartje Mantel reached on an infield-hit an scored on a force play-grounder by Robinson. Next, Sandy Lauwers, who reached on an error, scored when Robinson stole second base. In the fourth, Gryphons increased the lead to 6-0. Sandy Lauwers and Kate Robinson both singled, then the first scored on a throwing error and the latter on a basesloaded walk for Cherry Winklaar. The 7-run difference was reached in the sixth at bat. Monique White led off with a triple and scored on a wild pitch with one out.

In the second game, Centrals took an 1-0 lead in the sixth inning. Maaike Blaauwgeers then led off with a single off starter Gaby Hutten, who then was replaced by Kate Robinson. After a stolen base and a grounder, Maaike scored on a grounder by Amber Dammers. In the home of the sixth, Gryphons came back with three runs after being silenced by Amy Harre in the first five innings in which she struckout ten batters. Lead-off hitter Yonina St. Jago reached on a throwing error, then Robinson followed with her second homerun of the day, also off Harre, who went on to register twelve strikeouts. Later in the at bat, Monique White reached on an error and went to score another run when the Centrals-defense committed another error to make it 3-1.

At Oosterhout, Twins won both games vs. Euro Stars, 3-2 and 7-0 with Andee Lindgren being the winning pitcher in both games. In the opener, Twins trailed 2-0 when it scored three runs in the fifth inning on singles by Michelle Haen and Andee Lindgren. In Game Two, Twins got ten hits off Australian pitcher Felicity Witt, who threw her first game for Euro Stars. Andee Lindgren contributed with three hits, as did Daisy de Peinder.

In the opener, Twins trailed 2-0 when it scored three runs in the fifth to win 3-2. After three hitless innings, Euro Stars opened the score in the fourth when Kim Donkers led off with a single and scored on a single by Manon Schol. Euro Stars made it 2-0 in the next at bat. Davinia de Kwant reached first base on a strikeout-wild pitch, advanced to third on a single by Rebecca Antonissen and then scored on a single by Ellen Venker, which led also to Rebecca being put out between third and home. In the home of the fifth, Twins reacted with three runs with two outs. Charlotte Haen then reached on a bunt-single and Lieke Duffhues singled. The bases got loaded when Micky Jansen walked. Next, Michelle Haen singled to bring in a run, resulting in a pitching change. Mariëlle Vleugels took over for starter Daisy Verstappen, but she was greeted with a 2-run single by Andee Lindgren, which gave Twins a 3-2 lead and herself the win as pitcher.

In Game Two, Andee Lindgren gave up only two hits in six innings, both by Manon Schol, including a double. Twins scored its first run in the first at bat when Micky Jansen led off with a walk and scored on a single by Andee Lindgren (who was 3-for-4). Hereafter, Twins got the bases loaded when Daisy de Peinder (3-for-3) and Sandra Catoen also singled, but a force play and a grounder ended the at bat, stranding three runners. Three runs were added in the second inning on a 2-run error and a single by Daisy. In the fourth, Twins got the bases loaded again with one out, but this time a double play ended the at bat. The 7-run difference was reached in the sixth on a single by Daisy de Peinder and a basesloaded, 2-run single by Sarah Vandermeieren.
(April 25)

Standings
Line Scores & Box Scores


Two wins Terrasvogels; losses TTT, Sparks
Nederlands
CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL / DE BILT / HAARLEM / APELDOORN (Neth.) - League-leader Iber Lengua Terrasvogels won 5-2 and 2-1 on Saturday vs. Euro Stars to remain unbeaten after five games. Terrasvogels collected 15 basehits, including four by Dana Horeman and three by Cristina Rolla and Solange Starrenburg.

At De Bilt, Centrals won 2-1 vs. champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers, which then won Game Two, 15-1, as Centrals committed nine errors. TTT had eleven hits, including four by Lindsey Meadows, who also homered.

At Haarlem, Sparks Haarlem won 5-4 vs. Gryphons, then was beaten 8-6. In the opener, Sparks won the game with no outs in the seventh inning on a single by Debby Connor In Game Two, Gryphons broke a 6-6 tie with two runs in the seventh on a double by Britt Breure and an error. In the double-header, Sparks hit four homeruns, which came off the bats of Jolanda Kroesen, Kim Kluijskens, Chantal Versluis and Debby Connor.

At Apeldoorn, Twins shutout Robur '58 twice, 7-0 and 8-0. Twins registered 20 hits, including four by veteran Daisy de Peinder. Andee Lindgren threw both games for Twins, throwing a 4-hitter and 2-hitter.

(April 18)

Standings
Line Scores & Box Scores


New main sponsor for Terrasvogels

...Iber Lengua Director Joana Keur signs the agreement...
...At left is Terrasvogels-Chairman Bert Wessels...
...at right is Treasurer Hans Jansen...
(© Photo: Marianne Doppenberg)
Nederlands
SANTPOORT (Neth.) - Iber Lengua is the new main sponsor for the big league-softballsquad of Terrasvogels, the club announced on Tuesday. Contracts for the agreement were signed on Tuesday-evening at the home field of the club in Santpoort. From now on, the team will be known as Iber Lengua Terrasvogels.

Last year, Terrasvogels played without a main sponsor after a 13-year period in which it was supported by A4. Terrasvogels always has had long relationships with its main sponsors, which proved to be very successful for both parties. The team captured various national championships, European Cups and had several players in the national team, resulting in positive publicity for both the team as well as its sponsor.

Terrasvogels is the recordholder with 14 national championships and also holds the record by winning eleven European Cup-tournaments (nine European Cups and two CupWinners Cups). In total, Terrasvogels has reached the top-3 of the European tournaments 26 times and therefore is the most successful softball-team in Europe. In the Easter weekend, Terrasvogels opened the new season with three victories to be the lone unbeaten team and become the first league-leader of the new season. The opening weekend also marked the official comeback of American coach Darwin Tolzin, who led the team to its last championship in 2007.

Iber Lengua (founded in 1991) is a national CEDEO- and TQM-approved language-institute, specialized in solutions in more than 15 different languages for language-, communication- and culturetraining for business, government and individuals. Iber Lengua conducts training sessions in its own center in Haarlem, but also in-company throughout the country. It also accompanies indivuals who are sent abroad for shorter or longer periods through language- and culturetraining. Iber Lengua is listed in the top-10 of the language-business and has customers such as Fluor Daniel, Ahold, Corus, Transavia, ING-Bank, Schiphol Airport, AGF, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Water Management.

As the lone institute in the Netherlands Iber Lengua has a qualitee guarantee. Iber Lengua gives courses in Dutch, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Polish, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Turkish, Arabic and New Greek.
(April 14)

Terrasvogels sponsors
1987 - 1988Van Wooning
1989 - 1994Staller
1995 - 2007A4
2009 - currentIber Lengua


...The start of a new era: Iber Lengua Terrasvogels...
....From left to right: Chairman Bert Wessels, Iber Lengua Director Joana Keur...
...players Lyanne Horeman, Femke van Dusschoten, Aimee Murch,...
...Solange Starrenburg, Cristina Rolla and Dana Horeman...
...Standing behind the players is Head Coach Darwin Tolzin...
(© Photo: Marianne Doppenberg)


Terrasvogels lone unbeaten team
Nederlands
SANTPOORT / ENSCHEDE / ROSMALEN / DE BILT (Neth.) - Terrasvogels became the lone unbeaten team in the Dutch softball big league on Monday with a huge 13-0 shutout win vs. Robur '58 to register its third victory of the opening weekend. Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers and Sparks Haarlem follow the first league-leader of the season. Tex Town Tigers shutout Twins 7-0 on a No-Hitter by Lindsey Meadows, while Sparks Haarlem won 7-0 vs. Centrals. Gryphons won 6-1 vs. Euro Stars.

Like in the first games last Saturday, Monday was very productive. In total, 112 runs were scored in the twelve games played and 194 basehits were registered. Terrasvogels leads in both categories with 26 and 42 respectively.


...Annemiek van Riessen and...
...Linda Hoenderdos...
...16 basehits combined...
(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)
At Santpoort, Terrasvogels got 13 basehits, including three by Dana Horeman, who was 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Linda Hoenderdos (2-for-2) also scored three runs, while Olga Kleinlooh (2-for-2) had three RBI's. Annemiek van Riessen had four RBI's, including three on a third inning double. After scoring twice in the first inning, Terrasvogels rallied for five runs in the second, scoring the runs on a single by Dana Horeman, 2-run triple by Cristina Rolla and 2-run single by Olga Kleinlooh. Four runs were added in the third, highlighted by the 3-run double by Annemiek van Riessen, who then scored herself on a single by Olga Kleinlooh. Singles by Dana Horeman and Solange Starrenburg increased the lead to 13-0 in the fourth inning. Starting pitcher Aimee Murch threw three perfect innings and struckout eight of the nine batters she faced (first seven in a row). In the fourth, Shannah van de Kaaij took over and gave up an infield-hit to Helma Pluim, which was the lone Robur-hit in the game. Of the 42 basehits Terrasvogels hit in its first three games, Linda Hoenderdos (8-for-9) and Annemiek van Riessen (8-for-10) each hit eight, with four players collecting five.


...Lindsey Meadows: No-Hitter...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
At Enschede, TTT-pitcher Lindsey Meadows threw a 6-inning No-Hitter and retired the first 17 batters in a row, before losing the Perfect Game in the sixth when she walked Sarah Vandemeieren with two outs. Tex Town Tigers opened the score in the second on a single by Britt Vonk, but that remained the lone run in four innings. In the fifth, the second run was added on a single by Merel Oosterveld, then the 7-run difference was reached by scoring five runs in the sixth to end the game. In the sixth, doubled in two runs, then Lindsey Meadows followed with a 2-run single. A rare situation happened in the fifth inning. Petra van Heijst was on first base when Virginie Anneveld popped up to first base, but there the ball was dropped. As Petra of course wasn't moving on the play and while an error was scored on the play, she was really forced out when the ball was thrown to second base.


...Marloes Fellinger...
...200th game...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
At De Bilt, Sparks-starter Kirsten Scheele gave up only two hits in five innings (both in the fifth), then Dagmar Bloeming added two hitless innings vs. Centrals. After scoring once in the first inning, Sparks rallied for four runs in the third inning on a wild pitch, RBI-singles by Debby Connor and Judith Diepeveen and a force play-grounder. Two runs were added in the seventh on a single by Jolanda Kroesen and a grounder by Noémi Boekel. Sparks had ten hits, including two doubles by Kim Kluijskens and a triple by Marloes Fellinger, who played in her 200th big league-game.

At Rosmalen, former Gryphons and former National Team-player Sandra Gouverneur was honored. Sandra initially retired after completion of last season, but this year will play softball after all, as she returns to Nuoro in the Italian Softball League, where she also played some years ago. Gryphons got off to a good season start, as it won its second game. The team got 14 basehits, including three by Kate Robinson (double, two RBI's), who also was the winning pitcher. A wild pitch and a single by Monique White made it 2-0 in the first, then the double by Kate made i 4-0 in the fouirth. A double by Claudia Kranendonk and a force play-grounder by Maartje Mantel increased the lead to 6-0 in the fifth. The lone Euro Stars-run was scored by Ellen Venker in the sixth on a single by Kim Donkers. These two each had two of their teams five hits. A weird situation happened in the fifth inning. With two outs and Maartje Mantel on second base and Sandy Lauwers on first base, Yonina St. Jago hit the ball towards first base, where it changed directions. Sandy thought she was hit by the batted ball, left the field and returned to the dug-out. Once she entered the dug-out, she was called out, as the ball had not hit Sandy, but changed direction off glove of 1B Kim Donkers.
(April 13)

Line Scores & Box Scores


Homerun-rich Opening Day
Nederlands
HAARLEM / OOSTERHOUT / APELDOORN / CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL (Neth.) - Terrasvogels was the lone team to win both games of its double-header on Saturday, while three others were split on Opening Day. It was a productive day, as 81 runs were scored in the first games of the new season and six homeruns were registered.

At Haarlem, Karin Tuk and Areke Spel homered for Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers in a come-from-behind 8-4 win in the opener vs. Sparks Haarlem, which won the next game, 6-4 and saw Marloes Fellinger hit a homerun.

At Oosterhout, Dana Horeman homered for Terrasvogels in a 10-3 win vs. Twins after the opener was won 3-1.

At Apeldoorn, Robur '58 made its comeback in the big league with a 9-3 win vs. Gryphons, which then recovered and won 13-1, thanks to homeruns by Kate Robinson and Claudia Kranendonk (grand slam).

At Capelle a/d IJssel, Centrals won 5-4 in the opener vs. Euro Stars, which then won Game Two, 5-2.

(April 11)

Line Scores & Box Scores


Terrasvogels closes exhibition season with win
Nederlands
HAARLEM (Neth.) - Terrasvogels won 8-7 vs. Sparks Haarlem on Thursday-evening to close this years exhibition season. Last Sunday, Terrasvogels was shutout 6-0 by Sparks Haarlem during the Mastenbroek Tournament in Enschede. The regular season opens on Saturday, April 11.


...Dana Horeman - homerun...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Terrasvogels opened the score in the first inning when Dana Horeman homered with two outs off former teammate Kirsten Scheele. For Dana, this was her first homerun since hitting one in the regular season in 2003. Sparks reacted with two runs in the second at bat. With two outs and Kim Kafoé (walk) on third base and Judith Diepeveen (single) on first, Kim Kluijskens singled in the tying run, then Debby Connor walked to load the bases. Next, Saskia Kosterink singled to bring in Judith, but Kim was eliminated at the plate on a throw by leftfielder Nathalie Gosewehr. Trailing 2-1, Terrasvogels rallied for seven runs in the fifth inning off former teammate Dagmar Bloeming, who gave up five hits. With Annemiek van Riessen (single), Femke Haage (walk) and Nathalie Goswehr (walk) on base, Linda Hoenderdos doubled, which led to four runs. Two runners scored on the double, then two throwing errors resulted in two more runs and a 5-2 lead for Terrasvogels. Next, Dana Horeman and Cristina Rolla singled, followed by RBI-singles by Solange Starrenburg (who was 3-for-4), Annemiek van Riessen and Shannah van der Kaaij (the last two off new pitcher Rebecca Soumeru) to increase the lead to 8-2.

Sparks Haarlem got one run back in the fifth when Judith Diepeveen singled and scored on a force-play grounder by Lynn Geertman. In the seventh inning, Sparks scored four runs to narrow the deficit to 8-7. Shannah van der Kaaij, who became Terrasvogels' third pitcher in the fifth, gave up consecutive singles to Kim Kluijskens, Debby Connor, Saskia Kosterink and Lynn Geertman, then was relieved by rookie Femke van Dusschoten, who gave up an RBI-single to Jolanda Kroesen. An error and a force play-grounder gave Sparks two more runs, but a flyout then ended the game. Saskia Kosterink had three of her teams 12 basehits.
(April 9)

Final Exhibition Standings & Scores
Line Score & Box Score


Tournament-wins for Tex Town Tigers, DSS
Nederlands
ENSCHEDE / HAARLEM (Neth.) - Reigning champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers won the 27th edition of its J.C.J. Mastenbroek Tournament on Sunday, thanks to a tournament rule. Because of this, Sparks Haarlem ended up in second place and Terrasvogels, which won the event the last two years, finished in third place. The ranking was rounded out by Czech champion SK Joudrs Praha and Hamburg Knights from Germany. The 22nd Jan de Wit Tournament in Haarlem was won by First Divisionist DSS.


...Batting Champion Nathalie Gosewehr connects...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
At Enschede, Tex Town Tigers, Sparks Haarlem and Terrasvogels all ended up in first place with a 4-1 record. Because of the withdrawal of three teams in the last two weeks, the organisation decided to change some of its tournament rules. It was first decided that with five teams in the tournament complete games (including an eventual tie-break in one additional inning) were to be played, meaning the time-rule was dropped. Because of this, it also was decided that the run-difference rule to break a tie in ranking also was dropped, since teams were not playing an equal amount of innings now in the games played, as games in this years set-up simply ended when a home team was ahead in the seventh inning or earlier when the mercy-rule (or runs ahead-rule) came into effect (7-run, 10-run or 15-run difference). Therefore, to break a tie in case teams ended up in a tie, first the scores of the games played between the teams concerned were used. But then, instead of the run-difference, the next tie-breaker hereafter was the total times a team reached third base in the entire tournament. As the results of the games played between Tex Town Tigers, Sparks Haarlem and Terrasvogels ended into a new tie, the next tie-breaker was used. Tex Town Tigers reached third base 39 times in its five games played, while Sparks Haarlem and Terrasvogels ended up in a new tie, as both had reached third base 33 times. For this new tie, the game played between the two teams was used as the tie-breaker and since Sparks Haarlem won that game 6-0 it ended up in second place and Terrasvogels in third. Nathalie Gosewehr of Terrasvogels was the Best Hitter of the tournament.

The day started with a huge 17-0 shutout-win from Tex Town Tigers vs. Hamburg Knights, which was held hitless by Lindsey Meadows (six strikeouts). After scoring three runs in the second inning, TTT blow open the game by scoring 14 runs in the fourth at bat on 13 basehits, including a 2-run triple by Britt Vonk, a 2-run double by Lotte Holvast and an RBI-double by Meike Witteveen, who was 3-for-3, as was Areke Spel. All starting players scored at least once and hit at least one basehit, while seven had at least one RBI, led by Lotte Holvast, who had four.


...Debby Connor (left) and Marloes Fellinger are greeted after their HR...
(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)
Next, Terrasvogels won 9-1 vs. SK Joudrs Praha. Rookie Femke van Dusschoten threw a 2-hitter, while her teammates got 12 hits, including doubles by Annemiek van Riessen and Dana Horeman, triples by Cristina Rolla and Nathalie Gosewehr (who was 3-for-4) and a 3-run homerun by Solange Starrenburg, which highlighted a 4-run first inning. Two runs were subtracted in the fifth inning when a call was reversed after a runner was hit by a batted ball.

In the afternoon, Sparks Haarlem shutout Terrasvogels 6-0. Four unearned runs were scored in the third inning, three of which were scored on a homerun by Debby Connor. The remaining two runs were scored in the sixth at bat. With Kim Kluijskens (error) on base, Marloes Fellinger hit a big homerun with the ball hitting a flagpost in centerfield and coming onto the field. Starting pitcher Dagmar Bloeming, who pitched in her first two big league-seasons for Terrasvogels, now made her first start against her former teammates and retired eight in a row from the first through third inning after having given up a lead-off single to Nathalie Gosewehr. Dagmar struckout four.

SK Joudrs Praha claimed fourth place by winning 7-1 vs. Hamburg Knights, which produced only four hits. The Czech team opened the score with four runs in the first at bat, highlighted by an RBI-double by Petra Krikálová.

The day and the tournament ended with Tex Town Tigers winning 7-0 vs. Sparks Haarlem and therefore securing its tournament title. The home team scored all runs in the third inning off former TTT-player Saskia Kosterink, who made a rare pitching appearance. Seven hits were hit in the inning, including an RBI-doubles by Virginie Anneveld and Areke Spel and an RBI-triple by Merel Oosterveld. Sparks got only two basehits off Ginger de Weert.

Line Scores & Box Scores

At Haarlem, DSS won 1-0 vs. big league-team Gryphons in the final of the Jan de Wit Tournament. Euro Stars finished in third place by winning 3-2 vs. Centrals, but lost catcher Bianca Hageraats for several months and possibly the entire season with a severe knee-injury. Besides that, it also lost American pitcher Kyla Sullivan, who returned home last week due to home sickness.

More info of the event in Haarlem will be added later.

The exhibition season will end next Thursday with the additionally scheduled game between Sparks Haarlem and Terrasvogels in Haarlem. The regular season opens on April 11.

(April 5)

Exhibition Standings
Exhibition Scores


...New season, new uniforms...
...Petra van Heijst (Terrasvogels => TTT), Dagmar Bloeming...
...(Terrasvogels => Sparks) and Debby Connor (Twins => Sparks)...
(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Saskia Kosterink as pitcher...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Enschede-winner Tex Town Tigers...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Haarlem-winner DSS...
(© Photo: Dennis Duin)


Terrasvogels, Sparks Haarlem lead in Enschede
Nederlands
ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - Terrasvogels and Sparks Haarlem remained unbeaten on Day 2 of the Mastenbroek Tournament in Enschede, by both winning big in two games.

Terrasvogels won 8-0 vs. Hamburg Knight (Germany) and 8-1 vs. Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers. Sparks Haarlem defeated SK Joudrs Praha, 16-1 and Hamburg, 8-0.

In today's opener, Hamburg got only two basehits (both in te second inning) off two Terrasvogels-pitchers. After leaving four runners in the first two innings, Terrasvogels rallied for eight runs in the third at bat. With one out, Dana Horeman started the rally with a triple, then the bases got loaded when Cristina Rolla and Solange Starrenburg both were hit by a pitch. Next, an error on a grounder by Olga Kleinlooh led to two runs, followed by a runscoring passed ball and an RBI-single by Annemiek van Riessen. With Lyanne Horeman (single) and Femke Haage (fielder's choice) on base, Nathalie Gosewehr hit a 2-run triple and scored herself on a passed ball. The eighth run in the inning was scored by Linda Hoenderdos, who walked and scored on an error.

At the same time, Sparks Haarlem rallied for ten runs in the first inning of its game against SK Joudrs. Chantal Versluis led off with a bunt-single and the bases got loaded when Judith Diepeveen and Kim Kluijskens followed with singles. With one out, Marloes Fellinger hit a baseclearing 3-run double, leading to a pitching change. With two outs, Noémi Boekel doubled in a run and scored on a single by Lynn Geertman, who then advanced on a double by Kim Kafoé. Three runs were then added when Chantal Versluis hit her second homerun of the exhibition season. Judith Diepeveen then singled again, before Kim Kluijskens also homered to make it 10-0. Six more runs were added in the next three at bats. The lone Czech run was a homerun by Magdalena Loudová in the third inning.

In the afternoon of this cold day, Terrasvogels outscored Tex Town Tigers and collected nine basehits, including three by Nathalie Gosewehr, who also scored three runs. Cristina Rolla contributed with three RBI's, including two on a double. Australian Aimee Murch made pitching debut for Terrasvogels and gave up six hits.

The day ended with a shutout for Sparks Haarlem, whose pitchers Rebecca Soumeru and Kirsten Scheele allowed only three hits. After leaving the bases loaded in the first, Sparks scored five runs in the second inning, highlighted by a 3-run double by Kim Kluijskens. In the third, three runs were scored, including two on RBI-doubles by Debby Connor and Kim Kafoé.

Host Tex Town Tigers played an additional game against First Divisionist Run '71, which originally was to play a game against the Czech team. TTT won the game 4-0 and got 12 basehits, including three by Petra van Heijst (single, double, triple). Lindsey Meadows and Ginger de Weert combined on a 3-hitter.
(April 4)

Line Scores & Box Scores


Tex Town Tigers opens tournament with win
Nederlands
ENSCHEDE / HAARLEM (Neth.) - Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers opened its 27th J.C.J. Mastenbroek Tournament on Friday-evening with a 7-0 shutout-win against Czech champion SK Joudrs Praha. After the withdrawals of Carrousel (Russia) and Twins (Netherlands), the Czech All Stars (Czech Republic) last week also informed the organization that it was unable to come to Enschede, meaning the schedule had to be adjusted again and only five teams participate in this years event.

On Friday-evening, starting pitcher Ginger de Weert gave up only two hits and struckout four in four innings, then Lindsey Meadows completed the game by pitching the fifth (and last) inning, striking out the side. Before the fifth inning started, the game was delayed for 32 minutes because of a light-failure. Tex Town Tigers collected five hits, including an RBI-double by Karin Tuk, RBI-triple by Nadine Marinus and 3-run triple by Areke Spel.

Tex Town Tigers broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning when Virginie Anneveld (error) scored on the double by Karin Tuk, who then scored on the triple by Nadine Marinus, which was followed by a throwing error, leading to another run. Four runs were added in the fifth. With Britt Vonk (walk), Virginie Anneveld (error) and Lindsey Meadows (intentional walk) on base, Areke Spel cleared the bases with a 3-run triple. Next, Karin Tuk added an RBI-single to reach the 7-run difference and end the game.

Line Score & Box Score

At Haarlem, host Olympia Haarlem shutout Hoofddorp Pioniers 2-0 in its opener of the Jan de Wit Tournament, while Onze Gezellen won 2-1 vs. DSS.

(April 3)

Schedules


Tex Town Tigers defeats German teams; Double win Gryphons
Nederlands
ENSCHEDE / ROSMALEN (Neth.) - Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers on Sunday registered two big victories against two teams Germany. It shutout Wesseling Vermins 23-0, then won 10-3 vs. Mannheim Tornados. Two weeks ago, the Enschede-team defeated another German squad, winning 17-0 vs. Neunkirchen Nightmares. Gryphons also played two games today, winning twice vs. Centrals.

Next Friday, the club opens the 27th edition of its annual J.C.J. Mastenbroek Tournament, which has six participating teams this year. Besides Tex Town Tigers, Terrasvogels and Sparks Haarlem will travel to Enschede. The top-3 of last years Dutch big league gets company from Hamburg Knights from Germany and Czech champion SK Joudrs Praha and the Czech All Stars. Carousel from Russia, which is a frequent participant in the event had to drop out this time, due to financial reasons. Twins, which finished in fourth place in the Dutch league last year, also had to withdraw due to injuries, resulting in them being unable to compile a complete team next weekend.

On March 14, Tex Town Tigers collected 21 basehits vs. Neunkirchen Nightmares, including four by Britt Vonk, Lindsey Meadows (including two doubles and a triple) and Nadine Marinus, while Britt and Merel Oosterveld each had three RBI's. The German squad produced only three hits off pitchers Lindsey Meadows and Ginger de Weert, who made her debut in a TTT-uniform. TTT scored once in the first at bat when Lindsey doubled and scored on a single by Karin Tuk, then the team rallied for seven runs in the second inning on six hits, including back-to-back RBI-doubles by Virginie Anneveld and Lindsey Meadows and a baseclearing, 3-run triple by Merel Oosterveld. Anna-Karin Solèn Westlingf hit two singles in this inning. After adding a run in the third, TTT again scored seven runs in the fourth, this time on seven hits. In this inning, Nadine Marinus had two basehits, while Meike Witteveen and Britt Vonk both singled in two runs. The last run was added in the fifth on another single by Britt. All nine starting players hit at least one hit, scored at least one run and had at least one RBI.

On Sunday, Tex Town Tigers opened with a 23-0 shutout-win vs. Wesseling Vermins on 23 basehits, including five doubles by Areke Spel, who also had five RBI's. Virginie Anneveld (two), Merel Oosterveld and Lindsey Meadows also doubled. All starting players scored at least twice and hit at least one basehit. In this game, TTT started with three runs in the opening at bat in which Areke hit her first RBI-double. After a scoreless inning, TTT rallied for seven runs in the third, highlighted by RBI-doubles by Areke and Virginie Anneveld and a 2-run single by Swedish player Anna-Karin Solèn Westling. Eight more runs were added in the fourth at bat in which Areke Spel hit two RBI-doubles. Merel Oosterveld (one run) and Lindsey Meadows (2-run) also hit their RBI-double during this rally. TTT increased the lead to 23-0 by scoring five runs in the fifth in which Areke registered her fifth RBI-double. Starting pitcher Ginger de Weert threw four perfect innings and struckout five batters. New Austrian pitcher Martina Lackner completed the game and gave up the lone German hit with two outs in the sixth inning. In this game, there were nine players in TTT's line-up, who currently are on the preliminary roster of the Dutch National Team.

TTT then defeated Mannheim Tornados 10-3 on 13 basehits, including two more doubles by Areke Spel, who batted 7-for-8 today, all doubles. Britt Vonk hit three basehits in this game, while Karin Tuk had four runs batted in. Petra van Heijst, who played in her first games for Tex Town Tigers since 2003, scored three runs. TTT scored four runs in the first inning, including two on the first double by Areke, another one on a sac-fly by Karin Tuk and the fourth on a triple by Merel Oosterveld. Three runs were added in the second at bat in which Anna-Karin Solèn Westling led off with a triple and scored on an infield-hit by Britt Vonk. Karin Tuk contributed in this at bat with a 2-run double. A double by Merel accounted for another run in the fourth, then two more runs were scored in the fifth when Petra van Heijst doubled and scored on a double by Meike Witteveen, who then scored moments later herself on a single by Karin. Mannheim scored its three runs in the fifth inning off Lindsey Meadows on four basehits.

At Rosmalen, Gryphons defeated Centrals 7-5 and 8-1 to move into first place in the exhibition standings.
In the opener, Centrals led once and came back from a 5-2 deficit, but ended up empty-handed. The team from De Bilt scored its first run in the second inning when Marieke Brouwer singled and scored on a grounder by Kirsten Vierdag, but Gryphons reacted with three runs in its second at bat. With two outs, Iliandra Figaroa (bunt-single) was on first base when Silea Bos tripled to tie the score, then scored herself on a double by Sandy Lauwers. The latter then also scored when an error was made on a grounder by next batter Yonina St. Jago. Centrals got one run back in the third when Maaike Blaauwgeers reached on a bunt-single and scored when Amber Dammers tripled. Gryphons made it a 5-2 score by adding two runs in the fourth inning. With one out, Yonina St. Jago scored on a triple by recently arrived American Kate Robinson, who then scored on a single by Cherry Winklaar. Centrals came alongside by scoring three runs in the fifth at bat off Robinson, who took over as pitcher. Anne Blaauwgeers led off with a triple and scored on a double by her twin-sister Maaike Blaauwgeers. After Amber Dammers walked, Maaike scored on a passed ball, then Amber scored the tying run on a 2-out error. Gryphons then re-took the lead in the home of the sixth. Yonina St. Jago led off with a triple (the fifth one in this game) and scored when Kate Robinson followed with a single. Moments later, Kate scored on a 2-out single by Claudia Kranendonk.

In Game Two, Centrals had another shortlived lead as speedy Anne Blaauwgeers led off the game with a homerun, but that remained the team's lone run and it also was its lone hit, until Marjorie Henriquez singled in the fifth at bat. Gryphons came alongside in the home of the first when Sandy Lauwers led off with a double and scored on an one-out single by Kate Robinson. The team then took a 2-1 lead in the second. With one out, Kristel Verbunt was hit by a pitch and scored when Iliandra Figaroa followed with a double. Another run was then added in the third. This time, Kate Robinson led off with a walk and scored on a single by Claudia Kranendonk. The lead was then increased to 6-1 with a 3-run rally in the fourth. Iliandra Figaroa led off with a double and went on to score on a single by Silea Bos. Next batter, Sandy Lauwers then walked, and after the two runners advanced on a sac-bunt by Yonina St. Jago, Kate Robinson followed with a 2-run double. In the fifth, Gryphons made it 8-1. With one out, Britt Breure, who had just entered the game, homered, then Iliandra Figaroa walked and scored on a double by Sandy Lauwers.
(March 29)

Line Score & Box Score Tex Town Tigers vs. Neunkirchen Nightmares
Line Score & Box Score Tex Town Tigers vs. Wesseling Vermins
Line Score & Box Score Tex Town Tigers vs. Mannheim Tornados
Line Scores & Box Scores Gryphons vs. Centrals
Exhibition Standings, Schedule & Scores


Games canceled by rain; One played
Nederlands
ENSCHEDE / OOSTERHOUT / APELDOORN (Neth.) - Several scheduled exhibition games for Saturday had to be canceled, because it was not possible to play due to heavy rain in the morning. Last Thursday, the game between Euro Stars and Gryphons also was scrubbed. However, it was able to play on Saturday at Apeldoorn, as Robur '58 played against Amsterdam Pirates.

At Enschede, Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers was scheduled to play against Mannheim Tornados from Germany. A 3-game event has now been set up for Sunday with these two teams being joined by a second team from Germany.

At Oosterhout, Twins and Terrasvogels were to play a double-header, but this also rained out. Initially, these two teams were to play a 3-game event at Capelle a/d IJssel with Euro Stars, but that was canceled earlier in the week, because of some injuries in the Euro Stars squad. Instead, Twins and Terrasvogels scheduled a double-header against each other.

At Apeldoorn, Robur '58 won 12-5 vs. First Divisionist Amsterdam Pirates. Robur collected twelve basehits off two pitchers, including four by Pamela Huernink, who also scored three runs and had three RBI's. But it was Pirates that opened the score with a run in the first inning. With two outs, Shanna van Vegten reached on an error, then advanced when an error was made on a grounder by Jeany Sophia. Pirates got the bases loaded when Jennifer Boutisma reached on an infield-hit. Shanna then scored when Dana Rodermans walked (she would walk three times in this game), but Pirates left the bases loaded when a grounder followed. Robur reacted with a 9-run rally in its first at bat in which 13 batters stepped to the plate. Four of them received a free pass, but also five hits were registered, including two by Pamela, who batted in three runs in this at bat, including two on a double. Trailing 10-1, Pirates scored twice in the third. Gallieth Haaker led off with a triple and scored on a sac-fly by Shanna van Vegten, then Jeany Sophia reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a basesloaded single by Nadia Bron, but Pirates again stranded three runners. Pirates also scored runs in the fourth and fifth inning on a single by Gallieth and an error, but Robur got runs back in the third and fifth inning. In the third, Morgan Sampson doubled in a run and in the fifth, Pamela led off with a triple and scored on a single by Morgan.
(March 28)

Line Score & Box Score Robur '58 vs. Amsterdam Pirates
Exhibition Standings, Schedule & Scores


New players Gryphons, TTT arrive; More to come in Dutch big league

...Kate Robinson...
(© Photo: Akron Racers)
Nederlands
ROSMALEN / ENSCHEDE / OOSTERHOUT / CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL / SANTPOORT (Neth.) - Dutch big league-teams Gryphons and Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers welcomed one of their new foreign players this week. Gryphons will add two other American players later. In the coming weeks/months, more American players will arrive, including one for Twins, Robur '58 and Centrals. In the meantime, Euro Stars added its American pitcher Kyla Sullivan, while Terrasvogels was joined by Italian Cristina Rolla and Australian pitcher Aimee Murch. The latter three already played in exhibition games for their new club.

Lefthanded pitcher/1B Kate Robinson arrived on Thursday and will play for Gryphons through the end of May. She will then return to the USA to start her second professional with the Akron Racers in the National Pro Fastpitch. Kate, who turned 23 in January, played three seasons for the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, before making her professional debut last year. After appearing in 44 games in the 2005 season with the Rainbow Wahine, including 17 at first base, she played in 32 games the next season. She finished with a 2.42 ERA and threw a perfect game. 2007 was a recordsetting season for Kate on Hawaii. She broke the single-season record of UH by hitting 21 homeruns, was elected into several All-America or All-Tournament teams and was named Pitcher of the Year in her conference. In 2008, she made her professional debut with the Akron Racers, playing in 35 games. There, she batted .246 (35-for-142), scored 15 runs, hit eight homeruns and had 22 RBI's. With the Racers, Kate played in the three games her team played last year against the Dutch National Softball Team (where current Gryphons Head Coach Mary-Ann Hatt then was a member of the coaching staff) during its NPF Tour in May/June as part of their preparations for the Olympic Games. In those three games, Kate showed her offensive strength by hitting 5-for-8 (.625), hitting three homeruns, scoring five runs and collecting eight runs batted in.


...Christina Ross...
(© Photo: SDSU)
When Kate leaves on May 31, Christina Ross will arrive in Rosmalen to replace her. She also is a lefthander pitcher and turned 23 last September. Like Kate, Christina can look back to a successful college-career, being the pitching ace for San Diego State University, where she became the all-time leader in strikeouts (612) and shutouts (23) and second in wins (70) and won-loss percentage (.660). After leading the Jayhawks, the team of the University of Kansas to the NCAA Regional Tournament with 111 strikeouts and 12 victories in 2005, Christina joined SDSU in 2006. In her first season in San Diego, she won 17 games, struckout 136, led the league with an 1.82 ERA and was named Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year. In the next season, she was named MWC Pitcher of the Year again, this time striking out 201 batters and winning 23 games, finishing with an 1.90 ERA and throwing a Perfect Game. In 2008, she again raised her personal highs, registering 30 victories, an 1.00 ERA, striking out 275 batters in 293 2/3 inning, throwing nine shutouts and was named a record nine times Pitcher of the Week. 2008 was the most successful season for SDSU with 44 victories to win the MWC-title. In all her seasons at SDSU, Christina was named to All Star Teams.

...Monique White...
(© Photo: FIU)
At SDSU, Christina played for Head Coach Kathy Van Wyk, who in 1997-1997 was the Pitching Coach of the Dutch National Softball Team, which back then was managed by Craig Montvidas, who returned as Head Coach of the national squad in December. Christina pitched in two games, wich set career marks for Coach Van Wyk. In her first SDSU-game in 2006, she threw an 1-0 shutout-win, which was the 300th career victory for the wellknown softball-coach. On April 24, 2008, Christina herself broke the single season strikeout record of the Aztecs in a game, which became the 400th career win for Van Wyk. Before her college-career, Christina led the team of Valencia High School (California) to four consecutive championships and set a strikeout-record in her senior (fourth) year.

On April 7, powerhitter Monique White will join Gryphons, four days before the season opens. Monique, who turned 23 in February, will remain with the team the entire season and is a righthanded batting middle-infielder. Playing for Daytona Community College in Florida, she was elected into several All Star Teams, was named Best Defensive Player and Player of the Year. Hereafter, she went on to become a valuable player for Florida International University. In her first season with the Golden Panthers, she became a great hitter immediately, leading the team in average (.337), homeruns (14), RBI's (40), triples (3) and runs scored (35). The fourteen homeruns (including three in one game) were a single season record. With this, Monique was named Sun Belt Conference Newcomer of the Year.

...Martina Lackner...
(© Photo: Ronchi)
In 2008, she broke the all-time career record of FIU, adding 17 homeruns. She led the team again in average (.362), basehits (72) and homeruns (17), and finished second in runs (49) and RBI's (48). She also hit 16 doubles and two triples.

Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers added Austrian national team player Martina Lackner to its roster after she arrived on Wednesday. The Outfielder/Pitcher, who turns 26 in April, has a long international career, playing in Italy and New Zealand, besides also having played for the Vienna Wanderers in Austria. With the Wanderers, she participated in several European Cup or CupWinners Cup Tournaments, including the 2001 edition in Santpoort (Netherlands). Martina also played several seasons for Ronchi Dei Legionari Peanuts in Italy, with whom she also appeared in an European tournament. With the national team of Austria, Martina participated in European B Championships (1999, 2001, 2003, 2005), the Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in 1999 (Parma), 2003 (Macerata) and 2007 (Italy) and the European Championships of 2007 in Amsterdam (Netherlands). She was the Best Hitter of the 2004 season and league MVP in 2003.


...Chelsea Engle...
(© Photo: Pacific)
Chelsea Engle, the American pitcher of Twins, will arrive somewhere in May after conclusion of her season with the Tigers, the softball-team of the University of the Pacific, which is located in the San Francisco-area. Before going to Pacific, Chelsea was a much-decorated player for the Bulldogs, the team of Folson High School in California and became the all-time strikeout-leader with 1098. In her last season (2005), she recorded 22 victories and struckout 366. In her first season for the Tigers, Chelsea threw 79 strikeouts, then followed with two excellent seasons. In 2007, she led the Big West Conference with 21 victories and finished in third place with 146 strikeouts. In the 2008 season, she won 15 games, led her team with 162 strikeouts in 205 innings and finished with a 2.60 ERA. Currently, Cheslea is 6-7, throwing in 19 games in which she struckout 78 batters.
(March 26)


Remarkable comeback Euro Stars
Nederlands
ALKMAAR / ROSMALEN / HAARLEM / DE BILT (Neth.) - Under fine weather conditions, six of the eight big league-team played an exhibition game on Saturday to continue their preparations for the upcoming season, which opens on Saturday, April 11. Initially, four double-headers were scheduled, but three of them were reversed into one game (two 9-inning and one 10-inning).

At Alkmaar, Euro Stars played a double-header against First Divisionist Alcmaria Victrix and won twice, 13-9 and 7-1. Exhibition scores aren't always listed, but this site does. But when you only list the score of the first game of this double-header it just reads 13-9. But when you also add a story about this game, this score and this game reads simple crazy, as this must have been one of the most remarkable games ever, whether it is an exhibition game of a regular season game. Imagine this, home playing Alcmaria Victrix enters the seventh and last inning with a 7-0 (!) lead. But then Euro Stars stages an unbelievable comeback and scores 13 (!) runs to eventually win 13-9. In the second game, Euro Stars didn't take so long to secure the win, scoring four runs in the first inning and went on to win 7-1 in a 4-inning game. Of the 30 runs scored in this DH, only six (!) were earned, as the two teams didn't play their best defensively, combining on 22 (!) errors combined.
In the opener, Alcmaria scored twice in the second inning off starter Mariëlle Vleugels (who in 2007 was named Best Dutch Junior Pitcher and was awarded the Riet Vermaat Trophy). Lead-off hitter Annemiek de Rover reached on an error, then Anne Vlietstra singled. With one out, the two scored on an error on a grounder by Maaike Polder. Four unearned runs were added in the next at bat when Euro Stars committed two more errors. The first earned run was scored in the fourth off new pitcher Rebecca Antonissen when Maaiken Rooker led off with a single and went on to score on an one-out double by Sandra van der Flier. Trailing 7-0, Euro Stars had a crazy seventh at bat in which it scored 13 runs. In the inning, 18 players came to bat, with the 17 all reaching base! The first out was a force out, the last two were a result of a double play-grounder. All nine players scored at least once, with four players scored twice in the inning. Defensively, Alcmaria committed six errors in this at bat, resulting in ten unearned runs. Also in the inning, there were two basesloaded walks, RBI-singles by Davinia de Kwant, Ellen Venker, Kim Donkers and Rebecca Antonissen, a 2-run single by Marsha-Ann Krull and a baseclearing, 3-run double by Manon Schol. The inning ended finally when pinch-hitter Bianca Hageraats grounded into a double play. Alcmaria Victrix could score only two more runs in its seventh on a 2-run double by Malou van Dusschoten.
In Game Two, Euro Stars scored four runs (on three errors, two walks, a wild pitch and passed ball) in the first inning off Jessie van Aalst (last year won the Riet Vermaat Trophy for Best Dutch Junior Pitcher), who gave up only one earned run, as the Alkmaar-defense this time committed eight errors in the game. Three errors accounted for another run in the second inning, then the remaining two errors led to a run in the third at bat. The lone earned run was scored in the fourth when Manon Schol scored with two outs on a single by Shulaika Balentina. Alcmaria scored its lone run in the first inning (also on an error) off Daisy Verstappen, who struckout three and gave up only one hit.

Box Scores Alcmaria Victrix vs. Euro Stars

At Rosmalen, Gryphons nipped Twins 5-4. Initially, a double-header was scheduled, but it was decided to play one 9-inning game and this also was an interesting game, which was decided in the last at bat. Gryphons took a 2-0 lead in the third inning off Michelle Haen. With one out, Sandy Lauwers singled, then Yonina St. Jago doubled. Next, the two scored on a single by Claudia Kranendonk. The home team made it 3-0 in the fifth inning. Again, Sandy Lauwers singled with one out, advanced on a passed ball, stole third and scored on a single by Yonina St. Jago, who then moved to third base on a double by Claudia Kranendonk. But then Yonina was picked off third base. After Cherry Winklaar singled, the inning ended with a strikeout.
After stranding a runner on second base in the first and leaving the bases loaded in the second inning, Twins scored its first run in the sixth inning off starter Gaby Hutten. Evelien Vonk led off with a double, then scored when an outfield-error was made with two outs on a fly by Sandra Catoen. Twins took another run off the deficit in the seventh inning. With one out, Charlotte Haen doubled. Chantal Kradolfer then came in to relief Gaby, but gave up an RBI-double to Debbie Barbe. In the eighth, Twins tied the score when Evelien Vonk led off with a walk, advanced on a sac-bunt by Andee Lindgren and scored on a single by veteran Daisy de Peinder.
Gryphons then broke the 3-3 tie in its eighth when Cherry Winklaar led off with a single and her pinch-runner Iliandra Figaroa advanced on a sac-bunt by Kimberley Kluijtmans and scored on a double by Britt Breure. Twins tied the score again in the ninth when Debbie Barbe (fielder's choice) scored on a double by Nina Hekker. In the home of the ninth, Gryphons decided the game in its favor after all. With one out, Sandy Lauwers (who was 3-for-5 and scored three runs) singled, stole second, advanced on a sac-bunt by Claudia Kranendonk and scored on a passed ball.
In this game, Twins' debuting Head Coach René Roovers used four players from Roef!, with whom they have a working agreement.

Box Score Gryphons vs. Twins

At Haarlem, Sparks won against First Divisionist Run '71. These two teams also were to play a double-header, but decided to play a 9-inning contest. In the game, three homeruns were hit. Chantal Versluis and Noémi Boekel homered for Sparks, which was something special for both. Chantal never had hit a homerun in her big league-career, which started in 2003. On the other hand, Noémi hit her last regular season homerun in 2005, but she hit this one not only in her first exhibition at bat, but also only a few days after returning from a 5-month trip to Oceania and Asia with Petra van Heijst (her teammate in the national squad), who will play for Dutch champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers this season.

At De Bilt, Robur '58 won 4-2 vs. Centrals, also in a double-header turned single game and played 10 innings. For Robur's new Head Coach Rob Korpel this was a game against his former team, as he led Centrals in its first two seasons in the big league in 2006 and 2007. Robur opened the score with two runs in the first inning. Helma Pluim led off with a single, then advanced to third base when an error was made on a grounder by next batter Lizzy Uytendaal. Another error enabled her to score the opening run. Lizzy later scored on a double by Pamela Huernink. But hereafter, Centrals-starter Jeanine van Ancum silenced Robur, as she retired nine of the next ten (the first seven in a row) batters, including four with a strikeout. Centrals also tied the score in the fourth inning. With two outs, Anne Blaauwgeers tripled, then scored on a double by Amber Dammers, which was followed by another RBI-double off the bat of Maaike van Aarle. Robur regained the lead by scoring two runs in the seventh inning. Lead-off hitter Morgan Sampson was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a wild pitch, but was then eliminated at the plate trying to score on a grounder by Valesca van den Boogerd, who herself was able to reach second base on the action. After Kiki Draaijer walked, the two then scored when Esther Riemsdijk singled and an outfield-error was added. Centrals got two runners on base with two outs in the eighth and had a runner on third base in the ninth, but was unable to add more runs.

Box Score Centrals vs. Robur '58

(March 21)


Former pitcher Nancy Evans to assist Craig Montvidas
Nederlands

...National Team Coaches...
...Nancy Evans and Craig Montvidas...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Former top pitcher Nancy Evans has been named Assistant Coach for the Dutch National Women Softball Team, the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association (KNSB) announced on Thursday. Nancy Evans will assist Craig Montvidas, who was named Head Coach of the national squad in December.

Nancy Evans can look back to an impressive career as pitcher for the Wild Cats, the softballteam of the University of Arizona. After finishing her pitching career, she became a Coach of the Wild Cats, assisting wellknown Mike Candrea, who in 2008 was the Head Coach of Team USA, which won the Silver Medal on the Olympic Games in Beijing (China).

As pitcher for the Wild Cats, Nancy Evans compiled more than impressive statistics and was decorated several times. In five seasons (1994-1998) pitching for the Wild Cats, she finished with 124 victories and only eight losses. Her won-loss percentage of .939 still is a NCAA-record. Besides that, she was also productive at bat (she also played at 2B, 3B, SS and DP), finishing in top-10 lists of several offensive categories for the University of Arizona. With the Wild Cats, she was a member of three championship teams during the College World Series, playing in 1994 and 1997, but missing 1996 due to an injury.

After tying her own single-season Arizona-record of 36-2 and finishing with an 0.98 ERA, three No-Hitters, 20 ShutOuts and 255 StrikeOuts in 241 innings, while batting .366 with 42 RBI's and seven homeruns in the 1998 season, Nancy Evans won the Honda Softball Award, which is one of the national awards handed out annually to the best collegiate women athletes in the nation. In her career, she was also named to the All-America First Team in two consecutive years (1997, 1998), All Pacific-10 team, College World Series All-Tournament Team and was named Most Outstanding Player during the CWS. In 2003, she was elected into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame. In 1997, she played in the American National Team. After concluding her career in Arizona in 1998, she went on to play the same year in Italy, where she participated in the European Cup Tournament. When she came back to the States, Nancy Evans played professionally for two years. From 1999 through 2007, Nancy Evans was the Assistant Coach for the University of Arizona, with whom she was affiliated for fifteen years.
(March 19)

More on the Official Site of the Dutch National Women Softball Team


Gryphons, Robur first teams to play two exhibition games
Nederlands
ROSMALEN / CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL /ALKMAAR (Neth.) - Gryphons and Robur '58 became the first softball-teams to have played two exhibition games this season. On Saturday, playing at home, Gryphons faced Terrasvogels and lost 7-5 in a 5-inning game, then on Tuesday it traveled to Euro Stars and won 5-4 in a 6-inning match-up. On Saturday, Robur '58 was the first to play two games in one day this season, as it faced First Divisionist Alcmaria Victrix in a double-header, but lost twice.

Gryphons made its debut last season in the highest league and finished in sixth place. The team will be led this year by new coach Mary-Ann Hatt, who was a member of the coachingstaff of the Dutch National Team the last four years. She is an experienced coach, who headed three big league-teams before, Twins (1998-1999), TYBB (2000) and Euro Stars (2003-2007).

Despite the cold and uncomfortable playing conditions, Gryphons and Terrasvogels got five innings in, then called the game. Despite hitting three homeruns, the team Rosmalen ended up short. It already faced a 3-0 deficit in the first at bat off starter Marjolein Merkx. For Terrasvogels, Nathalie Gosewehr led off with a walk, then Dana Horeman followed with a single. The first then scored on a sac-fly by Annemiek van Riessen, while the latter scored on a passed ball. With two outs, Femke Haage singled and went on to score on an error. Gryphons got one run back in its first when Yonina St. Jago hit an inside-the-park-homerun with one out off starter Shannah van der Kaaij. Terrasvogels then increased its lead to 5-1 by scoring runs in the second and third inning. In the second, Nathalie Gosewehr triple with two outs and scored when an error was made on a grounder by Dana Horeman. In the third, it was Femke Haage who tripled and scored on a single by Solange Starrenburg. But then, in the home of the third, Gryphons came alongside on two homeruns. With one out, Sandy Lauwers homered, then Yonina St. Jago singled and Claudia Kranendonk was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Iliandra Figaroa then hit a 3-run homerun to make it 5-5. Terrasvogels immediately reacted with two runs in the fourth inning off new pitcher Chantal Kradolfer. Again, Nathalie Gosewehr and Dana Horeman were involved in the scoring. Nathalie led off with a walk and Dana reached on an infield-hit, which also led to a runscoring single. A sac-fly by Italian national team player Christina Rolla (who made her debut) then led to the seventh Terrasvogels-run. Hereafter, Australian pitcher Aimee Murch closed the door and struckout four batters in the last two innings.

On Tuesday-evening, it was Gryphons that took an early lead by scoring two runs in both the first and second inning, all of Euro Stars' new American pitcher Kyla Sullivan. In the first, Sandy Lauwers led off with a single, then the bases got loaded when Claudia Kranendonk and Cherry Winklaar both singled with one out. A 2-out single by Britt Breure then gave Gryphons a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, Maartje van Dijk singled with one out and scored on a 2-out single by Yonina, who then scored on an error to make it 4-0. Euro Stars scored its first run in the second at bat when Mariëlle Vleugels reached on an error with one out and scored on a double by Davinia de Kwant. Gryphons added a run in the fourth inning off new pitcher Rebecca Antonissen, who walked lead-off batter Sandy Lauwers. Moments later, she scored on a single by Yonina St. Jago. In the last three innings of the game, Euro Stars came back to 5-4. In the fourth, Manon Schol singled and Shulaika Balentina walked. Manon then went on to score on a grounder by pinch-hitter Michelle van Driel and Shulaika crossed home plate on a single by Marsha-Ann Krul. In the sixth inning, Euro Stars scored its fourth run. With one out, Mariëlle Vleugels singled and scored on a 2-out single by Daisy Verstappen.

At Alkmaar, Alcmaria Victrix won 11-8 and 3-0 vs. Robur '58, which this season will make its comeback in the highest league. Robur is led this season by Rob Korpel, who last year headed Almere '90.
The team from Apeldoorn led three times in the opener, but failed to hold onto it. Robur scored two unearned runs in the first at bat. Lead-off hitter Helma Pluim, who reached on an error and advanced on a sac-bunt by Lizzy Uytendaal and a single by Pamela Huernink, scored the first run on a sac-fly by Morgan Sampson, then Pamela scored the second moments later on a single by Rosanne Vaessen. However, Alcmaria came alongside immediately in its first off starter Rosanne Vaessen. Suzanne Meiring (walk) and Jessie van Aalst (single) crossed home plate on a wild pitch and a sac-bunt by Anne Vlietstra. Robur re-took the lead in the second when Valesca van den Boogerd led off with a single and scored on a 2-out single by Maaike de Wolf, but again Alcmaria reacted right away. Annemiek de Wit and Laura Treurniet opened with back-to-back triple to tie the score, then the latter scored the go-ahead run on a grounder. This time, Robur tied the score and came ahead again in the fourth on RBI-singles by Lizzy Uytendaal and Pamela Huernink, but once more, Alcmaria answered in the home half of the at bat, this time scoring the tying run on a single by Suzanne Meiring. In the next inning, Alcmaria decided the outcome of the game with a 6-run rally to make it 11-5. Highlights in the rally were doubles by Maaiken Rooker and Lisette Untied and a triple by Sandra van der Flier. Robur was able to add three more runs in the sixth, hightlighted by an RBI-double by Maaike de Wolf.
In the second game, Robur '58 had only four hits in a 5-inning shutout-loss, including two by Helma Pluim. In the second inning, Kiki Draaijer led off with a triple, but was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch. In the fifth, Robur got the bases loaded with one out, but then a double play ended the at bat. Alcmaria scored twice in the first inning on a 2-out, 2-run double by Annemiek de Rover, then added a run in the fifth on a single by Jessie van Aalst.
(March 19)

Saturday's Line Scores & Box Scores (games Robur added)
Tuesday's Line Score & Box Scores


American pitcher for Euro Stars
Nederlands

...Kyla Sullivan...
(© Photo: WMU)
CAPELLE a/d IJSSEL (Neth.) - Dutch big league-team Euro Stars has added American pitcher Kyla Sullivan to its roster. The 22-year old righthander from California played four seasons for the Broncos, the softball-team of the Western Michigan University and already arrived in the Netherlands to play in her new team.

Before going to Michigan, Kyla Sullivan played four seasons at Saugus High School, won the regional championship title once with the Centurions and was named team MVP twice. In her last year at Saugus, Kyla was 21-4 with an 0.59 ERA.

In her first season in Michigan, she played in 37 games, started 27 as a pitcher and was 7-8 with 67 strikeouts. A year later, she threw in only ten games. In 2007, Kyla threw in 26 games, won 14 games, struckout 131 batters and had an 1.92 ERA. She closed her career in Michigan with another fine season, throwing in 25 games, winning 15 of them and striking out 128 and finished with an 1.97 ERA. In her last two seasons, she was named Pitcher of the Week four times and was selected for several regional All Star Teams. In her 4-year career in Michigan, she won 44 games, struckout 371 batters and threw 508 innings. In 2006, she participated in a combined No-Hitter. Besides pitching, Kyla also was used several times as a designated player or pinch-hitter.
(March 19)


Breaking News: Haarlem Softball Week canceled!
Nederlands
HAARLEM (Neth.) - There will no 11th edition of the Haarlem Softball Week this year! On Thursday, it was officially announced that the Organizing Committee of the event had to decide, with great regrets, to cancel the tournament, which was to be held June 23-28 and make a comeback on the international calender after a 10-year absence.


...Johan Kluijskens in...
...happier days after...
...announcing the comeback...
...of the 'Week'...
...in July 2008...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
In the press release, it was stated that several sponsors were interested in supporting the Haarlem Softball Week, resulting in a solid budget to work with. Since the first announcement of the comeback of the international tournament, invitations were send out to Japan, USA, Canada, Italy, China, Chinese Taipei, Venezuela, New Zealand and hosting country the Netherlands to send a national team. Of course, the Dutch National Team was to field a team, but until recently most teams had to inform the organisation that they were unable, mostly due to financial reasons, to send its national team to Haarlem. Upon request of some candidate-participants, including world champion USA, the organisation even moved the dates of the event from August to June and initially some teams had said they would come. But with only confirmations from the Netherlands and Olympic champion Japan, the Organizing Committee stated that this is no base for a Haarlem Softball Week, therefore announced it would terminate the organization of the event for this year.

The first Haarlem Softball Week was organized in 1980, then the next followed in 1983. From then on, every two years another edition followed with the last being staged in 1999. Two of the tournaments had a special status, as the 1993 event als was the Intercontinental Cup and the 1995 edition served as Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

,,I'm very disappointed',, Organisation Chairman Johan Kluijskens reacted. ,,I've never been in a tournament which was financially sound, but had to be canceled after all. Of course, I'm not a happy man right now. But we just couldn't go on. We had to take this decision. We've had several contacts, but teams just couldn't confirm. It was an excellent opportunity to promote the sport and therefore I'm also disappointed in some organisations.'' Will Kluijskens bring the event back in 2011? ''I'm not thinking of that right now, first we have to see in what kind of time we live in then, before we can talk about it.''

Dutch National Team Manager Craig Montvidas is very disappointed that the event was scrubbed. ,,First of all, it is very sad for the organisation, for all those people who have work so hard and put so much time in it the last half year to promote softball. Like the Haarlem Baseball Week and World Port Tournament, the Softball Week is an exciting happening with a great atmosphere and it was, after so many years, the right time to bring the event back. To show top-softball in the Netherlands with participation of top-countries, a good way to promote softball, especially to bring the sport back into the Olympic Games. For us, as a team, it's very unfortunate. For our players, it would have been a great opportunity to play against top teams in front of a home attendance and the first step for a new group in our preparations for the European Championships in July.''
(February 19)


Darwin Tolzin returns as Terrasvogels-coach

...Darwin Tolzin...
...Back in Santpoort...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Nederlands
SANTPOORT (Neth.) - Veteran softball-coach Darwin Tolzin will return this season to head the softball-team of Terrasvogels, the club announced on Thursday. The sympathetic and likable Tolzin earlier was the Head Coach of Terrasvogels in 2006 and 2007 and led the team to the Dutch championship title in 2007. After having led Terrasvogels to the Holland Series in his first year, Tolzin was named Coach of the Year. The Terrasvogels-board is excited that Darwin Tolzin returns this year. The American is expected to arrive somewhere around March 18 and will lead the team at least until halfway of the season. Tolzin succeeds New Zealander Glen Roff, who led the team in 2008

In 2007, Darwin Tolzin also served as Pitching Coach of the Dutch National Softball Team during the Challenge Series against Australia and the European Championships in Amsterdam (Netherlands), but had to resign afterwards as he had to return to the USA for personal reasons. In 2008, Tolzin, who has a long career in both playing and coaching in softball, joined the National Squad when it was in Illinois during its second American Tour as part of their preparations for the Olympic Games in Beijing. Tolzin assisted the coaching staff by throwing batting practice and during infield/outfield drills. The Tolzin-family also invited the entire team for a well-organized barbeque.
(February 19)

More on Darwin Tolzin on the site of the Dutch National Softball Team


New Head Coach & Player for Tex Town Tigers
Nederlands
ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - Dutch softball-champion Computer SOS Tex Town Tigers will be led by a new Head Coach in the coming season, which opens op Saturday, April 11. The team from Enschede also added a new player to its roster. On Tuesday-evening, it was confirmed by the club that Head Coach Monti VanBrunt has decided to coach European Cup-winner Legnano in Italy this year. VanBrunt will be succeeded by American coach Kaleo Eldredge, who will arrive in Enschede later this month. Tex Town Tigers also announced that it has added American player Krissi Oliver to its roster.


...Monti VanBrunt => Legnano...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Monti VanBrunt led Tex Town Tigers to the Dutch title in 2008 in his second season with the club. By winning 3-1 vs. Sparks Haarlem in the Holland Series, Tex Town Tigers became the first team from the east of the country to win the championship. VanBrunt initially was to come back again this season, but things changed when Legnano offered him the chance to coach in Italy. VanBrunt helped Tex Town Tigers to find a successor and assists during the current indoor practices, which are now temporarily being led by Ingrid Oosterveld, VanBrunt's Assistant Coach.


...Kaleo Eldredge...
...New Head Coach...
Succeeding VanBrunt is Kaleo Eldredge, who played professionally in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) for New York/New Jersey Juggernauts and Arizona Heat. 25-year old Kaleo Eldredge was born in Wailuku (Hawaii) and was named Most Valuable Player and Player of the Year during the Hawaii State Tournament in 2001, besides being selected to the All State Team in 2000 and 2001. Hereafter, she had an impressive career playing for the University of Califiornia at Berkeley (2002-2001), being named to the NFCA All-Pacific Region Team four times and the All-American Team once. In 2002, she batted .299, but then raised her average to .309 the next season, scoring 22 runs and having 30 RBI's. In 2004, she ended her career with the Bears in Berkeley, hitting .339 with seven homeruns, scoring 49 runs and collecting 32 Runs Batted In. At Berkeley, she helped the Bears qualify for the Women's College World Series four times. In 2002, Berkely won the national title.

After her college-career, Kaleo Eldredge professionally for the Juggernauts in the 2005 season, then played for the Heat in 2006. In 2005, she also was selected for the USA Elite Team, which then participated in the Canada Cup. The national team of the Netherlands also played in that event then, but the two teams didn't meet. In the 2006 College-season, Kaleo Eldredge was an Assistant Coach for the Thunderbirds, the team of Southern Utah University, then was the Assistant Coach in 2007-2008 for the Jennies, the team of the University of Central Missouri.


...Krissi Oliver...
...New Player...
New player Krissi Oliver is a former player of Louisiana Tech University, the same university where Lindsey Meadows played. In the last two seasons, Meadows was named Best Pitcher and MVP of the Dutch big league. Meadows returns as pitcher and since Oliver also is a pitcher, she is not eligible to pitch in the Dutch league this season and therefore will be used as an Outfielder. Last season, she played frequently in rightfield for the Techsters, batting .257 with seven homeruns, 29 RBI's and 20 runs scored, while stealing nine bases. The 21-year old Oliver was a two-time All-Region playing for Ironweed High School in Arizona, then went to play for Louisiana Tech in 2006, becoming the number one pitcher of the team, winning eleven games. In 2007, she won 17 games and lost 27 in 48 appearances, then added a 18-15 record in the 2008 season, with a 2.36 ERA and 110 strikeouts in 211 innings.

On the other hand, it was reported that four foreign-born players will not be with the team this season. German Breedge Quinn is still injured, while fellow German Christina Müller-Höcker is not available due to study in California (USA). Swedish player Emilie Palmcrantz has commitments to work and study and Katrina Stockford has been added to the selection to the national team of New Zealand. In August, Tex Town Tigers participates in the European Cup Tournament in Legnano (Italy) and then will meet its former coach there.
(February 17)


André van Overbeek elected ESF-President
Nederlands

...André van Overbeek...
...E