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Updated: April 15, 2019
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Copyright © 1997-2019
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2019 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Robert Bos)

Misja Harcksen throws third PERFECT GAME in history

ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Curaçao Neptunus shutout Twins Oosterhout 4-0 on Sunday-afternoon (April 14) to stay unbeaten in six games since the start of the new season.

...Misja Harcksen threw the third Perfect Game in history...
(© Photo: Robert Bos)
But it was pitcher Misja Harcksen who wrote baseball-history in Rotterdam. The Neptunus-righthander didn't allow a batter of Twins to reach base and with that, he threw the third Perfect Game in Dutch baseball-history in the highest division.

Overall, this was the 49th No-Hitter in history since the first one was recorded in 1948. It was the tenth No-Hitter in the club-history of Neptunus.

Harcksen, who turns 24 coming Friday, threw only 97 pitches in his unique 9-inning accomplishment against Twins, the club for whom he played last season. He struckout ten batters, the tenth being the final out of the game.

In 1989, lefthander Craig McGinnis, who then pitched for Haarlem Nicols, threw the first-ever Perfect Game in the highest Dutch baseball-league. In 1997, righthander Eelco Jansen became the second pitcher (and first Dutchman) to threw a Perfect Game when he played for Kinheim.

The last Neptunus-pitcher to throw a No-Hitter was Orlando Yntema, who did it on May 7, 2016 in a 7-inning game against Hoofddorp Pioniers. Yntema also threw the last 9-inning No-Hitter for Neptunus on July 30, 2015 against UVV in Vleuten.

The last 9-inning No-Hitter was thrown on July 9, 2016 by Chris Pfau, who then pitched for Hoofddorp Pioniers against HCAW, which is his current club.

With today's win, Neptunus completed its second sweep. In the opener on Thursday, Neptunus faced an early defit, but then rallied in the third at bat to win 8-4. On Saturday, Neptunus trailed 1-0 after seven innings, then rallied after a pitching change and went on to record a comfortable 10-1 win.

(April 14)

Schedule, Standings & Scores

Misja Harcksen retired all 27 batters he faced today, ten of them with a strikeout to write baseball-history. But he had to wait until the sixth inning not only whether his Perfect Game, No-Hitter and ShutOut would remain intact, but also whether he would become the winning pitcher.

Neptunus also was silenced by Twins-starter Jan Evertse, who had a fine outing. He didn't struckout a batter, but the righthander gave up only one basehit in the first four innings and held Neptunus scoreles in the first five. With one out in the first inning, Evertse walked Benjamin Dille, but the Twins-defense then turned a double play. With two outs in the third, he walked Jochem Koedijk. Shortly thereafter, Koedijk was caught stealing after overrunning second base on a high throw. Short stop Jerzy van Gool made a nice play, leaped up, caught the ball and tagged out Koedijk.

And so, both starting pitchers only faced nine batters in the first three innings.

In the bottom of the fourth, Neptunus recorded its first basehit when Stijn van der Meer led off with a single. He advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Benjamin Dille, but stranded on second base.

In the fifth, Quintin De Cuba singled with one out, but Twins again turned a double play.

In the bottom of the sixth, Neptunus finally was able to open the score to support Harcksen with some runs. With two outs, Stijn van der Meer singled, stole second base and scored on a single by Benjamin Dille. After the latter also had stolen second base, he scored on a double by Dwayne Kemp.

...Misja Harcksen looks on from the dug-out in the 6th inning...
(© Photo: Robert Bos)
Neptunus added a run in the seventh. Dudley Leonora led off with a single, which ended the day for Jan Evertse, who was relieved by Marvin Brown. Leonora stole second base, then was unable to advance on a single by Quintin De Cuba. With one out, De Cuba was forced out on a grounder by Gregory Muller. That brought Leonora to third base and he scored when Jochem Koedijk followed with a single.

Neptunus made it a 4-0 score in the bottom of the eighth. Benjamin Dille led off with a single and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Dudley Leonora.

As mentioned, Misja Harcksen struckout ten batters, including the final two of the game. Only six times, the ball was hit into the outfield, two of them being caught in foul territory. Eleven times, a batter was retired on a grounder in the infield. Two of these grounders came on a bunt in attempt to break up the Perfect Game. In the fourth, Brian Biezen led off with a bunt and in the sixth Nick Peels did the same. Both times, Harcksen himself fielded the ball and eliminated the batters at first base.

There were three moments in the game that were important.

In the top of the first inning, leftfielder Jochem Koedijk made a nice sliding catch in foul territory in the leftfield bullpen on a hit by Jamie Verheyleweghen for the second out.

In the top of the sixth, with two outs, Tijmen Peters (who made his debut) hit the ball into foul territory in rightfield. There, rightfielder Gregory Muller ran towards the fence down the rightfield-line and near the bullpen. The American caught the ball, but as he ran at full force, he collapsed over the fence. On the other side of the fence, he got up and showed the ball!

And in the top of the ninth, Nick Peels led off with a grounder to second baseman Benjamin Dille, who made a nice play and got the ball in time to first baseman Dudley Leonora. Hereafter, Harksen struckout the next two batters and wrote baseball-history.

...Left: Umpires Henri van Heijningen, Rob Has and Stenar van Groningen Schinkel enter the field...
...and are welcomed by Neptunus Pitching Coach Elton Koeiman...
...Right: Head Coaches Ronald Jaarsma (Neptunus) and Jeffrey Arends (Twins)...
...hand their starting line-ups to Home Plate Umpire Stenar van Groningen Schinkel...

...Left: Misja Harcksen walks to the mound to begin the first inning of what will be a historic outing...
...Right: Leftfielder Jochem Koedijk makes a sliding catch in foul territory in the 1st inning...

...Left: Jan Evertse started for Twins Oosterhout and had a fine outing on the mound...
...Right: Benjamin Dille with fellow Belgian Jamie Verheyleweghen in the 1st inning with Umpire Henri van Heijningen looking on...

...Left: Debuting 2B Tijmen Peters turns a double play for Twins in the 1st inning...
...Right: Misja Harcksen en route to his Perfect Game...

...Left: 1B Dudley Leonora makes a nice play on a throw in the ground from SS Stijn van der Meer... retire Stijn Janssens in the 2nd inning...
...Right: While the conditions were better than the day before, Gianison Boekhoudt shows that it was still cold...

...Short stop Jerzy van Gool leaps to catch a high throw, then eliminates runner Jochem Koedijk in the 3rd inning...

...Rightfielder Gregory Muller makes a great running catch in foul territory in the 6th inning...

...After making the catch, Gregory Muller tumbles over the fence...

...Left: Stijn van der Meer steals 2nd base and slides past short stop Jerzy van Gool in the 6th inning...
...Right: Dwayne Kemp hits a runscoring double in the 6th inning...

...Left: Marvin Brown took over the pitching for Twins Oosterhout in the 7th inning...
...Right: Benjamin Dille leads off with a single in the 8th inning...

...Dudley Leonora hits a sacrifice fly in the 8th inning...

...Left: Nick Peels is eliminated at 1st base by Dudley Leonora in the 9th inning, as seen by 1B Umpire Henri van Heijningen...
...Right: Shurman Marlin swings at one of the last pitches from Misja Harcksen...

...Misja Harcksen throws his last pitch (left), then celebrates his Perfect Game...

...The players of Neptunus celebrate the historic Perfect Game of Misja Harcksen...

...The players of Neptunus celebrate the historic Perfect Game of Misja Harcksen...
(© All Photos: Robert Bos)

Curaçao Neptunus - Twins Oosterhout 4-0
Twins Oosterhout000000000-000
Curaçao Neptunus00000211X-4100
pitchers Twinsinn.SOBBHRER
Jan Evertse, L (0-2)6-2633

Marvin Brown2--411

pitcher Neptunusinn.SOBBHRER
Misja Harcksen, W (1-0)910----
(Misja Harcksen throws a Perfect Game)
Box Score
Team Rosters
HP-Stenar van Groningen Schinkel, 1B-Henri van Heijningen, 3B-Rob Has.
Official Scorer-Sten Wessel.
Play-by-Play Scorer-Stefan Slinger.
Public Address Announcer-Hélène van Eijk-Kloos.
Scoreboard Operator-Lex Looijen.
Starting Time-2:00 PM.
Time Played-2:03 hrs.
Site-Neptunus Familiestadion, Sportpark Abraham van Stolkweg, Rotterdam.

Game Notes:
Tijmen Peters (Twins) makes his debut in the Dutch big league.
Misja Harcksen (Neptunus) throws the third Perfect Game in Dutch big league-history.
Misja Harcksen (Neptunus) throws the 49th No-Hitter in Dutch big league-history.
Misja Harcksen (Neptunus) throws the first Perfect Game in the club-history of Neptunus.
Misja Harcksen (Neptunus) throws the 10th No-Hitter in the club-history of Neptunus.
Weather conditions at game time: Partly cloudy, 8,5° C (47,3° F); wind direction east-northeast;
wind speed 23 kmh (14,3 mph); wind force 3 Bft; humidity 61%.

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