(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
Neptunus wins big in first game in France
ROUEN (France) -
Curaçao Neptunus recorded a big 12-2 victory on Friday-evening (March 22) in its first of three 7-inning games against and at Rouen Huskies in France.
The teams will play another game on Saturday-afternoon (3 PM), then concluded the Series on Sunday-morning (11 AM).
All games will be played at Stade St. Exupéry at Terrain Pierre-Rolland, the home site of Huskies in Rouen.
Neptunus left Rotterdam early on Friday-morning.
The team started its journey to the historical French city of Rouen at 8 AM, then arrived early in the aftenoon.
The three games is a Series between two champions.
Last year, Neptunus captured its sixth Dutch Championship-title in a row, while Rouen was crowned as Champion of France for the fourth consecutive time and 14th time overall.
The teams also met last year during the European Champions Cup-tournament, which was organized in Rotterdam and Capelle a/d IJssel.
During the event, Rouen surprised with a convincing 8-1 win against Dutch runner-up L&D Amsterdam Pirates and advanced to the Final Round.
In the Semi-Final, Rouen was shutout 4-0 by Neptunus, which went on to win the Champions Cup by winning 5-0 against Pirati dei Rimini (Italy) in the Final.
Rouen finished in fourth place after being shutout 8-0 by UnipolSai Fortitudo Bologna (Italy).
Rouen has several experienced players on its roster and is coached by Keino Perez, who in 2001, 2002 and 2003 pitched in the Dutch big league for Almere '90.
The 39-year old Venezuelan-born righthander still pitches himself besides leading the team as its Head Coach.
On Friday-evening, the game started at 5 PM, Neptunus Manager Ronald Jaarsma named Brendan Schoemaker as his starting pitcher.
The righthander threw four innings.
He was succeeded on the mound by veteran Elton Koeiman, who pitched one inning.
Kevin Kelly closed the game by throwing the final two innings.
Gianison Boekhoudt homered for Neptunus in the game, which was played under very acceptable weather conditions.
When the game went underway, it was sunny and 18 degrees (64,4 F) with a mild wind.
On Saturday-morning, the players and coaches of both teams will conduct a clinic for youth-players on the site of Huskies.
The teams then will play their second game in the afternoon.
Last year, Neptunus played a series of games in Brno (Czech Republic) during its preparations for the new season.
Neptunus opens the season on April 4 at home against HCAW.
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