ADO secures big league-spot; Almere in relegation Play-Off
ALMERE (Neth.) -
ADO won 3-2 on Saturday-evening vs. Almere Magpies to win the best-of-five Play-Down final 3-1.
With this, ADO secured its spot in next years big league, while Almere has to play in a best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Play-Off against First Division-champion UVV from Utrecht.
Almere opens this series next Thursday-evening at home.
Last year, Almere promoted to the big league after winning the Promotion Series vs. MediaMonks RCH.
ADO took an one-run lead twice, but both times failed to hold onto it.
But when it took the lead for the third time, that run proved to be enough.
ADO opened the score in the first inning. Berti Richardson led off the game with a double off starting pitcher Sten van de Bedem and advanced to third on a grounder by next batter Anthony Vrolijk. Richardson then scored the first run on a double by veteran Gino Henson, who himself stranded at second base, as a strikeout and groundout followed.
Almere also got its first batter on base, as Wesley Bernardus was walked by pitcher Bobby Carrington. However, Bernardus was caught stealing in a double play while next batter DaniŽl Zijderveld struckout in a double play. A grounder then ended the at bat.
Almere came alongside in the fourth inning. With one out, Jason Orman singled and stole second base, but then was thrown out at the plate when he tried to score on a single by Giovanni Samboe, who himself ended up on second base advancing on the throw to home. Next, Churandy La Cruz reached on a throwing error, which enabled Samboe to score the tying run.
After stranding two runners in the second and third inning, ADO reached base again in the fourth when Remco Seitzinger led off with a walk. Hereafter, Sten van de Bedem was relieved by Joep de Wit, who retired the next three batters in a row. But in the fifth inning, ADO re-took the lead. Again, Berti Richardson led off with a double and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Anthony Vrolijk. Richardson then scored again thank to Gino Henson, who this time hit a sacrifice fly.
In the home of the fifth, Almere tied the score again, but failed to take the lead. Bobby Carrington retired the first two batters by making an assist himself on two grounders, but then ran into problems. The American gave up singles to Wesley Bernardus and DaniŽl Zijderveld to put runners on first and third base. Again, it was an error that gave Almere its run, as Jason Orman reached on a throwing error, which gave Bernardus the chance to score. With runners on second and third base, the bases were loaded when Carrington walked Giovanni Samboe intentionally, but Almere then left the bases loaded as next hitter Churandy La Cruz popped out.
In the sixth, ADO took the lead for the third time, but also left three runners behind. With one out, Michel Korzeniewski and Remco Seitzinger walked. Next, Ludwin Obispo reached on a fielder's choice, as Seiztinger was safe on second base after a throwing error to load the bases. A flyout followed, but then Berti Richardson walked to bring in the go-ahead run. Ewout Bos was then brought in as new pitcher with the bases loaded and got out of the inning when he struckout Anthony Vrolijk.
In the home of the sixth, Ferd van Stekelenburg led off with a double for Almere, but then three outs followed.
Both teams got more scoring opportunities in the next at bats. Almere stranded two runners in the seventh, then ADO hit two doubles in the eighth, but didn't score. With one out, Remco Seitzinger doubled, but was thrown out at third base when he tried to stretch it into a triple. Next, Ludwin Obispo also doubled, but then a strikeout ended the inning.
In the home of the eighth, Almere got its lead-off hitter on base for the third inning in a row when Ferd van Stekelenburg walked and was replaced by pinch-runner Brendan Nijhoff. Bobby Carrington was then relieved by Jurrian Koks, who saw Nijhoff advance on a sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter JaÔr Roseburg and followed with a strikeout and flyout.
In the top of the ninth inning, Scott Ronnenbergh became the new pitcher for Almere and retired the side, then saw his teammates almost turn the game around in Almere's favor in the home of the ninth.
With one out, DaniŽl Zijderveld singled, then a throwing error was made on a force play-grounder by Jason Orman to put runners on second and third base.
Next batter Giovanni Samboe was then walked intentionally to load the bases and set up a force play.
With the bases loaded and only one out, a squeeze play failed, as hitter Churandy La Cruz missed the ball, resulting in runner Zijderveld being tagged out by the catcher.
Hereafter, La Cruz struckout, ending the game.