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Updated: October 15, 2010
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2010 by Marco Stoovelaar

Roster Dutch Team announced for Intercontinental Cup
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - The 24-man roster of the Dutch National Baseball Team for the upcoming Intercontinental Cup has finally been released, only one day before the team leaves for Taiwan. The reason for the delay of the announcement is that there were some question marks regarding injuries or availability of players, who were considered for the national team.

The 17th Intercontinental Cup-tournament will be held October 23-31 in Taichung and Yuliun County in Taiwan. The Dutch Team opens the event on Saturday, October 23 vs. Italy, which won the European championship this summer in Germany.

Nine players on the 24-man roster this season played for Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus.

Two players will make their debut in the national squad: RHP Orlando Yntema and C Shawn Zarraga. Yntema (24), has played four seasons professionally in the Minor Leagues. This season, he played for Catania Warriors in the Italian Baseball League. Yntema is the son of a Dutch father (from the province of Friesland) and a Dominican mother. Zarraga (21) is a catcher of Antillian origin, who is playing in the Milwaukee Brewers-organisation. This season, the catcher played for the Brevard County Manatees (Single-A).

Eight players who were on the roster for this years Haarlem Baseball Week, as well as the following European Championship in Germany are no members of the Intercontinental-squad, being RHP Dave Draijer, LHP Gregory Gustina, RHP Michiel van Kampen, C Bas Nooij, IF Michael Duursma, IF Jeroen Sluijter, OF, Bas de Jong and OF Dirk van 't Klooster. Van Kampen and Sluijter retired after the season and were no more available for the national squad.

Three other players, who were with the team during the Haarlem Baseball Week, but not on the EC-roster, are also not returning: LHP Nick Veltkamp, IF René Cremer and 1B Randall Simon. The latter was added to the team in the last weekend of the te event in Haarlem.

16 players, who did participate in both the Baseball Week as well as the EC are also on the IC-roster: RHP Asjes, RHP Bergman, RHP Boyd, RHP Cordemans, RHP Van Driel, RHP Heijstek, LHP Markwell, C Halman, C De Jong, IF Kemp, IF Legito, IF Rooi, OF Daantji, OF Engelhardt, OF Kingsale and OF Rombley. RHP Nick Stuifbergen only was a member of the team that played in Haarlem.

Amongst the seven remaining players on the IC-roster are six active professionals: RHP Dennis Neuman, RHP Tom Stuifbergen, C Shawn Zarraga, IF Mariekson Gregorius, IF Sharlon Schoop and IF Curt Smith. The seventh player is RHP Orlando Yntema, who is playing in Italy. Neuman, Stuifbergen, Gregorius, Schoop and Smith all played for the Dutch squad before, participating in the European Baseball Series and World Championship, both in 2009. Neuman, Schoop and Smith also participated in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

...Mariekson Gregorius...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Mariekson Gregorius was born in Amsterdam (Netherlands) and is the son of former Dutch big league-pitcher Didi Gregorius (Amsterdam Pirates). The infielder is playing professionally since 2008 in the organisation of the Cincinnati Reds. This season, he played for the Dayton Dragons (single-A), where he hit .273 (137-for-501) in 120 games, scoring 65 runs and having 51 RB's. He also played in seven games for the Lynchburg Hillcats (single-A advanced), hitting .240 (6-for-25).

...Sharlon Schoop...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Curt Smith...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Sharlon Schoop plays in the San Francisco Giants-organisation since 2005 and has played in Rookie League, Single-A and Double-A. This year, he played in 26 games for the Augusta Greenjackets (single-A), hitting .281 (25-for-89), scoring 10 runs and having 9 RBI's. He then played in 52 games for the Richmond Flying Squirrels (double-A), scoring 19 runs, having 25 RBI's and hitting .273 (50-for-183).

Curt Smith is playing since 2008 in the organisation of the St. Louis Cardinals. This season, he played for the Springfield Cardinals (double-A), hitting .279 (89-for-319), scoring 39 runs and having 46 RBI's, while hitting nine homeruns.

...Dennis Neuman...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

...Tom Stuifbergen...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Dennis Neuman is playing the minors for the Boston Red Sox since 2007. This season, he pitched for the Greenville Drive (single-A), where he was the closer, finishing 39 of the 43 games he pitched. Neuman earned 14 saves, was 0-3 and struckout 65 batters in 64 innings, while walking only 20 and gave up 54 hits.

Tom Stuifbergen played in the Dutch big league for Amsterdam Pirates in 2005-2006, before making his professional debut in 2007 in the organisation of the Minnesota Twins. This season, he pitched for the Beloit Snappers (single-A), where he was 6-4 and started 17 of the 19 games he pitched. Stuifbergen struckout 88 batters in 93 2/3 inning, walked only 23 and gave up 99 hits for a 2.98 ERA.

...Orlando Yntema...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Shawn Zarraga, who was born in Lake Forth (Florida), is playing in the organisation of the Milwaukee Brewers since 2008. This year, he played for the Brevard County Manatees (single-A), playing in 74 games and hitting .281 (70-for-249), scoring 31 runs and having 28 RBI's with three homeruns.

Orlando Yntema, who was born in the Dominican Republic, played professionally in four Minor League-seasons (2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009) (and missed two others due to an injury) in the organisation of the San Francisco Giants, varying from Rookie League through Single-A. In 2006, he was a teammate of Sharlon Schoop in the Rookie League-team of the Giants.

The Dutch Team will play in Pool B of the event together with Italy, Japan, Nicaragua and Thailand. Playing in Pool A are Cuba, Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Korea and host Taiwan.

The Dutch Team opens the event on Saturday, October 23 vs. Italy at Douliu. The next day, the team will meet Nicaragua, then has the day off on the 25th. On October 26, the Dutch are playing against Japan, then will close the preliminary round a day later vs. Thailand. The last two games will be played in Taichung. The top-3 of both pools will advance to the final round, the remaining teams will play in a consolation round. These rounds start on October 28.

Manager Jim Stoeckel, Bullpen Coach Tjerk Smeets and Pitchers Tom Stuifbergen and Orlando Yntema will leave today (Friday, October 15) for Taiwan, the rest of the team will fly on Saturday, while some of the professional players will fly directly from the USA, Curaçao or Aruba to Taiwan, as is Coach Ben Thijssen.

It marks the sixth time that a Dutch Team participates in an Intercontinental Cup Tournament. The Dutch first took part when the event was held in Antwerp (Belgium) in 1983. Hereafter, the Dutch Team participated in 1995 (Cuba), 1999 (Australia), 2002 (Cuba) and 2006 (Taiwan). The first Intercontinental Cup was held in 1973 in Italy.

Before the tournament, the Dutch Team will play three exhibition games in Taipei. On October 18, 19 and 20, the Orange will meet Japan, Taiwan and Cuba respectively.

During the last Intercontinental Cup, which was held in 2006 and also in Taiwan, the Dutch Team, then led by Manager Robert Eenhoorn, reached the final and lost 6-3 to Cuba in eleven innings.


Pitchers (11):
Arshwin Asjes (Konica Minolta Pioniers), David Bergman, Nick Stuifbergen (both Corendon Kinheim), Leon Boyd, Berry van Driel, Kevin Heijstek, Diegomar Markwell (all DOOR Neptunus), Rob Cordemans (L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Dennis Neuman (Boston Red Sox-org., USA), Tom Stuifbergen (Minnesota Twins-org., USA) and Orlando Yntema (Catania Warriors, Italy).

Catchers (3):
Jason Halman (Corendon Kinheim), Sidney de Jong (L&D Amsterdam Pirates) and Shawn Zarraga (Milwaukee Brewers-org., USA).

Infielders (6):
Mariekson Gregorius (Cincinnati Reds-org., USA), Dwayne Kemp, Raily Legito (both DOOR Neptunus), Vince Rooi (L&D Amsterdam Pirates), Sharlon Schoop (San Francisco Giants-org., USA) and Curt Smith (St. Louis Cardinals-org., USA).

Outfielders (4):
Shaldimar Daantji, Eugène Kingsale, Danny Rombley (all DOOR Neptunus) and Bryan Engelhardt (Corendon Kinheim).

Jim Stoeckel (manager / 3B coach), Ben Thijssen (bench coach), Wim Martinus (1B coach / hitting coach), Steve Janssen (pitching coach), Tjerk Smeets (bullpen coach), Martijn van Berkel (physical therapist) and Ton Meiresonne (equipment manager).

(October 15)

...Manager Jim Stoeckel oversees the activities during one of the last practice sessions in Amsterdam...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

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