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Updated: September 16, 2010
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Copyright © 1997-2010
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2010 by Marco Stoovelaar

Almere slams to victory
ALMERE (Neth.) - Almere Magpies started the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Play-Offs vs. First Division-champion UVV on Thursday-evening with a 4-1 victory. Almere needed only one hit to decide the game and that came right away in the first inning. And the hit they needed was a big one, as Juriėn Overman hit a grand slam homerun to give Almere a quick 4-0 lead.

UVV finished the season seven points ahead of RCH-Pinguļns, which last season relegated from the big league and closed the first half of the season in fifth place. UVV was a strong contender for the First Division-title right from the beginning, closing the first half of the season with a 20-2 record, finishing 10 points ahead of Tex Town Tigers, PSV and DSS, who all ended in a tie for second place. The team from Utrecht was strenghtened in the off-season by adding three former big league-players, including Cuban powerhitter Fausto Įlvarez Rizo, who made fame playing in his four seasons for Amsterdan Pirates, where he his 24 homeruns and had 127 RBI's. The others are Glenn Romney, who last season played for Konica Minolta Pioniers and Jeroen Hermans, who played in the big league for Amsterdam Pirates and Sparta-Feyenoord and the last three seasons played for First Divisionist Euro Stars.

Almere was held to only three basehits by starting pitcher Cameron Wheeler (who struckout seven batters) in seven innings and was held hitless in the eighth by Sedley Karel. UVV registered six basehits off three pitchers.

Almere decided the game in the first inning when it hit two of their basehits. Wesley Bernardus led off with a walk, then Giovanni Samboe singled with one out and Jason Orman also walked to load the bases. Next, Juriėn Overman hit his grand slam homerun to make it 4-0. Hereafter, Cameron Wheeler followed with two strikeouts and gave up a 2-out single to Wesley Bernardus in the second inning. But from that moment on, the American dominated and retired the next 16 batters in a row. In the eighth, he started by walking Siegert Flaneur and was relieved by Sedley Karel. Flaneur advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Wesley Bernardus, but was left at second base as two more outs followed.

With one in the first inning, Almere-starter Dennis Burgersdijk saw a batter reach base, but then Glenn Romney grounded into a double play. In the second inning, Jeroen Hermans led off with a double, then Fausto Įlvarez Rizo walked, but then three grounders followed to end the inning. In the fifth inning, UVV got one run back. Norbert Jongerius led off with a single and moved on a sacrifice bunt by Jeff Delfina. After next batter Maarten de Wilde was hit by a pitch, Joep de Wit was brought in to relief Dennis Burgersdijk. De Wit was greeted with an RBI-double by Jirka Bliek, but De Wilde, who also tried to score, was thrown out at the plate. De Wit then ended the inning by striking out Romney. In the sixth and seventh inning, UVV got runners on base again, but left one in both at bats.

In the eighth, Scott Ronnenbergh took over the pitching for Almere, but started by hitting lead-off hitter Glenn Romney with a pitch. The lefthander was then supported with a double play and struckout Fausto Įlvarez Rizo. In the ninth, Ronnenbergh retired the side to earn a save.

(September 16)

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