HCAW, Sparta-Feyenoord start Play-Downs with win
BUSSUM / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) -
Mr. Cocker HCAW and Sparta-Feyenoord, who finished in fifth and sixth place respectively, started their journey to securing their big league-spot on Thursday-evening with a victory, but they were narrow wins.
HCAW defeated Almere Magpies (which finished in eighth place) 3-1, while Sparta-Feyenoord won vs. ADO (seventh), 2-1.
Joey Eijpe threw a No-Hitter for HCAW!
The team that wins the best-of-five remains in the big league, while the two losing teams will meet each other in another best-of-five series.
The winner of that series also secures a spot on the highest level for next season.
The losing team has to go through another best-of-five series, meeting the champion of the First Division.
The winner of that series will play in the big league, the losing team in the First Division.
HCAW vs. Almere Magpies
At Bussum, HCAW needed only one inning to score the runs they need for the victory.
In the third at bat, the Bussum-team scored three runs and went on to hold onto the lead, while Almere scored only one run in the fourth.
After two scoreless innings, in which HCAW stranded two runners in the second inning, HCAW rallied for three runs in the third.
With one out, Adrian Anthony walked, then Michael Pluijmers singled.
Next, Venezuelan Wuillians Martin Vasquez homered to give HCAW a 3-0 lead.
Hereafter, Bart Gabriels singled, but stranded on third base.
In the remaining five at bat, HCAW added only two more basehits off starter Dennis Burgersdijk, which both came in the seventh.
Former HCAW-pitcher Joep de Wit closed the game for Almere.
Joey Eijpe went the distance for HCAW and did a great job.
The lefthander struckout eleven batters and gave up no basehits.
The lone run Eijpe gave up came in the fourth inning.
He then walked lead-off hitter DaniŽl Zijderveld, who stole second base.
Next, Jason Orman also walked and both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Giovanni Samboe.
The bases got loaded when Churandy La Cruz was awarded first base on catcher's interference.
Zijderveld then scored Almere's lone run on a grounder by Ferd van Stekelenburg, but Almere left two runners behind as Burgersdijk struckout the next batter to end the inning.
Starting with Van Stekelenburg's grounder, Burgersdijk retired the last 17 batters he faced to complete his No-Hitter.
Sparta-Feyenoord vs. ADO
At Rotterdam, starting pitchers Rudy Seebus (Sparta-Feyenoord) and Bobby Carrington (ADO) kept each other in balance for seven innings, but it was Sparta-Feyenoord that left the field as the winners.
After both teams stranded some runners in the first three at bats, the home team opened the score in the fourth inning.
With one out, Imco Rudolph walked and advanced to third base on a failed pick-off by pitcher Carrington.
Next, Berry van Donselaar also walked, then Nick Eppinga grounded to second base to bring in Rudolph and give Sparta-Feyenoord an 1-0 lead.
ADO came alongside immediately in the fifth inning.
With one out, Jeroen Stentler singled and with two outs (and after Stentler had stolen second base), Frans Richardson walked.
A single by Allan Milliard was then followed by an outfield-error, enabling Stentler to tie the score.
After ADO stranded two runners in the top of the sixth inning, Sparta-Feyenoord re-took the lead in the home half of the at bat.
Ramiro Balentina led off with a walk, then stole second base and advanced to third on a throwing error.
A strikeout and groundout followed, but then (pitcher) Berry van Donselaar singled to make it 2-1.
ADO came close to tying the score again in the eighth inning.
Berti Richardson led off with a single and advanced on a grounder.
The bases then got loaded when Michel Korzeniewski also singled and Koen Meershoek walked.
But then, Rudy Seebus struckout pinch-hitter Anthony Vrolijk and ended the inning when Jeroen Stentler grounded into a force out.
In the ninth inning, Sander Klop took over for Seebus after he gave up a lead-off single and ended the game by striking out the next three batters.