Neptunus opens season with shutout-win
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) -
Game One of the 2011 season started at 7:48 PM on Thursday, April 7, which became the earliest date ever for an evening game in Dutch big league history.
The previous earliest evening game was on Tuesday, April 12, 2005 when three make-up games were played.
April 7 is not the earliest Opening Day, as the 2003 season opened on Saturday, April 5.
In the first game of the new season, Dutch champion DOOR Neptunus and L&D Amsterdam Pirates met in a replay of last years Holland Series-finalists.
The two teams play a 3-game series in advance to make room in June when both teams participate in the European Cup Tournaments.
On Thursday, April 14, the other six teams will open their new season.
Game 2 will be played next Saturday in Amsterdam, Game 3 follows on Sunday in Rotterdam.
Neptunus and Amsterdam opened the season frequently against each other in the last ten seasons, most recently in a single game on Sunday, April 15, 2007.
In that season, teams met different opponents on Saturday and Sunday, as there was an uneven total of teams that year (nine).
The 2011 opener was a pitching duel between veterans Diegomar Markwell (Neptunus) and Rob Cordemans (Amsterdam), who held each other in balance for six/seven innings.
Cordemans struckout 10 batters and gave up only three hits in the six innings he threw, while Markwell struckout nine and allowed two basehits in the seven innings he was on the mound.
LHP Diegomar Markwell
RHP Rob Cordemans
|...Pitching Duel - Veterans combine on 19 strikeouts...|
(© Photos: Henk Seppen)
Neptunus opened the score in the first inning.
With one out, Benjamin Dille doubled into leftfield, then Raily Legito walked and Jeffrey Arends followed with a single to bring in the first run.
That was the lone scoring opportunity for Neptunus, as Cordemans struckout the next two batters and allowed only one more player to reach base in the next five at bats.
After allowing the single to Arends, the righthander retired 17 of the next 18 batters he faced.
The lone player to reach base in that period was Shaldimar Daantji, who singled with two outs in the second ining, before the next 13 batters were retired in order.
Did Neptunus reach base four times in the first two innings, Amsterdam reached base five times in the first seven innings.
Sidney de Jong and Bas Nooij walked respectively in the first and second inning, but both stranded on first base.
In the third, Wesley Connor singled with one out and was awarded second base on a balk, but was left there.
In the fifth, Roelie Henrique doubled with two outs, but also didn't go beyond second base.
In the seventh, Kenny Berkenbosch walked with one out and was replaced by pinch-runner Tim Vermeij, who made his big league-debut.
But moments later, the rookie could return to the dug-out, as he was picked off by the experienced lefthander Markwell.
Amsterdam came close to the tying run (and more) in the eighth inning off relievers Berry van Driel and Arshwin Asjes.
Van Driel took over for Markwell and started with two grounders, but then gave up a single to Wesley Connor (who then stole second) and walked Vince Rooi.
Van Driel was quickly replaced by closer Arshwin Asjes, but he loaded the bases by walking Sidney de Jong.
The inning then ended when next hitter Percy Isenia grounded into a force play.
After this threat by the Amsterdam-squad, Neptunus reacted by adding an insurance run in the eighth inning off Frank van Heijst, who had replaced Cordemans the inning before.
With one out, Shaldimar Daantji singled and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Eugène Kingsale.
Next, Benjamin Dille, who had scored the first run in the first inning, hit his second double in the game to bring in the speedy Daantji and make it 2-0.
In the ninth inning, Asjes retired the side, including two strikeouts, to earn his first save in a Neptunus-uniform.
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