Amsterdam wins home opener
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) -
L&D Amsterdam Pirates won its season's home opener vs. DOOR Neptunus on Saturday 3-2, thanks to a basesloaded, walk-off single by Roelie Henrique with one out in the ninth inning.
Last Thursday, the opener at Rotterdam ended in a 2-0 win for Neptunus.
On Sunday, the two teams will meet for the third time in this series, with righthanders Ben Grover (Amsterdam) and Kevin van Veen (Neptunus) being the starting pitchers.
Amsterdam took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, but Neptunus got one run back in the fifth.
When Amsterdam got the bases loaded with no outs in the home of the fifth and didn't score that appeared to be very costly, as Neptunus came alongside in the eighth inning.
But after Neptunus stranded two runners in scoring position in the top of the ninth, the home team struck.
Australian Craig Anderson, who had taken over the pitching in the previous at bat, walked lead-off hitter Vince Rooi, who then advanced on a sac-bunt by Bas Nooij.
After next hitter Rashid Gerard was walked intentionally, the bases got loaded when Wesley Connor reached on an infield-hit.
This marked the end for Anderson, who was replaced by closer Arshwin Asjes.
The big righthander was greeted with a single by Roelie Henrique, which gave Amsterdam a 3-2 win.
It also resulted in a loss for Anderson, who arrived on Monday in Rotterdam.
When announcing his starting rotation, Neptunus' Head Coach Jan Collins initially said he wasn't planning on using the Australian in the series against Amsterdam in order to let him have a few days to get acclimatized.
Because of the run in the last inning, Jurrian Koks, who threw the ninth inning for Amsterdam, became the winning pitcher in his debut in a Pirate-uniform.
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The second game of the season remained scoreless for three innings.
Amsterdam-starter Jos de Jong gave up three hits in this period, including a 2-out double to Eldrion Regina in the second at bat.
Neptunus-starter Kevin Heijstek also saw three players reached base, but was supported with a double play in the third inning.
After Neptunus stranded its second player on second base in the fourth inning, Amsterdam scored twice in the home half.
Roelie Henrique led off with a double, then Sidney de Jong was hit by a pitch.
After next hitter Percy Isenia popped out for an infield-fly, Bas de Jong singled to short stop Dwayne Kemp, who also committed an error, enabling the speedy Henrique to score the first run.
Sidney de Jong advanced to third base on the play, then scored when Kenny Berkenbosch followed with a sacrifice fly.
Next, Vince Rooi added a single, but the inning ended with a force play-grounder by Bas Nooij.
Neptunus got one run back in the fifth.
With one out, Shaldimar Daantji doubled.'
The speedster then moved to third when Eugène Kingsale followed with a bunt-single and could score when the Amsterdam-defense made no play.
After Kingsale was left on first base, Amsterdam got the chance to break open the game in the home of the fifth when it got the bases loaded with no out.
Rashid Gerard led off with an infield-hit, then Wesley Connor singled and Roelie Henrique loaded the bases with a bunt-single.
Amsterdam failed to take more distance in this at bat, as next hitter Sidney de Jong grounded into a 5-2-3 double play, then Percy Isenia popped out.
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Neptunus, which outhit Amsterdam 11-9, got on base again in the sixth when Dwayne Kemp singled and Rien Vernooij walked, but then two flyouts followed.
In the seventh, lefthander Rik Geestman took over the pitching for Jos de Jong and saw Neptunus get close to the tying run.
Lead-off hitter Shaldimar Daantji reached on an error by third baseman Rashid Gerard, then advanced on a sac-bunt and a grounder, but stranded on third base.
Neptunus also changed pitchers in the home half of the seventh when Jorian van Acker took over for Kevin Heijstek.
With two outs, he walked Roelie Henrique, who then stole second base, but was left there.
In the eighth inning, Neptunus did tie the score.
Geestman got two quick outs, but then gave up a single to Rien Vernooij, who scored when Eldrion Regina followed with a double.
Geestman then ended the at bat with a strikeout, but then score was in balance again.
With only one-and-a-half inning remaining, the possibility arose again to see the debut of the (international) tie-break rule, which is in effect for the first time this season.
When a game is tied after nine innings, the tenth inning will start with a runner on first and second base with the Head Coaches of both teams having the option to decide where they will start hitting in the batting order.
The two previous hitters of that batter will be the two baserunners.
Last Thursday, Neptunus led only 1-0 when Amsterdam threatened to come alongside late in the game.
But again, the tie-break was avoided.
In the home of the eighth inning, Australian Craig Anderson, who arrived earlier in the week, became the new pitcher for Neptunus.
Anderson, who pitched professionally for the last 12 seasons, started with a strikeout, then gave up a single to Bas de Jong, but next was supported with a double play that ended the inning.
In the ninth inning, Jurrian Koks took over for Rik Geestman and retired the first batter he faced, but then gave up singles to Eugène Kingsale and Benjamin Dille, who then both advanced on a wild pitch.
The two were unable to move when next hitter Benjamin Dille grounded out and then the inning ended with a foul-flyout.
...game-winning, walk-off single...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the home of the ninth, Anderson walked lead-off hitter Vince Rooi, who then moved on a sac-bunt by Bas Nooij.
Anderson then walked Rashid Gerard intentionally, but the lefthander next gave up an infield-hit to Wesley Connor that loaded the bases.
Anderson was replaced by Arshwin Asjes, who last Thursday earned a save.
The righthander was greeted with a single by Roelie Henriuque, who therefore not only reached base for the fourth time this game, but also gave Amsterdam a 3-2 victory and was named Man of the Match.
The last two seasons, Amsterdam also opened its home season with a walk-off victory.
Last year, on Saturday, April 10 (which then also was the first game of the season), Amsterdam won 2-1 vs. ADO.
With one out, Bas de Jong then scored on a single by Nick Urbanus, who will make his professional debut later this year in the Rookie League-team of the Texas Rangers.
Jos de Jong also started that game.
In 2009, on Sunday, April 12, Amsterdam won 9-8 vs. Corendon Kinheim (which was shutout 11-0 the day before).
In that game, which by the way also was started by Jos de Jong, Amsterdam trailed 8-5 when it rallied for four runs in the home of the ninth to win 9-8.
The winning run was then scored on a basesloaded single by Sidney de Jong.
For Amsterdam, this was the fourth time in a row the team opened the season at home with a victory.
For Neptunus, it meant the end of a streak, as the Rotterdam-squad had won 14 games in a row that were played in a season-opening series, including last Thursday.
Neptunus suffered its last opening weekend loss on Saturday, April 10, 2004 when they lost 2-1 to....Amsterdam Pirates in the Dutch capital.
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