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Updated: March 11, 2011
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Copyright © 1997-2011
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2011 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dutch suffer surprise loss vs. college-team
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (USA) - The Dutch National Baseball Team on Friday suffered a surprise 5-2 loss vs. the Titans, the team of St. Petersburg College in their fifth game of St. Petersburg Baseball International. The college-team collected seven basehits, while the Dutch offense registered only three and didn't play its best defense, committing two errors.

The Dutch Team was joined today by Hall of Fame-pitcher Bert Blyleven, who came by and was in the dug-out with the coachingstaff during the game. In January of this year, Blyleven was elected into the Major League Hall of Fame. Blyleven, who pitched 22 seasons in the Major League, was the Pitching Coach of the Dutch Team during the World Baseball Classic in 2009.

Also with the team today was Randall Simon, who was added to the roster for this tournament and started tonight's game at first base. Simon played in the Major League for the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and was a member of the Dutch Team during the World Baseball Classic of 2009. Last year, after being released by an Independent League-team, Simon was suddenly added to the Dutch roster during the Haarlem Baseball Week, appeared in two games, but then was cut for the final roster for the following European Championship in Germany.

...Manager Brian Farley & Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Dutch Team opened the score in the first inning, but that was it for a long time. Eugène Kingsale led off with a walk, then advanced to third base on an one-out double by Randall Simon and scored on a following grounder by Sidney de Jong. But with Simon on third base, Rien Vernooij struckout to end the inning.

The Titans immediately answered with a run of their own. Starter Jurjen van Zijl began with a strikeout, but then gave up a single to Spencer Dickinson. After another strikeout, Van Zijl saw Dickinson score all the way from first base on a double passed a diving first baseman Randall Simon down the first base-line by Anthony Galli. The ball appeared to be foul, but the umpire ruled fair. Next, Simon argued the call, but in the meantime Dickinson was rounding the bases and scored the tying run.

In the second inning, the Titans took the lead. With one out, Todd Haskel reached on an error by rookie short stop Michael Pluijmers, then scored on a 2-out double by Leo Rojas. In the next at bat, St. Petersburg added it's third run off Jurjen van Zijl. Cyle Figaroa and Anthony Galli led off with singles, then the bases got loaded when Michael Sylvestri walked with one out. A sacrifice fly by Todd Haskel then made it 3-1 and also led to a pitching change, as Berry van Driel was brought in to relief Van Zijl. van Driel started with a walk to re-load the bases, but then a flyout ended the at bat.

In the fourth inning, the Titans got another runner on base when Van Driel walked the lead-off hitter, but then a double play was made by rightfielder Bas de Jong, who first caught the ball, then also eliminated the runner.

...Sidney de Jong, Diegomar Markwell,...
...Orlando Yntema and Berry van Driel... the bullpen...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Titans increased it's lead to 5-1 in the fifth inning off new pitcher Kevin Heijstek. With one out, Heijstek gave up a double to Jon Matthews, then rookie third baseman Rien Vernooij made an error on a grounder by next hitter Michael Sylvestri, which brought the runner to third base. Matthews then tried to score on a grounder by Todd Haskel, but was thrown out at the plate by 1B Randall Simon for the second out in the inning. But hereafter, Heijstek encountered problems with his control, as he walked three consecutive batters, leading to the two runs. With the bases loaded, a flyout ended the inning.

In the sixth and seventh inning, Heijstek returned to the mound and retired the Titans-side in order, including three strikeouts. Kevin Miner then pitched the eighth inning for the Dutch, walked a batter with one out, but didn't gave up additional hits or runs.

And how about the Dutch? After scoring the run in the first inning, the Dutch offense was silenced, as only two batters were able to reach base from the second through sixth inning. In the third inning, rookie Roelie Henrique led off with a single, but then was caught stealing (despite his speed) in a double play when batter Eugène Kingsale struckout. In the fifth inning, Jason Halman singled with one out, but was left behind.

After the '6th inning switch' (Manager Brian Farley switches his entire team during or after the sixth inning during this event), the Dutch Team loaded the bases in the seventh inning. With one out, Raily Legito walked, then the bases got loaded when, with two outs, Bas Nooij and Dwayne Kemp (who was the lone player this time to play the entire game) also walked. But the scoring opportunity ended when next hitter Shaldimar Daantji struckout.

Trailing 5-1, the Dutch got one run back in the eighth inning. Michael Duursma then reached second base on an error, moved on a grounder and scored on a passed ball. But that was it for the Dutch, who left two runners in the ninth inning.

Playing for the Dutch Team were:
C - Jason Halman (Bas Nooij)
1B - Randall Simon (Jeffrey Arends)
2B - Dwayne Kemp
3B - Rien Vernooij (Raily Legito)
SS - Michael Pluijmers (Michael Duursma)
LF - Eugène Kingsale (Danny Rombley)
CF - Roelie Henrique (Shaldimar Daantji)
RF - Bas de Jong (Dirk van 't Klooster)
DH - Sidney de Jong (Bryan Engelhardt)
P - Jurjen van Zijl (2 2/3 inn.), Berry van Driel (1 1/3), Kevin Heijstek (3), Kevin Miner (1)

(March 11)

...The ceremonial first pitch on this 'Military Night' was thrown by a veteran...
(© Photos: Henk Seppen)

...Left: Manager Brian Farley during introductions - Right: Randall Simon is all smiles...
(© Photos: Henk Seppen)

...Left: Starter Jurjen van Zijl - Right: Reliever Kevin Heijstek...
(© Photos: Henk Seppen)

...Left: Reliever Kevin Miner - Right: Short Stop Michael Pluijmers and 2B Dwayne Kemp...
(© Photos: Henk Seppen)

...A view in the Dutch dug-out...
...Manager Brian Farley, Bullpen Coach Tjerk Smeets, Bert Blyleven...
...and Pitching Coach Steve Janssen...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)

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