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Updated: July 23, 2011
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2011 by Marco Stoovelaar


Amsterdam, Neptunus clinch Play-Offs
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM / VLEUTEN / BUSSUM / HOOFDDORP (Neth.) - League-leaders L&D Amsterdam Pirates and DOOR Neptunus on Saturday clinched a spot in the Play-Offs and with that also secured their spot in next years big league. The two finalists of last season both won on Saturday to become the first two teams to reach the final-4. On Sunday, Corendon Kinheim then become the third team to qualify when they win vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW.

Vaessen Pioniers, which is in fourth place, appears to become the fourth team, but will meet the top-3 in their remaining seven games of the season after completing their 3-game series on Sunday vs. ADO. UVV and Sparta-Feyenoord, who are in fifth and sixth place, also still have theoretical chances of reaching the Play-Offs. Of course, Pioniers, UVV and Sparta-Feyenoord can all qualify individually with the right combination of results in the remaining games, but there are also four scenarios left for these three teams in case of a tie in fourth place. In case of a tie between Pioniers and Sparta-Feyenoord, the latter will clinch as the Rotterdam-squad won their face-to-face series 4-2. In case of a tie between Pioniers and UVV, the Hoofddorp-team clinch as they defeated UVV in five of their six games. In case of a tie between UVV and Sparta-Feyenoord, UVV will reach the top-4 as they are 4-2 in their respective season's series. In case of a 3-way tie between Pioniers, UVV and Sparta-Feyenoord, Pioniers will clinch based on the results of the games played between these three teams.

Next goal for Amsterdam and Neptunus is to remain in first or second place. With this, the two teams will earn home advantage in the upcoming Play-Offs, which, by the way, have a different set-up than in previous years. Normally, the number 1 placed team of the regular season met the number 4 placed team in a best-of-five, while the number 2 and 3 did the same. This season, the top-4 will meet each other again in three additional 3-game series (so, a total of nine games), starting with an 0-0 record. The teams finishing in first and second place in the Play-Offs will then meet in the Holland Series.

The bottom-4 teams do the same. They also will meet each other in three 3-game series starting with an 0-0 record. The team in last place will then play a promotion/relegation Play-Off against the champion of the second highest league ('overgangsklasse'). Currently, Euro Stars and PSV share first place in this league, closely followed by RCH-Pingu´ns.



Sparta-Feyenoord vs. L&D Amsterdam Pirates
At Rotterdam, Sparta-Feyenoord took an 1-0 lead vs. L&D Amsterdam Pirates, which then scored twice in the sixth to win 2-1 and clinch the Play-Offs.

In the fourth inning, Anthony Vrolijk singled with one out, then advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a 2-out double by Ramiro Balentina to give Sparta-Feyenoord an 1-0 lead. Amsterdam took over the lead in the sixth, scoring two runs with two outs. After two foulouts, Bas de Jong walked and stole second, then scored the tying run on a single by Vince Rooi. The latter then also stole second, moved on an infield-hit by Kenny Berkenbosch and scored on a following error at home plate to give Amsterdam a 2-1 lead.

Sparta-Feyenoord will close its season without some of its players, as the team said goodbye to pitcher Ruderly Manuel and outfielder Rudley Balentien after Thursday's game. Earlier, Jourick Blanco and Emeron Lourens already left Rotterdam.



UVV vs. DOOR Neptunus
At Vleuten, DOOR Neptunus took a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning in their game against UVV, after it had started some minutes later than scheduled due to rain. Dwayne Kemp led off with a double and scored on a following double by Mike Bazuin. The latter then moved to third base on a wild pitch and also scored on a following wild pitch.

Neptunus added two runs in the fourth when Rien Vernooij led off with a triple and scored on a sac-fly by Shaldimar Daantji. Eldrion Regina, who walked after Vernooij's triple, later scored on a basesloaded walk for Raily Legito.

In the fifth, Neptunus scored two more runs. Tom Brice led off with a homerun and Rien Vernooij (who walked) scored when a flyout by Shaldimar Daantji ended in an error and a sac-fly. Neptunus increased the lead to 8-0 in the sixth, scoring two runs on sacrifice flies.

In the seventh inning, UVV suddenly came back with a 5-run rally on seven hits, but Neptunus enlarged the lead with a run in the eighth on another sacrifice fly to win 9-5.



Mr. Cocker HCAW vs. Corendon Kinheim
At Bussum, Corendon Kinheim shutout Mr. Cocker HCAW, 5-0. Kinheim scored its runs in the fourth and fifth inning. In the fourth inning, Rafael Jozefa hit a 2-run homerun.

In the fifth, Kinheim added three runs on a 2-run triple by RenÚ Cremer and a single by Jason Halman.

HCAW had only two basehits, both off starter Nick Veltkamp, who threw seven innings. Pim Walsma completed the game, retiring all six batters he faced, including three with a strikeout.



Vaessen Pioniers vs. ADO
At Hoofddorp, on a cold and windy afternoon, Vaessen Pioniers won 9-1 vs. ADO in a game, which wasn't worth watching. As rain threatened, both teams didn't act properly. In the first few innings, the ADO-battery was delaying the game, as the catcher frequently went to his pitcher to talk. Rookie Lennart Bol made his first big league-start, walked seven batters, gave up seven hits and nine runs, but was left in the game. While leading 4-0 after three innings, Pioniers tried to force putouts to get the game in the books. Michael Duursma (runner on second base) and Mark Duursma (runner on first) left their bases and simply were eliminated by the ADO-defense in a double play. Hereafter, while the rain still hadn't come, the inning continued and Pioniers added three runs. After a pitching change, Zerzinho Croes then hit the ball into rightfield for a 2-run single, but stretched it into a double by simply walking towards second base. He then continued jogging towards third base. Initially, the ADO-defense didn't appear to want to eliminate him, but finally did so at third base, ending the inning. Both teams should be ashamed of themselves for their actions in the first four innings today.

Now leading 9-0 after four innings and the game being valid after ADO was retired the top of the fifth inning, Pioniers failed to add one more run to end the game with a 10-run difference. Besides that, the rain didn't came, so the game had to go the distance. Pioniers was held scoreless in the remainder of the game by Kevin Nieveld, who had taken over the pitching in the fourth. ADO was able to score a run off its own in the ninth inning off Dave Draijer.

The game had one nice moment, which was a great defensive play by Pioniers' second baseman Zerzinho Croes. There also was a solid performance by starting pitcher Eddie Aucoin. The righthander struckout five batters and gave up three hits in six innings to become the first 10-game winner of this season. Michael and Mark Duursma both had three basehits.

Oh, it started raining 20 minutes after the game was completed...

(July 23)

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