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Updated: April 26, 2011
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Copyright © 1997-2011
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2011 by Marco Stoovelaar

Tie-break premies; Huge win Amsterdam
THE HAGUE / ROTTERDAM / BUSSUM / UTRECHT (Neth.) - The new tie-break rule was used for the first time in the Dutch big league on Monday when the game between Mr. Cocker HCAW and Vaessen Pioniers went into extra innings. Pioniers led 8-6 when HCAW tied the score in the home of the ninth to force extra innings. In the top of the 10th, when two runners were put on base, Pioniers scored four runs and went on to win 12-5.

League-leader L&D Amsterdam Pirates won big vs. ADO with a 19-1 score on 22 basehits, including the fifth homerun by Percy Isenia.
DOOR Neptunus avoided a 3-game sweep vs. Corendon Kinheim by turning a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 victory and hand Kinheim its first loss of the season.
UVV completed a 3-game sweep vs. Sparta-Feyenoord by winning 10-5.

ADO vs. L&D Amsterdam Pirates
At The Hague, L&D Amsterdam Pirates registered a huge 19-1 victory on 22 basehits vs. ADO to complete a 3-game sweep and win its eighth game in a row since starting the season with a loss. The 22 basehits in one game were the most for Pirates since it hit 23 on June 1 last year when it won 14-5 vs. ADO. Through the last few years, Pirates has a history of big wins against the team from The Hague. Besides winning 14-5 last year, Amsterdam won 15-2 vs. ADO on June 11, 2009 and 16-2 on May 29, 2007.

...Rashid Gerard shows a special sliding while scoring... the second inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
All starting players collected at least one basehit in the first four innings! All starters, except Bas Nooij, also scored at least once in the game. And all starters, except Roelie Henrique, had at least one RBI. This means that seven of the nine starters hit at least one hit, scored at least once and had at least one RBI. Bas de Jong hit four basehits (including two doubles), while Sidney de Jong, Vince Rooi and Seb Visser hit three basehits.

Initially, Amsterdam left a runner on third base in the first inning, but then scored the first runs in the second at bat. Bas de Jong and Vince Rooi (who both singled) were on base with one out when Seb Visser singled, but then De Jong was eliminated at the plate trying to score. Next, Rashid Gerard and Wesley Connor followed with RBI-singles to make it 2-0, followed by an error in a double-steal situation that enabled Gerard to score the third run.

After Sidney de Jong scored on a passed ball in the third, Amsterdam rallied for six runs on six hits with two outs in the fourth at bat. With one out, Gerard singled and Connor walked, then a force play-grounder by Henrique followed. Next, Sidney de Jong doubled in two runs and Percy Isenia followed with his fifth homerun of the season (and fifth in nine games). This led to a pitching change, as Quincy Lambertina took over for starter Raynard Doran. Bas de Jong then singled and scored on a triple by Vince Rooi, who then scored on a single by Bas Nooij. And so, Amsterdam already led 10-0 in the fourth inning.

...3B Coach Randell Hannah congratulates Vince Rooi...
...after hitting an RBI-triple in the fourth inning...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
From here on, Amsterdam kept on expanding the lead, as the team scored 15 runs in the three middle at bats. In the fifth, five runs were added, this time on only three hits. An error on a force play-grounder led to the first run, then a passed ball to the second. Later, Bas de Jong hit a 2-run double and scored himself on a grounder to make it 15-0.

In the sixth, four more runs followed off Carlos Tabares Castro, who had ended the previous inning with a strikeout after being brought in. With one out, Koen Nooij doubled and Sidney de Jong singled, then both scored on a double by Bas de Jong. And error and a single by Seb Visser then made it 19-0.

Amsterdam-starter Ben Grover allowed only one batter to reach base in the four innings he pitched. With one out in the second, Enrique Tromp doubled, but was left at second base. Hereafter, Grover retired the next eight batters. As Grover (who last week was relieved after six innings while throwing a No-Hitter) threw only four innings, the win was credited to his successor Jurrian Koks. The former ADO-pitcher came on in the fifth and retired all six batters he faced. In the seventh, Al Morales Gomes became the third pitcher for Amsterdam and walked lead-off hitter Kevin Nieveld, who then advanced on a single by Harvey Gumbs and scored ADO's lone run on an one-out double by Enrique Tromp (his second in the game). But hereafter two flyouts followed to end the game.

After today's game, several Amsterdam-players are leading in offensive categories. Percy Isenia not only leads with five homeruns, but also with 18 runs batted in. Sidney de Jong leads the league in runs (13), followed by Roelie Henrique and Bas de Jong, who both scored 12. The latter leads with 18 basehits and seven doubles.

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DOOR Neptunus vs. Corendon Kinheim
At Rotterdam, Corendon Kinheim was en route to completing a 3-game sweep vs. reigning champion DOOR Neptunus, as it led 2-1 in the eighth inning. But then the home team scored four runs, won 5-2 and handed Kinheim its first loss of the season after it had won its first five games.

Kinheim opened the score right away in the first at bat off starter Tim Roodenburg. Remco Draijer led off with a walk, moved to third base on an one-out single by Dirk van 't Klooster and scored on a following single by Bryan Engelhardt.

Kinheim left a runner in the second inning, then Neptunus came alongside in the home half. Dwayne Kemp led off with a single off starter Nick Veltkamp. Kemp was then awarded second base on a balk and stole third base. After Veltkamp walked Eldrion ReginaUrving Kemp.

With the score tied at 1-1, Australian lefthander Craig Anderson became the new pitcher for Neptunus in the third inning. He gave up two singles in the first three innings he pitched, but both runners were eliminated in a caught stealing after a pick-off by Anderson.

In the sixth, Kinheim re-took the lead. With one out, René Cremer doubled and scored on a single by Dirk van 't Klooster, who was 4-for-4.

In the seventh, Kinheim stranded a runner on second base, then got the bases loaded with only one out in the eighth off Arshwin Asjes, who had taken over the inning before with two outs. In the eight, Asjes walked lead-off hitter Remco Draijer, then gave up an one-out single to Dirk van 't Klooster and loaded the bases by walking Bryan Engelhardt. But the inning then ended when next hitter Jason Halman grounded into a double play.

Trailing 2-1, Neptunus took charge of the game in the home of the eighth inning. Reliever Pim Walsma, who was brought in the previous inning and then ended with two strikeouts, walked lead-off hitter Benjamin Dille and was relieved by Nick Stuifbergen. The latter was greeted with a single by Raily Legito, then gave up a double to Jeffrey Arends that tied the score. A force play was then created by walking Dwayne Kemp intentionally, but then an RBI-single followed by Eldrion Regina. After Stuifbergen struckout the next hitter, an error at home on a force play-grounder led to two more runs and a 5-2 lead.

In the ninth inning, Kinheim threated to come back, as it got the bases loaded, but failed to add more runs.

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Mr. Cocker HCAW vs. Vaessen Pioniers
At Bussum, Vaessen Pioniers led comfortably 6-1 in the second inning and was still leading 8-6 in the ninth when Mr. Cocker HCAW came alongside to force extra innings. This not only led to the debut of the international tie-break rule in the Dutch big league, but also to two remarkable stories.

Pioniers scored its first run in the first inning. With two outs, Nik Gumeson (fielder's choice) stole second base and then scored on a single by Dč Flanegin, but Pioniers also left two runners behind. In the home of the first inning, Venezuelan Dirimo Enrique Chavez led off with a homerun, then his countryman Julio Miguel Gonzalez singled with one out and Lennart Koster added a double, but these two both stranded.

In the second inning, Pioniers rallied for five runs to take a 6-1 lead. Zerzinho Croes led off with a double and Jason Orman walked. Croes then scored on a squeeze by Jefferson Muzo to give Pioniers a renewed lead. Next, Michael Duursma was hit by a pitch, followed by a 2-run double by Mark Duursma and a 2-run homerun by Nik Gumeson.

HCAW got two runs back in the third inning. Dirimo Enrique Chavez (walk) and Michael Pluijmers (double) then both scored when an error was made on a grounder by Julio Miguel Gonzalez.

In the fourth inning, Pioniers increased its lead to 8-3. With one out, Nik Gumeson singled and scored on a 2-out single by Norbert Lokhorst, who later scored on a throwing error.

HCAW narrowed the deficit to only 8-6 by scoring three runs in the fifth at bat. With one out, Lennart Koster walked and Adrian Anthony singled, which marked the end for starter Lars Huijer, who was replaced by Jean-Paul Gulinck. The lefthander gave up an RBI-single to Bart Sabel and an RBI-double to Randy Daal. Gulinck then struckout next hitter Rodney Daal, but loaded the bases by walking Mitchel Koot and gave up a run when he also walked Dirimo Enrique Chavez. Gulinck was relieved by Shane Gnade, who then ended the inning with a pop-fly.

In the eighth inning, Pioniers left runners on second and third base, then HCAW got the bases loaded in the home of the eighth. After HCAW got the bases loaded, Gnade was then relieved by veteran Dave Draijer, who got out of the inning when Rodney Daal flied out.

Was Draijer successful when ending the eighth inning, in the ninth, he gave up two runs that tied the score. Mitchel Koot and Dirimo Enrique Chavez both singled and advanced on a sac-bunt by Michael Pluijmers. Next, a run was scored on a grounder by Julio Miguel Gonzalez and the tying run was then scored when Lennart Koster followed with a single. A force play ended the inning, meaning the game went into extra innings.

And so, the international tie-break came into effect for the first time in the Dutch big league. In 2008, the tie-break rule was introduced on international events by the International BAseball Federation (IBAF). In this rule, the tenth inning (and all following innings) begins with a runner on first and second base. Besides that, the Head Coaches of the two teams may decide where to start hitting in the batting order with the two previous players of the hitter that leads off the inning becoming the two runners. This new batting order then remains intact in all following innings.

In the tenth inning, Pioniers started with Jason Orman (second) and Jefferson Muzo (first) on base. A throwing error was then made on a force play-grounder by Michael Duursma, which led to a run. A force play was then set up by walking Mark Duursma intentionally. That worked, as (after a foul-fly) the latter was forced out on a grounder by Dč Flanegin, but that also enabled Muzo to score. A double by Norbert Lokhorst (who reached base six times; two hits, four walks) then gave Pioniers two more runs and a 12-8 lead.

Tie-break family

...Left: Olav Steijger during a game of the...
...Dutch National Team in Eindhoven...
...Right: Linda Steijger during the...
...Olympic Games in Beijing...
(© Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)
In HCAW's tenth, the home team opted to begin hitting with Venezuelan Julio Miguel Gonzalez, who singled in a run, but then a double play and game-ending grounder followed.

And so, two remarkable stories can be added to this premiere. On April 9 and 10, the last weekend of the exhibition season, Pioniers and HCAW met each other twice. In these two games, the two teams 'practiced' the tie-break and were the only two to do that in an exhibition game. And now, two weeks later, they became the first two teams in history to use the new tie-break rule in an official game.

All in the family
The next story is even more remarkable and also is a family-matter. The tie-break rule was first used as an experiment during the World Junior Baseball Championship of 2008 in Canada. When the tie-break was used for the first time ever during this event, Olav Steijger was one of the umpires. Later in 2008, his wife Linda Steijger was the Official Scorer when the tie-break was used for the first time during the Olympic Games in Beijing (China). Last year, Olav was Umpire and Linda the Official Scorer when the tie-break was used for the first time during a game of the Haarlem Baseball Week. And today, Olav was the 3B Umpire and Linda the Official Scorer when the tie-break was first used in a regular season game in the Dutch big league.

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UVV vs. Sparta-Feyenoord
At Utrecht, UVV led 5-0 after four innings, but failed to hold onto this early lead, as Sparta-Feyenoord scored five runs in the sixth and seventh at bat to tie the score. UVV regained the lead in its seventh and went on to win 10-5 to complete a 3-game sweep, it's first of the season.

...Jeff Delfina went 4-for-5, scored 4 runs and had 2 RBI's...
(© Photo: Frans van Elst)
Sparta-Feyenoord left runners in scoring position in the first and third inning, but then UVV rallied for three runs in the home of the third. Sparta-Feyenoord-starter Rudy Seebus walked lead-off hitter Jirka Bliek and gave up a single to Quincy Cairo. Next, Jeff Delfina also single to make it 1-0. After Cairo and Delfina advanced on a sac-bunt by Rutger Veugelers, the two scored when Danny Rombley followed with a double. Next, it was showed that their still is much respect for the offensive strength for 50-year old Fausto Álvarez Rizo, who was walked intentionally, but that of course also created a force play. After Rombley and Álvarez advanced on a wild pitch, the two stranded when two flyouts followed.

In the fourth inning, Sparta-Feyenoord got the bases loaded with only one out. UVV-starter Martijn Riphagen gave up singles to Ramiro Balentina and Rudney Balentien, who then advanced on a sac-bunt by pinch-hitter Arthur Bonevacia. Riphagen then loaded the bases by hitting Quintin De Cuba with a pitch, but then two outs followed.

UVV then added two runs in the home of the fourth inning. With two outs, Cairo doubled, then Delfina followed with an RBI-triple. The latter then scored when an error was made on a grounder by Veugelers, who was the first batter to face new pitcher Maikel Berghmans.

In the sixth inning, Sparta-Feyenoord scored four runs to narrow to deficit. Martijn Riphagen walked lead-off hitter Rudney Balentien and Quintin De Cuba (with one out) and was relieved by Hylke van Viersen. The rookie gave up RBI-singles to Anthony Vrolijk and Rubinet Koko and was quickly replaced by Sedley Karel. After a flyout, Sparta-Feyenoord scored two more runs when an error was made on a flyball by Brian Biezen, but he was then caught stealing to end the inning.

...Fausto Álvarez received two intentional passes today...
(© Photo: Frans van Elst)
In the seventh, Sparta-Feyenoord came alongside when Balentien walked with and scored on a 2-out throwing error.

UVV reacted immmediately with two runs in the home of the seventh inning. Jeff Delfina led off with a single, which brought in new pitcher Glenn Fasting. But after a flyout, Danny Rombley doubled to put runners on second and third base. Next, Fausto Álvarez Rizo was walked intentionally again, but then Fasting hit next hitter Jeroen Hermans with a pitch and saw another run being scored on a force play-grounder by Giovanni Samboe.

In the eighth inning, UVV added three more (unearned) runs on three errors by the defense of Sparta-Feyenoord to make it 10-5.

With a 7-5 lead, closer Derek Tarapacki took over the pitching for UVV in the eighth inning and retired six of the seven batters he faced to earn his second save.

By completing the sweep and registering its fourth win in a row, old times seems to relive in Utrecht. When it played in the Dutch big league in the eighties, UVV was one of the most successful teams, but in 1988 it relegated and had to wait until this year to make its comeback on the highest level. In its first six games, UVV played attractive baseball and attracted enough spectators to move the attendance top-4 which is made up by Neptunus, HCAW, UVV and Amsterdam Pirates. UVV reported that a family from Delfzijl (in the north of the country) is traveling to Utrecht for each home game and stays at a nearby camping to watch the games. The Utrecht-team also introduced a fan-lottery-game. After the sixth inning, the game is interrupted briefly, then red balls, which are 'bought' by the spectators, are thrown onto the field. The owner of the ball that ends up closest to second base (according to the Home Plate Umpire) wins a prize.

On the field, Jirka Bliek and Jeff Delfina are both hitting .474, which placed them in the top-5.

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(April 25)

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Copyright © 1997-2011 Marco Stoovelaar / Grand Slam * Stats & News.