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Updated: September 1, 2012
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Copyright © 1997-2012
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2012 by Marco Stoovelaar

The Hawks promotes; Sparta-Feyenoord relegates
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - On Saturday, The Hawks took charge of the game early and went on to win 6-2 vs. Sparta-Feyenoord to win the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Play-Off, 3-2. By winning this series, The Hawks earned the right to play in the Dutch big league next season. But in order to do so, the club has to meet several criteria, including having artificial light to play night-games, but also needed to set up a Rookie Team and have a Junior-squad. The club now will meet representatives of the municipality of Dordrecht to discuss possibilities.

With the loss, Sparta-Feyenoord relegated from the big league. The Rotterdam-squad first played on the highest level in 1955 and went on to capture nine Dutch championships when it had players like Hamilton Richardson, Hudson John and Simon Arrindell. The club relegated twice before, but was able to come back to the big league after a few years. This year was the 50th season for Sparta-Feyenoord in the highest league.

The Hawks silenced the home crowd early by holding a 3-0 lead in the third inning. Sparta-Feyenoord was able to come back to 3-2, but then The Hawks rallied for three runs in the ninth to decide the game.

In the first inning, Sparta-Feyenoord's starter Gregory Gustina gave up a lead-off single to Shurendell Borgschot, who then moved on a sac-bunt and an error and scored when Erwin Bonis grounded out. A single and walk then loaded the bases, but three runners were left behind.

The Hawks then enlarged its lead by scoring twice in the third inning with two outs. With one out, Steven Wharwood singled, but was forced out on a grounder by Erwin Bonis. A double by Tony Enos and single by Berry van Donselaar then led to two runs and a 3-0 lead.

Sparta-Feyenoord got one run back in its third inning when Suri Betrian led off with a single and went on to score on a throwing error after stealing third base. The home team then narrowed the deficit to 3-2 by adding a run in the fourth inning. With one out, Jarred Duin walked and advanced on a single by Emerson Paula. Churandy La Cruz then also singled to bring in Duin, but Paula was then thrown out at the plate when he also tried to score.

Jurandy Girigori took over the pitching for Sparta-Feyenoord in the fourth inning and held The Hawks scoreless in the next four innings, despite giving up seven basehits.

In the meantime, Kevin Noordzij didn't ran into big problems while pitching for The Hawks and went on to go the distance, giving up only five basehits.

The Hawks then decided the game by scoring three runs in the top of the ninth inning. Girigori gave up a lead-off single to Shurendell Borgschot, who moved on a sac-bunt. Steven Wharwood followed with a single that scored Borgschot, but he then was eliminated at second base trying to advance on the throw to home. With two outs, Erwin Bonis reached on an error, stole second base and scored on a double by Tony Enos, who then added another run by scoring on a single by Berry van Donselaar. The Hawks left the bases loaded, but had taken a comfortable 6-2 lead.

And that proved to be enough, as Kevin Noordzij retired the side in the ninth and ended with a strikeout to seal the victory!

And so, The Hawks, which is the club where veteran pitcher Rob Cordemans started his career, next season might play on the highest level.

(September 1)

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