Dutch Team opens EC with big win
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) -
The Dutch National Baseball Team opened the European Championship on Friday-evening with a big 17-0 victory against Belgium in Rotterdam.
At the same time, reigning European champion Italy played against Croatia and also started the event with a big win, 16-0.
Both games had an unique performance.
Kalian Sams hit for-the-cycle for the Dutch Team with the homerun being a grand slam (!), while two Italian pitchers threw a No-Hitter.
The Orange were off to a good start by scoring three runs in the first inning.
Michael Duursma led off with a walk, then Hainley Statia singled.
With two outs, the two scored on a double by Kalian Sams, who then scored himself moments later on a single by Quintin de Cuba.
...cycle; grand slam...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
The Dutch Team was then held scoreless in the next two at bats, with Belgium turning a double play in the third, but then, the Dutch Team put on an offensive show in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning.
In the fourth, Sams led off with a triple and scored when an error was made on a grounder by De Cuba.
Wesley Connor followed with a double that made it a 5-0 score.
In the fifth, Statia led off with a walk and stole second base.
With one out, Bryan Engelhardt also walked and then a double-steal was conducted.
Sams then followed with a single to bring in two more runs.
Sams then also stole second base and scored when Connor tripled with two outs after a pitching change.
Connor went on to score also when an error was made on a grounder by Danny Rombley.
In the sixth inning, 14 Dutch batters stepped up to the plate, scoring eight runs six basehits.
First, Duursma led off with a walk, then Statia singled.
A single by Curt Smith then led to a run and the bases got loaded when Engelhardt walked again.
That brought up Kalian Sams, who now needed only the homerun to complete the cycle.
On an 1-1 pitch by Alwin Van Maanen, Sams drilled the ball over the leftfield-fence for a grand slam homerun to complete his cycle and a historic performance.
The last time a player of the Dutch Team hit for-the-cycle must have been somewhere in the eighties or nineties, but Sams became the first player in history to do it with a grand slam homerun.
The scoring wasn't over yet, as De Cuba and Connor singled, then the bases got loaded when Rombley walked.
Kenneth Sips was brought in to take over the pitching, but began with a runscoring wild pitch.
He then struckout Dwayne Kemp and pinch-hitter Nick Urbanus followed with a groundout, but that scored Connor.
A single by Statia (his second in this at bat) then made it 17-0.
Next, Smith walked and Engelhardt was hit by a pitch.
With the bases loaded, Sams would have been up to bat again, but he was replaced by pinch-hitter Shaldimar Daantji, who grounded into a force play to end the inning.
Tom Stuifbergen went the distance for the Dutch Team.
In six innings, he struckout four batters, walked one and gave up only four basehits.
Stuifbergen, who pitches in the organisation of the Minnesota Twins, was supported with two nice double plays in the second and third inning.
In the fourth inning, the righthander have up three of his four hits with Belgium getting the bases loaded while trailing only 5-0 at that moment.
But then, a force play ended the Belgian at bat, which was followed by two very productive Dutch innings.
The game ended after six innings, due to the international 15-run difference mercy-rule.
The first day had an unique series of innings played, as all six games ended in a different total starting with five and ending with ten innings.
Italy shutout Croatia 16-0 in 5 innings,
Netherlands won 17-0 vs. Belgium in 6 innings,
Sweden beat Russia, 14-1, in 7 innings,
Spain won 10-0 vs. Greece in 8 innings,
France won 3-1 vs. Great Britain in 9 innings,
Germany won 5-4 vs. Czech Republic in 10 innings.
...CEB-acting chairman Petr Ditrich (left) hands...
...KNBSB-chairman Bob Bergkamp an trophy to...
...celebrate the 100th birthday of the Dutch Federation...
...The Dutch Team lines up for the National Anthem...
...Dutch Manager Brian Farley...
...Dutch Pitcher Tom Stuifbergen...
|(© All Photos: Henk Seppen)|