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Updated: August 11, 2012
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar

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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2012 by Marco Stoovelaar


Pirates dethroned; Kinheim in Holland Series
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM / HOOFDDORP / BUSSUM (Neth.) - The last two weeks in the Play-Offs had a surprising turn of events. L&D Amsterdam Pirates, which was favored by a majority to repeat as Dutch champion, fell apart, lost four of its last five games and today was dethroned as reigning champion. Corendon Kinheim, which opened the Play-Offs with three losses and was not at all expected to reach the Holland Series, changed coaches, won four of its last five games and suddenly clinched a spot in the season's finale. And so it can happen that last years finalists Amsterdam Pirates and Vaessen Pioniers both were eliminated today for the Holland Series, while DOOR Neptunus and Kinheim will play for the Dutch championship. Coming Thursday, the best-of-seven opens in Rotterdam.

At Hoofddorp, Kinheim shutout Pioniers 5-0 with starting pitcher David Bergman giving up only five hits in eight innings. Kinheim scored all its five runs in the fourth inning when it hit five of its nine basehits in the game. Singles by Remco Draijer, RenÚ Cremer and Dirk van 't Klooster (2-run) led to four runs, then a sac-fly by Mervin Gario made it 5-0.

With the win, Kinheim eliminated Pioniers for the Holland Series and itself closed in on reaching the Holland Series, but had to wait for the result of the game between Neptunus and Amsterdam Pirates. A win by Pirates would mean that Sunday would be decisive. But Kinheim had to wait 35 minutes to learn that it had reached the Holland Series.

In Rotterdam, Amsterdam Pirates turned an 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning on singles by Bj÷rn Hato and Sidney de Jong, but in the same at bat, Bas Nooij was eliminated trying to score and three runners were left behind. In the home of the fifth inning, Neptunus came alongside when Benjamin Dille reached on an error and scored on a grounder. With the score tied at 2-2, the game went into extra innings, just like last Thursday in the opener of the series. With the two tie-break runners on base, Roelie Henrique bunted them over, then Sidney de Jong was walked intentionally to set up a force play. But then Bas de Jong hit a grand slam homerun to give Pirates a 6-2 lead. In the home of the 10th inning and with a 4-run lead, Jurrian Koks took over the pitching for Ben Grover. The latter had entered the game in the third inning, replacing starter Jos de Jong, who left due to an injury. And so, it appears that there would be a tomorrow again for Pirates. But then things changed quickly in the Neptunus 10th. First, RafaŰl Jozefa singled in a run, then a single by Raily Legito loaded the bases. Next, a triple by Dwayne Kemp cleared the bases and so it was a 6-6 score in a matter of minutes. With Kemp at third base and no outs, it was opted to load the bases by issuing intenional walks to Benjamin Dille and Lennart Koster to create a force play. But Mourik Huijser followed with a single that made it 7-6 in favor of Neptunus, meaning the season was over for Amsterdam!

In the Play-Downs, Mr. Cocker HCAW and Sparta-Feyenoord both won with a one-run margin. HCAW won 4-3 vs. UVV and Sparta-Feyenoord won 3-2 vs. AamigoO ADO Lakers.

And so, on Sunday four games now will be played which don't matter anymore, as all decisions are now known for the final portion of the season.

(August 11)

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