Pirates, Pioniers close season with win; Tension building in 'Overgangsklasse'
AMSTERDAM / HAARLEM / THE HAGUE / VLEUTEN (Neth.) -
On Sunday, L&D Amsterdam Pirates and Vaessen Pioniers closed the Play-Offs with a victory, but it meant the end of the season for the two finalists of last year.
On Saturday, both were eliminated for the Holland Series, in which DOOR Neptunus and Corendon Kinheim will meet each other in a best-of-seven for the Dutch championship title.
The Series opens next Thursday-evening in Rotterdam.
In the Play-Downs, Sparta-Feyenoord closed with another loss and now will focus on the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Play-Off against the champion of the second highest league, the 'Overgangsklasse'.
Three teams are still in contention for the title with only one week remaining in their season.
Currently, The Hawks from Dordrecht leads with only a margin of two points ahead of RCH-Pingu´ns (Heemstede) and three ahead of DSS (Haarlem).
Coming Friday, DSS meets RCH-Pingu´ns at home, while The Hawks host Sparks Haarlem on Saturday.
But it all may come to the final day of the season on Sunday, as RCH-Pingu´ns then will meet The Hawks on its home field.
DSS closes at home against Twins.
In case of a tie for first place, a play-off game will be played to decide the championship.
Amsterdam Pirates had to play its fourth consecutive tie-break and third in a row against Neptunus.
But after losing on Thursday and Saturday, Amsterdam today won 4-3.
In the meantime, Kinheim was losing 7-1 to Pioniers.
So, when Amsterdam would have been able to hold onto the 6-2 lead in the 10th inning (instead of losing 7-6) on Saturday, it would have qualified for the Holland Series today with the combination of its victory and the Kinheim-loss.
But of course that's talking afterwards.
At Amsterdam, a day after being dethroned, Amsterdam Pirates trailed 1-0 in the first inning, then came alongside in the third.
As the game was still tied 1-1 after nine innings, a tie-break was needed.
In the top of the 10th, Neptunus scored twice thanks to an error and a sac-fly by RafaŰl Jozefa.
In the home of the 10th, Pirates answered with three runs.
An error first loaded the bases, then Sidney de Jong singled in a run.
An error on a grounder by Bas de Jong then tied the score and Kenny Berkenbosch followed with a single to give Amsterdam a 4-3 win.
Closer Jurrian Koks, who was credited with three losses during the Play-Offs, today was the winning pitcher.
In Haarlem, Pioniers scored three unearned runs in the third inning against Kinheim, which got one run back in the fourth at bat.
Pioniers then enlarged the lead by scoring twice in the eighth and ninth inning.
In the eighth, singles by Kevin Dirksen and DŔ Flanegin led to the runs, but the team also left the bases loaded.
In the ninth, a grounder by Mark Duursma and a wild pitch lifted the score to 7-1.
In The Hague, Sparta-Feyenoord took a 2-0 lead in the first inning at AamigoO ADO Lakers, gave up three runs, tied the score, but then faced a decifit from the bottom of the second inning on, losing 7-6.
In Vleuten, Mr. Cocker HCAW closed its season with a 6-1 victory at UVV.
With this, HCAW ended in a tie with UVV, but finished in first place in the Play-Downs, as it had won two of its three games against UVV.
For Frank Koene, this was his last game as Head Coach of UVV, as he announced a week ago that he will step down at the closing of the season.
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