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Updated: September 12, 2014
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2014 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dutch Team opens EC with big win; Oduber arrives to complete team
OSTRAVA (Czech Republic) - The Netherlands Baseball Team opened the European Championship this afternoon (Friday, September 12) with a big 19-2 victory against Croatia in a game that ended after five innings due to the 15-run difference mercy-rule. The Dutch Team rallied for eight runs in both the first and second inning. The Orange squad collected 17 basehits, including six homeruns.

The six homeruns are no record in a single game, as the Dutch Team hit 10 on September 3, 1989, against Great Britain during the European Championship in France, including four in one inning. Back then, the homeruns were hit by Wismar Ansjeliena, Eric de Bruin, Robert Niggebrugge, Ronald Stoovelaar, Elton Wilson (3), RenÚ Rijst (2) and Mike Crouwel. Like today, it also included a grand slam homerun, which was hit by RenÚ Rijst. Ronald Stoovelaar hit a 3-run homerun, the others were four 2-run homeruns and four solo-homeruns.

...Hainley Statia...
...grand slam homerun...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Today, Gianison Boekhoudt connected for two homeruns (2-run and 3-run), while Hainley Statia hit a grand slam homerun. The other homeruns were hit by Kalian Sams (solo), Sharlon Schoop (3-run) and Shawn Zarraga (3-run).

This afternoon, outfielder Randolph Oduber arrived in Ostrava to complete the roster of the Dutch Team. Last Wednesday, Oduber's season in the minor league ended in triomph. Playing for the Potomac Nationals (Washington Nationals), he won 5-1 vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Texas Rangers) in Game 4 of the Championship Series of the Carolina League (Single-A Advanced). With the win, the Nationals won the Series 3-1 to become the Carolina League-champion for the fifth time in their history. Oduber, who was the leftfielder, homered in the first inning to bring in three runs and give the Nationals an early lead. On Thursday, Oduber started his travel from Woodbridge, Virginia to Europe, where he arrived in Ostrava this afternoon to join his teammates of the Dutch Team. Oduber probably will see his first EC-action on Saturday against the Czech Republic.

This afternoon, the Dutch Team underscored its intentions during this EC (capturing the title) right away in the first inning by scoring eight runs, five of which were scored with two outs. With one out, Nick Urbanus walked and scored the first run when Curt Smith followed with a double, then Gianison Boekhoudt hit the first homerun at the Arrows-field in Ostrava. Kalian Sams was then hit by a pitch and Yurendell de Caster walked with two outs, then Sharlon Schoop delivered an RBI-single and Danny Rombley walked to load the bases. Hereafter, Hainley Statia drilled the ball over the rightfield-fence for a grand slam homerun in his second at bat in the inning, lifting the score to 8-0.

Croatian starter Dejan Marin returned to the mound in the second inning and he then gave up eight more runs. With one out, Kalian Sams homered. Shawn Zarraga and Yurendell de Caster then singled and this time, Sharlon Schoop followed with a homerun. Next, Danny Rombley doubled and went on to score on a wild pitch. With two outs, Nick Urbanus was hit by a pitch and Curt Smith walked and they scored when Gianison Boekhoudt hit his second homerun of the day and the fifth for the Dutch squad.

In the fourth inning, the Dutch Team added three more runs off of Darko Kvaternik, who took over in this inning. In the previous at bat, the first two Dutch batters walked, but then a force out followed and a line out ended in a double play. In this at bat, Curt Smith led off with a single, moved on a double by pinch-hitter Gilmer Lampe, then scored when Shawn Zarraga hit a 3-run homerun.

Kevin Heijstek started for the Dutch Team and pitched the first two innings. He gave up two singles with two outs in the first, then retired the side in the second, finishing with two strikeouts. Arshwin Asjes took over in the third inning. He retired the side in the third, then gave up the two Croatian runs in the fourth at bat. With two outs, he hit and walked a batter, then, with two outs, an error led to the first run. A single by Matija Grofelnik then brought in the second run. In the fifth, Kevin Kelly threw for the Orange. He walked the first batter, then struckout the next two. A force play then ended the inning and the game.

The Dutch Team collected 17 basehits, including three by Shawn Zarraga.

This was the fourth game in history against Croatia. Back in 2001, during the European Championship in Bonn (Germany), the two countries met for the first time. Back then, the Dutch almost ended up empty-handed against the then unknown and probably somewhat underestimated Croatian squad. The Dutch won only 8-7, as it was being silenced by Mexican-born American/Croatian Jimmy Summers, who pitched in the Dutch big league for ADO. Summers, who turns 41 on Saturday, again is on the Croatian roster this time, but this time didn't pitch. In 2003, the Dutch Team won only 5-3 vs. Croatia during the EC in Rotterdam (Netherlands), then shut the team out 13-0 during the EC in Barcelona (Spain) in 2007.

The Dutch Team meets host Czech Republic on Saturday-evening, starting at 7 PM.

The Dutch line-up was as follows:
Hainley Statia (2B, 1-for-5), Nick Urbanus (3B, 1-for-3), Curt Smith (1B, 2-for-4), Gianison Boekhoudt (DH, 2-for-4), Kalian Sams (CF, 2-for-2), Shawn Zarraga (C, 3-for-4), Yurendell de Caster (RF, 1-for-2), Sharlon Schoop (SS, 2-for-3), Danny Rombley (LF/CF, 2-for-2). Gilmer Lampe (1-for-2) pinch-hit for Sams in the fourth inning and took over in leftfield, with Rombley moving to centerfield. Michael Duursma (0-for-0) took over at 2nd base for Urbanus in the fifth inning.

Earlier today, Spain opened in Ostrava with a 15-3 win vs. Greece. In Group A in Regensburg (Germany), the opening game between Sweden and Great Britain was postponed due to rain. In the afternoon, Italy had its hands full with Belgium, leading only 8-7 when the ninth inning began. Italy then scored four runs and won 12-7.

In the evening, at Regensburg, France trailed 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning vs. Germany, but then scored three runs to win 3-2. In the inning, RenÚ Leveret, who also had a great tournament earlier in the week back home in SÚnart, led off with a homerun. A walk, error and force play-grounder then tied the score, followed by an RBI-double by Jacques Boucheron that made it 3-2. The starter and losing pitcher for Germany was Luke Sommer, who played for Corendon Kinheim in the Dutch big league a few years ago.

At Ostrava, in the evening, the Czech Republic shutout Russia on 12 basehits. The home team broke a scoreless tie in the sixth inning by scoring four runs. Jakub Sladek led the Czech offense with three basehits, including a solo-homerun in the seventh that lifted the lead to 5-0.

(September 12)

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