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Updated: October 8, 2016
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Copyright © 1997-2016
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2016 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen)

Neptunus captures fourth consecutive Championship-title!

...Neptunus celebrates its fourth consecutive championship-title...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - In another attractive and suspenseful game on Saturday-afternoon (October 8), Curaçao Neptunus nipped L&D Amsterdam Pirates 4-3 in Game Six of the best-of-seven Holland Series to capture its fourth consecutive Dutch Championship-title. Last Monday, Amsterdam Pirates won 2-1 in ten innings to force a sixth game and today, it almost forced a decisive seventh game.

Today's victory didn't come easy (again) for Neptunus, which scored two unearned runs, as the Amsterdam-defense committed two costly errors. Trailing 3-0, Amsterdam came alongside, then stranded three runners, before veteran Raily Legito scored what would be the winning run in the eigth inning. And the final run he scored in his impressive career, as he announced his retirement afterwards. Since 2004, Raily Legito has played 13 seasons for Neptunus after having made his debut in the Dutch big league in 1999, playing for ADO in The Hague. There, the Curaçao-born third baseman, played three years, followed by two seasons for PSV (2002-2003), before transfering to Neptunus.

Dwayne Kemp, who led Neptunus in the six games with five runs batted in, scored three runs and collected eight basehits, was named Most Valuable Player of the Holland Series.

This years Holland Series has become another classic one. Just as the one played two years ago, when the two teams also faced each other. For the first time since 1989, the Series needed all seven games in 2014 and Neptunus then turned a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 Series-win. This year, it marks only the third time in history that a sixth game needed to be played to decide the championship. Neptunus took a 3-1 lead, saw Amsterdam force a sixth game, but today won the Series 4-2 to capture the 17th title in club-history to extend the all-time league-record. Neptunus became the 95th Dutch baseball-champion since Quick Amsterdam was the first one in 1922.

Afterwards, there were mixed feelings for Neptunus Head Coach Evert-Jan 't Hoen. Since becoming the team's Head Coach in 2013, he led Neptunus to four consecutive Dutch Championship-titles. Last year, Neptunus won the European Champions Cup. In June of this year, Neptunus was dethroned as European champion by Amsterdam Pirates, which then captured the Cup a day later. Neptunus ended up in fourth place. In the previous three years, 't Hoen won three Coach of the Year Awards.

...Head Coach Evert-Jan 't Hoen (right)...
...and Raily Legito...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Despite the successes in these four seasons, Neptunus and 't Hoen are separating. In a press release on September 19 (five days before the start of the Holland Series), the Board of the club stated that it had decided to end the collaboration with Evert-Jan 't Hoen after four years after completion of the season. In the press release, the Board stated that ''The leadership of the club wants to ensure that Curaçao Neptunus structurally continues to participate in the top of Dutch and European baseball and has the opinion that the current team has not reached its maximum potentional. By choosing a new Head Coach, the club hopes to give the right impuls to continue to compete for the prizes in the upcoming years''.

As already mentioned in the recap of last Monday, this Holland Series has been another good one between these two teams, who also played some fine games against each other during the regular season and the Play-Offs. The spectators have seen six very attractive games between two teams, who were very up to each other. Four of the six games ended with an one-run difference, two games needed extra innings.

The Final opened in Rotterdam. There, Amsterdam Pirates won the opener on Saturday, September 24 in twelve innings, coming from behind to win 6-5. The next day, Neptunus won 8-5 to even the Series.

The third game initially was scheduled to be played on Thursday-evening, September 29, but then was cancelled due to rain. The game was moved to Friday-evening and Neptunus won 7-3.

Last weekend, Neptunus scored four runs in the first two innings on Saturday (October 1), then was held scoreless in the remainder of the game, but won 4-3. On Sunday, the fifth game rained out after a 2-hour rain delay and was moved to Monday-night. Amsterdam Pirates then won 2-1 in ten innings to force a sixth game. (October 8)

Game 5 - Amsterdam Pirates forces 6th game in Holland Series. (October 3)
Game 5 Holland Series rains out; Game moved to Monday. (October 2)
Game 4 - Narrow win Neptunus; one victory away from title! (October 1)
Game 3 - Neptunus takes lead in Holland Series by winning Game 3. (September 30)
3rd Game Holland Series rains out; moved to Friday. (September 29)
Game 2 - Neptunus scores early to even Holland Series. (September. 25)
Game 1 - Amsterdam Pirates strikes first in Holland Series. (September 24)

Final Standings Holland Series
Final Standings Play-Offs
Final Overall Standings
Schedule & Starting Pitchers
Team Rosters

Most Championship-titles, Head Coaches
TitlesHead CoachClub(s)
6Jan-Dick LeursHaarlem Nicols
4Jan Collins, Paul van den Oever,
Ben Thijssen (coaching-trio)
4John HeytSparta
4Evert-Jan 't HoenNeptunus
4Henk KeulemansSchoten
3Robert EenhoornNeptunus
3Gé HoogenbosEHS (2), Haarlem Nicols (1)
3Charles Urbanus, Jr.Neptunus (2), Pirates (1)
By winning the title this year, Evert-Jan 't Hoen did something no one had ever done before, as he became the first coach in history to lead a team to a championship in his first four full seasons. Before today, the only other coach to lead a team to three consecutive titles in his first three full seasons was Robert Eenhoorn, who did it with Neptunus in 1999-2001. Overall, 't Hoen became the fifth coach in history to win four Championship-titles.

With his four consecutive titles as Head Coach, 't Hoen equals Jan-Dick Leurs, who won the championship with Haarlem Nicols in 1982-1985 after having finished in third place in his rookie-season. Leurs is the most successful coach in history with six championship-titles.

It marks the sixth time in history that a team wins four consecutive titles, but the first time that one team has done it twice. Neptunus also accomplished the feat when it won a record seven titles in a row in 1999-2005. The only other teams to have won four consecutive titles are Amsterdam-based OVVO, which won the championships five years in a row in 1949-1953, Blauw-Wit (Amsterdam, 1943-1946), Sparta (Rotterdam, 1971-1974) and Haarlem Nicols (1982-1985).

Most Championship-titles, Clubs
12Haarlem Nicols
9Blauw-Wit, Sparta
5SC Haarlem, Kinheim, Schoten
4Ajax, Pirates
With 17 national championships, Neptunus has won the most titles in history. In 2010, when the team captured its 13th title, it broke the all-time record held by Haarlem Nicols. In 2004, it set another record with a sixth consecutive title, as Neptunus then broke a 51-year old record, beause OVVO had won five titles in a row in 1949-1953.

Most Championship-titles, Cities
1The Hague
The championship of Neptunus was the 26th captured by a Rotterdam-based club. With 17 titles, Neptunus is the most successful Rotterdam-based club, however, the most successful baseball-cities remain Amsterdam and Haarlem. Amsterdam leads the list with 33 titles, while Haarlem follows closely with 32.

In 1922, Amsterdam-based Quick won the first title. Since then, 95 clubs have been crowned Dutch champion, coming from only six different cities. Amsterdam, Haarlem and Rotterdam combined won 91 of these championships!

The 95 titles have been won by 21 different teams. Nine of the came from Amsterdam, seven from Haarlem and only two from Rotterdam.

Curaçao Neptunus vs. L&D Amsterdam Pirates
As expected, veterans Diegomar Markwell (Neptunus) and Rob Cordemans (Amsterdam Pirates) took the mound today. Both had made two starts in the Series before today. They both started the opener on Saturday, September 24, which ended in a 6-5 win for Amsterdam in 12 innings. Markwell (6 inn.) and Cordemans (3 1/3 inn.) both had a no-decision in that game. Lefthander Markwell then started Game 3 on Friday, September 30, threw 5 1/3 inning and was the winning pitcher, as Neptunus won 7-3. Cordemans started Game 4 the next day on Saturday, October 1. The righthander threw 5 2/3 inning and was the losing pitcher, as Neptunus nipped Amsterdam 4-3. Today, both again ended up with a no-decision. The pitchers-of-record were relievers Loek van Mil (Neptunus) and Tom de Blok (Amsterdam). Last Monday, in Game 5, De Blok won and Van Mil lost. Today, the decisions were reversed.

Amsterdam Pirates reached base first in today's game. In the top of the first inning, with one out, Diegomar Markwell walked Gilmer Lampe, but hereafter, Nick Urbanus grounded into a double play. Rob Cordemans had a strong start, as he struckout the side in his first inning.

In the second inning, Pirates reached base again, as Linoy Croes singled with two outs, but he was left behind. Markwell then retired the side in the third and fourth inning. The lefthander then gave up a 2-out single to Rashid Gerard in the fifth, but he also stranded.

From the second through fifth inning, Neptunus was more productive, reached base frequently, scored three runs, but also could have been scoreless, as two runs were unearned, while the third one also might not have been scored.

In the bottom of the second inning, with one out, Dwayne Kemp reached base on an error and stole second base. He later advanced on a grounder, but stranded on third base.

...Dwayne Kemp...
...Most Valuable Player...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the third at bat, Benjamin Dille led off for Neptunus with a single and moved on a sacrifice bunt by Shaldimar Daantji. Hereafter, Christian Diaz reached on an infield-hit, which put runners at first and third base. The inning then ended when Randolph Oduber grounded into a double play.

In the fourth inning, Cordemans struckout lead-off hitter Dashenko Ricardo to record his fourth strikeout. Hereafter, Amsterdam-leftfielder Gilmer Lampe caught a fly hit by Gianison Boekhoudt. Last Monday, in Game 5, Boekhoudt was ejected for his reactions following a called strikeout. For this, he was suspended for one game. However, Neptunus appealed the suspension and with that, it was adjourned, making him eligible to play today.

With two outs in the fourth, Neptunus scored two unearned runs on two costly errors. First, Dwayne Kemp reached when his grounder was misplayed by third baseman Rashid Gerard, but because of his speed, he might even have been safe when no error had been made. The speedy Kemp then scored all the way from first base when veteran Raily Legito followed with a double. Moments later, Legito took off from second base and was standing near the short stop. He then ran towards third base (stolen base) when catcher Max Clarijs threw the ball to second base for a pick-off attempt. The throw was high and ended up in centerfield, enabling Legito to score the second run. Hereafter, Cordemans closed the at bat by striking out Rien Vernooij, but Neptunus led 2-0.

Neptunus added a run in the fifth. With two outs, Christian Diaz doubled and scored on a single by Randolph Oduber. The throw from the outfield back to catcher Max Clarijs appeared to be in time for a play at the plate, but he had no control over the ball and so, Diaz scored. Rob Cordemans then struckout Dashenko Ricardo for the third time to record his seventh strikeout in five innings.

While a 3-0 lead sometimes appears to be somewhat comfortable at this point in a regular season-game, that ain't so when you play in the Holland Series. Anything can happen in these games, especially when quality-teams as Neptunus and Pirates face each other.

In the top of the sixth inning, Amsterdam stranded another runner. With two outs, Gilmer Lampe singled, but then Nick Urbanus fouled out.

In the bottom of the sixth, Cordemans was relieved by lefthander Robin Schel. His job was to eliminate lefthanded batter Gianison Boekhoudt and he succeeded in that, as the powerhitter grounded out. Hereafter, Daan Hendrix took over the Amsterdam-pitching and he retired the next two batters.

In the top of the seventh inning, it became a complete new ballgame, as Amsterdam Pirates came alongside! Kenny Berkenbosch led off with an infield-hit, then Linoy Croes was hit by a pitch with one out. Both scored when Rashid Gerard followed with a double down the leftfield-line. The ball left fair territory close to the line near third base and Neptunus Head Coach Evert-Jan 't Hoen briefly argued with Home Plate Umpire Olav Steijger. While a challenge is not possible, TV-replays showed that the ball indeed was fair and with that the umpiring decision was correct. Hereafter, Diegomar Markwell struckout pinch-hitter Koen Nooij, but then gave up a runscoring single to Michael Duursma that made it a 3-3 score. The inning ended when Remco Draijer grounded out. Markwell clearly wasn't happy with this turn-around, as he hit angrily with a bat in the dug-out after he had returned from the field.

Both teams then failed to break the 3-3 tie, as they left three runners behind.

...Raily Legito had two basehits, including a double, scored...
...twice and batted in one run in the final game of his career...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the bottom of the seventh inning, with one out, Benjamin Dille (bunt) and Shaldimar Daantji (infield-hit) both reached on a single. On Daantji's hit, short stop Michael Duursma did try to force out Dille on second base, but was unsuccessful. With two outs, the bases got loaded when Randolph Oduber also reached on an infield-hit. That led to a pitching change, as closer Tom de Blok took over from Daan Hendrix. The inning ended and three runners were left behind when Dashenko Ricardo grounded out.

In the top of the eighth inning, Markwell was relieved by Berry van Driel, who is about to become a father one of these days. The righthander saw lead-off hitter Gilmer Lampe reach on an error by short stop Dwayne Kemp. Lampe stole second base, then moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Urbanus. To set up a force play, next batter Kenny Berkenbosch was walked intentionally. With runners on first and third base, closer Loek van Mil was inserted as new pitcher, replacing Van Driel. A bunt-attempt then failed, as Danny Rombley's bunt was caught by Van Mil. Moments later, Berkenbosch stole second base, then the bases got loaded when next batter Linoy Croes walked. The inning ended when Croes was forced out on second base on a grounder by Rashid Gerard and with that, three runners were left behind.

Neptunus scored what would be the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs, Raily Legito reached on an infield-hit and stole second base. Hereafter, Rien Vernooij singled through the middle to bring in Legito and give Neptunus a 4-3 lead. With this, Legito was responsible for three of the four runs Neptunus scored today. In the final game of this career, he scored twice and batted in one run. On May 27, Vernooij was one of the players involved in a bench-clearing fight in a regular season-game between Neptunus and Amsterdam, which led to the decision by the umpiring crew to halt the game. Six players were suspended, including an one-year suspension for Vernooij. However, that suspension was brought back to a suspension for the remainder of the regular season. With that, Vernooij became eligible to play again for Neptunus during the Play-Offs and the Holland Series.

Now leading 4-3, the suspense remained, as Amsterdam got runners on second and third base in the top of the ninth, but there was also a crucial baserunning mistake. Patrick Bok, who had entered the game defensively as first baseman in the bottom of the seventh inning, led off with a single and moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Michael Duursma. Next batter Remco Draijer then grounded to short stop Dwayne Kemp. And while the ball was hit on his right-side, Bok tried to advance to third base on the grounder, but was eliminated there. Hereafter, Draijer moved to third base on a single by Gilmer Lampe, who himself ended up on second base on the throw towards third base. With that, Amsterdam had the tying run on third base and the go-ahead run on second base with two outs. But the suspense, the game, the Holland Series and the season ended when Loek van Mil struckout Nick Urbanus!

...Neptunus-starter Diegomar Markwell...

...Amsterdam-starter Rob Cordemans...

...Christian Diaz is forced out by 2B Nick Urbanus... a double play in the 3rd inning...

...Christian Diaz scores the 3rd Neptunian run in the 5th inning...
...Catcher Max Clarijs has no control over the ball...

...Neptunus Head Coach Evert-Jan 't Hoen argues with...
...HP Umpire Olav Steijger regarding a foul ball in 7th inning...

...Gilmer Lampe steals 2nd base in the 8th inning...
...Dwaye Kemp tries to avoid that...

...Neptunus celebrates after the final out...

...A disappointed Gilmer Lampe leaves the field...

...Disappointed players and coaches of Amsterdam Pirates look on from the dug-out after the final out...

...KNBSB-President Ron Schel hands out the medals... the players of Neptunus...

...Neptunus Head Coach Evert-Jan 't Hoen is...
...showered by his players...

...Jan Collins, Evert-Jan 't Hoen and Melfried Comenencia...
...formed the winning coaching-staff...

...MVP Dwayne Kemp celebrates the championship...

(© All Photos: Henk Seppen)

Curaçao Neptunus - L&D Amsterdam Pirates 4-3
L&D Amsterdam Pirates000000300-383
Curaçao Neptunus00021001X-4101
pitchers Piratesinn.SOBBHRER
Rob Cordemans57-531

Robin Schel0.1-----

Daan Hendrix1.11-3--

Tom de Blok, L (2-1)1.11-211
pitchers Neptunusinn.SOBBHRER
Diegomar Markwell731633

Berry van Driel0.1-1---

Loek van Mil, W (1-1)1.2112--
Box Score
Final Standings Holland Series
Final Standings Play-Offs
Final Standings 1st half
Final Standings 2nd half
Final Overall Standings
Team Rosters
Umpires: HP-Olav Steijger, 1B-Martijn Bosschaart,
2B-Stenar van Groningen Schinkel, 3B-Henny Jansen.
Official Scorer-Linda Steijger.
Play-by-Play Scorer-Alex van den Berg.
Technical Commissioner-Johan Brandsma.
Public Address Announcer-Hélène van Eijk.
Scoreboard Operator-Lex Looijen.
Starting Time-1:00 PM.
Time-3:00 hr.
Site-Neptunus Familiestadion, Sportpark Abraham van Stolkweg, Rotterdam.

Game Notes:
Game Six best-of-seven Holland Series.
Game initially began with a 3-man umpiring crew with Stenar van Groningen Schinkel moving from 2B to 3B; in the 3rd inning, the crew was completed to four, as Henny Jansen joined after having arrived after being stuck in a traffic jam; with that, he took his position at 3rd base, while Van Groningen Schinkel moved to his original assignment at 2nd base.
Neptunus wins Holland Series, 4-2 to capture its fourth consecutive Championship-title and 17th in club-history.
Neptunus becomes the 95th baseball-champion of the Netherlands.
Dwayne Kemp named Most Valuable Player of the Holland Series.
Neptunus Head Coach Evert-Jan 't Hoen becomes the first Head Coach in history to win four championship-titles in his first four seasons.
Neptunus and Amsterdam Pirates both qualify for participation in next years European Champions Cup.
Weather conditions at game time: Sunny, 13,9° C (57° F); wind direction east-southeast;
wind speed 10 kmh (6,3 mph); wind force 3 Bft; humidity 60%.

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