(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
HCAW opens exhibition-season coming Saturday; Twins plays Sunday
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) -
Weather permitting, the exhibition season for teams who play in the Dutch Major League will open coming Saturday, March 4.
On that day, HCAW will be the first big league-team to come into action.
Playing at home in the Rob Hoffmann Valley in Bussum, HCAW will host RCH-Pinguïns, which plays in the second highest league ('Overgangsklasse').
On Sunday, De Glaskoning Twins will play its first game and then meets its second team on its home site in Oosterhout.
It will conduct a practice-session on Saturday.
Initially, HCAW was to play coming weekend against L&D Amsterdam Pirates, which last year reached the Holland Series and won the European Champions Cup.
The two teams were to play another game on Sunday in Amsterdam.
However, Amsterdam Pirates opted not to play, as it has not enough pitching available for a 2-game series at this moment.
Starter Rob Cordemans and reliever Tom de Blok are in South Korea with the Netherlands Kingdom Team for the World Baseball Classic.
Starter Kevin Heijstek has just returned from Arizona (USA), where he was the past two weeks with the Orange squad for its WBC-preparations.
Heijstek is still recovering from a severe injury he sustained in the European Champions Cup-Final last year.
The righthander then tore his hamstring and was out for the season.
In Arizona, Heijstek made his comeback on the mound and made three relief-appearances.
While Heijstek is not on the WBC-roster, he is part of the so-called Designated Pitcher Pool, making him available to be added to the National Team when it qualifies for the Second Round.
Dennis Burgersdijk, also a starter, recently underwent back-surgery and is also recovering.
When HCAW takes the field on Saturday, it will do so under new Head Coach Roeland Henrique, who took over after last season from Roy Berrevoets.
Last year, Henrique was the Assistant Coach of Berrevoets.
In the past, he served in the same position at Amsterdam Pirates.
Henrique will be assisted by Rudy Dirksen, who has been the Head Coach of HCAW himself in 2012.
The next exhibition games will be played in the weekend of March 11-12.
L&D Amsterdam Pirates, DSS, HCAW, Curaçao Neptunus and Pickles UVV then all have two games scheduled.
De Glaskoning Twins will travel to Belgium for a game against Borgerhout Squirrels.
Hoofddorp Pioniers has no games scheduled and will open its exhibition season on March 18.
Go here for the complete exhibition schedule