(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
Storks winner of Ringvaart Tournament
HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) -
Storks has won the third edition of the Ringvaart Tournament, which was organized last weekend (April 1-2) by RCH-Pinguïns at its site in Heemstede.
The team from The Hague, which was the favorite before the tournament, faced the host in the Final, which ended in a 2-2 tie.
The tournament-winner the had to be decided by the tournament-rules.
Four teams participated in the tournament, being Onze Gezellen, The Orioles, Storks and host RCH-Pinguïns.
All with also meet each other in the regular season, as the four play in the second highest league ('Overgangsklasse').
All games lasted 90 minutes and so, four to five innings were played were played in each game.
RCH-Pinguïns opened the tournament on Saturday-morning with a 2-0 loss against Onze Gezellen.
The defense of RCH-Pinguïns turned three double plays in the 5-inning game, but couldn't avoid giving up two runs.
Hylke van Viersen, who pitched in some big league-games for UVV, pitched for RCH-Pinguïns.
He was supported with a double play in the first and second at bat, then got the bases loaded in the third, but didn't gave up runs.
With one out, Roel Koehorst walked, Mitchel Hetem singled and Martijn van Diemen also walked.
Koehorst was the forced out at the plate on a grounder by Ted Koehorst and a flyout ended the inning.
After RCH-Pinguïns had turned its third double play in the fourth, Joeri Hondius homered for Onze Gezellen.
In the fifth, Hetem reached on an error with one out, stole second and third base and scored on a force play-grounder by Ted Koehorst.
Raymond Rutte, who als has pitched in the Dutch big league, silenced the offense of RCH-Pinguïns and threw a 5-inning No-Hitter.
Rutte walked four batters and hit another, but he also was supported with two double plays.
In the third, RCH-Pinguïns came close to opening the score.
With one out, Jouri Spoor was hit by a pitch, then an error followed on a force play-grounder by Rick Nansink.
They advanced on a grounder by Daan Groenewoud, but then were left behind.
Hereafter, another shutout followed, this a minimal 1-0 victory for Storks against The Orioles.
Storks scored the lone run in the fourth (and final) inning.
Timo van Aanhout led off with a single, moved on a wild pitch and a single by Kenny George, then later scored the winning run on another wild pitch.
In the afternoon, RCH-Pinguïns regsitered a big 15-1 win against The Orioles.
RCH-Pinguïns struck early and already led 8-0 after two innings.
The team rallied for five runs in the first at bat off of starter Lex Meinerts.
Rick Nansink led off with a single, then the bases got loaded with one out when Jazon Allée and Joey Kuijsten both walked.
Joshua Zara followed with a baseclearing, 3-run triple.
He later scored himself on a 2-out single by Donny Harmelink, who went on to score the fifth run on a single by Dave Veerman.
Three runs were added in the second inning.
Jeldwin Orman led off with a double and scored on a grouder.
Later in the at bat, Joey Kuijsten added a 2-run double.
A 7-run rally lifted the lead to 15-1 in the fourth inning.
In this inning, there were three errors and only three basehits, including another RBI-double by Kuijsten and a 3-run homerun by Shermayn Balentien.
Dion Steyl, who also pitched some games in the big league in the past, started RCH-Pinguïns.
With an 8-0 lead, he saw The Orioles score its lone run in the bottom of the second.
Rofaldrick Anthony then reached on an error and later scored on another error with two outs.
The first day ended with the game between Onze Gezellen and Storks, which ended in a 6-6 tie.
On Sunday, the final games of the round-robin were played.
First, RCH-Pinguïns and Storks played an 1-1 tie.
The game was scoreless after three innings.
Veteran Al Morales Gomes, who also is a former big league-pitcher, threw for RCH-Pinguïns.
He gave up two singles in the first inning, but both runners were caught stealing.
In the second, the righthander struckout two batters, but saw Storks also strand a runner on third base.
After Storks left another runner in scoring position in the third, it opened the score in the fourth.
With one out, Timo van Aanhout and Joran Berkhout singled.
Hereafter, Gino Gil also single to bring in the first run.
Philip Brandt then connected for the fourth consecutive basehit, but Storks would leave three runners behind.
Storks-pitcher Nick Winkel walked three batters in the first three innings and RCH-Pinguïns left two runners behind in scoring position.
In the fourth, the Heemstede-squad came alongside.
With one out, Ties van der Beeke walked and scored on a following double by Joey Kuijsten, who himself stranded on third base.
Both briefly played in the big league last year for respectively DSS and Hoofddorp Pioniers.
With the result of this game, Storks secured itself of a spot in the Final.
The final game of the round robin was played between The Orioles and Onze Gezellen, which ended in a surprise.
The Orioles, which has lost its first two games, nipped Onze Gezellen with a 5-4 score and with that, not Onze Gezellen, but RCH-Pinguïns qualified for the Final.
Onze Gezellen and RCH-Pinguïns tied for second place.
While Onze Gezellen had won the head-to-head game on Saturday, this was not the tie-breaker to decide the ranking.
Instead, the run-difference of the round-robin did and that was in favor of RCH-Pinguïns, which therefore became the second finalist.
That set up the two games to decide the final ranking.
In the game for third and fourth place, Onze Gezellen shutout The Orioles, 4-0.
After four scoreless innings, Onze Gezellen rallied for four runs in the fifth on only one basehit.
The defense of The Orioles committed four costly errors, resulting in only one run being unearned.
Joffrey Heus, who played in the big league the past few seasons with DSS, was the winning pitcher for Onze Gezellen.
The Final between RCH-Pinguïns and Storks then ended in a 2-2 tie.
It was RCH-Pinguïns that opened the score off of side-arm pitcher Ricky Voorn, who gave up four basehits.
Jazon Allée, who had reached on a fielder's choice, scored the first run in the first inning on a 2-out single by Joey Kuijsten.
In the third inning, RCH-Pinguïns doubled its lead.
Rick Nansink led off with a single and was able to advance to third base when an outfield-error followed.
He then scored on an one-out single by Ties van der Beeke.
In the fourth, Voorn was relieved by Tjibbe van Dijk, who didn't gave up additional runs.
Both Voorn and Van Dijk have some big league-experience, while pitching for ADO in the past.
RCH-Pinguïns starter Lars Werkman had a good outing.
He struckout five batters and gave up only three hits, but with a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, two outs and a runner on first base, he was relieved by Lars Broersen, who then successfully closed the at bat.
With one out in the fifth, Broersen gave up singles to Philip Brandt and Sem Petit.
He was then relieved by Mike Ruitenburg, who began with a strikeout, but then gave up a 2-run double to Joost van de Bergh that made it a 2-2 tie.
According to the tournament-rules when the Final ends in a tie, the tournament-winner will be the team that was in first place after completion of the round-robin.
And so, Storks became the winner of this years tournament, which again was very successful and a well-organized event.
1. Storks, 2. RCH-Pinguïns, 3. Onze Gezellen, 4. The Orioles.
(special thank you for Wim Timmer for providing the scorecards of the tournament)