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Updated: March 11, 2017
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2017 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Alfred Cop Fotografie)

Neptunus wins exhibition game at HCAW

BUSSUM (Neth.) - Reigning Dutch champion Curaçao Neptunus opened its exhibition season on Saturday-afternoon (March 11) with an 11-7 victory at HCAW.

Last weekend, HCAW opened its exhibition season with a small 2-1 against RCH-Pinguïns, which plays in the second highest league ('Overgangsklasse'). For Neptunus, this was its first exhibition game of the season. Both teams will face each other again on Sunday, but then in Rotterdam, starting at 2 PM.

Making his debut as Head Coach of Neptunus was Ronald Jaarsma, who played several seasons for HCAW, before turning to coaching. The past four seasons, Jaarsma had been the 3B Coach of L&D Amsterdam Pirates.

Today's game marked a special moment, as it was the first time that HCAW and Neptunus met each other in an exhibition game since March 22, 2003! Fourteen years ago, HCAW won 5-2 vs. Neptunus in a 5-inning game during the annual Jan van de Vegte Memorial Tournament in Nijmegen. Jeroen Deken then was the winning pitcher, Eelco Jansen the losing pitcher and Jurjan Koenen hit a grand slam homerun for HCAW. Back then, Neptunus' Head Coach Ronald Jaarsma was a player of HCAW. The only player in today's game, who also played in 2003 was Shaldimar Daantji. He then also played for Neptunus.

(March 11)

Complete exhibition schedule

The first four innings of today's game were 'normal', but from the fifth inning on, some unwritten exhibiton rules came into effect. Teams just walked off the field when pitchers had reached pitch-count limits or were not ready yet. And that happened regardless the situation at that time. There also was an inning that began with two baserunners, who were left-overs from the previous at bat.

...Ronald Jaarsma made his debut today... Head Coach of Neptunus...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
The weather conditions were again favorable today and eight innings were played. There were some fine defensive plays and the pitchers got some innings in their arms. And there were a lot of basehits, 25 in total. Fourteen of them were registered by Neptunus. HCAW collected eleven basehits, including the first homerun of the exhibition season, which was a solo-shot by Vince Rooi, accounting for HCAW's final run in the eighth inning.

At the moment, Neptunus has to do without its pitchers Diegomar Markwell, Orlando Yntema and Loek van Mil and infielder Dwayne Kemp. They all are currently participating with the Netherlands National Team in the World Baseball Classic.

Because of this, debuting Head Coach Ronald Jaarsma added some players from Tridents, the second team of Neptunus, and from the junior-squad of Unicorns to participate in today's game. Coming from Unicorns, which is a team of the Rotterdam Baseball School, were pitcher Stefan Iannelli and infielder Den Seelbach. Joining the main-squad from Tridents was pitcher Henk van Heijningen, who played in the Dutch big league for The Hawks. Last season, the righthander played in the second highest league for Orioles, then joined Tridents in the following transfer-period. Another player who made his debut in the Neptunus-squad was American Gregory Muller, who in 2010-2013 played in Division I for the Danes, the team of the University of Albany.

Neptunus was held scoreless in the first three innings by starter Kaj Timmermans, who gave up only one basehit and was supported with a double play in the second inning.

HCAW opened the score in the second at bat off of former professional Misja Harcksen. The righthander was released in September last year by the Los Angeles Dodgers, while playing in the Rookie League. Harcksen returned home to the Netherlands and rejoined his former club Neptunus for whom he pitched in one game in relief in the Holland Series against L&D Amsterdam Pirates and then was the losing pitcher.

Harcksen retired the side in the first inning, then gave up two runs in the second at bat. Rossini Frolijk led off with a double and Kevin Dirksen singled, then both scored with one out when Delano Selassa also doubled. HCAW stranded a runner on second base in both the second and third inning.

In the top of the fourth inning, Neptunus rallied for four runs off of new pitcher Giovanni Tensen. With one out and a runner on first base, he got the bases loaded when Christian Diaz singled and Rien Vernooij walked. A run was then scored on a grounder by Gianison Boekhoudt and Daniel Fernandes followed with a 2-run single to put Neptunus ahead, 3-2. Fernandes then stole second base, advanced on an error and scored the next run on a single by Ruar Verkerk, another former pro in the Rotterdam-squad. Verkerk, who played in the Rookie League-team of the Minnesota Twins, was released in June last year and then also re-joined Neptunus.

...Vince Rooi homers in the 8th inning for HCAW...
(© Photo: Alfred Cop Fotografie)
In the bottom of the fourth, HCAW started well off of Stefan Iannelli, who had relieved Harcksen in the previous at bat. Rossini Frolijk led off with his second double in the game, then Kevin Dirksen reached on an infield-hit, which kept Frolijk at second base. Hereafter, Kevin Weijgertse flied out, but that ended in a double play, as Frolijk also was eliminated. A grounder then ended the at bat.

In the top of the fifth, Neptunus took more distance by scoring six runs with two outs. Tensen retired the first two batters, but then got the bases loaded again via a single by Benjamin Dille, double by Christian Diaz and walk for Rien Vernooij. The first two then scored on a single by Gianison Boekhoudt and a single by Daniel Fernandes led to the next run and a pitching change. Tim Niekerk took over, but he was greeted with a 2-run double by Ruar Verkerk. A single by Urving Kemp was then followed by an outfield-error, which led to the next run and lifted the lead to 10-2.

In the final three innings of the game, Neptunus would add only one more run, while HCAW scored five.

In the bottom of the fifth, it started to become clear that this was an exhibition game. With two outs, Iannelli gave up a double to Bram Selderijk, who made his debut in the HCAW-squad, as he was added to the team for today's game. Next batter Roelie Henrique then walked. But with two runners on base, Neptunus left the field, as Iannelli had reached his pitch-count and reliever Henk van Heijningen wasn't ready yet.

In the top of the sixth, Niekerk also got two quick outs. He then gave up a single to Benjamin Dille and got the bases loaded via walks for Christian Diaz and Rien Vernooij (his third). A wild pitch then led to a run. When Niekerk walked next batter Gianison Boekhoudt to re-load the bases, it was HCAW's turn to leave the field before three outs were made.

In the bottom of the sixth, Selderijk and Henrique, who were the baserunners when the fifth inning ended, returned to the bases they occupied, while Henk van Heijningen became the new pitcher for Neptunus. With one out, both scored on a double by Vince Rooi, which made it an 11-4 score.

In the top of the seventh, Neptunus didn't bring back their baserunners. Sedley Karel took over the pitching for HCAW, gave up a lead-off double to Daniel Fernandes (who was 3-for-3), then struckout the next three batters.

In the bottom of the seventh,Delano Selassa and Dylan Koster singled and respectively scored on a grounder by Selderijk and a wild pitch to narrow the deficit to 11-6.

In the eighth, HCAW added another run when Vince Rooi homered with one out. When next batter Rossini Frolijk flied out, the inning ended with two outs. And that also concluded today's game.

...Left: HCAW's 2B Roelie Henrique forces out Shaldimar Daantji in the 4th inning...
...Right: HCAW's short stop Delano Selassa makes a nice defensive play...

...Left: Sedley Karel closed the game for HCAW and struckout four batters...
...Right: Vince Rooi is greeted by 3B Coach Rudy Dirksen after his homerun in the 8th inning...
(© All Photos: Alfred Cop Fotografie)

HCAW - Curaçao Neptunus 7-11 (8 inn.)
Curaçao Neptunus00046100-11140
pitchers Neptunusinn.SOBBHRER
Misja Harcksen2.211322

Stefan Iannelli, W (1-0)2-13--

Henk van Heijningen2.111552

pitchers HCAWinn.SOBBHRER
Kaj Timmermans3111--

Giovanni Tensen, BS (1), L (0-1)1.2-2999

Tim Niekerk113321

Sedley Karel1.2411--

Homerun: HCAW: Vince Rooi (1)(8th,solo,off Van Heijningen).
Standings Exhibition Season
Exhibition Scores
Exhibition Schedule
Umpires: HP-Efrem Silvania, 1B-Roy van de Wateringen.
Scorer-Rob Schuurman (HCAW).
Public Address Announcer-none.
Scoreboard Operator-Nico van de Luitgaren.
Starting Time-2:03 PM.
Time Played-2:37 hrs.
Site-Rob Hoffmann Vallei, Sportpark Zanderijweg, Bussum

Game Notes:
Exhibition Game.
HCAW and Neptunus both had 10 hitters in their batting order.
Weather conditions at game time: Partly cloudy, 13° C (55,4° F); wind direction east;
wind speed 10 kmh (6,4 mph); wind force 2 Bft; humidity 68%.

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