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Updated: May 14, 2017
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2017 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Pioniers controls game vs. Neptunus after costly errors

ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Curaçao Neptunus didn't play its best game on Sunday (May 14) and lost 11-5 against Hoofddorp Pioniers. Neptunus opened the series on Thursday with a 6-2 win, then the second game rained out on Saturday. This game will be made up on Tuesday in Hoofddorp. Glenn Wassink (Pioniers) and Kevin Kelly (Neptunus) have been named starting pitchers for this game.

It was a crowded day in the center of Rotterdam today. At its home stadium 'De Kuip', 16 kilometers (nine miles) away from the Neptunus-stadium, Feyenoord was winning its first national soccer-championship in 18 years. Because of this, a lot of soccer-fans were downtown watching on video-screens and celebrating.

It also was a day of mixed feelings for some inhabitants of the city of Rotterdam. While many were celebrating the soccer-title of Feyenoord, for others, this was a day of remembrance. Today, it was exactly 77 years ago that during World War II an aerial bombardment took place in Rotterdam, which destroyed the entire historic city centre, killed nearly 900 people and made 85,000 others homeless. At two memorial sites, the victims were remembered today.
More information of this moment in history can be found here.

At the same time, Neptunus was playing ist home game. The team initially was leading 4-0, but Pioniers came alongside in the fifth thanks to three errors and from that moment on, it controlled the game. Pioniers added seven more runs from the sixth inning on and registered a convincing victory. Pioniers collected 14 basehits. Eight of the nine starters hit at least one basehit. Five players recorded two basehits. Seven players scored at least once.

In the team of Pioniers, Max Draijer played his first game of the season. Earlier in the week, the infielder returned after completion of his college-season in the States.

On the other hand, Neptunus has to do without Rien Vernooij from now on. A few days ago, the first baseman announced his retirement, as he is unable to combine playing with his regular job. Furthermore, second baseman Benjamin Dille today left the game in the eighth inning after getting injured in a steal-situation. Neptunus already has to do without outfielder Steven Wharwood (injured), closer Loek van Mil (injured) and starter Orlando Yntema (illness). But Neptunus also received some brighter news regarding the health of Yntema, as the club announced that he successfully underwent surgery on Wednesday and was released from the hospital today. He now will continue to recover at home.

(May 14)

Complete schedule

Initially, it appeared that Neptunus was en route to a victory, as it led 4-0 after four innings. Pioniers then came alongside in the fifth and took charge of the game from that moment on.

Neptunus got a force out at third base in the first inning and had a caught stealing at second base in the second inning, but then opened the score in the third at bat. With one out, Stijn van der Meer singled off of starter Nick Keur and the lefthander then gave up an RBI-double to Benjamin Dille. With two outs, the latter scored the next run on a single by Dwayne Kemp. While trying to field Kemp's hit in short centerfield Dudley Leonora fell on his left shoulder and needed some attending, causing a 5-minute delay, but was able to continue playing.

Neptunus added two runs in the fourth. The at bat began with a single from Daniel Fernandes, who played at first base since Thursday after Rien Vernooij's retirement. Coming week, American first baseman Gregory Muller is expected back from the States. It was known in advance that Muller would be absent for three weeks in this period. Also expected to arrive in Rotterdam coming week is new American pitcher Trevor Reckling. Fernandes moved on a sacrifice bunt and a single by Shaldimar Daantji, then scored when a balk was called. Moments later, Daantji scored on a single by Stijn van der Meer to make it a 4-0 score. When next batter Benjamin Dille walked, a pitching change followed. Nick Keur was relieved by Scott Ronnenbergh and the lefthander was supported with an inning-ending double play.

The next five innings belonged to Pioniers. After not getting a runner in scoring position in its first four at bats, the Hoofddorp-squad came alongside in the top of the fifth when the Neptunian infield committed three costly errors, which erased the lead for starter Elton Koeiman. Remarkably enough, the errors were made by veteran infielders Benjamin Dille (2b), Dwayne Kemp (3b) and Stijn van der Meer (ss). With one out, Gianni Frolijk walked and reached second base safely when an error was made on a force play-grounder by Mark Smit. Both scored when Joey Eeman followed with a triple. Shortly hereafter, the rookie was eliminated at the plate trying to score on a grounder towards third base by Brennan Nijhof. With two outs, a single by Mervin Gario was followed by a throwing error, resulting in a run. Hereafter, another error was made on a grounder by Dudley Leonora, which enabled Gario to score the tying run.

...Mark Smit... RBI...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
After Neptunus stranded a runner in scoring position in the fifth, Pioniers took a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning. With two outs, Gianni Frolijk doubled and scored on a single by Mark Smit. Next batter Joey Eeman also singled, which led to a pitching change. Misja Harcksen took over the pitching from veteran starter Elton Koeiman, who earlier in the week had turned 44. With runners on first and third base, the inning ended when Eeman was caught stealing.

In the bottom of the sixth, Max Draijer entered the game defensively for Pioniers at second base to make his first appearance of the season. With Pioniers leading 5-4, Scott Ronnenbergh began the inning with a walk for Ruar Verkerk and was then relieved by Lars Huijer. He was the scheduled starter for Saturday's game, but that rained out. Huijer began with a strikeout, saw Verkerk being caught stealing and Stijn van der Meer reach on an error, but a flyout ended the inning.

Pioniers added two more runs in the seventh. With one out, Mervin Gario singled and advanced on a wild pitch. He then scored on a single by Dudley Leonora, who scored himself on a 2-out single by Shurman Marlin.

In the bottom of the seventh, Neptunus scored its last run in the game. Christian Diaz led off with a double, moved on a passed ball and scored when Gianison Boekhoudt reached on an error with one out.

Pioniers took more distance in the next two innings. In the eighth, Max Draijer led off with a walk, advanced on a single by Mark Smit and a force play-grounder by Joey Eeman, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Brennan Nijhof. Hereafter, Eeman stole second base, which resulted in a leg-injury for second baseman Benjamin Dille, as he was hit by a spike. In the bottom of the eighth, the Belgian infielder was replaced by pinch-hitter Brian Raap, who made his debut in a Neptunus-uniform. Dille probably will be out for two weeks.

In the ninth, Pioniers scored three more runs to lift the lead to 11-5. Dudley Leonora led off with a single and scored on a following double by Jeffrey Arends, which brought in a new pitcher. Berry van Driel took over from Misja Harcksen and was greeted with an RBI-double from Shurman Marlin. With one out, Max Draijer delivered a runscoring single which brought in the third run in this at bat.

Lars Huijer retired the side in the bottom of the eighth, then Maickel Rietel did the same in the ninth to close the game.

Curaçao Neptunus - Hoofddorp Pioniers 5-11
Hoofddorp Pioniers000041213-11142
Curaçao Neptunus002200100-593
pitchers Pioniersinn.SOBBHRER
Nick Keur3.133844

Scott Ronnenbergh, W (1-0)1.2 (*)12---

Lars Huijer, H (1)33-11-

Maickel Rietel1-----
(*) - Ronnenbergh pitched to one batter in the sixth inning

pitchers Neptunusinn.SOBBHRER
Elton Koeiman, L (3-1)5.223652

Misja Harcksen2.1 (*)-1655

Berry van Driel1-1211
(*) - Harcksen pitched to two batters in the ninth inning
Box Score
Team Rosters
Umpires: HP-Antoine Loock, 1B-Winfried Berkvens.
Official Scorer-Rienette Hamers.
Play-by-Play Scorer-Alex van den Berg.
Public Address Announcer-Hélène van Eijk.
Scoreboard Operator-Lex Looijen.
Starting Time-2:00 PM.
Time Played-3:19 hrs.
Site-Neptunus Familiestadion, Sportpark Abraham van Stolkweg, Rotterdam.

Game Notes:
5-minute injury-delay for short stop Dudley Leonora (Pioniers) in bottom 3rd.
Weather conditions at game time: Sunny, 18,2° C (64,8° F); wind direction west-southwest;
wind speed 24 kmh (14,7 mph); wind force 5 Bft; humidity 67%.

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