(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)
Neptunus wins North Sea Cup in The Hague
THE HAGUE (Neth.) -
Curaçao Neptunus registered a loss and a win on Sunday (March 26), but nevertheless ended up in first place to win the second edition of the North Sea Cup in The Hague.
The two-day tournament was organized by Storks, which will play in the second highest division ('Overgangsklasse') this year.
Storks has a history of organizing several tournaments through the years.
One of these events was the Haagse Honkbal Dagen (The Hague Baseball Days), which was organized annually several years ago.
Last year, Storks organized another (international) tournament with the name Haagse Honkbal Dagen.
In what was then the Easter Weekend, Royal Greys, Borgerhout Squirrels (both Belgium), Dortmundt Wanderers (Germany) joined The Orioles and host Storks.
Unfortunately, weather conditions were unfavorable and several games had to be cancelled due to rain.
As not enough games were played, the organization decided not to name a winner.
This year, another international tournament was set up.
Besides basebal, there also was a softball-tournament for the first time.
It was therefore decided to change to tournament-name into North Sea Cup.
Royal Greys again was one of the participating teams this year.
Also coming from Belgium was Mortsel Stars.
Dutch reigning champion Curaçao Neptunus also accepted an invitation, as did RCH-Pinguïns, who will be an opponent of Storks in this years 'Overgangsklasse'.
Host Storks completed the field of participants.
After Storks opened the event on Saturday-morning with an 8-5 victory against RCH-Pinguïns, Neptunus shutout Royal Greys 10-0 in the next game.
As all games lasted only one hour and 15 minutes, games lasted only three or four innings.
Diegomar Markwell threw a 'complete' game for Neptunus in its opener.
Markwell was one of the Neptunus-players who returned earlier in the week from Los Angeles after completion of the World Baseball Classic with the Netherlands Kingdom Team.
The others were pitchers Orlando Yntema and Loek van Mil and infielder Dwayne Kemp.
Van Mil didn't pitch this weekend.
In its next game, Neptunus registered another shutout-win, this time winning 8-0 against Storks.
Misja Harcksen and Berry van Driel did the pitching for Neptunus.
Mortsel Stars also won twice on Saturday, winning vs. RCH-Pinguíns and Royal Greys with scores of 10-2 and 12-0 respectively.
On an early Sunday-morning, Neptunus ended up short against RCH-Pinguïns.
The team from Heemstede nipped Neptunus 3-2.
Orlando Yntema threw for Neptunus in this match-up.
In the next game, Mortsel Stars also was unable to win its next game, playing a 2-2 tie against Storks.
However, the Belgian squad earned one point for this and with that took first place, followed by Neptunus.
In the third game on Sunday, RCH-Pinguïns shutout Royal Greys 2-0 to move into a tie with Neptunus.
In case the two teams would still be tied in the final standings, RCH-Pinguïns would be ranked highest based on its win against Neptunus earlier today.
Neptunus then registered a deciding 6-0 victory against Mortsel Stars, with Kevin Kelly and Elton Koeiman doing the pitching.
With the win, Neptunus moved into first place and became the winner of the tournament.
With the loss, Mortsel Stars now had to wait for the result of the final game between Storks and Royal Greys.
A win for Storks created a tie between the host and Mortsel.
As its head-to-head game was 2-2 earlier today, the run-difference in all games played would be the tie-breaker.
While the run-difference was in favor of Mortsel Stars, the score of the final game would be decisive.
Storks won 7-0 against Royal Greys, which gave Mortsel second place.
1. Curaçao Neptunus, 2. Mortsel Stars (Belgium), 3. Storks, 4. RCH-Pinguïns, 5. Royal Greys (Belgium).
Coming weekend, Neptunus plays three games.
The team meets Hoofddorp Pioniers at 2 PM in Hoofddorp on Saturday.
Neptunus then will play a double-header at home on Sunday.
In the first game, starting at 11:30 AM, Neptunus plays against L&D Amsterdam Pirates, then meets Pioniers again later in the day, starting approximately a 2:30 PM.
Complete exhibition schedule
Neptunus records comfortable win against UVV. (March 19)
UVV and Neptunus play scoreless exhibition game. (March 18)
Neptunus registers huge exhibition-victory. (March 12)
Neptunus wins exhibition game at HCAW. (March 11)