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Updated: July 2, 2018
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Robert Bos & Org. Eur. Champ. Juveniles)

Netherlands Juveniles win big on European Championship

BUDAPEST (Hungary) - The Netherlands Juveniles Team recorded two big victories in its first two games of the European Championship Juveniles, which went underway on Saturday (June30). Fourteen countries are participating in the event, which also serves as a qualifier for the Under-12 Baseball World Cup, which will be held next year in Taiwan.

On the first day, the Orange squad opened with a 19-4 win in four innings against Austria. The team of Head Coach Peter Herkemij had the day off on Sunday, but added a 20-0 shutout-win in 2½ inning against Croatia on Monday-afternoon (July 2).

The 13th edition of the annual European Championship for Under-12 players (juveniles) is organized in Hungarian capital Budapest. It marks the twelfth time that the event is hosted in a Central or Eastern European country. The Czech Republic hosted the event seven times, including the first one in 2006. Other Championships took place in Belarus, Bulgaria, Poland and Slovenia, who all organized the event once.

Last year, for the first time, the Championship was organized in a country in Western Europe. It was the Netherlands that then hosted the event, where it was played at the site of UVV in Vleuten (Utrecht). Italy then won the European titel by winning big in the Final against France with a 12-1 score. The Netherlands won bronze by winning 9-5 against Russia.

Reigning champion Italy also opened this years event with two big wins. The team shutout Croatia 24-0 on Saturday, then added a 27-0 win against Slovakia on Sunday. The team has no game scheduled on Monday.

Silver Medal-winner France also played twice in the weekend and recorded two convincing victories. On Saturday, France won 12-1 against host Hungary and on Sunday, the team won 26-4 against Great Britain.

The Netherlands and Italy both play in Pool A, which is currently led by Germany. The Germans played three games so far, which were all won. Germany won against Slovakia (11-0), Austria (26-0) and Belgium (20-0).

The Czech Republic is the unbeaten leader in Pool B after also having three times in three days. The Czechs won against Great Britain (11-1), Poland (26-3) and Russia (11-1).

...Antoine Loock...
(© Photo: Robert Bos)
There are three Dutch game-officials active in Hungary. Antoine Loock is one of the umpires, while Fred van Groningen Schinkel is the Delegate of the Technical Commission. Huub Nelissen is the Scoring Director in Budapest.

Antoine Loock officiated in his first game on Saturday-evening. He then was the Home Plate Umpire in the game between France and Hungary. Joining him in the 2-man crew was Georg Veit from Austria.

On Sunday-morning, Loock was at first base in the game between Slovakia and Italy with Konstantin Sdobnov (Russia) behind the plate. In the evening, he again teamed up with Veit and was at first base in the match-up of host Hungary against Russia.

On Tuesday-afternoon, Loock was back behind the plate in the game between the Czech Republic and Russia. For the third time, he formed a duo with Veit.

In its first game on Saturday at the Óbudai Baseball Aréna, the Netherlands Team opened the score against Austria with one run in the first inning when Otis Ward scored on a wild pitch. The team then rallied for six runs in the second inning, which was highlighted by a 3-run homerun by Jamie Beerman.

The 7-0 lead was not enough, as Austria scored four runs in the top of the third inning to narrow the deficit. But the Orange-squad then decided the game by scoring ten runs in its third at bat. In this long at bat, there were five basehits and seven defensive errors. Amongst the basehits were RBI-doubles from Beerman, Junairo Ostiana (2 runs) and Mats van het Land (2 runs). Two more runs were added in the fourth inning.

The Netherlands Team collected 14 basehits, including three by Otis Ward and Jamie Beerman. The latter batted in four runs, while Junairo Ostiana had three runs batted in. Ward, Amarensio Franka and Sol Fahrner all scored three runs. Dutch pitchers Tim Scholte and Wouter Mintjes gave up only one basehit.

On Monday-afternoon, the Netherlands produced two big innings against Croatia in a game that lasted on 2½ inning. The team scored eleven runs in the first inning, then added nine more in the next at bat.

In the first inning, there were eight Dutch basehits. Jamie Beerman hit two doubles in this at bat, while Amarensio Franka and Thijs Helms both connected for two singles.

In the second inning, only three basehits were recorded, one of them an RBI-double by Jayden Fraay. Helms batted in two runs with a single, Franka had a runscoring single.

Pitchers Kimi Verkruijssen (2 innings) and Guido Feldkamp (1 inning) threw a combined 3-inning Perfect Game!

The Netherlands collected 11 basehits, including three by Franka and Helms. Franka, Ward, Beerman and Jayden van Atten all scored three runs, while Helms batted in four.

(June 30-July 2)

...The umpires and the team of the Netherlands enter the field during the Opening Ceremony...
(© Both Photos: Org. European Championship Juveniles)

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