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Updated: October 8, 2018
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Copyright © 1997-2018
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Storks wins to stay in big league

THE HAGUE (Neth.) - Silicon Storks held onto a minimal lead on Sunday (October 7) and won 3-2 against Kinheim in Game 4 of the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Series. With the win, Storks won the Series 3-1 to maintain its stay in the highest division.

This year, Storks played in its first season at the highest level since 1979, but finished in last place in the regular season. In the following Relegation Pool, Storks also ended up in last place and therefore had to play in the Promotion/Relegation Series. In that Series, Storks faced Kinheim, which won the Championship in the second highest league ('Overgangsklasse') to qualify.

A week ago, Storks opened the Series with a 5-1 win, breaking an 1-1 tie with a 4-run rally in the eighth inning. The next day, the second game was halted after 12 complete innings due to darkness with the score tied at 2-2. The game resumed on Satuday-morning at 11 AM and seven more innings were needed to get a winner. It was Kinheim that won 3-2 in the 19th inning in what was a record-setting game. With that, the Haarlem-club forced a fourth game. On Saturday-afternoon, the regularly scheduled third game was played. In that game, Storks shutout Kinheim 3-0 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five.

(October 7)

Complete Schedule

Recaps of previous games:
Game 1: Storks decides opener vs. Kinheim in 8th inning. (September 29)
Game 2: Second game Storks vs. Kinheim halted by darkness. (September 30)
Game 2 & 3: Kinheim wins record-setting game, but Storks takes lead. (October 6)

Today's game was another attractive match-up between Storks and Kinheim, just like the previous three confrontations. The suspense was building towards the end with Kinheim getting the opportunity not only to erase a 3-1 deficit, but also to turn the game its way. But in the end, Storks hold onto a minimal lead and won to extend its stay in the highest league. With that, Kinheim will play again in the second highest division next year.

Storks-starter Nick Winkel had a great outing for the team from The Hague. The righthander gave up only one basehit in six innings and held Kinheim scoreless during these at bats. In the top of the first inning, Winkel gave up an infield-hit to Bram Blokker with one out, but he was forced out. Kinheim hit its next basehit in the eighth inning!

Hereafter, Winkel retired 17 of the next 19 batters he faced. With two outs in the third inning, he walked Thomas Bos, who stole second base, but was left behind. With an 1-0 lead, Winkel saw Kinheim reach third base for the first time in the sixth, but avoided giving up a run.

Veteran righthander Al Morales Gomes made his first start of the Series for Kinheim. Storks got several scoring opportunities from the beginning of the game, but Morales held the opponent scoreless in the first four innings.

In the bottom of the first inning, Quinlan de Windt led off with a single, then Jurriaan Dijk walked. A double play followed, which enabled De Windt to move to third base, but he stranded.

Storks got another runner in scoring position in the second inning. Morales hit lead-off hitter Runai Coran with a pitch, but he was forced out. With two outs, Eduardo Guerra also was hit, but Morales then closed with a strikeout.

In the third inning, Morales hit another batter with a pitch, but he stranded on first base.

Storks opened the score in the bottom of the fifth. Eduardo Guerra led off with a single and got into scoring position on a wild pitch with one out. Storks got runners at the corners when Quinlan de Windt also singled. Moments later, Guerra scored on a sacrifice fly by Jurriaan Dijk.

Kinheim then got close to tying the score in the top of the sixth. With two outs, Bram Blokker reached third base on two errors, but he stranded there when a bunt by next batter Wesley van Hemert ended in a groundout.

Storks then doubled the lead in its sixth. With one out, Runai Coran walked, then was able to advance to third base when a pick-off by Morales ended in a throwing error. To create a force play, Tijani Dunlop was walked intentionally. The force out indeed came, Dunlop was eliminated on second base on a grounder by Tyron de Windt, but that also enabled Coran to score.

Kinheim cut the deficit in half in the seventh inning. Nick Winkel walked Sven van de Sanden and Marcel Tolenaars, which brought out Head Coach Youri Visser. A pitching change followed, as Gijs Timmer took over. He saw the two runners move on a sacrifice bunt by Jenk Lemmink. Hereafter, Cris Herkemij hit a sacrifice fly that brought in Van de Sanden, but Timmer then closed with a strikeout.

...Quinlan de Windt led Storks in hitting...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Storks added an insurance run. With one out, Quinlan de Windt doubled. De Windt was 3-for-4 today. He was 4-for-8 in Game 2 and 3-for-3 in Game 3. The catcher/infielder had a productive Series, as he led Storks in hitting with a .688 batting average. De Windt led the team in several categories, including runs scored (3), basehits (11), doubles (4), runs batted in (3), slugging average (.938) and on-base percentage (.706). When a Most Valuable Player would have been chosen for this Series, it surely would have been De Windt.

With De Windt on second base and first base open, Jurriaan Dijk was walked intentionally to create a force play-situation. Al Morales Gomes followed with a strikeout, but hereafter, De Windt scored when pinch-hitter Kris Morris reached on a throwing error. That also led to a pitching change. Rick Timmermans took over and he got the needed force play-grounder, but Storks now led 3-1.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Storks tried to add another run. With one out, Tyron de Windt doubled, but he tried to stretch it into a triple and was eliminated at third base.

Kinheim then got a chance to turn the game its way in the top of the ninth inning. With one out, Sven van de Sanden doubled and Marcel Tolenaars reached on an infield-hit. With runners at the corners, Mart Wedman was inserted as pinch-runner at first base and closer Jurrian Koks was brought in to take over the pitching. The veteran righthander threw 5 1/3 inning in the 19-inning marathon on Saturday. Koks was greeted with a runscoring single from Jenk Lemmink. That narrowed the deficit to 3-2, while Kinheim still had runners on first and second base and only one out. With the suspense building, the game clearly was on the line and Kinheim had the chance to force a deciding fifth game. But that didn't happen. Next hitter Cris Herkemij grounded the ball towards second baseman Giovanny Perez. He had entered the game in the eighth inning and made his first appearance of the Series. Perez started a game-ending double play and with that, Storks left the field victorious and will play again in the big league in 2019.

Silicon Storks - Kinheim 3-2
Silicon Storks00001110X-362
pitchers Kinheiminn.SOBBHRER
Al Morales Gomes, L (0-1)6.274431

Rick Timmermans1.11-2--

pitchers Storksinn.SOBBHRER
Nick Winkel, W (1-0)6 (*)43111

Gijs Timmer, H (2)2.11-311

Jurrian Koks, SV (1)0.2--1--
(*) - Winkel pitched to two batters in the 7th inning
Box Score
Team Rosters
HP-Peter de Haan, 1B-Mario Blaauw, 3B-Yme van der Lugt.
Official Scorer-Brigitta Zaal.
Play-by-Play Scorer-Harumi Ueda.
Technical Commissioner-Henk van der Linde.
Public Address Announcer-José Moreno Sr.
Scoreboard Operator-.
Starting Time-2:30 PM.
Time Played-2:54 hrs.
Site-Sportpark 'Kijkduin', The Hague.

Game Notes:
Game 4, best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Series, Storks wins, 3-1.
Storks maintains its stay in the Dutch big league.
Kinheim will play in the 'Overgangsklasse' in 2019.
Weather conditions at game time: Cloudy, 15° C (59° F); wind direction northeast;
wind speed 14 kmh (8,7 mph); wind force 3 Bft; humidity 56%.

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Copyright © 1997-2018 Marco Stoovelaar / Grand Slam * Stats & News.