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Updated: September 14, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Belgium wins highscoring second exhibition game against Spain

ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - On Friday-evening (September 14), Belgium also won the second exhibition game against Spain in Rotterdam to prepare for the upcoming first edition of the Super 6 Baseball Softball. In a highscoring game, Belgium rallied for seven runs in the second inning, but in the end won only 8-7, as Spain scored five runs in the seventh and eighth inning. Tonight, the teams played an 8-inning game. The two teams also met on Thursday-evening and Belgium then nipped Spain with a 2-1 score in nine innings. The two teams will play another exhibition game against each other on Saturday, but then in Brasschaat (Belgium).

The Netherlands Team will play an exhibition game coming Sunday (September 16) against the Czech Republic at the Rob Hoffmann Vallei, the site of HCAW in Bussum.
A week ago, the roster of the Netherlands Team was announced.

The Super 6 opens next Tuesday, September 18 in Hoofddorp (Netherlands). In the baseball-tournament, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Spain will be joined by Germany and Italy.

Participating in the softball-tournament are the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Greece and Russia. The Netherlands Team has no exhibition game scheduled. The team played an intersquad game on Wednesday-afternoon.

(September 14)

Recap first game Belgium vs. Spain

Today's game was very different as opposed to the first one. However, like in the first game on Thursday, Spain outhit Belgium. On Thursday, it was 7-3, tonight, Spain collected twelve basehits and Belgium eight.

In the first game, Spain stranded 13 baserunners. Today, Spain turned more scoring opportunities into runs, but nevertheless ended up short again. Belgium won the game thanks to a productive second inning in which the team rallied for seven runs. Thereafter, the team managed to add only one more run in the following six innings.

Spanish starter Leslie Nacar struckout two batters in the first inning and saw Belgium leave two runners behind, but then ran into problems in the second at bat. Tim Veraghtert, who briefly played for UVV in the Dutch big league during the 2016 season, led off with a single. An error followed on a force play-grounder by Lucas Rizzi, then the bases got loaded when Axel Poesmans singled. Hereafter, his brother Yves Poesmans delivered a 2-run single to open the score. Axel then advanced on a flyout and scored on a wild pitch to make it a 3-0 score. With Yves on second base, Nacar got the bases loaded again when Jamie Verheyleweghen walked and Benjamin Dille singled. That led to a pitching change. Antonio Noguera took over and faced Dennis De Quint. He grounded towards third base, resulting in a force attempt at the plate, but there, Yves Poesmans scored in a close play, which kept the bases load. Another run was then scored when a balk was called and two more were added moments later. The first when next hitter Steven De Lannoy reached on an error and the second on a grounder by Tim Veraghtert in his second at bat in the inning.

Noguera recovered and struckout three batters in the third inning, then also encountered no problems in the fourth. Belgium was then also held scoreless in the fifth and sixth inning by reliever Andrés Pérez.

In the top of the seventh, Belgium scored its eighth and final run off of new pitcher Rubén Hernández. He got the bases loaded quickly when he walked Steven De Lannoy, gave up a single to Tim Veraghtert and hit Lucas Rizzi with a pitch. A 5-2-3 double play followed, but Hernández got the bases loaded again when he walked Yves Poesmans. A run was then scored when another force play-grounder didn't result in an out. Benjamin Goffaux grounded towards short and Poesmans appeared to be forced out at second base, but was ruled safe. It was also Poesmans who was involved in the force play-situation in the second inning. Three runners were left behind when a groundout ended the at bat.

In the eighth, Benjamin Dille, who plays in the Dutch big league for Curaçao Neptunus, led off with a single off of new pitcher Jorge Balboa, but he then struckout the next three batters.

...Ben Van Nuffel was the winning pitcher tonight...
...On the photo, he pitches for Twins in the Dutch big league in 2016...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Ben Van Nuffel started for Belgium. In 2016, Van Nuffel pitched in the Dutch big league for De Glaskoning Twins. The righthander saw Spain reach base in both the first and second inning. But in both at bats, Spain stranded two runners.

In the bottom of the third inning, with a 7-0 lead, Robbe De Jongh took over from Van Nuffel, who became the winning pitcher in tonight's game. In official games, a starting pitcher needs to throw five complete innings to be declared winning pitcher. However, there are different rules for exhibition games and All Star Games, as starting pitchers (almost) never will throw five innings. All pitchers in these kind of games will throw a limited total of innings or are in pitch-counts. A starting pitcher who leaves the mound with a lead will then be credited with the win, whatever the total of innings he threw.

De Jongh gave up two Spanish runs in the third. With one out, he got the bases loaded when Engel Beltré and Jesús Ustariz singled and Leo Rodríguez walked. Van Nuffel followed with a strikeout, but then gave up a runscoring single to Roibert Decena. A pop-fly ended the inning, meaning three runners were left behind.

Hereafter, De Jongh threw two solid innings, giving up only one basehit. In the sixth, Jace Van Droogenbroeck also threw a scoreless inning. Only one Spanish runner got into scoring position in these three at bats.

In the bottom of the seventh, with Belgium leading 8-2, Spain narrowed the deficit to 8-5 off of Van Droogenbroeck. With one out, he walked Jesús Ustariz, gave up a single to Leo Rodríguez and also walked Lesther Galván. With two outs, Richard Montiel delivered a 2-run single and Emmanuel Febles added a runscoring single. Hereafter, Brendan Verspreet took over the Belgian pitching. He got the bases loaded when he walked Daniel Martínez, but then got a force play-grounder that ended the at bat.

In the eighth, Spain scored two more runs off of Verspreet. Engel Beltré and Jesús Ustariz led off with singles, which led to runners on second and third base. A grounder by Leo Rodríguez then accounted for a run, as did a wild pitch with two outs. Verspreet then walked Roibert Decena and Richard Montiel. A flyout ended the at bat. That also ended the game, as both teams decided not to continue after having played almost 3½ hours.

Spain - Belgium 7-8 (8 inn.)
pitchers Belgiuminn.SOBBHRER
Ben Van Nuffel, W (1-0)2-22--

Robbe De Jongh341422

Jace Van Droogenbroeck1.2-3433

Brendan Verspreet, SV (1)1.113222

pitchers Spaininn.SOBBHRER
Leslie Nacar, L (0-1)1.122564

Antonio Noguera2.231-1-

Andrés Pérez23-1--

Rubén Hernández1-2111

Jorge Balboa13-1--
Umpires: HP-Edwin Louisa, 1B-Peter de Haan, 3B-André Ficken.
Scorer-Jan van der Sande (Neptunus).
Technical Commissioner-Henk van der Linde.
Public Address Announcer-Jan van der Sande (Neptunus).
Scoreboard Operator-Lex Looijen (Neptunus).
Starting Time-7:36 PM.
Time Played-3:19 hrs.
Site-Neptunus Familiestadion, Sportpark Abraham van Stolkweg, Rotterdam (site Neptunus).

Game Notes:
Second of two exhibition games to prepare for the Super 6 Baseball Softball.
Weather conditions at game time: Cloudy, 15,5° C (59,9° F); wind direction west-southwest;
wind speed 19 kmh (11,8 mph); wind force 3 Bft; humidity 65%.

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