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Updated: April 27, 2018
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Copyright © 1997-2018
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)

DSS strikes late to record surprise win against Amsterdam Pirates

HAARLEM (Neth.) - Finally, the regular season in the Dutch big league went underway on Thursday-evening (April 26). The second highest league ('Overgangsklasse') already opened on April 6. Hereafter, the two highest divisions in women's softball went underway. The Golden League on April 14 and the Silver League on April 21. The last national competition to start was that of the highest Dutch baseball-league. The last time that a regular season started this late was in 1990, when the first games were played on Saturday, April 28.

Vice-champion L&D Amsterdam Pirates opened the season on Thursday-evening with a surprise loss against and at DSS. The game was played at the site of DSS at the Pim Mulier Sportpark in Haarlem, which will be a smokefree sports complex from this year on. Amsterdam took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, but was unable to take more distance and was held scoreless in most of the remainder of the game. DSS answered with a run in the fourth, came alongside in the seventh and struck in the eighth to win 5-3.

During the exhibition season, DSS had done the same in several games, scoring runs in late innings to either narrow the deficit or to win. And tonight, the Haarlem-squad did the last.

Due to the cold and freezing weather conditions, Amsterdam Pirates played only seven exhibition games. Amsterdam won five games, DSS recorded six exhibition wins in nine games.

(April 26)

Complete Schedule Regular Season

The new season at DSS was opened with the throwing of the ceremonial first pitch by Aart Louwrier, the Chairman of the Board of the soccer-section of DSS.

On an evening with some strong winds, the first three innings remained scoreless. In those three at bats, it was Amsterdam Pirates that reached base several times off of starter Lars Vogelaar. He was originally announced as starting pitcher for Saturday's game, while Tom Stuifbergen was to be the starter tonight. However, due to sickness, Stuifbergen was not able to pitch tonight.

Vogelaar retired the side in the top of the first inning, then gave up an one-out bunt-single to Linoy Croes in the second. But hereafter, he was supported with a double play on a grounder by Rodney Daal.

The DSS-defense turned another double play in the third inning. Lead-off hitter Rashid Gerard was hit by a pitch, then was eliminated moments later when a bunt by Niels van Weert was caught by pitcher Lars Vogelaar. Hereafter, Pirates got runners at the corners when Max Clarijs walked and Remco Draijer singled, but they were left behind.

Amsterdam was more successful in the top of the fourth inning and scored two runs. Nick Urbanus led off with a double, but was unable to advance when Kenny Berkenbosch reached on a throwing error. Next, Urbanus and Berkenbosch executed a double-steal, then both scored when a grounder by Linoy Croes ended in another error from short stop Mitchel Dautzenberg. Croes advanced to second base on the error, but was left behind on third base, as the next three hitters were retired.

Amsterdam-starter Kevin Heijstek threw some solid innings. The righthander retired the side in the first and second inning. He then gave up a lead-off infield-hit to Tommy van de Sanden in the third inning, but retired the next three hitters, including two strikeouts.

DSS cut the deficit in half in its fourth at bat off of Heijstek, scoring an unearned run. Odion Gouverneur led off with a triple and next hitter Tino van Erk was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Gouverneur scored when a grounder by Koen Halderman was misplayed by third baseman Rashid Gerard. Heijstek then closed with his fourth strikeout.

Amsterdam Pirates then got an opportunity to take more distance in the top of the fifth when it got the bases loaded. With one out, Remco Draijer walked and Zerzinho Croes singled. After next hitter Nick Urbanus flied out, Draijer advanced to third base. Shortly hereafter, Croes also got in scoring position via a passed ball and a walk for Kenny Berkenbosch loaded the bases. But hereafter, it was Lars Vogelaar, who closed with a strikeout.

In the top of the sixth, Donny Breek took over the pitching for DSS. For the righthander, this will be his lone appearance for the team in the coming months. Coming Sunday, Breek will leave for the USA to start his professional career in the organization of the Minnesota Twins. Breek pitched two innings and retired six of the seven batters he faced. In the seventh, he walked Remco Draijer with one out. He then stole second base, but stranded there.

For Amsterdam, Maickel Rietel took over from Heijstek in the sixth inning with a 2-1 lead. He gave up an one-out infield-hit to Omar Williams, who advanced on a wild pitch, but was left behind. But in the seventh, DSS succeeded in scoring the tying run off of Rietel, who today celebrated his 23rd birthday. Sander Paap led off with an infield-hit and moved to third base on two grounders. He then scored on a single by Odion Gouverneur.

In the top of the eighth, Amsterdam left a runner behind on first base off of new pitcher Tim Halderman. DSS then struck with three runs with two outs in its eighth at bat off of reliever Jim Ploeger. With one out, the lefthander gave up a single to Omar Williams. His pinch-runner Koen Werkman was forced out on a grounder by Koen Halderman. The latter advanced to third base on a single by Tommy van de Sanden, who stole second base moments later to also get into scoring position. The bases got loaded when Ploeger walked Sander Paap and when he also walked Mitchel Dautzenberg, DSS took a 3-2 lead. Two more runs were added when Kevin Nieveld followed with a 2-run double.

Remarkable enough, both Rietel and Ploeger had fine relief-appearances in their previous outings during the exhibition season, retiring the side several times. But tonight, the two gave up runs, resulting in a Blown Save and a Loss.

Amsterdam Pirates got one final chance to turn the game its way in the top of the ninth, but managed to score only one more run. Niels van Weert led off with an infield-hit. Despite trailing three runs, he was moved into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. That was done by Max Clarijs. Van Weert scored on a single by Remco Draijer, but he was forced out on a grounder by Zerzinho Croes. The game then ended with a grounder by Nick Urbanus to complete the surprise opening-victory for DSS.

DSS - L&D Amsterdam Pirates 5-3
L&D Amsterdam Pirates000200001-361
pitchers Piratesinn.SOBBHRER
Kevin Heijstek54131-

Maickel Rietel, BS (1)2--311

Jim Ploeger, L (0-1)112333

pitchers DSSinn.SOBBHRER
Lars Vogelaar533421

Donny Breek211---

Tim Halderman, W (1-0)2--211
Box Score
Team Rosters
HP-Roy van de Wateringen, 1B-Martijn Bosschaart, 3B-Jeroen Rekveld.
Official Scorer-Maaike Houtkamp.
Play-by-Play Scorer-Huub Nelissen.
Public Address Announcer-Bert Daniëls.
Scoreboard Operator-Bert Daniëls.
Starting Time-7:35 PM.
Time Played-2:48 hrs.
Site-Pim Mulier Sportpark, Haarlem.

Game Notes:
Opening Night Regular Season.
Ceremonial first pitch thrown by Aart Louwrier, Chairman of the Board of the soccer-section of DSS.
Denzel Richardson (DSS) makes his debut in the Dutch big league.
Weather conditions at game time: Cloudy, 11,9° C (53,4° F); wind direction west-southwest;
wind speed 29 kmh (18 mph); wind force 5 Bft; humidity 63%.

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