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Updated: April 30, 2018
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Robert Bos)

Neptunus wins third game against Pioniers in 8th inning

ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Curaçao Neptunus shutout Hoofddorp Pioniers 3-0 on a cloudy and sometimes rainy Sunday (April 29) to complete a 3-game sweep.

The game remained scoreless for a long time, then Neptunus scored its three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and that proved to be decisive.

Neptunus opened the season on Thursday-evening with a 4-1 victory. On Saturday-afternoon, Neptunus scored early, led 4-0 after two innings and won 5-1.

Before the game, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Koos van Oosterhout, who has a long history with Neptunus. Recently, he turned 80 and that was celebrated today in the stadium by family and friends. Part of the celebrations was for him to throw the first pitch. Koos van Oosterhout is the father of Norbert van Oosterhout, who is in his fourth season as Official Scorer.

(April 29)

Complete Schedule Regular Season

...Left: Neptunus Bench Coach and Groundskeeper Jan Collins takes care of the field after it had rained...
...Right: Koos van Oosterhout celebrated his 80th birthday by throwing the ceremonial first pitch...
(© Both Photos: Robert Bos)

The game remained scoreless for seven innings, as both starting pitchers did fine. 44-year old righthander Elton Koeiman started for Neptunus, struckout three and gave up only four basehits in 6 1/3 inning. Starting for Pioniers was 17-year old Luuk ter Beek, who also gave up only four basehits in the six innings he pitched. Ter Beek struckout one hitter and also walked one.

Neptunus today played with another infield set-up as opposed to the previous two games. Benjamin Dille was the first baseman, Dwayne Kemp played at second base, Stijn van der Meer had moved to third base and Dudley Leonora was the short stop. In the previous two games, Leonora was the first baseman, while Dille played at his familiar position at second base. Kemp was the third baseman and Van der Meer the short stop.

Koeiman got his first runner in scoring position in the top of the fifth inning. Mark Smit led of the at bat with a single and moved on a sacrifice bunt by Damian Melis. He then advanced to third base on a single by Tyler Boersma, but next hitter Duco Nuijten grounded into a double play to end the inning. With that, Smit stranded on third base.

Neptunus also turned a double play in the following two innings.

With one out in the sixth, Koeiman hit Mervin Gario with a pitch, but former Neptunian Steven Wharwood then grounded into a double play.

Before mentioning the double play in the seventh inning, let's first see how Neptunus did in its first six innings off of Luuk ter Beek.

The righthander gave up a lead-off double to Stijn van der Meer in the bottom of the first inning, but he stranded on second base. In the second at bat, it was Ter Beek who was supported with an inning-ending double play after former Pioniers-catcher Quintin De Cuba had singled with one out.

Neptunus got into scoring position for the first time in the third inning. With two outs, Stijn van der Meer singled and Benjamin Dille reached on an error. But the latter was then forced out to end the inning.

Neptunus reached third base in the fourth inning when Shaldimar Daantji tripled with one out, but he also was left behind.

And now, let's go back to the seventh inning.

In the top of the seventh, Pioniers got the bases loaded with one out, but failed to open the score. With one out, Neptunus-starter Elton Koeiman was relieved by Riki Saito. However, the Japanese lefthander, who had arrived two days earlier, ran into problems. Saito walked Leandro Anasagasti, then gave up singles to Mark Smit and Damian Melis. Saito was quickly relieved and Loek van Mil was brought in. Neptunus avoided giving up runs as the inning ended when Tyler Boersma grounded into a double play.

Pioniers also went to the bullpen in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Venezuelan righthander Alexander Valdez took over from Luuk ter Beek. He walked Gregory Muller with one out, but he was caught stealing. Valdez closed with a strikeout, but Neptunus struck moments later.

After Loek van Mil had retired the side in the top of the eighth (two strikeouts), Neptunus scored three runs off of Valdez in its eighth at bat. Jochem Koedijk led off with an infield-hit towards Valdez, who followed with a throwing error that led to a runner on second base. Koedijk moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by Stijn van der Meer, then scored on a single by Benjamin Dille. Next, Dwayne Kemp tripled to bring in Dille and scored himself on a following single by Dudley Leonora.

With a 3-0 lead, Berry van Driel pitched the ninth inning for Neptunus. He gave up a 2-out single to Leandro Anasagasti, but closed with a strikeout to earn his second save of the season.

...Elton Koeiman (left) and Luuk ter Beek were the starting pitchers for Neptunus and Hoofddorp Pioniers...

...Left: Benjamin Dille was the first baseman today for Neptunus...
...Right: Rookie Umpire Jeroen Rekveld officiated at first base today...

...Japanese Riki Saito (left) and Venezuelan Alexander Valdez made their debut... the Dutch big league pitching in relief for Neptunus and Hoofddorp Pioniers...

...Left: Neptunus-centerfielder Shaldimar Daantji is joined by two unexpected non-roster players...
...Right: The players of Neptunus congratulate each other with the third win against Pioniers...
(© All Photos: Robert Bos)

Curaçao Neptunus - Hoofddorp Pioniers 3-0
Hoofddorp Pioniers000000000-072
Curaçao Neptunus00000003X-380
pitchers Pioniersinn.SOBBHRER
Luuk ter Beek6114--

Alexander Valdez, L (0-1)221433

pitchers Neptunusinn.SOBBHRER
Elton Koeiman6.13-4--

Riki Saito- (*)-12--

Loek van Mil, W (1-0)1.22----

Berry van Driel, SV (2)12-1--
(*) - Saito pitched to three batters in the 7th inning
Box Score
Team Rosters
HP-Edwin Louisa, 1B-Jeroen Rekveld, 3B-Peter de Haan.
Official Scorer-Huub Nelissen.
Play-by-Play Scorer-Jeanette van Drunen.
Technical Commissioner-Paul Bokern.
Public Address Announcer-Hélène van Eijk.
Scoreboard Operator-Lex Looijen.
Starting Time-2:00 PM.
Time Played-2:24 hrs.
Site-Neptunus Familiestadion, Sportpark Abraham van Stolkweg, Rotterdam.

Game Notes:
Opening Weekend Regular Season.
Ceremonial first pitch thrown by Koos van Oosterhout as part of the celebrations for his 80th birthday.
3B Umpire Peter de Haan was initially assigned as 1B Umpire for the game between De Glaskoning Twins and Silicon Storks in Oosterhout, but when that game rained out, he was re-assigned to this game.
Alexander Valdez (Hoofddorp Pioniers) and Riki Saito (Neptunus) make their debut in the Dutch big league.
Weather conditions at game time: Cloudy, 11,7° C (53,1° F); wind direction northeast;
wind speed 18 kmh (11,2 mph); wind force 3 Bft; humidity 91%.

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