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Updated: October 1, 2018
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Copyright © 1997-2018
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Henk Seppen & Marco Stoovelaar)

Storks decides opener against Kinheim in eighth inning

HAARLEM (Neth.) - Silicon Storks opened the best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Series against Kinheim on Saturday (September 29) with a 5-1 victory in an attractive game at the historic Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem. The game was not decided until the eighth inning when Storks broke an 1-1 tie with a 4-run rally after a pitching change.

Game 2 of the Series will be played on Sunday in The Hague. Game 3 follows coming Saturday in Haarlem.

In the regular big league-season, Storks made its comeback at the highest level this year. The team from The Hague finished in eighth and last place with a 4-37 record and one tie and therefore had to play in the postseason in the Relegation Pool. During the season, the team replaced Head Coach Aldric Dunlop with Youri Visser.

In the Relegation Pool, Storks was 1-8 to finish in last place again. With that, the team has to play in this Promotion/Relegation Series.

In 2016, Kinheim reached the Championship Pool (or Play-Offs) in the big league. The team then finished in fourth place. After completion of the season, the team lost almost all of its players and withdrew from the highest division. Last year, Kinheim closed the regular season in the second highest league ('Overgangsklasse') in eighth place to qualify for the top-8 (Championship Pool). The team then finished in second place.

This season, Kinheim dominated in the Overgangsklasse. The team, which is led by Head Coach Michael Crouwel since 2016, finished the regular season in first place with a 25-3 record and two ties. In the following Top-8 Pool, Kinheim won thirteen games in a row to become the champion, then lost its lone game last Tuesday in a make-up game at Euro Stars.

(September 29)

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...All in the family...
...Els Wedman-Koks was the Public Address Announcer... and Don Wedman was the Scoreboard Operator...
...Don was the 2B for OVVO and Amstel Tijgers...
...Els pitched 14 seasons for Terrasvogels...
...Both also played many years in the National Team...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
The roster of Kinheim includes some familiar names. Let's have a look.

Second baseman Thomas Bos is the son of former big league and National Team-infielder Frank Bos. First baseman Marcel Tolenaars is the grandson of former umpire Jos Loogman. Designated hitter Jenk Lemmink is the son of former big league and National Team-catcher/infielder Hans Lemmink and former big league and National Team-pitcher Fredy van Offeren. Catcher Cris Herkemij is the son of former player and current Netherlands Under-12 Manager Peter Herkemij and is the grandson of former big league and National Team-coach Cees Herkemij. Outfielder Nick Hofer is the son of former big league-pitcher Mike Hofer and is the grandson of former big league-coach Louis Hofer. Short stop Nolan Beugeling is the son of former big league-player and current Kinheim Assistant Coach Raymond Beugeling. Outfielder Mitchell Walgien is the son of former player and former big league softball and National Team-coach Rob Walgien. Infielder Mart Wedman is the son of former big league and National Team-infielder and former big league and National Team softball-coach Don Wedman and former big league and National Team-pitcher Els Koks.

Oh, and its doesn't stops there. Head Coach Michael Crouwel is the son of former big league and National Team-catcher Wim Crouwel. And his Assistant Coach Dave Zijlstra is the son of former big league and National Team-pitcher Ruud Zijlstra.

The opening game was attractive from the beginning, as both teams appeared to be very equal. Kinheim opened the score and Storks came alongside. The game was then decided with a rally in the top of the eighth inning.

Kinheim faced former professional pitcher Juan Carlos Sulbaran, who in 2017 pitched for the Netherlands National Team at the World Baseball Classic. Sulbaran joined Storks during the season, but his stay was short, as he signed another professional contract. But that also was shortlived, as he was released and then returned to Storks.

The quick throwing righthander had a strong outing, as he struckout 13 batters and gave up only four basehits. However, when he left the mound, Kinheim led 1-0.

Kinheim broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth inning off of Sulbaran. With one out, Bram Blokker singled and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Sulbaran then walked Wesley van Hemert. Moments later, Blokker advanced to third base on another wild pitch. He then scored when Sven van de Sanden followed with a single. That also led to an out, as Van Hemert was eliminated at third base trying to advance. A strikeout then ended the inning.

Van de Sanden is one of four players on the Kinheim-roster with big league-experience, as he played in the highest league for DSS and also Kinheim. The others are second baseman Thomas Bos and pitchers Glenn Wassink and Al Morales Gomes.

For Kinheim, this was the lone scoring opportunity off of Sulbaran. He gave up a 2-out single to Wesley van Hemert in the first inning, but then closed with his third strikeout. After having struckout the side in the second inning, Sulbaran gave up an one-out single to Nolan Beugeling in the third, but he also stranded on first base. In the fourth, with two outs, Marcel Tolenaars walked for Kinheim, but also didn't get beyond first base.

...Juan Carlos Sulbaran pitching for the Netherlands during...
...the 2017 World Baseball Classic in Japan...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
Storks came alongside in the top of the seventh inning off of starter Glenn Wassink, who also had a strong outing. The righthander retired the first nine batters he faced. In the first five innings, Wassink faced only the minimum total of batters (15). In the fourth, he walked lead-off hitter Runai Coran, but he was eliminated in a double play. In the fifth, he walked Tyron de Windt with one out, but he was then caught stealing. With one out in the sixth inning, Wassink gave up his first basehit, which was recorded by Tijani Dunlop. The son of former big league-player (and former Storks Head Coach) Aldric Dunlop moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Winkel. He is one of the regular pitchers for Storks, but today played in rightfield. Dunlop stranded on second base.

With one out in the seventh, veteran Kenny George singled for Storks. After reaching first base, he was replaced by pinch-runner Quinlan de Windt. Moments later, a pick-off by Wassink ended up in rightfield. That was costly, as it enabled De Windt not only to move to second base, but also advance to third base. He then scored the tying run when next hitter Joost van den Bergh singled. Two force play-grounders followed, but the score was tied at 1-1.

In the top of the eighth, Storks struck with four runs. Glenn Wassink began the inning by striking out Philipp Brandl. Hereafter, a more or less surprising pitching change followed, but Wassink simply had done his job and was lifted after having thrown 106 pitches. Calvin Andringa took over, but was greeted with a single from Tijani Dunlop. He was forced out on a grounder by Nick Winkel, who then moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Andringa then walked Runai Coran and another pitching change followed. Veteran Al Morales Gomes took over, but ran into problems. Morales, who pitched in the big league for RCH and Amsterdam Pirates, gave up a runscoring single to Jurriaan Dijk that gave Storks a 2-1 lead. Quinlan de Windt followed with a 2-run double and Joost van den Bergh added another RBI-single that lifted the lead to 5-1. With that, the game was decided.

With the score at 1-1, Jurrian Koks had taken over from Sulbaran in the bottom of the seventh inning. The veteran righthander encountered no problems and became the winning pitcher. With two outs in the seventh inning, he gave up a single to Nick Hofer, but he was caught stealing to end the inning. After having retired the side in the eighth, Koks hit lead-off hitter Wesley van Hemert with a pitch in the ninth inning. Hereafter, the Storks-defense turned a double play and a foul pop-fly ended the game.

...An overview of the field during the game...

...The opening game of the Promotion/Relegation Series in Haarlem was well-visited...
(© Both Photos: Marco Stoovelaar)

Kinheim - Silicon Storks 1-5
Silicon Storks000000140-570
pitchers Storksinn.SOBBHRER
Juan Carlos Sulbaran6132411

Jurrian Koks, W (1-0)3--1--

pitchers Kinheiminn.SOBBHRER
Glenn Wassink7.14231-

Calvin Andringa, L (0-1)0.1-1122

Al Morales Gomes0.1--322

Rick Timmermans11----
Box Score
Team Rosters
HP-André Ficken, 1B-Jeroen Rekveld, 3B-Peter de Haan.
Official Scorer-Rob Schuurman.
Play-by-Play Scorer-Marco Stoovelaar.
Technical Commissioner-Paul Bokern.
Public Address Announcer-Els Wedman-Koks.
Scoreboard Operator-Don Wedman.
Starting Time-2:00 PM.
Time Played-2:28 hrs.
Site-Pim Mulier Stadion, Pim Mulier Sportpark, Haarlem.

Game Notes:
Game 1, best-of-five Promotion/Relegation Series, Storks leads, 1-0.
Weather conditions at game time: Sunny, 15,1° C (59,2° F); wind direction south-southwest;
wind speed 11 kmh (6,8 mph); wind force 2 Bft; humidity 52%.

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