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Updated: September 7, 2019
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Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
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Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2019 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Henk Seppen)

Opening game Netherlands Team at European Championship halted by darkness

SOLINGEN (Germany) - The Netherlands Baseball Team opened the 35th European Championship in Germany on Saturday (September 7) with a convincing game against Great Britain. However, with the Netherlands leading 10-2, the game was halted after eight complete innings, due to darkness as there is no light-installation on the site in Solingen. According to the rules, if a game is called for any reason before it has become a regulation game, it shall always become a suspended game. A regulation game consists of 9 innings. It has not yet been announced when the remainder of the game will be played.

Due to weather conditions, the game started one hour and 15 minutes later than scheduled. At 12:30 PM, the game between the Czech Republic and Israel went underway as scheduled in Solingen. However, that game was interrupted by rain and ended late.

The game between the Netherlands and Great Britain could have been completed in time, but the Orange Team failed to end the game with a 10-run difference. The Netherlands led 10-0 when the bottom of the seventh inning began, three outs away from a mercy-rule victory. The British team was limited to only three basehits by Orlando Yntema in six innings. However, he was then replaced by Shairon Martis, who gave up five additional basehits. In the bottom of the seventh, Great Britain scored a run to avoid a mercy-rule loss, meaning the game had to continue.

Twelve countries participate in the European Championship. Reigning European champion Netherlands again is one of the favorites for the title, as is Italy. Other contenders for the top-positions are the Czech Republic, Germany and Spain and possibly Israel.

On Sunday, the Netherlands, which plays in Pool A, meets the Czech Republic at 3 PM. In the following days, the Orange-squad meets Sweden, Germany and Israel. All these games will be played in Bonn.

Playing in Pool B are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Italy and Spain.

The five best teams qualify for participation in the Europe/Africa Olympic Qualifying Tournament that begins on Wednesday, September 18 in Italy, where games will be played in Parma and Bologna. The winner qualifies for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo (Japan). The second-best team gets another change to reach Tokyo. That team will participate early next year in the final Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Taiwan.

(September 7)

Complete schedule European Championship
Complete provisional schedule Olympic Qualifying Tournament

The Netherlands collected 13 basehits in the game, including three by Sharlon Schoop, who also batted in three runs. Calten Daal also batted in three runs, while Kalian Sams scored three. Eight of the nine starting players recorded at least one basehit. The lone player without a basehit was Dwayne Kemp.

The Netherlands opened the score in the top of the first inning off of starting pitcher Ethan Solomon. The Orange Team got the bases loaded quickly, but in the end scored only once. Sicnarf Loopstok led off with a single, then Ademar Rifaela walked and Sharlon Schoop also singled. But Loopstok was then forced out at the plate on a grounder by John Polonius. Earlier on Saturday, it was announced that Polonius will play for CuraÁao Neptunus in the Dutch big league next year. Moments later, Rifaela scored the first run on a sacrifice fly by Calten Daal. Hereafter, the bases got loaded again when Dwayne Kemp reached on an error, but the inning ended with a grounder from Roger Bernadina.

...Orlando Yntema had a strong outing...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
After a brief rain-delay in the top of the third inning, the Netherlands added two more runs. Again, the bases got loaded. Lead-off hitter Curt Smith was hit by a pitch, then Kalian Sams followed with a double. With one out, Ademar Rifaela walked to load the bases. Sharlon Schoop followed with a 2-run single to make it a 3-0 score. The bases got loaded again when John Polonius walked. But hereafter, the inning ended with a double play. Calten Daal first flied out, then Rifaela was eliminated at the plate trying to score.

Another Orange-runner was eliminated at the plate in the fourth inning. With one out, Roger Bernadina doubled. With two outs, he advanced on an infield-hit by Kalian Sams, but then was eliminated on a throw from the short stop to the catcher to end the inning.

The fourth Dutch run was added in the fifth inning. With two outs, Sharlon Schoop walked and moved on an infield-hit by John Polonius. Schoop then scored on a following single by Calten Daal.

The Netherlands took more distance in the top of the sixth inning when it came to a 4-run rally off of new pitcher Cody Chartrand, who ran into problems quickly. He first walked lead-off hitter Roger Bernadina, who stole second base moments later. With one out, Bernadina advanced to third base when a walk to Kalian Sams ended in a wild pitch. The bases got loaded when Chartrand also walked pinch-hitter Hendrik Clementina. Next, an error was made on a force play-grounder by Ademar Rifaela, which kept the bases loaded and enabled Bernadina to score. Sharlon Schoop followed with his third single in the game to bring in the next run. With two outs, another runscoring single was recorded, this time hit by Calten Daal. When that was followed by a throwing error, another run was added to lift the lead to 8-0.

In the top of the seventh, the Netherlands reached the 10-run difference. Curt Smith singled and Kalian Sams walked. The first then scored on an one out-single by Ademar Rifaela, which led to another pitching change. Daniel Cooper took over and got a force play-grounder by Sharlon Schoop, but then gave up an RBI-single to John Polonius, which made it a 10-0 score.

In the meantime, Netherlands-starter Orlando Yntema encountered no problems. In the first five innings, only one British runner got into scoring position and that happened in the bottom of the first inning. Will Savage then led off with a walk and advanced on a grounder, but stranded on second base.

In the second inning, Yntema gave up a lead-off single to Richard Brereton, but retired the next three batters (two strikeouts). Brereton's single was the lone British basehit in the first five innings. In the fourth, Yntema again walked the lead-off hitter, but he was caught stealing. In the fifth, another British runner stranded on first base after having reached on an error.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, trailing 8-0, Great Britain came closest to home plate off of Yntema. With two outs, Jordan Serena doubled. He then tried to score on a following single by Ben Andrews, but was eliminated at the plate on a throw from rightfielder Kalian Sams.

Needing only three outs to end the game via the 10-run mercy rule, the Netherlands went to the bullpen in the bottom of the seventh inning. Moments later, Great Britain scored a run to extend the game. Orlando Yntema had thrown six strong innings, used 72 pitches and gave up only three hits, while striking out seven batters. In the seventh, Shairon Martis took over the pitching, but he was greeted with two basehits. Richard Brereton led off with a double, then scored on a following single by Maikel Azcuy. A flyout and double play followed, but Great Britain had avoided a 10-run, mercy-rule loss.

After the Netherlands was retired in order in the top of the eighth by Cooper, Great Britain added another run with two outs in its eighth at bat. This time, the team recorded three basehits off of Martis, who pitched in 26 Major League-games for Washington Nationals (2008-2009) and Minnesota Twins (2013). With one out, Will Savage singled and moved to second base when leftfielder Ademar Rifaela made an error. With two outs, he scored on a single by Jordan Serena. The British Team got runners at the corners on a single by next batter Ben Andrews, who then stole second base. But these runners were left behind when a grounder ended the at bat.

And so, the ninth inning was about to start. However, that inning never started, as the umpiring crew and technical commissioner ended the game due to darkness, as there is no light installation at the site in Solingen.

Playing for the Netherlands were:
Dwayne Kemp (DH, 0-for-5), Roger Bernadina (CF, 1-for-5), Curt Smith (1B, 1-for-4), Kalian Sams (RF, 2-for-3), Sicnarf Loopstok (C, 1-for-3), Hendrik Clementina (PH/C, 0-for-1), Ademar Rifaela (LF, 1-for-3), Sharlon Schoop (3B, 3-for-4), John Polonius (SS, 2-for-4), Calten Daal (2B, 2-for-4) and pitchers Orlando Yntema and Shairon Martis.

Great Britain - Netherlands 2-10 (8 inn.)
Great Britain00000011-283
(game halted after eight complete innings due to darkness)
pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Orlando Yntema (pitcher-of-record)6723--

Shairon Martis21-522

pitchers Great Britaininn.SOBBHRER
Ethan Solomon (pitcher-of-record)515844

Cody Chartrand1.1-5464

Daniel Cooper1.22-1--

Umpires: HP-Jens Waider (Germany), 1B-Oswald Tscharf (Austria), 3B-Tomislav Ozimec (Croatia).
Official Scorers-Gerhard Gilk (Germany), Gesa KŲhler (Germany), Thomas Sippenauer (Germany).
Technical Commissioner-Stephen Lesfargues (France).
Starting Time-5:15 PM.
Time Played-2:51 hrs.
Site-Stadion Am Weyersberg, Solingen (Germany).

Game Notes:
35th European Baseball Championship.
11th game against Great Britain in history.
John Polonius and Hendrik Clementina make their debut in the Netherlands National Team.
4-minute rain-delay at the beginning of the 3rd inning.
Game halted after 8 complete innings due to darkness.
Weather conditions at game time: Cloudy, 15,8° C (60,4° F); wind direction northwest;
wind speed 6 kmh (3,7 mph); wind force 1 Bft; humidity 88%.

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