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Updated: October 3, 2021
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Copyright © 1997-2021
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2021 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos by Robert Bos)

Amsterdam Pirates shuts out Neptunus in rainy Holland Series-opener

ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - Reigning champion L&D Amsterdam Prates opened the best-of-seven Holland Series on a rainy Saturday-afternoon (October 2) with a 2-0 shutout-win against Curaçao Neptunus. Game 2 will be played coming Thursday-evening (October 7) in Amsterdam.

The Series-opener moved from Saturday to Sunday to Saturday. The Holland Series was initially scheduled to open today with Game 2 to be played tomorrow. However, the opener was moved to tomorrow and Game 2 to coming Thursday due to the participation of the Netherlands Under-23 Team in the Under-23 World Cup in Mexico. Both Pirates and Neptunus have players who are part of that team. But last Thursday, it was announced (and agreed by both teams) that the opening-game moved back to today, due to expected inclement weather-conditions on Sunday. If needed, another 3-game series (Thursday, Saturday, Sunday) then begins on Thursday, October 14.

As Neptunus finished in first place in the regular season, the Rotterdam-team has the home-advantage in four games when all games are needed.

For the sixth year in a row and seventh time in the last eight years, reigning champion Amsterdam Pirates and Neptunus meet each other in the best-of-seven Championship Final.

This is the tenth time that Pirates and Neptunus play against each other since a best-of series was introduced in 1987 to decide the Championship. Amsterdam Pirates won the very-first Holland Series in 1987, winning the best-of-three (2-1) against Neptunus. Pirates then swept Neptunus in three games in the best-of-five 1990. Since 2010, the Holland Series is a best-of-seven, which it also had been once before that (1989).

The ten Holland Series between Pirates and Neptunus includes last years Series, which was halted after two games due to stricter measures against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Pirates then won both games. However, as the Final was halted, there was no champion in the 2020 season, meaning Pirates remained the reigning champion this year.

In 2019, Neptunus won the first three games, but Pirates then wrote history to become the first team in history to come back and win the final four games to capture the title. Before that, Neptunus won the title three years in a row (2016-2018) after also having won in 2010 and 2014. In 2014, Pirates was one win away from the title (3-1), but then lost the next three games.

For Neptunus, this is its record-extending 27th appearance in a Holland Series and tenth in a row. Pirates participated in its twelfth Holland Series and its sixth in a row.

With today's victory, Amsterdam Pirates now has won seven consecutive Holland Series-games against Neptunus, dating back to 2019.

Today was the first shutout-victory in a Holland Series-opener since September 27, 2014. Back then, Amsterdam Pirates shutout Neptunus with a 5-0 score.

(October 2)

After it had rained somewhat on Thursday and Friday, today initially began with acceptable weather conditions. However, when it was time to start the game, it drizzled somewhat, but nevertheless, the game went underway. With that, everyone accepted that halting the game due to rain became not an option, unless safety became an issue. During the game, it rained almost constantly and there were several moments that maintenance had to be done to the playing field. Nevertheless, the game lasted only 2½ hours to complete, making it one of the quickest in recent Holland Series.

Despite the rainy weather conditions, Shairon Martis dominated on the mound for Amsterdam Pirates. The righthander went the distance and threw a 3-hit shutout. A week ago, Martis also threw a complete game in the Play-Offs against HCAW. The three basehits are the least recorded by Neptunus in a Holland Series-game since it also had three on September 29, 2018 when the team was shutout 7-0 by Pirates.

The first basehit that Martis allowed was a lead-off single by Stijn van der Meer in the bottom of the first inning. He then struckout Roger Bernadina, who like Martis had played in the American Major League. Dwayne Kemp then grounded into an inning-ending double play.

After being retired in order in the bottom of the second inning, Neptunus came close to opening the score in the third at bat when it got the bases loaded, which was its biggest scoring opportunity today. John Polonius led off with a single, then then home-team got runners on second and third base when Shairon Martis made a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Benjamin Dille. After Shaldimar Daantji had grounded out, Neptunus got the bases loaded when Stijn van der Meer walked. But the three runners were left behind. First, a pop-fly by Roger Bernadina ended in an infield-fly, then Dwayne Kemp flied out.

From the fourth inning on, Neptunus got only one more baserunner, who stranded on first base. From the third inning on, Shairon Martis retired seventeen of the eighteen batters he faced. The lone baserunner in the final six at bats of Neptunus was Gianison Boekhoudt. With one out in the seventh, he singled, but a strikeout and flyout followed.

...Shairon Martis...
...complete game shutout...
(© Photo: Robert Bos)
Amsterdam Pirates got its first runner in scoring position in the top of the second inning off of starter Diegomar Markwell. With two outs, the veteran lefthander gave up a single to Sicnarf Loopstok in what was his first Holland Series-at bat. Loopstok advanced on a wild pitch, but Markwell then closed by striking out Kenny Berkenbosch.

The reigning champion got into scoring position again in the third at bat. With one out, Raydley Legito singled and moved on a grounder by Roelie Henrique, but stranded on second base.

Pirates then struck in the top of the fourth. With one out, Denzel Richardson walked and Kalian Sams singled. Hereafter, Sicnarf Loopstok drilled the ball into leftfield for an RBI-double. With runners on second and third base, Pirates got the bases loaded when Diegomar Markwell walked Kenny Berkenbosch. Next batter Rashid Gerard then flied out, but that became a sacrifice fly, as Sams scored. Hereafter, Berkenbosch was forced out on a grounder by Raydley Legito. But Pirates had opened the score and had taken a 2-0 lead. Those two runs proved to be enough, thanks to the solid and dominating pitching by Shairon Martis, especially since the fourth inning.

In the top of the fifth inning, Kevin Kelly took over the Neptunus-pitching and retired the side. He gave up a lead-off single to Denzel Richardson in the sixth, but he stranded on first base, as the next three batters were retired.

Pirates left another runner on first base in the seventh. With two outs, Roelie Henrique singled, but a pop-fly then ended the at bat.

Pirates came into scoring position again in the top of the eighth off of new pitcher Misja Harcksen, but was unable to add an insurance run. Sharlon Schoop led off with a single and after Denzel Richardson had struckout, Kalian Sams walked. Schoop then moved to thid base when Sicnarf Loopstok flied out, but runners were left behind on first and third base.

Pirates got one more baserunner in the ninth off of Kaj Timmermans. With one out, he gave up a single to Raydley Legito. The righthander then struckout Roelie Henrique and got a force play-grounder from Gilmer Lampe, which ended the at bat.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shairon Martis retired the side for the fifth time. Roger Bernadina led off with a pop-fly, then Dwayne Kemp grounded out. The game ended when a foul pop-fly by Dudley Leonora was caught by catcher Sicnarf Loopstok. With that, Martis had retired the last eight batters in a row.

Overall, this was the 27th shutout-win in the Holland Series-history. But by going the distance, Shairon Martis threw only the eighth complete game, 9-inning shutout by one pitcher and the third by a pitcher from Amsterdam Pirates. The others are Rikkert Faneyte (1987) and Kevin Heijstek (2018). All three came against Neptunus.

...Left: Head Coaches Ronald Jaarsma and Michael Duursma greet Umpires Richard Wessel, Jeffrey Bentsnijder,...
...Edwin Louisa and Roy van de Wateringen before the start of the rainy opener...
...Right: Mr. Neptunus Frans van Aalen, who recently received a Royal Decoration, looks on...

...Diegomar Markwell and Shairon Martis were the starting pitchers...
...Martis threw a complete game, 3-hit shutout...

...Left: Neptunus-leftfielder Benjamin Dille catches a lead-off line drive from Roelie Henrique in the 1st inning...
...Right: Pirates 2B Raydley Legito completes a double play in the first inning...

...Outfielders in action...
...Left: Neptunus CF Shaldimar Daantji catches deep fly from Denzel Richardson in the 2nd inning...
...Right: Pirates CF Gilmer Lampe follows a lead-off single by John Polonius in the 3rd inning...

...Left: Denzel Richardson hitting in the 4th inning, before walking and scoring the 1st run for Pirates...
...Right: Pirates-catcher Sicnarf Loopstok makes the final out of the game in the 9th inning...
(© All Photos: Robert Bos)

Curaçao Neptunus - L&D Amsterdam Pirates 0-2
L&D Amsterdam Pirates000200000-281
Curaçao Neptunus000000000-030
pitchers Amsterdam Piratesinn.SOBBHRER
Shairon Martis, W (1-0)9413--

pitchers Neptunusinn.SOBBHRER
Diegomar Markwell, L (0-1)412422

Kevin Kelly31-2--

Misja Harcksen1111--

Kaj Timmermans11-1--

Box Score
Team Rosters
Umpires: HP-Roy van de Wateringen, 1B-Edwin Louisa,
2B-Jeffrey Bentsnijder, 3B-Richard Wessel.
Official Scorer-Maaike Houtkamp.
Play-by-Play Scorer-Feiko Drost.
Technical Commissioner-Fred van Groningen Schinkel.
Public Address Announcer-Hélène van Eijk-Kloos.
Scoreboard Operator-Lex Looijen.
Starting Time-2:00 PM.
Time Played-2:30 hrs.
Site-Neptunus Familiestadion, Sportpark Abraham van Stolkweg, Rotterdam.

Game Notes:
Game 1, best-of-seven Holland Series 2021.
L&D Amsterdam Pirates leads 1-0.
Roger Bernadina (Neptunus) and Sicnarf Loopstok (Amsterdam Pirates) play in their first Holland Series-game.
Umpires Jeffrey Bentsnijder and Richard Wessel officiate in their first Holland Series-game.
Weather conditions at game time:
Overcast, rainy, 16° C (60,8° F); wind direction south-southeast; wind speed 23 kmh (14,3 mph); wind force 4 Bft; humidity 78%.

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