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Updated: September 16, 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 Henk Seppen & Marco Stoovelaar)

Netherlands to Semi-Final European Championship after small win vs. Great Britain

TORINO / AVIGLIANA / SETTIMO TORINESE (Italy) - The Netherlands Baseball Team advanced to the Semi-Final after recording a small 7-5 win against Great Britain in the Quarter Finals on Thursday-evening (September 16), Day 5 of the 36th edition of the European Championship. In the Semi-Final, the Netherlands Kingdom Team will meet Spain, which today won its Quarter Final against Belgium with a 5-2 score. The game will be played on Friday-afternoon (3 PM) in Avigliana.

Tonight, the Netherlands was outhit 13-5 by Great Britain and was unable to take distance. With a 3-2 lead, the Orange Team scored three runs in the fifth, but the British opponent then narrowed the deficit to only 6-5 in the sixth, before being held scoreless in the final three at bats. Four the seven Orange-runs were unearned.

The Orange Team opened the Championship on Sunday with an 11-0 shutout-victory against Slovakia, then added an 11-1 win against the Czech Republic the next day. On Tuesday, the team closed the Preliminary Round with a 15-5 win against Sweden to finish in first place of Group D and qualify for the Quarter Finals.

The other Semi-Final on Friday will be played between Italy and Israel. In its Quarter Final today, Italy won only 8-5 against Croatia, which on Wednesday qualified for the Quarter Finals for the first time in twenty years. Back then, in the 2001 Championship in Bonn (Germany), Croatia surprised and almost eliminated the Netherlands, losing only 8-7. Jimmy Summers then pitched for Croatia and he is still one of the pitchers of the team, as well as being one of the coaches. Italy broke an 1-1 tie by scoring three runs in the fourth inning, then (with a 4-2 lead) added four runs in the eighth, but Croatia came back with three runs in the ninth. Israel won its Quarter Final against the Czech Republic 3-2 on a 2-out, walk-off single in the ninth inning by Joey Wagman.

On Wednesday, the eight best teams had the day off. However, on that day, the four 'Quarter Finals' were played in the Relegation Pool. Austria, Germany, Russia and Sweden all won to qualify for ninth through twelfth place. Today, Russia and Germany again won and will play for 9th and 10th place on Saturday, while Austria and Sweden then will play for 11th and 12th place. The other two 'Semi-Finals' in the Relegation Pool for the final four spots will be played on Friday.

...The Netherlands Team that scored 35 runs and had...
...39 basehits against Great Britain during the...
...1989 European Championship in France...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Today, the Netherlands met Great Britain for the twelfth time. The countries first met in 1952 in Amsterdam in a game that was organized to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Royal Netherlands Baseball Association. That first game ended in a 5-3 win for the Netherlands with Han Urbanus throwing a complete game. It then took until 1989 before the next game was played. That was in Savigny-sur-Orge (France) during the European Championship. In that game, the Orange Team, with Jim Stoeckel as Manager, recorded a huge 35-0 shutout-victory, which is one of the biggest wins ever accomplished by the Netherlands Baseball Team.

Back then, the Netherlands belted a record 39 basehits, including a record 10 homeruns. Lead-off hitter Robert Niggebrugge was 7-for-7 with a walk and a homerun. Hans van Renselaar was 6-for-7 and René Rijst was 5-for-7. Michael Crouwel and Elton Wilson both had four basehits, Bob van Aalen and Ronald Stoovelaar both had three basehits. The ten homeruns were hit by Wismar Ansjeliena (2-run), Eric de Bruin (solo), Niggebrugge (solo), Stoovelaar (3-run), Wilson 3 (solo, 2-run, solo), Rijst 2 (grand slam, 2-run) and Crouwel (2-run). In a 12-run rally in the fourth inning, Crouwel, Niggebrugge, Van Renselaar, Rijst, Stoovelaar and Wilson all had two basehits. The hits by Wilson both were homeruns. He added a third homerun in the fifth.

Through the years, more big victories followed (13-0, 28-2, 27-0). In the last three games, the Netherlands won 11-2, 11-1 and 10-2. The last meeting beteween the Netherlands and Great Britain was played during the 2019 European Championship in Germany. The game was suspended after eight innings due to darkness, then was completed four days later on another location with the Orange Team winning 10-2.

Before today, since 1952, the Netherlands scored 156 runs against the British Team, while the Orange-pitching gave up only 11 runs.

(September 16)

Scores Day 4 (Wednesday):
Relegation Pool Quarter Finals: Ukraine vs. Russia 5-15 (7 inn.); Germany vs. France 3-2; Austria vs. Slovakia 4-3; Greece vs. Sweden 0-10 (7 inn.).
The winning teams will play for 9th-12th place, the losing teams will play for 13th-16th place.

Other scores Day 5:
Relegation Pool Semi-Finals 9th-12th place: Russia vs. Austria 14-4 (7 inn.); Germany vs. Sweden 13-2 (6½ inn.).
Russia and Germany will play for 9th and 10th place; Austria and Sweden will play for 11th and 12th place.
Championship Pool Quarter Finals: Italy vs. Croatia 8-5; Spain vs. Belgium 5-2; Israel vs. Czech Republic 3-2.
The winning teams will play for 1st-4th place (Semi-Finals), the losing teams will play for 5th-8th place.

Related Articles:
Netherlands advances to Quarter Final EC after win vs. Sweden. (September 14)
Netherlands wins convincingly vs. Czechs on Day 2 Euro Champ. (September 13)
Netherlands opens European Championship with shutout-win vs. Slovakia. (September 12)
Roster-change Netherlands Team: Raf Cocu replaces Franklin Van Gurp. (September 10)
Netherlands Team shuts out Sweden in exhibition game. (September 10)
Netherlands Team wins exhibition game against Spain. (September 9)
Roster Netherlands Team announced for European Championship. (September 7)

...Lars Huijer...
...winning pitcher...
(© Photo: Henk Seppen)
With some thunderstorms in the area and a weather code of 'orange', all games could be played as scheduled today. And so, the Netherlands and Great Britain faced each other in the Quarter Final. The Orange Team faced a brief deficit, but turned the game around immediately, however, the team was unable to take a comfortable distance.

In the top of the first inning, Great Britain had a productive at bat off of Orange-starter Lars Huijer. Kent Blackstone and Gabriel Rincones, Jr. opened the game with singles. They then advanced when the second delivery by Huijer to next batter Alex Crosby ended in a wild pitch. Crosby grounded out and Huijer then followed with a strikeout, but hereafter, Aaron Singh delivered a runscoring single that gave the British Team an 1-0 lead. Rincones was left behind on third base, as Huijer closed with another strikeout.

But Great Britain led and that was the first time ever in the history between the two teams that began with a game played in 1952.

The lead was shortlived, as the Netherlands answered with two runs in its first at bat off of 34-year old starter Daniel Cooper. The American-born righthander played professionally in the Minor League (Single-A, Double-A) in the organization of Seattle Mariners in 2009-2011. Cooper then played in an Independent League in 2012, played in Sweden in 2013 and in Australia in 2014. He pitches for Great Britain since 2013 and since then, he participated in the World Baseball Classic Qualifiers in 2013 and 2017 and in the European Championship in 2014, 2016 and 2019.

In the bottom of the first inning, Jiandido Tromp led off with a walk off of Cooper, then scored the tying run all the way from first base when Roger Bernadina delivered a double. The team got runners at the corners on a single by next batter Ray-Patrick Didder, who stole second base moments later. After Sharlon Schoop had grounded out, Bernadina scored the go-ahead run when a grounder by Sicnarf Loopstok ended in an error. The inning ended when Dwayne Kemp grounded into a double play.

Lars Huijer encountered no problems in the second inning and retired the side, striking out two batters. On the other hand, his British colleague Daniel Cooper also retired the side (one strikeout) in the second Orange-at bat.

With one out in the top of the third inning, Gabriel Rincones, Jr. singled again. This time, he was forced out and Great Britain left a runner behind, as Huijer closed with his fifth strikeout.

The Netherlands added another run in the bottom of the third inning. Jiandido Tromp led off with a walk and stole second base while Roger Bernadina struckout. When the throw from the catcher ended up in centerfield, Tromp advanced to third base. Hereafter, Ray-Patrick Didder was hit by a pitch and also stole second base. Tromp then scored on a grounder by Sharlon Schoop, but Didder was left behind on third base.

...Jiandido Tromp...
...3 runs, RBI,...
...double, 2 walks,...
...1 stolen base...
(© Photo: 2021 EC)
Great Britain came back again with a run in the top of the fourth on three consecutive basehits. With two outs, Grant Kerry and Kennard Dawson both singled. When Dawson's infield-hit in front of home plate was followed by an error, Kerry moved to third base. He then scored when next batter Nateshon Thomas also singled. However, with runners on first and third base, the inning and the scoring threat ended when Lars Huijer successfully picked off Thomas at first base. But the score was now 3-2 and Great Britain outhit the Netherlands 7-2 at this moment.

After Daniel Cooper had retired the Orange-side again in the bottom of the fourth (three groundouts), Great Britain got another runner in scoring position in the top of the fifth. With one out, Gabriel Rincones, Jr. delivered his third basehit and advanced when that was followed by a throwing error. Lars Huijer then had a good finish, despite having a runner in scoring position, which in this case was a runner who represented the tying run. The righthander struckout the next batter, then saw Rincones advance to third base on a wild pitch, but closed with his seventh strikeout.

The Netherlands then struck in the bottom of the fifth inning, taking more distance by scoring three runs, two of them unearned. Calten Daal led off with a single and Jiandido Tromp followed with a double. After Roger Bernadina had struckout, it was attempted to eliminate Daal at the plate on a grounder by Ray-Patrick Didder, but everyone was safe and so, a run was scored. Hereafter, another attempt to eliminate a runner at the plate ended in a throwing error and two runs. On a grounder by Sharlon Schoop, a throwing error towards the plate followed where Tromp scored and it also enabled Didder to score. Schoop ended up on second base and was left behind. The Netherlands now led 6-2.

However, the game was far from over and the 4-run difference appeared not to be enough (or maybe it was), as Great Britain also rallied with two outs in the top of the sixth and wrote some history. Aaron Singh led off with a double, but a groundout and flyout followed. But with two outs, three more basehits followed! First, Singh scored on a single by Kennard Dawson. Hereafter, Nateshon Thomas reached on an infield-hit and when that was followed by a throwing error, the British Team got runners on second and third base. Next batter Kent Blackstone drove the ball into deep rightfield for what appeared to become a homerun. But the ball hit the fence and stayed in the park, but Blackstone had batted in Dawson and Thomas with his 2-run double to narrow the deficit to 6-5. With Blackstone on second base and two outs, Kevin Kelly took over the pitching from Lars Huijer, who had given up twelve basehits. Kelly got an inning-ending grounder from Gabriel Rincones, Jr., who for the first time was retired.

...Anita Manca was one of the Official Scorers...
...tonight; On the photo, the experienced...
...Italian scorer poses with Dutch...
...colleague Marco Stoovelaar during the...
...2009 World Championship in Nettuno (Italy)...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
By scoring more than three runs, Great Britain did something it had done never before in a game against the Netherlands. The five runs are the most scored by a British Team since it scored three runs in the very-first game between the two countries in 1952, almost seventy years ago!

Great Britain also went to the bullpen in the bottom of the sixth. Fred Mosier took over, but he gave up the seventh Orange-run. The righthander gave up a lead-off single to Junior Martina and walked next batter John Polonius. The two advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Calten Daal, then Martina scored on a following sacrifice fly by Jiandido Tromp. A grounder ended the at bat.

The British Team got on base again with two outs in the top of the seventh when Aaron Singh singled (his third basehit), but Kevin Kelly closed with a strikeout.

In the top of the eighth, Juan Carlos Sulbaran became the third pitcher tonight for the Netherlands Team. The righthander retired the side, striking out two batters.

However, the Orange-offense also was retired in order with two strikeouts in its eighth at bat.

Wendell Floranus then took the mound in the top of the ninth to close the game for the Netherlands. The righthander, who plays professionally in Mexico, struckout the first two batters he faced, then a flyout ended the game.

Jiandido Tromp had a good outing tonight for the Netherlands, as he not only batted in a run, he also scored three, hit a double, walked twice and stole a base.

For Great Britain, Gabriel Rincones, Jr. and Aaron Singh both had three basehits.

The following players came into action for the Netherlands:
Jiandido Tromp (LF, 1-for-1), Roger Bernadina (CF, 1-for-4), Ray-Patrick Didder (RF, 1-for-3), Sharlon Schoop (1B, 0-for-4), Sicnarf Loopstok (C, 0-for-4), Dwayne Kemp (DH, 0-for-4), Junior Martina (3B, 1-for-4), John Polonius (SS, 0-for-3), Calten Daal (2B, 1-for-2) and pitchers Lars Huijer, Kevin Kelly, Juan Carlos Sulbaran and Wendell Floranus.

Netherlands - Great Britain 7-5
Great Britain100103000-5133
pitchers Great Britaininn.SOBBHRER
Daniel Cooper, L (0-1)542462

Fred Mosier331111

pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Lars Huijer, W (1-0)5.27-1254

Kevin Kelly, H (1)1.12-1--

Juan Carlos Sulbaran, H (1)12----

Wendell Floranus, SV (1)12----

Box Score
Umpires: HP-Mojmir Jankovic (Slovakia), 1B-Marco Taurelli (Italy),
3B-Christopher Feuerecker (Germany).
Official Scorer: Anita Manca (Italy).
Play-by-Play Scorer: Marco Rocci (Italy).
Technical Commissioner: Christian Posny (Germany).
Starting Time-8:28 PM.
Time Played-2:39 hrs.
Site-Stadio Baseball Paschetto, Campo Comunale, Torino (Italy) (site Grizzlies Torino 48 Baseball Club).

Game Notes:
12th international game of the Netherlands against Great Britain.
12th victory of the Netherlands against Great Britain.
Weather conditions at game time:
Partly cloudy, 23° C (73,4° F); wind direction north; wind speed 10 kmh (6,2 mph); wind force 2 Bft; humidity 92%.

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