Grand Slam

Baseball & Softball Headlines
April 2007

Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2007 by Marco Stoovelaar

Index News Archive APRIL 2007

Dutch Baseball
Kinheim wins twice in Turkey. (April 1)
RCH wins in Nijmegen; Pirates wins in two cities. (April 1)
Kinheim returns home from Turkey. (April 3)
Starting Pitchers Easter Weekend; ADO's pitching search continues. (April 5)
ADO, Pirates add players; Markwell released. (April 6)
First day Easter Tournaments completed. (April 7)
ADO acquires pitcher. (April 7)
New name, logo for Almere. (April 7)
Kinheim's Equipment Manager Ron Dekker passed away. (April 8)
Kinheim, Neptunus lead; Almere in final. (April 8)
Rick van den Hurk to start in Major League! (April 9)
Kinheim, Neptunus, Almere win tournaments. (April 9)
Pitching-update ADO. (April 9)
Joost withdraws; Hubbard returns with Dutch team. (April 10)
Van den Hurk does well in ML-debut. (April 10)
Next start: Monday vs. Houston. (April 11)
Neptunus unveils retired number-section. (April 12)
Opening Day Starters; Roster changes. (April 12)
Canadian/British pitcher for HCAW. (April 13)
Opening Day: Dutch champion starts with victory. (April 14)
Opening Day: HCAW surprises Pioniers. (April 15)
Rick vs. Andruw. (April 15)
Eenhoorn names 24 players to roster. (April 16)
Meulens, Van den Oever in Dutch staff. (April 17)
Thursday's starting pitchers. (April 17)
HCAW honors Koenen; installs Chairman. (April 17)
First Division: Alcmaria starts with two wins. (April 19)
Starting Pitchers coming weekend. (April 19)
Neptunus one-hits RCH. (April 19)
Marlon Fluonia to coach RCH; new pitcher. (April 19)
Van den Hurk's second ML-start. (April 19)
Rick's next start is Tuesday. (April 20)
First Division: First win for champion Tridents. (April 20)
Neptunus, Kinheim unbeaten; Victories HCAW, ADO. (April 21)
First Division: Alcmaria, TTT lead. (April 22)
Neptunus, Kinheim, HCAW win again. (April 22)
American outfielder for HCAW. (April 24)
Van den Hurk's third ML-start. (April 24)
Starting Pitchers coming weekend. (April 26)

News Archive 2007
January
February
March


Dutch Baseball
Kinheim wins twice in Turkey
Nederlands
ANTALYA (Turkey) - Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim closed its spring trainingcamp in Turkey on Sunday by winning a double-header against Russian champion Tornado Balashikha.
Kinheim won the opener 8-1, then followed with a 12-4 victory.

In the two games, Kinheim collected 29 basehits, including four doubles by Vince Rooi, who had six basehits in the double-header to lead the Haarlem-offense, while Danny Rombley had five and Dirk van 't Klooster four.
Starting pitchers Patrick Beljaards and David Bergman both threw five shutout innings.
(April 1)

Complete Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores


RCH wins in Nijmegen; Pirates wins in two cities
Nederlands
ANTALYA (Turkey) - Corendon Kinheim on Sunday won twice vs. Tornado Balashikha (Russia), 8-1 and 12-4, to close its spring trainingcamp in Turkey and back home MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns won the annual Jan van de Vegte Memorial Tournament in Nijmegen by remaining undefeated in three games.

At Nijmegen, MediaMonks RCH-Pingu´ns added two victories on Sunday after winning 10-2 on Saturday to win the tournament. On Sunday, RCH defeated First Divisionist Sparks Haarlem, 21-2, then shutout Mr. Cocker HCAW, 4-0, to finish in first place. HCAW ended in second place, followed by organizer De Hazenkamp and Sparks Haarlem. RCH now has won four games in a row under interim-coach Ramses Meering.

At Hoofddorp and Amsterdam, Amsterdam Pirates played two games and won both. No, this is no April Fool's joke, but really happened in a weird situation. Pirates initially was to participate in a triple-header with Konica Minolta Pioniers and DOOR Neptunus, which was scheduled to be played on the renovated home field of Pioniers in Hoofddorp. In the opener, Pirates defeated Pioniers 4-1 in a game which was halted after six innings. The umpires then declared the field unplayable, because there were holes in the mound and the home plate area and problems with the dirt in the first base area. The next scheduled game between Pioniers and Neptunus was dropped, while Neptunus and Pirates traveled to Amsterdam where the remaining game between Neptunus and Pirates was played on the home site of the latter. In that game, Pirates won again, this time 4-2, to move back into first place of the exhibition standings. Kenny Berkenbosch threw seven strong innings for Pirates, which hit the ball well off new Neptunian-pitcher Chris Ryan, who arrived on Thursday from the States.

At The Hague, ADO and Almere '90 played a 9-inning game which ended indecisive, as the score was tied 8-8 when the game ended.
(April 1)

Complete Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores


Kinheim returns home from Turkey
Nederlands

...Belly-dancer during the...
...Turkish Night Show...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
BELEK / ANTALYA / SCHIPHOL (Neth.) - Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim returned home early Tuesday-morning after a great spring trainingcamp in Turkey, but sadly enough the trip ended with an anti-climax.
Minutes after the plane touched down on Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, Kinheim's longtime Equipment Manager Ron Dekker suffered a heart attack on his way to the passport control. He was attended by airport medics and was transported to an Amsterdam hospital for further care.


...Kinheim Head Coach Ben Thijssen...
...and Equipment Manager Ron Dekker...
...participate in the Dance Show...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Hours earlier, Ron Dekker was participating on stage in a Turkish dance show, which formed the ending of Kinheim's trip to Turkey. A historic trip, as Kinheim not only was the first Dutch team to travel to Turkey, but also played the very first official baseball game in the youngest member of the European Baseball Federation. The Turkish Federation was founded in 2001. Also participating in the dance show on stage were Head Coach Ben Thijssen, infielder Jeffrey Verbij and pitcher Duko Jansen's girlfriend Linda Groot.

In the afternoon, the Kinheim-party left the 5-star Arcadia Hotel in Belek and traveled to downtown Antalya to visit the bazaar and the beautiful harbour at the Gulf of Antalya with the Taurus Mountains in the background. The trip was then closed with a dinner and the Turkish Night Show. Hereafter, a short bus ride followed to the international airport of Antalya for the flight back home.

Before the dinner, Kinheim-President Peter Jager thanked the club's main sponsor Corendon, who was represented by Joop Kuijk, for enabling the team to have this trainingcamp in Turkey and for the wonderful organization of the trip.

,,This has been a great trip'', Head Coach Ben Thijssen said after Sunday's games against Tornado Balashikha. ,,Everything was wonderful and good organized. We were able to practice and play under good circumstances and fine weather. Yes, I think we're almost ready now for the season. My line-up is almost set.''

Coming Easter Weekend, Kinheim will be one of three participating teams on the annual I.M. Charles Urbanus Sr. Tournament in Bussum. The week thereafter, Kinheim opens the season with a 2-game series against Almere '90.
(April 3)


...Jeffrey Verbij participates in belly dancing act...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)

...Players watch the Turkish Night Show dancers...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)


Starting Pitchers Easter Weekend; ADO's pitching search continues
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - In the coming Easter Weekend, the nine Dutch big league-teams will participate in three annual tournaments, which traditionally form the end of the Exhibition Season. The regular season will open on Saturday, April 14.

At Bussum, Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim and vice-champion Konica Minolta Pioniers will participate in the I.M. Charles Urbanus Sr. Tournament, organized by Mr. Cocker HCAW. This will be the first time that only three teams are participating instead of four. All teams will play four games in three days. The starting pitchers for all six scheduled games have been announced.
Pioniers sends three pitchers to the mound who already have started earlier this season, while rookie lefthander Maxim Kerkmeer will start his first game on Saturday.
HCAW also named three pitchers who started before. The team added LHP Joep Meulendijks from the second team and he will make his first start for the squad on Sunday. A few weeks ago, he started against HCAW while playing for the second team. HCAW hopes to announce a foreign pitching addition soon (Canadian?).
Kinheim, which returned home from its training camp in Turkey early Tuesday-morning, will start the first two games with LHP Patrick Beljaards and RHP David Bergman, who both have already started three times. On Monday, LHP Jean-Paul Gulinck and Australian RHP Vaughan Harris will start in the two games Kinheim will play then, but it has yet to be decided against who. In the meantime, players and staff are still concerned about the health of longtime Equipment Manager Ron Dekker, who suffered a heart attack after returning from Turkey and currently is being taken care of in a hospital.

At Rotterdam, ADO, Amsterdam Pirates and DOOR Neptunus will join organizer Sparta/Feyenoord in the Hudson John Tournament.
Sparta/Feyenoord named its three pitchers, including RHP Daan Baecke, who will start his first game on Saturday. RHP Rudy Seebus this weekend might be used briefly, as he has a cut in his throwing arm, while the team might add a foreign pitcher in the coming weeks.
Neptunus also has its rotation set and gave American LHP Chris Ryan his first start on Sunday.
ADO added three pitchers to its roster for the coming weekend and decided to participate in the tournament, despite the on-going pitching problems. Added from the second team were RHP Jeoffrey de Groot and Saturday's starter RHP Gary Da Costa and from the third team RHP Quinten Tramm, who already started two times before. After the team learned that LHP Manny Olivera and RHP Andy Torres will not come to The Hague, ADO got in contact with former Major League-pitcher Matt Smith, but he also will not come, as he recently signed a new professional contract. Another contacted pitcher, Venezuelan Elvis Polanco, who pitched for Rojos de Tenerife (Spain) in the European Cup, also will not come. It was thought, he had a Spanish passport, so they could add an oustide-Europe foreigner to the team, but Polanco only has a Venezueland passport. ADO now has contact with another Venezuelan born-pitcher, who does have a Spanish passport and might add a Japanese pitcher to its roster, while there are also contacts with an American pitcher.
Amsterdam Pirates named its rotation for the upcoming weekend on Friday.

At Enschede, Almere '90 and MediaMonks RCH will participate in the J.C.J. Mastenbroek Tournament, organized by First Divisionist Tex Town Tigers. Other participants are First Divisionist Alcmaria Victrix and Belgian champion Royal Greys. All teams will play at least five games in the 3-day event.
Almere named its starters, who all started before, for the four games in the Round Robin and also named a fifth starter for the final day, being RHP Derrick Isenia, who will make his first start.
RCH, which added Antillian catcher Sevard Seferina to its roster last week, has named its starters on Friday.
(April 5)


ADO, Pirates add players; Markwell released
Nederlands
THE HAGUE / AMSTERDAM / ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - With the opening of the new season approaching withing a week, ADO and Amsterdam Pirates both confirmed the addition of a player on Friday.

ADO decided to add Venezuelan pitcher Elvis Polanco after all. Initially, the club from The Hague hoped the righthander had a Spanish passport, meaning they also could bring in an extra outside-Europe foreigner. However, Polanco only holds a Venezuelan passport. But as the latest American ADO had contact with, who reportedly threw 95 mph, signed a contract with the Florida Marlins-organization, ADO decided to add Polanco, who participated in the European Cup Tournaments with Rojos de Tenerife from Spain. Polanco will come to The Hague as soon as possible. This weekend, ADO hopes to have more pitching news.

Amsterdam Pirates has reached an agreement with Australian infielder Glenn Mascoll, who will join the club in about one-and-a-half week. Mascoll played at short stop and second base for the Waverley Wildcats in Baseball Victoria, one of the Australian Leagues. On March 24, Mascoll and his team captured the State League title, by winning 10-1 vs. Essendon in the final. Mascoll finished the Australian season with a .330 average. In 2005, he participated with the Victoria Aces state team in the Claxton Shield for the Australian national title. Also playing on that tournament was RHP Vaughan Harris, who then pitched for the New South Wales Patriots and this season will throw for Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim. Mascoll played together with national team-players like Simon Beresford, Ben Utting and Brad Harman.

In other news, LHP Diegomar Markwell will probably come back to the Netherlands soon. The Dutch national team-pitcher was released last week by his Taiwanese professional team after appearing in only three games. Markwell, who had a contract until early May, might be throwing again for DOOR Neptunus, for whom he also pitched last season and then was voted Best Pitcher of the Dutch big league. It was thought that Markwell already had arrived in the Netherlands two days ago, but that wasn't the case. As soon as he comes back, Neptunus plans to have a talk with the lefthander.
(April 6)


First day Easter Tournaments completed
Nederlands
BUSSUM / ROTTERDAM / ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - On Saturday, the nine big league-teams completed the first day of games in the three tournaments which are scheduled this Easter Weekend and form the final preparations, as the regular season will open next Saturday. The tournaments run until Monday.

At Bussum, Corendon Kinheim opened the 25th edition of the I.M. Charles Urbanus, Sr. Tournament with a 10-3 win vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers. In the next game, Pioniers trailed 3-0 in the third inning vs. organisor Mr. Cocker HCAW, but that game ended in a 4-4 tie.

At Rotterdam, ADO opened the Hudson John Tournament with a 6-3 win vs. host Sparta/Feyenoord. Hereafter, DOOR Neptunus shutout Amsterdam Pirates, 9-0.

At Enschede, MediaMonks RCH extended its winning streak to six games by winning twice on the opening day of the J.C.J. Mastenbroek Tournament. RCH opened with a 7-2 win vs. Almere '90, then defeated First Divisionist Alcmaria Victrix, 8-4. The first day ended with a 13-3 win by Almere vs. Belgian champion Royal Greys. In this game, Giovannie Samboe hit three homeruns for Almere. RCH now has won six of the seven games played since Ramses Meering took over as interim-coach.
(April 7)

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ADO acquires pitcher
Nederlands
THE HAGUE (Neth.) - After announcing that Venezuelan righthander Elvis Polanco will join the team shortly, ADO on Saturday added another pitcher to its still small pitching staff.

On Saturday, it was confirmed that former Dutch big league-pitcher Berry Tilmans will play for ADO this season. A few years ago, the lefthander threw on the highest level for Sparta/Feyenoord, but then retired due to an injury. After a year, Tilmans started to pitch again and went on to play for Hellevoet Athletics from Hellevoetsluis, which plays in the Fourth Division. There, he pitched the last three seasons and was to be one of their pitchers again this season. But he now decided to transfer to ADO to make a comeback in the big league.

With this addition, ADO changed its rotation for Sunday's game on the Hudson John Tournament in Rotterdam. Berry Tilmans now will start, instead of the announced RHP Quinten Tramm, in the game against DOOR Neptunus. A starter for Monday's game has yet to be announced, but ADO now has both RHP Gary Da Costa and Tramm available. Da Costa was to be the starter for Saturday's game, but his place was taken by RHP Jeoffrey de Groot. ADO also confirmed that its closer Robin van Doornspeek is not with the team this weekend.
(April 7)


New name, logo for Almere
Nederlands
ALMERE (Neth.) - A week before the season-opener, Almere '90 has changed its name and its logo. Starting this season, the Dutch big league-team added a nickname and will be known as the Almere Magpies.

It was said that it was time for the Almerian big league-team for an new and refreshing image, showed with a new teamlogo, which will be worn on the new uniforms of the squad. Model for the logo is a frequently visible bird in the Almere-area, the magpie. In a press release, Almere stated that the magpie is a busy animal, with a lot of confidence and strong will. Therefore, the team didn't choose for a 'showy logo', but for a sharp and clear 'old school' no-nonsense figure which goes with Almere's vision: a team that is going for it.

Last week, Almere officially opened its Fortis Business Club Almere '90. In this business club, several local companies from Almere financially support the biggest baseball and softball club of the Netherlands. This has to result into a better infrastructure within the club and an oldfashioned club atmosphere. Almere concludes its press release by stating that the big league-team wants to be a contender for the highest rankings in the big league and wants to play a major role in both senior- and youthcompetitions.
(April 7)


IN MEMORIAM

Ron Dekker
(1946 - 2007)

(Photo: Rien)

Kinheim's Equipment Manager Ron Dekker passed away
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM / HAARLEM (Neth.) - Ron Dekker, the longtime loyal Equipment Manager of Dutch baseball champion Corendon Kinheim passed away on Saturday-evening in an Amsterdam hospital. Last week, Ron was an enthousiastic participant in the successful spring training camp of Kinheim in Turkey. But minutes after the plane landed shortly after 3 AM Tuesday-morning on Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam returning from Turkey, Dekker, was struck by a major heart attack on his way to the passport control. Medics attended him on the scene, but Ron was transported in critical condition to the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam for further care. Unfortunately, Ron couldn't recover from the heart attack and on Saturday-evening, he passed away at the age of 60 years old.
On Friday-morning, April 13, Ron's impressive funeral took place. A long, police escorted, funeral procession left the Pim Mulier Baseball Stadium in Haarlem, the home site of Kinheim, at approximately 9:30 AM en route to the Akendam Cemetery in Haarlem. There, Ron's life and contributions to Kinheim were remembered in speeches by his brother in law, Club Librarian Cor Verdel, Player Wouter Heemskerk, Coach and longtime friend Marcel Joost, Club-President Peter Jager and club P.A. Announcer Yvonne de Vries. All speeches included lot of anecdotes, his own written poems and lots of humor, resulting in spontaneous laughs. Just as Ron would have liked it. Hereafter, Ron was brought to his last resting place, which was an impressive moment. Ron was accompanied by 'his' Kinheim-players, coaches and staffmembers, all dressed in club-jackets. Ten of them carried flowers, while eight served as pallbearer. After the crowded ceremony, there was a gathering with the family in 'The Backstop', Ron's beloved clubhouse of Kinheim in the Pim Mulier Stadium.

A few years ago, he also ended the European Cup Tournament in Barcelona (Spain) with a visit to a hospital. Shortly after the final, he fell sick and had to be hospitalized, but he recovered and was able to return home quickly. Sadly enough, especially after the so successful trip to Turkey, Ron this time lost the battle.


...Ron Dekker checks a decoration...
...on the baseballfield in Antalya, Turkey...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Ron Dekker was the Equipment Manager of the big league baseballteam of Haarlem-based Kinheim for almost 25 years and celebrated the Dutch championship with them in 1994 and last year.
Ron was proud of 'his' Kinheim and the group of players and didn't hide that. During the trainingcamp in Turkey and especially after the convincing victories against the Russian champion Tornado Balashikha, Ron frequently said:" ,,We have the best team. Mark my words, we again will be the champion, I wouldn't know who else would be the champion. We have the best outfield, the best pitchingstaff and did you see the hitting. No one can stop us.''
In Turkey Ron amused himself daily on and around the field in Antalya and the hotel in Belek. On the last day of the trip, a few fours before the team left for the flight back, Ron participated in a dance-act on stage during a Turkish Dance Show which ended the trip and later spontaneously conducted the Turkish music.

Ron liked his beer and a glass of wine. That was common knowledge. He had a lot of humor, but Ron also didn't hide his opinion, during but also outside a game. Through the years many umpires (and others) have heard that loud and clear.

Famous were his humoristic (short) poems. Ron made them up on the spot. Some of them were published annually in the Kinheim Yearbook. Four years ago some of his poems were bundled and published in a small booklet. The 3000 copies of its were sold out in no time.

His 'Icecream Shuffle' before a game in the Kinheim dug-out became legendary with the group of players and became a tradition. In Turkey, Ron also did his shuffle before the two games against the Russians. Initially, Ron said he only wanted to do it during the regular season, but the players encouraged him to do it and the shuffle followed. Unfortunately, it would be his last one.

With the passing of Ron Dekker, the Dutch baseball world has lost a very colourful character, who will be missed by a lot of us.
(April 8)


Kinheim, Neptunus win; Almere in final
Nederlands
BUSSUM / ROTTERDAM / ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - After Sunday's games, Corendon Kinheim leads in Bussum, DOOR Neptunus in Rotterdam and Almere '90, soon to be known as the Magpies, clinched the final in Enschede.

At Bussum, the second day of the 25th I.M. Charles Urbanus, Sr. Tournament started with a minute of silence in remembrance of Ron Dekker, the longtime Equipment Manager of Corendon Kinheim, who passed away on Saturday-evening. It was an emotional day, as Kinheim also played its game vs. Mr. Cocker HCAW in black shirts to remember their colourful staffmember, who will surely be missed. The players were informed earlier in the morning of the passing of Ron Dekker. Even to write these lines is difficult and strange, as less than a week ago the Kinheim-group (and your webmaster) were enjoying the warm Turkish sun during the team's spring training camp. In Turkey, we shared the same table as Ron, ride the bus together, laughed, ate and drink and enjoyed good baseball. And now, the Kinheim-family has to say goodbye to their loyal equipment manager and buddy, who was with them for almost 25 years. The game vs. HCAW was played routinely and was won 3-0. In the second game of the day, HCAW lost 5-1 to Konica Minolta Pioniers.

At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus shutout ADO 6-0 to become the leader in the Hudson John Tournament. In the next game, Sparta/Feyenoord came alongside, 2-2, in the sixth inning vs. Amsterdam Pirates, but lost 6-2.

At Enschede, Almere '90 reached the final of the J.C.J. Mastenbroek Tournament by winning twice against a First Division-team. First, organisor Tex Town Tigers was shutout 4-0, then the day ended with a 14-4 win vs. Alcmaria Victrix in a game which ended around 8 PM. The second day had started later than scheduled, due to fog in the morning. MediaMonks RCH failed to qualify directly for the final. After winning twice on Saturday, the team started today with a 4-4 tie against Belgian champion Royal Greys, then lost 5-4 to Tex Town Tigers. RCH now has to play at 10 AM on Monday-morning vs. Tex Town Tigers in the third place-game. The winner qualifies for the final.
(April 8)

Complete Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores


Rick van den Hurk to start in Major League!
Nederlands
MIAMI, Florida (USA) - Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk is on his way to Miami to make his Major League-debut with the Florida Marlins!

Monday-morning (today) it was reported (and confirmed by some sources) that the 21-year old righthander was recalled to the big league-team and was to start in Tuesday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers. On March 27, Van den Hurk threw four innings in a Spring Training-game vs. the Baltimore Orioles as a non-roster invitee in the final week of the Marlins-camp, before the regular season started. At the moment, Florida is in second place in the National League East after winning four of their first six games of the season. Florida was 2-1 vs. the Washington Nationals and 2-1 vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. Today (Monday), Florida opens a series against the Milwaukee Brewers, which shares third place in the National League Central with a 3-3 record. Initially, Ricky Nolasco, who threw in relief last Friday, was named as the probable starter for Tuesday-evening against Milwaukee. However, Nolasco was put on the disabled list with a tender right elbow and replaced by Van den Hurk.

Before being recalled, Van den Hurk was on the roster of the Carolina Mudcats, the double-A team of the Marlins. The team is in third place of the North Division of the Southern League and lost three of its first four games of the season against the Birmingham Barons. Van den Hurk didn't pitch in those games.

Van den Hurk initially was scheduled to start yesterday's game (Sunday) against the Barons, but his start was scrubbed before the game. Thinking his start was moved up a day, Van den Hurk was informed after the game that he could pack up his bag and fly to Miami, as he was recalled by the big league-Marlins.

(April 9)


Kinheim, Neptunus, Almere win tournaments
Nederlands
BUSSUM / ROTTERDAM / ENSCHEDE (Neth.) - Corendon Kinheim, DOOR Neptunus and Almere '90 on Monday won the annual tournaments, which form the last preparations for the upcoming season, which opens next Saturday.

At Bussum, Corendon Kinheim won the I.M. Charles Urbanus, Sr. Tournament for the second year in a row. The team started the third and final day with a 5-1 loss vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers, but finished with a 7-2 win vs. organising Mr. Cocker HCAW.

At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus defeated organisator Sparta/Feyenoord, 5-3, to remain unbeaten and repeat as tournament-winner. Amsterdam Pirates claimed second place by winning 8-5 vs. ADO.

At Enschede, Almere '90, which hit 14 homeruns in three days, defeated organisor and First Divisionist Almere '90, 14-8, in the final of the J.C.J. Mastenbroek Tournament. The day started with Tex Town Tigers registering a huge 17-5 win vs. MediaMonks RCH, which therefore finished in third place, while TTT advanced to the final.
(April 9)

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Pitching-update ADO
Nederlands
THE HAGUE (Neth.) - The pitching soap for ADO continued on Monday.

The team started the exhibition season with only three pitchers on its roster (RHP Berry van Driel, RHP Dennis Burgersdijk and RHP Robin van Doornspeek), while a fourth one (RHP Jurrian Koks) is currently studies in the States. At the moment, this staff is down to two, as Van Doornspeek currently is not with the team. On Friday, the team announced the addition of Venezuelan RH pitcher Elvis Polanco and on Saturday, the addition of LHP Berry Tilmans. On Monday, it was confirmed that Polanco will arrive in The Hague next Friday, but on the same day, the team was informed that the transfer of Tilmans to ADO was not possible. Tilmans, who is on the roster of Hellevoet Athletics in the Fourth Division, will not get permission to transfer to the higher big league, as the transfer comes after the November 1 deadline. There is another transfer-period until May 1, but that's only for national competions as the Major League and First Division and doesn't allow players from lower regional leagues to move up.

To fill in the open spots in their pitchingstaff, ADO now has added RHP Jeoffrey de Groot and RHP Gary Dacosta to its active roster for the upcoming season. The two pitchers were on the roster of ADO's First Division-team. The team even named De Groot already as its Opening Day-starter next Saturday at Sparta/Feyenoord, while Polanco might be the starter in Sunday's home game.
To be continued.
(April 9)


Joost withdraws; Hubbard returns with from Dutch team
Nederlands

...Marcel Joost during Kinheim's...
...trainingcamp in Turkey...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - The Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association on Tuesday announced that American coach Jack Hubbard has returned to the coaching staff of the Dutch National Baseball Team, while Marcel Joost has withdrawn.

Marcel Joost, who played a record total of games for the national squad, joined the coaching staff of Manager Robert Eenhoorn and was the 1B Coach during the European Baseball Series, Haarlem Baseball Week and Intercontinental Cup in Taiwan. But for this year, Joost, who also is one of the coaches of Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim, has withdrawn as coach of the national team, as he cannot combine coaching anymore with his regular job. The Dutch team this year has a busy schedule. In July, the team travels to the USA for a series of games against the National American Team, to be followed by the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands) in August, the European Championships in Barcelona (Spain) in September and the World Championships in Taiwan in November.

Jack Hubbard rejoines Eenhoorn's coachingstaff. In 2005, he already coached on first base during the European Championships in the Czech Republic and the World Championships in the Netherlands. In 2006, he was the 1B Coach during the World Baseball Classic in Puerto Rico. This year, Hubbard will be the 3B Coach and replaces Ben Thijssen, who also had to withdrawn in January, due to work commitments. Hubbard has a lot of experience, as he coached in the Major League with the Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals.

For the Intercontinental Cup in Taiwan, Wim Martinus was added to the coaching staff and will be part of it again this year. Brian Farley again will be the Pitching Coach and Bench Coach.
(April 10)


Van den Hurk does well in ML-debut
Nederlands
MIAMI, Florida (USA) - Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk did very well in his Major League-debut Tuesday-evening, as he struckout five batters in almost five innings against the Milwaukee Brewers.

21-year old Rick van den Hurk was recalled to the big league-team of the Florida Marlins on Sunday from his double-A team Carolina Mudcats, replacing Ricky Nolasco on the roster. Nolasco was put on the Disabled List with an elbow-injury. Nolasco initially was named starting pitcher for Tuesday's game, but was replaced in the rotation by Van den Hurk.

Dutch-born players in Major League
PlayerML-debut
Rynie Wolters1871
John Houseman1894
John Otten1895
Bert Blyleven1970
Win Remmerswaal1979
Rikkert Faneyte1993
Robert Eenhoorn1994
Rick van den Hurk2007
Playing in Dolphin Stadium, the home site of the Marlins in Miami and with his family in the stands, the Dutch righthander started his first Major League-game probably somewhat nervous, as he walked lead-off batter Craig Counsell, who then moved to second base on a wild pitch. Van den Hurk then settled in and got J.J. Hardy to fly out to centerfield. After giving up a single to Prince Fielder, Van den Hurk struckout Bill Hall and Johnny Estrada to end the inning. In the second inning, Van den Hurk struckout the side. Geoff Jenkins first struckout on a foul tip, then Corey Hart struckout swinging and Tony Graffanino was called out on strikes to give Van den Hurk five consecutive strikeouts.

Florida had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Claudio Vargas. With one out, Dan Uggla doubled and scored on a 2-out single by Mike Jacobs.

Curašao-born players in Major League
PlayerML-debut
Hensley Meulens1989
Andruw Jones1996
Ralph Milliard1996
Randall Simon1997
Ivanon Coffie2000
Yurendell de Caster2006
Aruba-born players in Major League
PlayerML-debut
Eugene Kingsale1996
Calvin Maduro1996
Radhames Dijkhoff1998
Sidney Ponson1998
In the third inning, Van den Hurk got some nice assistance from his defense. With one out, he again walked Craig Counsell. After J.J. Hardy lined out to leftfield, Prince Fielder hit a line drive double into leftfield. Counsell tried to score, but was thrown out at the plate to end the at bat.

In the fourth inning, the Brewers came alongside. With one out, Johnny Estrada singled, moved to third on a single by Geoff Jenkins and scored on a sac-fly by Corey Hart.

Milwaukee threatened again in the fifth at bat. Pitcher Claudio Vargas led off with a single, then Craig Counsell lined out to centerfield. After Vargas moved on a wild pitch, J.J. Hardy flied out. Next, Prince Fielder walked intentionally, before the game was interrupted by rain. After the game resumed after a 49-minute delay, Van den Hurk didn't return and was relieved by Lee Gardner, who hit Bill Hall to load the bases. But the inning ended when Johnny Estrada grounded out, meaning Van den Hurk would end his first game with a no-decision.
Van den Hurk threw 84 pitches in his debut, 53 of which were strikes.

Rick van den Hurk became the fifth player who was raised in the Netherlands to reach the Major League. The others are: RHP Win Remmerswaal, OF Rikkert Faneyte, SS Robert Eenhoorn and SS Ralph Milliard.

Van den Hurk became the eighth Dutch-born player and fourteenth with a Dutch passport to reach the Major League. Besides Remmerswaal, Faneyte and Eenhoorn, this total includes six players, who were born on Curašao and four, who were born on Aruba.
With the debut of Van den Hurk, there are now three players with a Dutch passport currently playing in the Major League. The other two are Outfielder Andruw Jones (Atlanta Braves) and Pitcher Sidney Ponson (Minnesota Twins).
Van den Hurk is the third Dutch-born pitcher in the Majors and only the second who was raised in The Netherlands. The first one was Bert Blyleven, who was born in Zeist, but left for the States at a very young age. Win Remmerswaal then became the 'first' Dutch Major Leaguer when he made his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 1979 and then pitched again for the BoSox in 1980. Now, 27 years later, there is another Dutchman in the big league.
The first Dutch-born player in the Major League was Rynie Wolters, who made his debut in 1871 as a player of the New York Mutuals in the National Association, which was then considered a Major League.
The April 10 debut by Van den Hurk is the earliest ever by a Dutch-raised player. The previous earliest debut was April 27, 1994 when Robert Eenhoorn made his debut with the New York Yankees. Milliard made his debut in May, Faneyte and Remmerswaal in August.

The Marlins re-took the lead in the home fifth when Alejandro De Aza reached on an error and scored on a sac-fly by Dan Uggla, but in the ninth inning, the Brewers tied the score again. Rickie Weeks, who had entered the batting order after Tony Graffanino had been ejected after he was called out on strikes, led off the ninth with a walk, stole second base and scored on a ground-rule double by J.J. Hardy.
After the tenth inning, the game was stopped for the third time by rain. This time, it was decided to stop the game, making it the first game to be suspended by rain in Miami since May 5, 1995. The game will be completed on Wednesday-evening, before the regularly scheduled game.
(April 10)


Next start: Monday vs. Houston
Nederlands
MIAMI, Florida (USA) - Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk, who made his Major League-debut on Tuesday-evening, will start again next Monday. After throwing against the Milwaukee Brewers in his debut, Van den Hurk will face the Houston Astros in Houston in his second big league-start for the Florida Marlins.

Van den Hurk's performance on Tuesday was called 'outstanding', as he struckout five batters in a row from the first through second inning. In 4 2/3 inning, the righthander gave up only five hits. ,,He did very well, I was impressed'', Florida-Manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Tuesday's game in the locker room.

The day after his debut, Van den Hurk looked back to his debut. ,,It felt great, it was very cool'', Van den Hurk said under the warm Florida-sun. ,,This is a new episode for me. Yes, I now starts to realize that I pitched in the Major League.''
About his performance, Van den Hurk said against Grand Slam * Stats & News: ,,I felt good and I remained myself. The throwing went fine, while I prepared before the game. Yes, when the game started I was somewhat nervous.'' Van den Hurk walked the first batter he faced, who then advanced on a wild pitch. But hereafter, he threw great. Van den Hurk: ,,I had to adjust. There is lot going through yourself at a moment like that. The first pitch I made was a strike, that was a good feeling. After the first batter, I was through it and then it went well, I was more relaxed then.''

Van den Hurk's debut was cut short by rain. After the game was stopped in the fifth inning, it was resumed after a 49-minute delay and Van den Hurk didn't return after that. Van den Hurk: ,,Yes, when it not had started raining, I had remained in the game. But nevertheless, this is a great feeling.''
(April 11)


Neptunus unveils retired number-section
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus on Thursday-evening unveiled a section on the leftfield-fence of the Neptunus Familystadium which is dedicated to the three retired numbers of the club.

...Paul van den Oever (left)...
...is presented with his shirt...
...by Jan van der Sande...
(Photo: Ron Wicklert
www.eott.nl
)
On the wall, the numbers and names are now visible of Pitcher Harry Koster (14), Short Stop Robert Eenhoorn (16) and Second Baseman Bob van Aalen (22). Koster and Van Aalen attended the ceremony, while Eenhoorn was unable to come at the last moment.
Also attending the ceremony was the current group of players of Neptunus, including pitcher Diegomar Markwell, who returned from Taiwan on Wednesday after his professional career there was cut short, because he was released by the Macoto Cobras.

Last years Bench Coach Paul van den Oever, who retired after the season, was presented with his uniform number 29, signed by the players, for his long contribution to the team.


...Harry Koster poses with his retired number...
(Photo: Ron Wicklert - www.eott.nl)
Harry Koster played for Neptunus from 1982 through 1997. All of these seasons were in the Dutch big league, except for 1985 when the team played in the First Division. Koster played in 200 games, includin 196 as a pitcher. The righthander finished his career with 94-31 record and struckout 1070 batters. Koster played in 24 games fot the national squad.

Bob van Aalen played for Neptunus from 1982 through 1999, including seventeen seasons in the Dutch big league. Van Aalen played in 617 games, the majority of them at second base, and collected 693 basehits. He finished his career with a .307 batting average. Van Aalen played in 37 games for the Dutch National Team.


...The three retired numbers in leftfield of the Neptunus Familystadium...
(Photo: Ron Wicklert - www.eott.nl)
Robert Eenhoorn played for Neptunus in 1984-1986, then for Haarlem Nicols in 1987-1988, before returning to Rotterdam for the 1989-1990 seasons. In 1990, Eenhoorn started his professional career in the States with the New York Yankees-organization. He played in nine professional seasons and on April 27, 1994, he made his debut in the Major League with the Yankees. Eenhoorn also played in the organizations of the Anaheim Angels and New York Mets and in total appeared in 37 Major League-games. In August 1998, Eenhoorn returned to the Netherlands and became a player/coach with Neptunus, with whom he played again in 1999 and 2000. Eenhoorn played in 252 games, including 174 for Neptunus. He hit 349 basehits and finished with a career .347 batting average. Eenhoorn played in 73 games for the Dutch National Team and is the national squad's Manager since 2001.
(April 12)


Opening Day Starters; Roster changes

...Louis Hofer...
...most experience...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - The Opening Day-starters have been announced for the eight scheduled games in the Opening Weekend. The new season opens on Saturday, April 14. Nine teams will play a 40-game schedule per team en route to the Holland Series to decide who will become the 85th champion of the Netherlands.

The season will start with four rookie Head Coaches, while two will start their second and two others their third big league-season. The most experienced Head Coach this season is Louis Hofer, who will start his second consecutive season (and sixth overall) with Amsterdam Pirates and will enter his ninth year as a Head Coach in the big league.

On the Opening Day-rosters, there are 50 players, who are labeled as rookies, 33 of them will make their big league-debut when they are playing.

In the last days before the start of the season, some roster changes also were made.

ADO
RHP Gary Dacosta and RHP Jeoffrey de Groot were added to the roster, while Venezuelan RHP Elvis Polanco was acquired last week. RHP Jurrian Koks will join the team probably in May after completing his study in the States.
RHP Rob Cordemans is playing professionally in Taiwan and probably will not be available for the team the entire season. Closer Robin van Doornspeek, who was not with the team last weekend, is on the roster.

Opening Weekend Starters:
RHP Jeoffrey de Groot and RHP Elvis Polanco
Head Coach:
Wim Martinus (first year) (3rd year in big league; record: 23-52)

Almere Magpies
The team has to do this season without IF Ivanon Coffie, who also got a contract in the professional league in Taiwan and currently is playing there. No new additions are expected.

Opening Weekend Starters:
RHP Erik Remmerswaal and RHP Forstin Coenraad
Head Coach:
Ritchie Daal (first full season) (2nd year in big league; record: 7-5-1)

Amsterdam Pirates
Recently acquired Australian infielder Glenn Mascoll will arrive next Thursday, while RHP Pim Walsma and Catcher Bas Nooij will come back to the Netherlands somewhere in the end of May or beginning of June after completing their study and season in the USA. 1B Coach Anthony St. Aubyn has withdrawn from the coachingstaff.

Opening Weekend Starter:
RHP Kenny Berkenbosch
Head Coach:
Louis Hofer (second year; sixth overall with Pirates) (9th year in big league; record: 162-145-5)

Mr. Cocker HCAW
HCAW announced the addition of Canadian/British pitcher Stephen Spragg, while it also might add an American outfielder. Catchers Stefan Hoogewerff and Gerson Tremus, who already played some games during the exhibition season, were added to the roster. They will play for the second team (First Division) this season, but also be available for games of the main squad. Outfielder Nick Makkinje will join the team in May after completion of his study in the States.

Opening Weekend Starters:
RHP Mark Kolner and RHP Sten van den Bedem
Head Coach:
Roy Berrevoets (first year)(big league-debut)

Konica Minolta Pioniers
The team recently added Aruban IF Jourick Blanco, while veteran reliever Marc Steenhof has come out of retirement and was added to the active roster, as he will make his comeback on the mound this season. The team also hopes to add an American pitcher in the coming days.

Opening Weekend Starters:
LHP Richard Orman and RHP Erik Jan Lind
Head Coach:
Frank Koene (first year) (2nd year in big league; record: 29-16-2)

Corendon Kinheim
The Dutch champion recently added Australian righthander Vaughan Harris, while former pro 3B Vince Rooi will now play the entire season for the Haarlem-team, as he didn't got a contract extension in the States.

Opening Weekend Starters:
RHP David Bergman and LHP Patrick Beljaards
Head Coach:
Ben Thijssen (second year) (3rd year in big league; record: 40-43-4)

DOOR Neptunus
Neptunus recently announced the coming of American LHP Chris Ryan, while LHP Diegomar Markwell this week returned from Taiwan, after being released from a professional contract by the Macoto Cobras. He practiced with the team on Thursday-evening, but probably will not throw yet in the weekend.

Opening Weekend Starters:
LHP Chris Ryan and RHP Leon Boyd
Head Coach:
Eric de Bruin (first year)(big league-debut)

MediaMonks RCH
Last week, Antillian Catcher Sevard Seferina and Infielder Danny Mujica joined the team. Mujica already played for the team two years ago. Coming week, Czech players Petr Baroch (IF) and Jan Drabek (IF/RHP) will come to Heemstede, while American RHP Ryan Murphy probably will come somewhere in May.
Ramses Meering will start the season as Interim Head Coach, while talks to candidates for the position continue.

Opening Weekend Starter:
RHP Alexander Plakke
Head Coach:
Ramses Meering (second year)(big league-debut)

Sparta/Feyenoord
A search is going on for the addition of an American pitcher, but no luck so far.

Opening Weekend Starters:
LHP Herman Gaarman and RHP Elton Koeiman
Head Coach:
Adonis Kemp (first year)(big league-debut)

(April 12)

Opening Day Rosters


Canadian/British pitcher for HCAW

...Stephen Spragg...
(Photo: Wild Things)
Nederlands
BUSSUM (Neth.) - Mr. Cocker HCAW announced it has reached an agreement with Canadian-born (Ottawa, Ontario) pitcher Stephen Spragg, who will arrive Saturday-morning and will his new team in the afternoon for the Opening Day-game against Konica Minolta Pioniers in Hoofddorp.
The righthanded Spragg, who also holds a British passport and therefore is not designated as a foreign pitcher, has played the last two seasons in the (American) Independent League and was primarily used as a reliever and closer. HCAW also plans to add an American Outfielder.

In January 2006, the 24-year old Spragg was labeled as a prospect after he signed a contract in September 2005 and attended a try-out with the San Diego Padres. In Spring training, it was expected that he would throw for their Minor League-team Fort Wayne Wizards. But he was released and re-joined the Washington Wild Things in the Frontier League, one of the Independent Leagues. Spragg already pitched for this team in Washington (Pennsylvania) in 2005 and then led the team with a 2.72 ERA. He was 4-2, had 12 saves and struckout 56 batters in 59.2 innings, while walking only 15. In 2006, he was second in the league with a 2.09 ERA. He threw 43 games (club-record) in relief and was 6-7 with four saves. In November last year, he was traded to the Gary Southshore RailCats, but will not throw for them, as he is coming to the Netherlands.

Before joining the Wild Things, Spragg completed his college-career with the Pirates, the baseball-team of Augusta State University in his hometown Augusta (Georgia). In that season, he was 3-3 with 7 saves and a 3.30 ERA in 26 games. In 2004, he pitched for the Liberty Flames in the NCAA.

Stephen Spragg throws sidearm and sometimes submarine. He is a fastball-pitcher (averaging 88 mph), but also uses a forkball, curve and changeup.
(April 13)


Opening Day: Dutch champion starts with victory
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim opened the 2007 season with a 9-4 victory, while vice-champion Konica Minolta Pioniers came from behind to defeat Mr. Cocker HCAW.


...Ralph Milliard homers for HCAW, but...
...Pioniers came back from 6-1 deficit...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
At Almere, Kinheim-starter David Bergman struckout eleven batters and gave up only four basehits in 6 2/3 inning, as Kinheim won 9-4 vs. Almere Magpies, which played its first game under its new nickname.
Trailing 5-1, Almere came back with two runs when Randy Daal hit a 2-run homerun, but Kinheim added four runs in the seventh at bat.


...Chris Ryan debuts...
...for Neptunus...
(Photo: Ron Wicklert
www.eott.nl
)
At Hoofddorp, Mr. Cocker HCAW had a surprise 6-1 lead in the third inning, hitting nine hits off starter Richard Orman in this period, against Konica Minolta Pioniers, but the home team came back with five runs in the fifth inning to come alongside, then added three runs in the next two at bats ton win 9-6.
In the second inning, HCAW increased its lead from 2-1 to 4-1 when Ralph Milliard hit a 2-run homerun, but eventually the lead wasn't enough, as Pioniers came to win its first game under new Head Coach Frank Koene.

At Heemstede, MediaMonks RCH made its comeback in the Dutch big league and lost its opener, 10-1, to DOOR Neptunus, which gave Head Coach Eric de Bruin a win in his big league-debut.
After leading only 2-1 after three innings, Neptunus scored five runs in the next two at bats to take a comfortable lead. RCH used five pitchers in its opening game.
Neptunus collected 17 basehits, including four (two doubles) by Martijn Meeuwis in his first game for his new club.

At Rotterdam, Sparta/Feyenoord also handed its debuting Head Coach Adonis Kemp a victory, beating ADO 10-2.
Sparta/Feyenoord had two big innings, scoring three runs in the fourth and four in the seventh inning.
(April 14)

Complete Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores


Rick vs. Andruw
Nederlands
ATLANTA, Georgia (Florida) - Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk on Sunday faced fellow 'countryman' Andruw Jones in Atlanta and that became a remarkable confrontation.

Rick van den Hurk initially was slated to start Monday's game for the Florida Marlins at the Houston Astros, but was used in relief on Sunday. His start has been moved to next Thursday, when the Marlins will play against the New York Mets at Miami.

On Sunday, the Marlins led 1-0 when starter Scott olsen gave up five runs, including three on a homerun by Chipper Jones in the third inning. Olsen was relieved by Rick van den Hurk, who inherited two runners and got out the inning with a flyout. After being supported with a double play in the fourth inning, Van den Hurk faced fellow Dutch passport-holder Andruw Jones in the fifth inning with Chipper Jones (walk) on first. Andruw then hit one of Rick's pitches over the fence for a 2-run homerun! Andruw today played with number 42 instead of his own 25, as Sunday was Jackie Robinson Day, to remember the 60th anniversary of Robinson's debut in the Major League. Players were allowed to wear Robinson's number today if they wished. Robinson's number 42 was retired from the entire Major League ten years ago. Rick also handled the bat well, as he singled himself in the fourth inning. After the fifth inning, Van den Hurk was relieved. The Marlins lost 8-4.
(April 15)


Opening Day: HCAW surprises Pioniers
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Corendon Kinheim, DOOR Neptunus and Sparta/Feyenoord all won their second game on Sunday, but the big surprise was the 8-7 victory by Mr. Cocker HCAW vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers.

At Haarlem, Corendon Kinheim trailed twice vs. Almere Magpies, but won 5-4 on a 2-run homerun by Vince Rooi in the eighth inning.

At The Hague, Sparta/Feyenoord again won 10-2 vs. ADO, which had planned to start with Venezuelan Elvis Polanco, but he wasn't released yet by the Spanish Federation.

At Bussum, Mr. Cocker HCAW again failed to hold a big lead. Yesterday, a 6-1 lead turned into a 9-6 loss. Today, Konica Minolta Pioniers trailed 7-2 and again came alongside. But this time, HCAW came back to win 8-7 on an one-out single by JuriŰn Overman in the home of the ninth.

At Amsterdam, DOOR Neptunus won 5-1 vs. Amsterdam Pirates on very crowded Opening Day in the Dutch capital. Neptunus-starter Leon Boyd gave up only two hits in five innings, while Pirates had only six in the entire game.
(April 15)

Complete Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores


Eenhoorn names 24 players to roster
Nederlands
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Dutch National Team Manager Robert Eenhoorn have named 24 players to the premilinary roster of the national squad, which will start outdoor practice sessions on Wednesday-evening in the Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem. In May, weekly practices on Monday-evening in the Neptunus Familystadium in Rotterdam will be added.
This year, the national squad has a busy schedule. In July, the team travels to Durham in the USA for a series of games against the National American Team, to be followed by the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands) in August, the European Championships in Barcelona (Spain) in September and the World Championships in Taiwan in November. The European Championships also holds the status of Olympic Qualifying Tournament for next years Olympic Games in Beijing (China).
Returning on the national team-roster is lefthanded pitcher Ferenc Jongejan, who is going through revalidation after undergoing an arm-operation. An arm-injury kept him out of competition for the last two years. Jongejan made his last appearance with the national team during the Olympic Games in Athens (Greece) in 2004.

The Roster:

Pitchers:
David Bergman, Duko Jansen, Michiel van Kampen (all Corendon Kinheim), Kenny Berkenbosch, Nick Stuifbergen (both Amsterdam Pirates), Leon Boyd, Gregory Gustina, Ferenc Jongejan, Diegomar Markwell, Jurjen van Zijl (all DOOR Neptunus) and Dave Draijer (Konica Minolta Pioniers).

Catchers:
Johnny Balentina (DOOR Neptunus), Mark Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Sidney de Jong (Amsterdam Pirates) and Tjerk Smeets (Corendon Kinheim).

Infielders:
Michael Duursma (Konica Minolta Pioniers), Percy Isenia (ADO), Roel Koolen (Corendon Kinheim) and Raily Legito (DOOR Neptunus).

Outfielders:
Bryan Engelhardt, Eugene Kingsale (both Almere Magpies), Dirk van 't Klooster, Danny Rombley (both Corendon Kinheim) and Harvey Monte (ADO).
(April 16)


Meulens, Van den Oever in Dutch staff
Nederlands

...Paul van den Oever was a...
...spectator last Sunday...
...at the Pirates vs. Neptunus...
...game in Amsterdam...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
NIEUWEGEIN (Neth.) - Dutch National Team Manager Robert Eenhoorn has added two coaches to complete his staff for this year.

For the European Championships in Barcelona (Spain) in September and the World Championships in Taiwan in November, former national team-player Hensley Meulens will re-join Eenhoorn's coaching staff.
Meulens played for the Dutch team from 2000-2002 and was a member of the coaching staff in 2003 and 2004 and during the World Baseball Classic in March 2006. Meulens is not available for the series of games in July in the USA and the World Port Tournament in Rotterdam (Netherlands) in August, as he is a member of the coaching staff of the Triple-A team of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Paul van den Oever, the former Bench Coach of DOOR Neptunus, will be on the coaching staff for the trip to the USA and the World Port Tournament.
From 1998-2006, Van den Oever was one of the coaches of Neptunus, with whom he won the Dutch title seven times in a row from 1999-2005. Before joining the coaching staff of Neptunus, Van den Oever was the Head Coach for three other Rotterdam-based teams in the previous nine years. From 1989-1992, he led Feyenoord, followed by Rotterdam Orioles (1993) and Tridents (1994-1997), which is the second team of Neptunus. As a player, Van den Oever played 15 seasons for Feyenoord, with whom he played in the Dutch big league, and three seasons for Euro Stars, which included one big league-season.
(April 17)


Thursday's starting pitchers
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Next Thursday, April 19, the first two weekday-games are being scheduled, both to be played in Rotterdam.

DOOR Neptunus will host MediaMonks RCH, whom they beat 10-1 last Saturday. Neptunus named RHP Jurjen van Zijl as its starter, while RCH will start with RHP Thomas Morang.

Sparta/Feyenoord is playing at home vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers in a match-up between righthanders Rudy Seebus (Sparta/Feyenoord) and Roger Kops (Pioniers).
(April 17)


HCAW honors Koenen; installs new Chairman
Nederlands
BUSSUM (Neth.) - Mr. Cocker HCAW tonight (Tuesday) installed a new Chairman and named longtime player Jurjan Koenen a Honorary Member of the club and retired his uniform number 12.

Retired Numbers HCAW
1Jeffrey Cranston
10Clive Mendes
12Jurjan Koenen
24Roy Berrevoets
Jurjan Koenen is currently in his 20th season with the big league-team of HCAW. This is his first as one of the coaches of the team, after having played for the Bussum-squad in the previous 19 years. Koenen is one of only seven players in history to have played 500 or more games in the Dutch big league for only one club. He leads this elite company with 685 games.

...Jurjan Koenen (left) with Roy Berrevoets...
...before their coachingdebut last Saturday...
(Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
In his 19 seasons on the highest level, Koenen scored 329 runs, had 370 RBI's and registered 685 basehits, including 40 homeruns to finish his career with a .274 batting average. Koenen, who played in 32 games for the national team, was primarily a great defensive third baseman, but also was used sometimes as a back-up catcher. Koenen's uniform number 12 becomes the fourth to be retired by HCAW.
Last weekend, Jurjan Koenen made his debut as coach in the big league, as he is the 3B Coach this season of HCAW. He is coaching with longtime teammate Roy Berrevoets, who made his debut as Head Coach.

500 or more games, one club
Bob van AalenNeptunus
DŔ FlaneginHoofddorp Pioniers
Jurjan KoenenHCAW
John van der MarkSparta
Wim MartinusNeptunus
Ronald StoovelaarAmsterdam Pirates
Bart VolkerijkADO
Koenen's naming as a Honorary Member closed the annual member/council-meeting of the club on Tuesday-evening. Earlier in the meeting, the club installed a new Chairman. It already was announced in advance that Hans Zonneveld, former Alderman of the Municipality of Bussum, was to be the candidate for the vacant position. Zonneveld was Alderman for 12 years and was responsible for Housing, Social Affairs and Sports in Bussum. He also was one of the iniative-takers of the Foundation Ghana Support, whose goal it is to improve living conditions of people on the countryland in the Volta-region in the African country of Ghana, especially in areas as health, education, housing and business development. For a lot of years, Zonneveld already was a frequent visitor of HCAW-games and became a fan of the club. After accepting the position as Chairman, Hans Zonneveld stated that ''it was an honor to have been asked to become Chairman and that it is an honor to chair a club as HCAW''. Hans Zonneveld succeeds Ron Schel.
(April 17)


First Division: Alcmaria opens with two wins
Nederlands
DELFT / ALKMAAR (Neth.) - Alcmaria Victrix opened the First Division-season last weekend with two victories against Blue Birds, with whom is last season shared third place.
At Delft, Alcmaria shutout their opponent 15-0, then won 8-5 at home. Recaps, Line Scores and Box Scores of both games are available, as Grand Slam * Stats & News also plans to cover the First Division more this season.
More Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores will be added when the information is available.
(April 19)

Complete Recap, Line Score & Box Score Saturday's game
Complete Recap, Line Score & Box Score Sunday's game


Starting Pitchers coming weekend
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Most starting pitchers are announced for the upcoming second weekend of the regular season.
Starters for DOOR Neptunus, Sparta/Feyenoord and MediaMonks RCH, who all played on Thursday-evening, were announced on Friday. The starters for five other teams have been named. Konica Minolta Pioniers has no games scheduled.
On Sunday, lefthander Diegomar Markwell starts for Neptunus and that marks his comeback in the Dutch league after returning back from Taiwan.
(April 19-20)


Neptunus one-hits RCH
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus on Thursday-evening won 9-1 vs. MediaMonkS RCH, which produced only one basehit off three different pitchers.
Across town, Sparta/Feyenoord trailed 3-0 vs. Konica Minolta Pioniers, but took a 4-3 lead only to see the game end in a 4-4 tie.
(April 19)

Complete Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores


Marlon Fluonia to coach RCH; new pitcher
Nederlands
HEEMSTEDE (Neth.) - MediaMonks RCH on Thursday-evening announced that former national team-player Marlon Fluonia will be its new coach.

Former catcher Fluonia, who played in 755 games (trailing only recordholder Marcel Joost) in 21 big league seasons, will join the coachingstaff of RCH coming weekend.
After the 2005 season, when he played for Instant Holland Almere '90, Fluonia retired. Fluonia made his debut in 1985 while playing for UVV. He also played for Neptunus, Quick Amersfoort and Sparta/Feyenoord and appeared in 48 games with the Dutch National Team, with whom he participated in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta (USA).
The team states that Fluonia's knowledge and experience will be of great value for the young team. At the moment, RCH is coached by Ramses Meering (Head Coach), Jeroen Roozen (Coach) and Dave Dusseau (Pitching), who all will remain in the coachingstaff. In the coming days, it will become clear who will do what.

RCH also announced that it has reached an agreement with Canadian pitcher Marek Deska, who will arrive in May.
The 20-year old righthander last season completed his college career with the University of Bridgeport and finished the 2006 season with the Purple Knights with a 4-3 record and one save. He pitched in 13 games and struckout 37 in 58 1/3 innings. His ERA was 3.24. Deska also threw for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Intercounty Baseball League, appearing in seven games with a 1-2 record, striking out 19 batters and finishing with a 3.12 ERA.
(April 19)


Van den Hurk second's ML-start
Nederlands
MIAMI, Florida (USA) - Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk on Thursday-evening started his second Major League-game for the Florida Marlins, which lost 11-3 to the New York Mets, losing its fifth game in a row.

Van den Hurk pitched four innings in which he struckout six batters, but also gave up eight earned runs and seven basehits, including two homeruns.
In the first inning, Van den Hurk, whose fastball was clocked at 93 mph, struckout the side, but also gave up a run. In the home first, Florida took a 2-1 lead, but in the third, the Mets scored six runs, including two on a 2-out homerun by Ramon Castro. In the fourth inning, Carlos Beltran added a 2-out solo-homerun.
Orlando 'El Duque' Hernandez started for the Mets and the Cuban struckout ten batters in seven innings, giving up only three hits.
Besides losing the game, Florida also lost third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who was replaced precausiously because of a stiff right torso after the second inning. His status is day-to-day.

Van den Hurk's next big league start will be next Tuesday when Florida is hosting the Atlanta Braves, against whom he pitched in relief last Sunday.
(April 19-20)


First Division: First win for champion Tridents
Nederlands
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - DOOR Tridents, which last season captured the Dutch title in the First Division, on Friday-evening won its first game of the season with a 10-0 shutout vs. Jeka. This weekend, the first Interleague-games of the season are played between teams of Pool A and Pool B of the First Division. Four other games were played on Friday-evening.
(April 20)

Complete Recap, Line Score & Box Score Tridents vs. Jeka


Neptunus, Kinheim unbeaten; Victories HCAW, ADO
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim and DOOR Neptunus remained unbeaten on Saturday after winning vs. Amsterdam Pirates and Almere Magpies respectively, while Mr. Cocker HCAW won its second game in three outings and ADO won its first.

At Amsterdam, Corendon Kinheim raised its record to 3-0 with an eventual comfortable 7-1 win vs. Amsterdam Pirates to move into a tie for first place, but then co-leader DOOR Neptunus re-took the lead by winning in the evening.

At Bussum, Mr. Cocker HCAW stranded 13 runners and got the bases loaded in each of the last four innings, but scored only two runs. That was enough to hand Sparta/Feyenoord its first loss, 2-1. HCAW won the game in the ninth inning, just as it did last weekend.

At The Hague, ADO was leading 8-1 when opponent MediaMonks RCH suddenly scored six runs in the ninth inning, thanks to some walks, but the home team went on to win 8-7.

At Almere, DOOR Neptunus claimed first place again in the evening by winning 3-1 vs. Almere Magpies.
(April 21)

Complete Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores


First Division: Alcmaria, TTT lead
Nederlands
ALKMAAR (Neth.) - Alcmaria Victrix on Saturday defeated ADO 2 8-4 in a First Division Interleague-game, while Tex Town Tigers won 14-1 against Ergo-Services Kinheim om Sunday to remain the only two unbeaten teams in Pool A of the First Division.
Euro Stars and Robur '58 ran into their first loss this weekend.
(April 22)

Complete Recap, Line Score & Box Score Alcmaria vs. ADO 2


Neptunus, Kinheim, HCAW win again

...Scary moment before the game...
...Eugene Kingsale is hit by a ball moments before...
...the game and is being attended, before going...
...to a hospital. Luckily, the injury is minor...
(Photo: Ron Wicklert - www.eott.nl)
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - DOOR Neptunus, Corendon Kinheim and Mr. Cocker HCAW form the top-3 after the second week of competition in the Dutch big league, as all three teams won again on Sunday. Neptunus and Kinheim are unbeaten, HCAW lost only lost its opening game.

At Rotterdam, DOOR Neptunus won 6-1 vs. Almere Magpies, whose centerfielder Eugene Kingsale had to be hospitalized before the game. During warming-up, while standing in front of the dug-out, he was hit in the temple-area with a ball and had to be attended. He was brought to a hospital for further check-ups and returned during the game. In the hospital it was diagnosed that Kingsale had suffered a minor concussion. Luckily, the injury was minor.
Diegomar Markwell started his first game for Neptunus after returning from Taiwan and pitched five hitless innings and Martijn Meeuwis homered for Neptunus.

At Haarlem, Corendon Kinheim saw its lead being narrowed to 10-6 when Fausto ┴lvarez Rizo hit a grand slam homerun, but the home team won comfortably 15-7 vs. Amsterdam Pirates.

At Rotterdam, Mr. Cocker HCAW trailed against Sparta/Feyenoord, but turned the game around and won 8-4.

At Heemstede, ADO climbed into fifth place by winning 10-1 vs. MediaMonks RCH.
(April 22)

Complete Recaps, Line Scores & Box Scores


American outfielder for HCAW
Nederlands
BUSSUM (Neth.) - Mr. Cocker HCAW on Tuesday announced it has added American Outfielder John Coker to its roster. The 24-year old player arrives next Saturday and is eligible to play for HCAW in the upcoming 3-game series against MediaMonks RCH.


...John Coker...
(Photo: Univ. of Louisiana)
Eleven days ago, HCAW announced the addition of Canadian pitcher Stephen Spragg, who holds a British passport and therefore is not considered a foreign player. The only HCAW-player with big league-experience in the outfield currently is centerfielder Ronald Jaarsma. Leftfielder Sergio Koelemij, who is in his first season with the club, played in the outfield for Pioniers, but the last few seasons, he played in the First Division. Rightfielder Bart GabriŰls is originally an infielder, but started this season in the outfield. Nick Makkinje, who did play regularly in the outfield last season, currently is in the States for study and will return somewhere in May.

John Coker played two seasons for the Rajin' Cajuns, the baseball-team of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 2004, he played in 53 games and batted .248 with 41 basehits, including nine doubles and one homerun, and had 17 RBI's. In 2005, Coker played in 66 games and hit .329 with 84 basehits, including 16 doubles, ten triples and two homeruns, and had 29 RBI's. In these two seasons, he stole 51 bases, including a teamleading 22 in 2004.

Before coming to Louisiana, Coker played baseball for Muskogee High School in Oklahoma in 2001 and two seasons for Seminole State Junior College in Florida in 2002-2003. After completing his two years in Louisiana, COker played professionally for the Evansville Otters in the Independent Frontier League in 2005. He played in 23 games for the Otters, batted .266 and had 21 basehits, including only one double. He initially also signed for the 2006 season, but was then traded less than a month later to the Florence Freedom in the same league, who released him six days later. In 2006, Coker didn't play baseball, but planned to play American football for the Rajin' Cajuns. In his High School-days, Coker was a running back and defensive player for the football-team of Muskogee.

It was a surprise to many that Coker wasn't drafted by a Major League-organization in 2004 and 2005, because he had good figures and baseball skills. But some say that his size (which is 5-8) might have been of influence. Coker had try-outs with the Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles and the Major League Scouting Bureau. In 2001, he was the 37th draft pick for the San Diego Padres, after he had stolen 41 bases and batted .468 for Muskogee.
(April 24)


Van den Hurk's third ML-start
Nederlands
MIAMI, Florida (USA) - Rick van den Hurk's third Major League-start on Tuesday-evening for the Florida Marlins lasted a little bit more than one inning, as the Dutch righthander gave up four hits and four runs in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves.
This was Rick's fourth appearance in the big league. His first start came two weeks ago against the Milwaukee Brewers, which was followed by a relief-appeance against the Atlanta Braves and a start against the New York Mets.

While he started well, it wasn't Rick's night. In the first inning, he walked lead-off batter Kelly Johnson, who then advanced on a balk. Hereafter, Van den Hurk struckout Edgar Renteria and saw Chipper Jones hit a grounder on which Johnson moved to third base. So far, so good, but then Andruw Jones hit an RBI-single to give the Braves an 1-0 lead. Brian McCann then also singled, which was followed by an RBI-double by Jeff Francoeur. After a visit from his pitching coach, Van den Hurk gave up a 2-run single to Scott Thomas that made it 4-0. Rick then ended the inning by striking out Ryan Langerhans.

Trailing 4-0, the Marlins came alongside by also scoring four runs in their first at bat, including three on a homerun by Cody Ross. Van den Hurk came back in the second, but then walked the first three batters he faced and was relieved by Lee Gardner. Later in the inning, two of these runners would score with two outs on a walk and a single.
Rick ended up with a no-decision, as Florida tied the score again in the third inning, but eventually lost 11-6.
(April 24)


Starting Pitchers coming weekend
Nederlands
AMSTERDAM (Neth.) - Coming weekend, eight of the nine teams in the Dutch big league have a 3-game series ahead of them. Dutch champion Corendon Kinheim is the weekend off in the 9-team league.

The only series where the starters are known for all three games for both teams is that between Konica Minolta Pioniers and Sparta/Feyenoord.
All three starters are also known for Almere Magpies for their games against ADO, which has not yet decided who will start on Monday.
Mr. Cocker HCAW also named its rotation for its series against MediaMonks RCH, which only named a starter for Saturday. As of now, that will be Canadian RHP Ryan Murphy, who is scheduled to arrive on Friday. It will be decided later on Friday if Murphy indeed will start on Saturday or be moved to one of the other games, while the other starters are also expected to be filled in then.
League-leader DOOR Neptunus also set its starters for its series against Amsterdam Pirates, which is the lone team not to have their starters yet. Because of some slight injuries in the pitching-staff, it will be decided on Friday who will pitch when. It is possible that pitchers from the second team have to be re-called.

While most starters have been announced for the upcoming series, it is always possible of course that coaches might change their assignments on game days.
(April 26)


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