|International Slowpitch Softball|
|Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2018 by Marco Stoovelaar|
(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photos Dutch National Team)
Good start EC-preparations Netherlands Slowpitch Team
HUIZEN (Neth.) / COLOGNE (Germany) -
In recent weeks, the Netherlands National Men's Slowpitch Softball Team has come into action and played some games that made history.
On Sunday, March 25, the Orange-squad played its first-ever official international games.
On that day, at the site of De Zuidvogels in Huizen, the Netherlands played two games against Belgium.
Two weeks later, on Sunday, April 8, the team traveled to Cologne in Germany to participate in a tournament with host Germany, Belgium and a team from the multinational NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen (Germany).
For the National Teams of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, these games are part of their preparations for the inaugural European Men's Slowpitch Championship, which will take place June 12-16 in Choceň (Czech Republic).
Of the five games played in the past weeks, the Netherlands won three.
In the coming weeks, the Orange-squad, led by Head Coach Danny Bout will continue to practice.
Also this year, the Netherlands team will play again in the European Slowpitch Softball League.
Last year, the Netherlands finished in fourth place in the ESSL.
Some years ago, the Netherlands Mixed Slowpitch Team played four international games against then-European Champion Great Britain with games being played in Haarlem, Rosmalen and Zeist.
Now, it was the turn for the Men's Slowpitch Team to play its first international games.
So, let's have a look back to these historic games.
Game 1 - March 25 - Netherlands vs. Belgium
On March 25, the Netherlands won both games against Belgium.
The opener was won with a 29-23 score, the second one was a 27-24 victory.
In the first game, the Netherlands decided the game early.
The team rallied for five runs in the first inning and added eight in the second inning.
In both at bats, Patrick de Lange played an important part.
De Lange, who pitched for several years in the Dutch baseball big league and also played for the Netherlands Baseball Team, batted in five runs in these two innings with two homeruns.
Another former player of the Dutch big league and the National Baseball Team was a member of the Dutch Slowpitch Team, being René Rijst.
(© Ph: Dutch Nat. Team)
With two runners on base in the bottom of the first inning, the first-ever run in an international game was batted in by Arti Bosschaart with a single.
He is the brother of Martijn Bosschaart, who in recent years developed into one of the best umpires in the Dutch big league baseball.
Scoring on Bosschaart's hit was Nick Kopjes Nieman, who had recorded the first basehit.
The next run was then batted in by Mojo Temminck and hereafter, Patrick de Lange connected for a 2-run homerun.
Belgium got three runs back in the top of the second inning.
The Orange-squad then staged an 8-run rally in its second at bat.
Three batters walked and De Lange added a 3-run homerun.
For De Lange, the day was far from over, as he added two more homeruns, to give him four in the opening game against Belgium.
Trailing 13-3, Belgium scored five runs in the top of the third, but the Netherlands answered with four in its third.
The first run in the inning was batted by Hans Kluck with a double.
With two outs, De Lange hit a 2-run homerun.
That a big lead doesn't mean anything in slowpitch and that everything can happen was proven in the next three innings.
Belgium then scored 15 runs and the Netherlands 12.
...Patrick de Lange...|
...4 homeruns, 10 RBI's...
(© Ph: Dutch Nat. Team)
Trailing 17-8, Belgium narrowed the deficit to 17-14 with a 6-run rally in the top of the fourth.
The Dutch squad also kept on producing and scored six runs themselves moments later.
With two outs, there were runscoring singles by Hans Kluck and Arti Bosschaart, then Patrick de Lange added a 3-run homerun to make it a 23-14 score.
After Belgium scored three runs in the top of the fifth, the Orange added five more in its fifth.
This inning was highlighted by a 2-run homerun by Lennart van der Zwaan and a 2-run single by Bosschaart.
Van der Zwaan was one of two players who made their debut in the National Team.
The other was Boyd de Wolf.
The suspense got back again in the top of the sixth when Belgium scored six runs to make it a 28-23 score.
This, time the Netherlands reacted with only one run, which was scored on an one-out homerun by Etienne Meijer.
Belgium was then held scoreless in the top of the seventh and with that, the Netherlands recorded its first official international victory.
Besides scoring 29 runs, the Netherlands collected 31 basehits.
Etienne Meijer was 5-for-5 and scored three runs.
Patrick de Lange was 4-for-5 and batted in ten runs.
De Lange, Hans Kluck and Mojo Temminck all scored four runs.
Playing in this game were Roel Legerstee (0-for-2), René Rijst (1-for-2), Nick Kopjes Nieman (3-for-5), Hans Kluck (3-for-4), Arti Bosschaart (3-for-4), Mojo Temminck (3-for-4), Patrick de Lange (4-for-5), Boyd de Wolf (2-for-5), Etienne Meijer (5-for-5), Lennart van der Zwaan (2-for-5), Josse Josemans (2-for-5) and Danny Bout (3-for-4).
Arti Bosschaart was the winning pitcher.
Game 2 - March 25 - Netherlands vs. Belgium
In the second game, Belgium was the home team.
The Orange-squad was trailing from the beginning, as Belgium kept on producing runs.
After six innings, Belgium was leading 19-14, but the Netherlands then had a strong comeback, rallied for 13 runs in the top of the seventh and went on to win 27-24.
The Netherlands faced a 4-0 deficit after the first inning, but got two runs back in the second on a 2-run single by Etienne Meijer.
Belgium reacted with five runs in the bottom of the second inning.
...Nick Kopjes Nieman...|
...4 hits, 2 doubles,...
...2 runs, 4 RBI's...
(© Ph: Dutch Nat. Team)
From the third inning on, the Netherlands scored three runs in four consecutive at bats.
In the top of the third, René Rijst led off with a double and scored on an one-out single by Nick Kopjes Nieman.
A single by Arti Bosschaart and a force play-grounder by Mojo Temminck brought in the other two runs.
Belgium again scored five runs in the bottom of the third to enlarge its lead to 14-5.
In the fourth, the Netherlands scored three more runs.
Boyd de Wolf led off with a single and Etienne Meijer followed with a homerun.
Lennart van der Zwaan then doubled and scored on a single by Josse Josemans.
But Belgium also scored three runs to take some more distance.
(© Ph: Dutch Nat. Team)
In the fifth, the Netherlands scored three runs with two outs.
Arti Bosschaart singled and Mojo Temminck doubled.
Both scored on a triple by Parick de Lange, who then scored himself on a double by Boyd de Wolf, which made it 17-11 score.
Belgium also scored again, but this time only twice.
Now trailing 19-11, the Netherlands scored three more runs in the top of the sixth on singles by René Rijst (one run) and Nick Kopjes Nieman (2 runs).
After Belgium was held scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, the Netherlands staged a big 13-run rally in the top of the seventh inning.
In the seventh, 18 batters stepped up to the plate.
In the inning, there were 14 basehits, including ten doubles.
Boyd de Wolf, Etienne Meijer and Josse Josemans all had two doubles.
Meijer batted in three runs.
In this game, the Netherlands recorded 34 basehits, including five by Boyd de Wolf and four by Nick Kopjes Nieman, Mojo Temminck, Etienne Meijer and Lennart van der Zwaan.
Temminck and De Wolf scored four runs, while Meijer batted in six runs.
Playing in this game were Roel Legerstee (1-for-4), Nick Kopjes Nieman (4-for-5), Hans Kluck (1-for-5), Arti Bosschaart (3-for-5), Mojo Temminck (4-for-5), Patrick de Lange (2-for-5), Boyd de Wolf (5-for-5), Etienne Meijer (4-for-5), Lennart van der Zwaan (4-for-5), Josse Josemans (3-for-5) and René Rijst (3-for-5).
Hans Kluck was the winning pitcher.
...The players and coaches of the Netherlands and Belgium pose together...|
...after the historic double-header on March 25 in Huizen...
(© Photo: Dutch National Slowpitch Team)
Game 1 - April 8 - Netherlands vs. Belgium
At the Baseball Stadium Müngersford in Cologne, the Netherlands Team played three games on April 8 at the site of Cologne Cardinals, which in 2001 was one of the playing sites of the European Baseball Championship.
In its first game, the Netherlands missed some sharpness, faced a quick deficit, scored only once in the first three innings, recovered with a big rally, but eventually lost 14-11 against Belgium.
Two weeks earlier, the Netherlands won twice against Belgium, but the team then also showed that it can be very productive and keeps on scoring runs.
Belgium will be a strong contender during the first European Championship in June in the Czech Republic.
...An overview of the field during the game against Belgium...|
(© Photo: Dutch National Team)
Trailing 3-0 after the first inning, the Netherlands scored its first run in the second inning when Patrick de Lange homered with one out.
After the Netherlands was held scoreless in the top of the third inning, Belgium rallied for nine runs in its third at bat to take a decisive lead off of pitcher Hans Kluck.
Now trailing 12-1, the Orange-squad made it a complete new ballgame in the top of the fourth inning by scoring ten runs!
In the inning, eleven basehits were recorded, including a 2-run homerun by Patrick de Lange.
Later in the at bat, Etienne Meijer added a 2-run double and Roel Legerstee a 2-run single.
Mojo Temminck singled and doubled in the inning.
Ten of the eleven hitters in the batting order scored a run.
In the bottom of the fourth, Belgium scored two insurance runs to make it a 14-11 score.
In the fifth inning, both teams were unable to score, which is very rare in slowpitch softball.
Playing in this game were Roel Legerstee (1-for-3), Nick Kopjes Nieman (1-for-3), Mojo Temminck (2-for-3), Arti Bosschaart (1-for-2), Patrick de Lange (2-for-3), Boyd de Wolf (1-for-3), Lennart van der Zwaan (2-for-3), Etienne Meijer (2-for-3), Hans Kluck (0-for-2), Jan-Willem Vermaak (1-for-2) and René Rijst (2-for-2).
Game 2 - April 8 - Netherlands vs. Germany
In its second game in Cologne, the Netherlands Team played its first official international game against Germany.
The Netherlands scored quickly and led 13-0 halfway the fourth inning.
Germany was held scoreless in the first three innings by pitcher Arti Bosschaart, but was more successful in the next three at bats when the team scored 13 runs.
Thanks to a 5-run rally in the sixth inning, the Netherlands went on to win 18-13.
The Orange-squad opened the score with three runs in the first inning, which was highlighted by a 2-run homerun by Roel Legerstee.
In the second at bat, the Netherlands added five more runs with two outs.
René Rijst then doubled and scored on a single by Hans Kluck.
Hereafter, Boyd de Wolf and Etienne Meijer also singled and Patrick de Lange followed with a 3-run homerun.
...Netherlands Team Rookies Boyd de Wolf, Darryl Gase and...|
...Lennart van der Zwaan accounted for six basehits...
...in the game against Germany...
(© Photo: Dutch National Team)
In the third inning, the Netherlands increased the lead to 10-0, thanks to a 2-run homerun by Arti Bosschaart, who also was the winning pitcher.
Also scoring in this inning was Darryl Gase, who made his debut in the National Team today.
Three more runs were then scored in the fourth in which De Lange hit another homerun.
Germany then scored its first three runs in the bottom of the fourth, two of them on a homerun.
After the Netherlands was held scoreless, Germany scored three more runs in the fifth inning to make it a 13-6 score.
The Orange Team then rallied for five runs in the sixth to take more distance and decide the game.
In the sixth, the bases got loaded with one out when René Rijst singled, Jan-Willem Vermaak walked and Boyd de Wolf also singled.
Hereafter, Etienne Meijer and Patrick de Lange delivered runscoring singles.
A grounder by Roel Legerstee and 2-run single by Lennart van der Zwaan lifted the lead to 18-6.
Germany had one more productive at bat left, scoring seven runs in its sixth at bat on six basehits.
But the Netherlands hold onto the lead and recorded its first (and only) win of the tournament.
Playing in this game were Boyd de Wolf (3-for-4), Etienne Meijer (2-for-3), Patrick de Lange (4-for-4), Roel Legerstee (1-for-4), Lennart van der Zwaan (2-for-4), Darryl Gase (1-for-4, Arti Bosschaart (1-for-3), Mojo Temminck (0-for-2), Danny Bout (0-for-1), Nick Kopjes Nieman (0-for-3), René Rijst (3-for-3), Hans Kluck (2-for-2) and Jan-Willem Vermaak (0-for-0).
Game 3 - April 8 - Netherlands vs. NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen
In its final game in Cologne, the Netherlands faced a strong opponent in the team of the NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen.
The team managed to score five runs in the first three innings, but the opponent led 11-5 after three innings.
The Orange squad had a strong finish with a 6-run rally in the fourth, but lost 14-11.
The Netherlands opened the score with three runs in the top of the first inning.
Boyd de Wolf led off with a double and scored on a single by Etienne Meijer.
Hereafter, Patrick de Lange belted another homerun.
(© Ph: Dutch Nat. Team)
Geilenkirchen also scored three runs in its first at bat.
In the second inning, the Netherlands was held scoreless, but the opponent then scored five runs off of pitcher Hans Kluck, who gave up two homeruns.
A single by Patrick de Lange and a sacrifice fly by Roel Legerstee accounted for two Dutch runs in the third.
However, there also were three American runs in this inning.
The Netherlands then showed what it is capable to do when it rallied for six runs on three homeruns in the fourth inning, which tied the score at 11-11.
Arti Bosschaart led off with a homerun, then Mojo Temminck and Nick Kopjes Nieman singled.
Lemminck went on to score on an error.
Jan-Willem Vermaak followed with a 2-run homerun.
Recently, Vermaak was named Team Manager of the National Squad, but he also remains a player himself.
With two outs, Etienne Meijer doubled and scored on another homerun by Patrick de Lange.
It was the third game in a row that De Lange had hit two homeruns.
Two weeks earlier, he hit four homeruns in the first game against Belgium.
That means, he now has hit ten homeruns in the five games played so far.
Two homeruns contributed to three runs in the bottom of the fourth to give Geilenkirchen a 14-11 victory.
Playing in this game were Boyd de Wolf (2-for-3), Etienne Meijer (3-for-3), Patrick de Lange (3-for-3), Roel Legerstee (1-for-2), Lennart van der Zwaan (1-for-3), Darryl Gase (0-for-2), Arti Bosschaart (1-for-2), Mojo Temminck (1-for-2), Nick Kopjes Nieman (2-for-2), Jan-Willem Vermaak (1-for-2) and Hans Kluck (0-for-2).
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