(Story & Photo by Marco Stoovelaar)
Netherlands opens European Championship with huge No-Hit shutout
LEDENICE / SEZIMOVO ÚSTÍ (Czech Rep.) -
The Netherlands opened the Men's Softball European Championshiop in the Czech Republic on Monday (June 21) with a big 25-0 shutout-victory against Lithuania, which was left hitless.
The games of the fifteenth European Championship are played in the cities of Ledenice and Sezimovo Ústí.
The event is the first international softball/baseball-tournament to be played in Europe this year and the first since 2019.
Last year, all European tournaments were cancelled or postponed due to the corornavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Amongst the events that was postponed was the Men's Softball European Championship.
The two finalists will qualify for the WBSC Men's World Cup 2022, which will be organized November 26-December 4 next year in Auckland, New Zealand.
The World Cup initially was scheduled for February this year, but was postponed.
Nine countries are participating in the European Champoionship.
Host Czech Republic is joined by Croatia, Denmark, France, Israel, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Sweden.
Because of the measures against the coronavirus (COVID-19), the games will be played without spectators.
Only on the final day of the event (June 26), spectators are allowed to attend with a maximum of 500.
The Czech Republic is the defending champion.
The Czechs captured the title in 2018 for the fourth consecutive time when the tournament also was played on home-soil.
Back then, the Czech Team won 10-3 in the Final against the Netherlands in a mercy-rule, 6-inning game.
Denmark then finished in third place.
The first Men's Softball European Championship was held in 1993 in Czech capital Prague.
The Netherlands then captured the first-ever title.
The Orange Team then also won the title two years later (1995), but the Czech Republic captured the first of its ten titles in 1997.
After the Czechs had won three Championships in a row, the Netherlands won in 2003, which was the third and last time.
The Czechs again won the next three tournaments, then Denmark became the third country to win an European title, which it di in 2010.
Since 2012, the Czechs won the next four tournaments.
During this Championship, the Netherlands is also represented by Umpires Patrick Reus and Arjan de Wever.
Belgian Umpire Britt Nielandt, who also officiates in the Dutch big league softball, also is one of the umpires.
On Monday-morning, in Ledenice, the Netherlands faced Lithuania in one of the two opening-games of the tournament.
In Sezimovo Ústí, Denmark played against Croatia.
Both games ended with a shutout.
The Netherlands recorded a big 25-0 shutout in 2½ inning, Denmark won 10-0 in four innings.
Ten of the seventeen players on the Netherlands-roster participate in their first European Championship.
It was the first time in history that the Netherlands played an international game against Lithuania.
The country first participated in an European Championship three years ago and then ended in twelfth and last place.
Lithuania became the 38th country against whom the Netherlands has played an international game.
In its opening game, the Netherlands rallied for nineteen runs in its first at bat!
The team of Head Coach Ben ten Pas collected 18 basehits, including three by Glennsig Polonius and two homeruns by Enrique Javier.
Homeruns were also hit by Revin Brooks, Forstine Coenraad, Dyron Juaquin and Jazz Voogd.
Dyron Juaquin scored four runs.
Forstine Coenraad and Enrique Javier both batted in four runs.
...2 homeruns, 4 RBI's...
(© Photo: Marco Stoovelaar)
Two Orange-pitchers threw a 3-inning No-Hitter.
Sontje Angelista, who made his debut in the National Team, threw the first two innings.
Emeron Lourens then threw the third inning.
Combined, they struck out nine batters.
Only one Lithuanian reached base on a walk.
After Angelista had struckout the first three Lithuanian batters in the top of the first inning, the Netherlands offense struck with a huge 19-run rally off of Vermidas Neverauskas, who threw the entire game.
Only seven of the 25 runs Neverauskas gave up were earned.
There were 22 batters in the first inning.
Jeff Delfina, Dyron Juaquin, Enrique Javier and Revin Brooks all batted three times in this inning.
There were thirteen basehits, six of them a homerun.
There were also five errors.
The rally began with two errors.
Jeff Delfina, who this season is one of the coaches of the women's softball-team of Amsterdam Pirates, led off and reached on an error.
Next batter Dyron Juaquin also reached on an error.
Both scored when next batter Enrique Javier homered.
Hereafter, runs were added on a sacrfice fly by Jazz Voogd, a throwing error on a grounder by Rob Hassink, a double by Forstine Coenraad, triple by Coen Merkx and a double by Jeff Delfina.
With runners on second and third base and two outs, the Netherlands scored eleven more runs, nine of them on five homeruns.
First, Revin Brooks hit a 3-run homerun.
After a single by Polonius, Voogd also homered.
And moments after Hassink doubled, it was Coenraad who homered.
Two runs were then scored on an error.
Hereafter, Dyron Juaquin and Enrique Javier hit back-to-back homeruns to make it a 19-0 score.
For Javier, who is one of the veterans in the team, this was his second homerun in this at bat.
Javier is participating in his seventh European Championship since 2007.
The long inning then finally ended when Brooks flied out.
The Netherlands was back in the batter's box quickly, as the next three batters of Lithuania also struckout in the top of the second inning.
In the bottom of the second, six Orange runs were added.
Highlights in this at bat were delivered by three players, who participate in their first European Championship.
Job Kremer hit a 2-run double, Jim Wursten an RBI-triple and Dyron Juaquin a runscoring single.
Several changes were made in the top of the third inning.
One of them was Emeron Lourens taking over the pitching.
Since last years Lourens is the third baseman of Quick Amersfoort, which plays in the Dutch big league baseball.
Lourens began with a strikeout, but the walked Ervinas Rimkevičius.
The next two batters struckout again and that ended this lopsided game.
The Netherlands will play two games on Tuesday.
The team then meets Croatia and France.
Other scores of Day 1
Denmark vs. Croatia 10-0 (4 inn.); Sweden vs. Israel 0-19 (3 inn.); France vs. Czech Republic 0-14 (4 inn.); Croatia vs. Slovakia 5-2; Lithuania vs. Denmark 0-10 (5 inn.); Sweden vs. France 4-18 (5 inn.); Czech Republic vs. Israel 9-0 (4½ inn.).