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Updated: June 24, 2021
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Copyright © 1997-2021
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2021 by Marco Stoovelaar

(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)

Netherlands vs. Czechs interrupted by weather on Day 4 European Championship

LEDENICE / SEZIMOVO ÚSTÍ (Czech Rep.) - On Day 4 of the 15th Men's Softball European Championship in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands recorded its third victory, but later it appeared that the team was closing in on its fourth loss. In the afternoon, the Orange Team won with a big 21-8 score against Sweden, but failed to end the game via the mercy-rule. In the evening, the team trailed 9-0 against reigning champion Czech Republic when the game was interrupted, then halted due to the weather conditions. The game will be completed on Friday.

On Friday, the team closes the preliminary round against Slovakia. But even when that game is won, the team almost surely cannot reach the top-four anymore, unless the game against the game against the Czechs can be turned around in a victory. Croatia is currently in fourth place. When that team should lose its remaining games on Friday against France and Israel and the Netherlands beats Slovakia, Croatia will end up in a tie for fourth place with the Orange-squad (in case of a loss against the Czechs). In that scenario, the head-to-head game between the two teams will be decisive. On Tuesday, the Netherlands lost 7-6 to Croatia and that now proves to be very costly.

On Friday, it will be decided which two teams will face each other in the Final on Saturday. As of now, the Czech Republic and Denmark, both unbeaten, share first place and are the two big favorites to reach the Final. France is currently in third place.

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.

(June 24)

Other scores of Day 4
France vs. Slovakia 14-4 (4 inn.); Denmark vs. Israel 8-5; Slovakia vs. Denmark 1-16 (4 inn.); Croatia vs. Lithuania 15-0 (3 inn.).

Netherlands vs. Sweden
Despite the big 21-8 victory, the game needed all seven innings. Halfway the fifth inning, the Netherlands led with a convincing 12-1 score and was three outs away from a mercy-rule victory. However, Sweden then rallied for six runs to erase then mercy-rule run-difference and force at least one more inning. As the sixth inning remained scoreless, the seventh at bat was also needed. In the seventh, the Netherlands rallied for nine more runs.

The Orange Team collected 26 basehits in this game, including five by Dyron Juaquin, who was 5-for-6 and scored five runs. Enrique Javier had four basehits and there were four homeruns. Sweden was limited to only three basehits.

The Netherlands took an early comfortable lead and opened the score with three runs in the top of the first inning. Jeff Delfina led off with a double and scored the first run on a following single by Dyron Juaquin. The latter then moved to second base on a fielder's choice-grounder by Revin Brooks and scored the next run on a double by Enrique Javier. With one out, Brooks scored the third run on a grounder by Glennsig Polonius.

The Orange Team added a run in the second inning when Jeff Delfina hit an inside-the-park-homerun with two outs.

Sweden got a scoring opportunity in its first at bat off of starter Sontje Angelista. He got the bases loaded quickly when he walked Alvin Taguaripano, gave up a single to Rafa Campos and hit Ruben Dario Garcia with a pitch. These names clearly unveil that these players also have another background. With the bases loaded, Angelista struckout the next three batters.

In the second inning, Sweden scored its first run. This time, Angelista hit lead-off hitter Alex Artz with a pitch and he went on to score on a single by Daniel André.

The Netherlands took more distance in the next three at bats, scoring twice in both the third and fourth inning, then adding four more runs in the fifth.

In the third, with two outs, Forstine Coenraad hit a 2-run homerun. In the fourth, Revin Brooks and Wouter Kamstra added runscoring singles. And in the fifth,Dyron Juaquin and Jim Wursten delivered RBI-singles, while an error contributed to the other two runs.

Leading 12-1 halfway the fifth, the Netherlands needed three outs to end the game via the mercy-rule and even could give up one run. However, Sweden scored six runs without hitting a basehit! Suddenly, the Dutch pitching was unable the strike-zone, which led to nine free passes! In the bottom of the fourth inning, Enio Kwas took over the pitching from Sontje Angelista and then retired the side. But in the fifth, Kwas hit the first two batters with a pitch, then got the bases loaded via a walk. Kwas followed with a strikeout, but hereafter, he walked his pitching-colleague Kalle Hjelm, which led to the first run. With two outs, five more runs were scored. The first of them on a grounder by Jonny Edgren. When Kwas got the bases loaded again via another walk, Revin Brooks took over the pitching. Hereafter, Sweden added three runs when Brooks walked the next three batters. With the bases still loaded, the sixth run in the inning was scored on a wild pitch. Sweden then got the bases loaded again when another batter walked. Hereafter, the inning finally ended with a force play-grounder, but the mercy-rule run-difference had been erased.

The Netherlands was unable to score in the sixth, then rallied for nine runs in the top of the seventh. Dyron Juaquin led off with a single and Revin Brooks walked, then Enrique Javier homered. Hereafter, Jazz Voogd doubled, then pinch-hitter Rob Hassink hit a homerun. The productive at bat continued with a single by Forstine Coenraad and a double by Coen Merkx, who both scored on a following single by Myron Juaquin. Later in the at bat, two more runs were added on an one-out single by Revin Brooks and 2-out single by Jazz Voogd.

In the bottom of the seventh, Sweden managed to score one more run, but the long outing ended after almost three hours.

Sweden - Netherlands 8-21
pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Sontje Angelista36321-

Enio Kwas, W (1-1)1.222-55

Revin Brooks2.146122

(Kwas credited with the win based on Rule 9.17 b)

pitchers Swedeninn.SOBBHRER
Kalle Hjelm, L (1-3)51-1288

Ramon Illa Argudin1 (*)11444

Kalle Hjelm1111099

(*) - Illa Argudin took over the pitching with a 2-0 count on the first batter in the sixth inning

Homeruns: Netherlands: Jeff Delfina (2)(2nd,solo,2 outs,inside-the-park,off Hjelm), Forstine Coenraad (3)(3rd,2-run,2 outs,off Hjelm), Enrique Javier (3)(7th,3-run,0 outs,off Hjelm), Rob Hassink (1)(7th,2-run-0 outs,off Hjelm).
Box Score
HP-Jan Svatoš (Czech Rep.), 1B-Brian Aron (Israel), 3B-Tomislav Ozimec (Czech Rep.).
Official Scorer-Michaela Jiráčková (Czech Rep.), Albert Míka (Czech Rep.).
Play-by-Play Scorer-Jakub Hauser (Czech Rep.).
Technical Commissioner-.
Starting Time-1:30 PM.
Time Played-2:45 hrs.
Site-Sharks Bay, Ledenice, Czech Republic (site Žraloci Ledenice).

Game Notes:
289th international game of the Netherlands Men's Softball Team.
Second game in history between the Netherlands and Sweden.
Second victory of the Netherlands against Sweden.
Weather conditions at game time:
Sunny, 23° C (73,4° F); wind direction northeast; wind speed 10 kmh (6,2 mph); wind force 2 Bft; humidity 63%.

Netherlands vs. Czech Republic
Three years ago, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic faced each other in the all-deciding Final of the European Championship. At Havlíčkův Brod, the Orange Team first surprised by winning 5-3 against Denmark in the Semi-Final to become the second finalist. In the Final, the Netherlands ended up short and lost 10-3 in six innings.

With rain in the area, the 53rd meeting between the two countries went underway. The Czech Republic struck with a 6-run rally in the top of the first inning to decide the game early. Orange-starter Emeron Lourens walked lead-off hitter Jiří Korčák. With one out, Patrick Kopečný homered to put the Czechs ahead, 2-0. More runs followed. Tomaš Klein followed with a double, moved on a wild pitch and scored when next batter Mikulaš Klas hit a triple. Hereafter, it was Jakub Hajný who hit the ball over the fence for a 2-run homerun. At that moment, four basehits were hit and all were extra-basehits. Next, Vojtěch Buchner walked, but he was forced out on a grounder by Martin Turek. The latter then advanced to second base on a single by Milan Šulc and scored the sixth run on a single by Jiří Korčák in his second at bat in this inning. With the Czechs now leading 6-0, Enio Kwas took over the pitching. He got an inning-ending grounder.

After it had started to rain in the bottom of the first inning, the Czechs added two runs in the second inning. After the first run was scored on an one-double by Mikulš Klas, a grounder accounted for the second out. But hereafter, a 12-minute rain-delay followed. When the game resumed, the next run was scored on a single by Vojtěch Buchner.

In the fourth inning, Jakub Hajný led off with his second homerun in the game.

In the meantime, the Orange-offense was unable to do something back off of Michal Holobrádek, who dominated and gave up no basehits. The righthander struckout the side in the first inning. He added three more strikeouts in the second inning, but then also got two baserunners. With two outs, Holobrádek walked Rob Hassink, then hit Job Kremer with a pitch, but closed with another strikeout.

In the bottom of the third inning, Holobrádek walked lead-off hitter Anthony Beaumont, but his pinch-runner Wouter Kamstra was eliminated in an inning-ending double play.

Beaumont played in only his second game of the tournament. On Wednesday, the veteran catcher played against Denmark. Beaumont is a longtime player of the National Team and is one of most experienced players along with Enrique Javier and Enio Kwas.

With the Czechs leading 9-0, the team was closing in on a mercy-rule victory, but there were two interruptions in the bottom of the fouth due to lightning, as there were thunderstorms in the area. It also started to rain again. With an 0-1 count on lead-off hitter Revin Brooks, the inning was halted for the first time. After a 12-minute delay, the game resumed. But that didn't take long, as less than two minutes were played. Pitcher Michal Holobrádek threw four more pitches on Brooks, who struckout. He then threw one pitch to next batter Emeron Lourens, but with an 1-0 count, another interruption followed due to the lightning which was visible behind the outfield.

And this time a longer delay, but the experienced Czech Home Plate Umpire Tomislav Ozimec took the right decision to take the players off the field due to the safety risks. Some discussions followed. At one moment, there was a disscussion of several minutes between Ozimec, Head Coaches Ben ten Pas and Jaroslav Korčál, Technical Commissioner Goose Gillett, Chairman of the Technical Commission Bob Kessler and Head Umpire-in-Chief Jan Hora.

Although there was some disbelief on the faces of some players why the game was delayed, heavier lightning was clearly visible as the thunderstorms approached. In the meantime, the groundscrew started to do some maintenance work to the playing field.

After the game had been delayed for 32 minutes, the home plate area as well as the pitching circle were covered by tarps by the groundscrew as it also started to rain harder. Shortly thereafter, the game was halted definitively. The game will be completed on Friday, but the starting time has not been announced yet.

Netherlands - Czech Republic 0-9 (suspended)
Czech Republic6201 -9100
Netherlands0000 -001
(game interrupted by lightning with one out in bottom 4th inning)
pitcher Czech Republicinn.SOBBHRER
Michal Holobrádek (pitcher-of-record)3.182---

pitchers Netherlandsinn.SOBBHRER
Emeron Lourens (pitcher-of-record)0.2-2666

Enio Kwas3.1--433

Homeruns: Czech Rep.: Patrik Kopečný (1)(1st,2-run,1 out,off Lourens), Jakub Hajný 2 (4)(1st,2-run,1 out,off Lourens; 4th,solo,0 out,off Kwas).
Box Score
HP-Tomislav Ozimec (Czech Rep.), 1B-Branislav Sušila (Slovakia), 3B-Roberto Valentinis (Italy).
Official Scorers- Albert Míka (Czech Rep.), Zuzana Vaňková (Czech Rep.).
Play-by-Play Scorer-Lenka Richterová (Czech Rep.).
Technical Commissioner-.
Starting Time-8:30 PM.
Time Played-1:21 hrs (excluding 24 minutes rain-delay in 2nd & 4th inning).
Site-Sharks Bay, Ledenice, Czech Republic (site Žraloci Ledenice).

Game Notes:
12-minute rain-delay in top 2nd inning with the Czech Republic leading 7-0, two outs and a runner on 2nd base.
12-minute delay due to lightning in bottom 4th inning with the Czech Republic leading 9-0 and an 0-1 count on lead-off batter Revin Brooks.
42-minute delay due to lightning in bottom 4th inning with the Czech Republic leading 9-0, one out, no baserunners and an 1-0 count on batter Emeron Lourens.
After the second delay, game halted definitively due to the weather conditions, to be completed on Friday.
290th international game of the Netherlands Men's Softball Team.
53rd game between the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
Weather conditions at game time:
Sunny, 18° C (64,4° F); wind direction northeast; wind speed 5 kmh (3,1 mph); wind force 2 Bft; humidity 98%.

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