|Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2021 by Marco Stoovelaar|
(Story by Marco Stoovelaar; Photo by Rein Merkx)
Netherlands finishes in fifth place on European Championship; Czechs win title
LEDENICE / SEZIMOVO ÚSTÍ (Czech Rep.) -
The Netherlands Men Softball Team closed the 15th Men's Softball European Championship in the Czech Republic on Saturday (June 26) with two victories to finish in fifth place.
In the evening, the Czech Republic came from behind against Denmark to capture its fifth consecutive European title and eleventh overall.
It was an early day for the Netherlands Team, as it had to travel to Sezimovo Ústí, where the first of their two games began at 9 AM.
The team then again faced Slovakia.
After a close, back-and-forth, hardfought 16-15 victory on Friday, the Netherlands Team today recorded a convincing 19-0 win in only 2½ inning.
Emeron Lourens threw a 3-inning Perfect Game and Forstine Coenraad hit a grand slam homerun.
In the afternoon, the Orange-squad won 6-2 against Israel to finish in fifth place.
In between, Israel shutout Slovakia 11-0 (4 innings) to end up in sixth place.
Sweden met Lithuania and won 10-3 (5 innings) to finish in eighth place.
In the afternoon, Croatia surprised again by winning 6-4 against France, which had played a very strong tournament.
With the win, Croatia won the Bronze Medal, while France finished in fourth place.
With that, Croatia closed its most successful Championship ever.
The country participates since 2003, but in eight of the nine Championships played since then before this year, the team finished not higher than sixth place.
Its highest qualification was fifth place in 2012 when the event was held in Amstelveen (Netherlands).
In the last three Championships, the team finished in seventh place.
In the all-deciding Final in the evening, the Czech Republic faced a 2-0 deficit against Denmark halfway the sixth inning!
The Danish Team scored twice in the third inning on a passed ball and a double by Daniel Julenon.
But in the bottom of the sixth, the Czechs rallied for four runs to turn the game around!
The team came alongside thanks to singles by Marek Malý and Tomáš Klein off of pitching-ace Kim Hansen, who struckout twelve batters.
With one out and runners on first and third base, the Czechs took a 3-2 lead on a wild pitch, then added an insurance two pitches later on another wild pitch!
In the top of the seventh, Jakub Osička struckout the side to raise his total to eleven and seal the win.
Osička had taken over the pitching in the third from Michal Holobrádek, who struckout five batters.
Dutch Umpire Arjan de Wever was at first base in this game.
In the afternoon, he was behind the plate in the Bronze Medal-game with Patrick Reus (the other Dutch umpire) at first base.
By finishing in fifth place, the Netherlands ended up in its lowest ranking ever on an European Championship.
Since the first Championship was organized in 1993, the Netherlands won the title three times, finished in second place four times and also won bronze four times.
In three tournaments, the Netherlands finished in fourth place.
That happened in 2008 (in Denmark), 2010 (in Czech Republic) and 2016 (in Italy).
Three years ago, the Netherlands played in the Final against the Czech Republic.
1. Czech Republic, 2. Denmark, 3. Croatia, 4. France, 5. Netherlands, 6. Israel, 7. Slovakia, 8.Sweden, 9. Lithuania.
Netherlands vs. Slovakia
In the bottom of the first inning, the Netherlands got two quick outs, but the team then came to a 9-run rally to decide the game.
The Orange Team then scored ten more runs in the second at bat.
(© Photo: Rein Merkx)
In the bottom of the first inning, Dyron Juaquin walked with one out.
He moved to second on a wild pitch while next batter Revin Brooks struckout.
Enrique Javier then also walked, but hereafter, the inning could have ended.
Job Kremer hit a pop-fly in the infield, but the ball was dropped by pitcher Peter Samek.
With that the bases got loaded and all nine runs in the inning were unearned because of this error.
The first run was scored moments later when Rob Hassink was hit by a pitch.
A wild pitch then accounted for the second run and the bases were re-loaded when Jim Wursten walked.
And then, the real hitting began!
With the bases loaded, Forstine Coenraad drove the ball into rightfield for a grand slam homerun!
Hereafter, Myron Juaquin was hit by a pitch and he scored when Jeff Delfina hit another homerun.
Next batter Dyron Juaquin also homered to make it a 9-0 score.
In the second inning, the Orange Team rallied for ten runs with one out.
With Rob Hassink (single) and Jim Wursten (walk) on base, five basehits followed, resulting in six runs.
Hassink and Wursten scored on a double by Forstine Coenraad, who then scored on a double by Myron Juaquin.
That was followed by singles by Jeff Delfina (RBI) and Dyron Juaquin.
The bases then got loaded when pinch-hitter Jazz Voogd walked and Enrique Javier added a 2-run single.
The next run was then followed when a grounder by Job Kremer ended in an error.
The scoring wasn't over yet.
First, the bases got loaded again when Rob Hassink was hit by a pitch.
The eighth run was then scored when Jim Wursten walked and two more runs were added when Forstine Coenraad reached on an error.
Slovakia was unable to do something off of Emeron Lourens, who threw all three innings in this mercy-rule game.
The righthander struckout the side in the first inning.
He added two strikeouts in an one-two-three second inning, then struckout three batters again in the third to complete his Perfect Game.
|Netherlands - Slovakia 19-0 (2½ inn.)|
|Slovakia||0||0||0|| || || || ||-||0||0||3|
|Netherlands||9||10||X|| || || || ||-||19||9||0|
|Peter Samek, L (0-1)||2||2||7||9||19||7|
|Emeron Lourens, W (3-2)||3||8||-||-||-||-|
|(Emeron Lourens throws a Perfect Game)|
|Homeruns: Netherlands: Forstine Coenraad (4)(1st,grand slam,2 outs,off Samek), Jeff Delfina (4)(1st,2-run,2 outs,off Samek), Dyron Juaquin (3)(1st,solo,2 outs,off Samek).|
Netherlands vs. Israel
In its second game against Israel this week, the Netherlands scored its first two runs in the top of the first inning.
The team then added four more runs in the next three at bats off of Seth Ross, who went the distance for Israel.
The two runs in the first inning were both unearned.
Lead-off hitter Jeff Delfina reached on an error, then Dyron Juaquin singled.
Moments later, the two advanced via a double-steal.
With one out, Delfina scored the first run on a grounder by Enrique Javier, then Juaquin scored the next run on a single by Job Kremer.
In the bottom of the first inning, Israel got a big opportunity to do some scoring of its own, as the team got the bases loaded with no outs off of Emeron Lourens.
The righthander, who had thrown a 3-inning Perfect Game in the morning against Slovakia, returned in the pitching circle for this game and went the distance for the Orange Team.
However, he didn't start well in the first inning.
Lourens walked lead-off hitter Roye Ron Shelem, then gave up a single to Ryan Willen.
After Shelem had moved on a wild pitch, the bases got loaded when next batter Bar-Arie Shrim was hit by a pitch.
But hereafter, Shelem was forced out at the plate on comeback-grounder by Kfir Leon.
With the bases still loaded, Lourens struckout the next two batters.
The Netherlands also got the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the second inning, but went on to score two runs.
Jim Wursten led off with a walk and Forstine Coenraad reached on an error.
The two moved on a wild pitch, then Coen Merkx walked.
Jeff Delfina followed with a runscoring single.
That brought in Wursten, but Coenraad was eliminated at the plate when he also tried to score.
Merkx, who had moved to second base, then stole third base and scored on a single by Dyron Juaquin, but that also led to an out at the plate.
This time, Delfina also tried to score, but was thrown out.
The fifth Orange-run was added in the top of the third and again, an error was involved.
Lead-off hitter Enrique Javier reached on an error, advanced to second base on another error, moved to third on an infield-hit by Job Kremer and scored on a wild pitch.
Trailing 5-0, Israel got two runs back in the bottom of the third inning.
Ryan Willen led off with a walk and moved to third base on an one-out single by Kfir Leon.
He then scored when a throwing error followed when Leon stole second base.
Moments later, Leon advanced to third base and scored the second run on a grounder by Gil Alon.
In the fourth, the Netherlands scored its final run in this game.
With one out, Jeff Delfina walked, advanced on a grounder and scored on a double by Revin Brooks.
In the final three innings, the Netherlands got two more runners in scoring postion, was held scoreless.
With one out in the sixth, Coen Merkx tripled, but was left behind.
And with two outs in the seventh, Job Kremer singled and Wouter Kamstra reached on an error, but also stranded.
Israel got one more scoring opportunity.
In the fourth inning, Itai Dabush led off with a walk.
Emeron Lourens struckout the next two batters, but then gave up a single to Ryan Willen.
Lourens closed with another strikeout, then allowed only one more batter to reach base in the final three at bats.
|Emeron Lourens, W (4-2)||7||12||4||5||2||2|
|Seth Ross, L (2-4)||7||7||3||9||6||2|
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