Grand Slam
Baseball Recaps
European Baseball Series
July 7, 2006
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2006 by Marco Stoovelaar

Dutch team shuts out Italy in opener
Nederlands | Box Score | Play-by-Play
ROTTERDAM (Neth.) - The Netherlands Baseball Team opened the inaugural edition of the European Baseball Series on Friday-evening with a 2-0 shutout-victory vs. Italy. The two teams will meet again in Rotterdam on Saturday and Sunday, both games start at 1:00 PM. On Sunday-evening, the teams travel to Italy, where the next three games are being played.

...Former national team player...
...Ton Fabrie throws first pitch...
...before EBS-opener...
(Photo: Ron Wicklert -
The European Baseball Series is to become an annual event between the two best baseball countries in Europe.
Before the opening game went underway, Ruud van Zetten, Vice-President of the Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Association, introduced the Series and then the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by former Dutch national team-outfielder Ton Fabrie, who was a prime player for Sparta (Rotterdam) in the fifties and sixties and participated with the Dutch team in the 1960 European Championships.

In the opening game, both teams reached base frequently, but the pitching dominated. The Dutch squad collected 10 basehits, Italy 7. The Dutch reached base 13 times, Italy 12 times. The Dutch stranded seven players, including five in scoring position, Italy left nine runners, including three in scoring position. These are the facts of this opening game, which was a bit tame. But these figures confirm that the Dutch team was the better of the two.
Because of the good pitching and solid defense, there wasn't much scoring in this game. It even looked as if we would have a one-run game. The Dutch team got the better chances to score in the first five innings, Italy failed to score in the last five innings.

Michael Duursma led off for the Dutch in the first inning with a single, but then Johnny Balentina grounded into a double play.
In the second inning, Sidney de Jong and Dirk van 't Klooster (with one out) singled to put runners on first and third base. But then Van 't Klooster was picked off and got into a rundown. The ball was dropped (an error was charged), but Van 't Klooster was tagged out after all, as he got back into first base too late. In the meantime, De Jong remained at third base. A strikeout ended the inning.
In the third inning, Danny Rombley singled with one out and advanced on a wild pitch, but then two strikeouts followed.
In the fourth, the Dutch scored the first run on the Series when Ivanon Coffie led off with a line drive homerun into rightfield, therefore becoming the first player to hit a homerun in the EBS.
In the fifth, Harvey Monte led off with an infield-hit, but was caught stealing. Next, Danny Rombley and Michael Duursma singled and advanced on a double-steal. But a groundout and a foul-fly (after a pitching change) also ended this scoring chance.
Carlos Pezzullo, who had taken over the pitching from starter Victor Arias Patrone in the previous inning, retired the next six batters, including the last four with a strikeout, but was replaced when the eighth inning started. New pitcher Bartolomeo Morreale ran into problems, as he gave up a one-out single to Johnny Balentina, moments later followed by a 2-out double into deep rightfield by Sidney de Jong, which increased the lead to 2-0.

Italy got only one runner into scoring position off Dutch starter Diegomar Markwell. The lefthander needed a lot of pitches, but despite allowing a runner in every inning he pitch, he threw six solid innings. In the fifth inning, Italy got its first runner in scoring position. Luca Bischeri led off with a walk and advanced to second on a 2-out single by James Buccheri, but then a force-grounder followed.
Italy got its biggest scoring opportunity in the eighth inning when it got the bases loaded. Robin van Doornspeek, who had relieved Diegomar Markwell in the seventh, gave up singles with one out to Davide Dallospedale and Max De Biase (who recorded the first EBS-hit in the first inning) and was relieved by Dave Draijer. But then the bases were loaded when Draijer hit next batter Mario Chiarini with a pitch. Trailing only 1-0 and having the bases loaded with only one out, this was the chance for Italy to come at least alongside. But Dave Draijer recovered in time, struckout Gino Lollio and then ended the inning when Giuseppe Mazzanti grounded to second.
In the home of the eighth, the Dutch team scored its second run, after which Draijer completed the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
(July 7)

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Last Update: July 7, 2006
Copyright © 1997-2006 Marco Stoovelaar.