by Jan van der Sande
The last game in the triumvirate against the Pirates in Amsterdam brought Curaçao its first win. Twice the Blue-Whites opened up a four-point lead. The score was 3–7 by the sixth inning and this time men’s coach Greg Muller was able to secure the win.
Kevin Kelly was the starting pitcher and was supported by his team in the second at bat as he drove in four runs. Amsterdam-Pichers issued several routes. The hits were from Christian Diaz and catcher Keegan Peternella.
In the fifth batting order, the hosts got two men on base, then Kelly was punished with a balk. Then, a single by Jason Jacobs was enough to make it 2-4. The man on that hit was also brought to home plate. With this score, all who cared about the Neptunes had to think about the first meeting when a 0–4 deficit was wiped out by the hosts.
An inning later, with two bases out, the home team’s pitcher was also penalized with a balk. Speedy Rechelon Carolina reached on a double, then had a hit by Stijn van der Meer and a thunderous triple by Roger Bernadina that made it 3–7. Neptunus got his four-run margin back.
With this stand, Kevin Kelly was thanked for the services rendered. The eighth inning was for left-hander Ryan Huntington and Mike Groen came in to be the door lock in the ninth. The latter dropped a hit, but caused no further problems, meaning that with this win, the Neptunus and HCAW finished in joint first place after the first half of the season.
The team from Rotterdam won twice in the triptych against the team from Bussum and therefore remains on top. The European Cup will be played next week. The Pirates and HCAW both play at home. The national competition is adjourned for a weekend and will continue on Thursday evening, 15 June.
Earlier it had gone wrong in the two matches. After a disastrous last outing in Amsterdam on Thursday-evening, the Curacao Neptunos got a chance for revenge in their second game at home. The two teams tied each other for eight innings. In the next at-bat, the Pirates scored twice and the home team was again empty-handed. Final Score 1-3
With participation in the European Cup tournament next week, coach Mervyn Gario again used multiple pitchers. Total five people this time. Sharon Martis takes the Rotterdam mound against her old team.
In the third batting order, both the teams scored one goal each, then that score remained on the board for a long time. It was a quick match. In the ninth inning, Aaron de Groot, who was having a good season, led off with a triple by pacer Roeli Henrik with the winning potential. Tommy Van de Sanden walked and then dangerous hitter Denzel Richardson entered the batter’s box. His hard-hit ball promptly missed Dwayne Kemp’s glove, followed by his throw to first base that killed Van de Sanden.
Neptune seemed afloat, but nothing could be further from the truth. Two more hits came off the Amsterdam-bat, the first by Heinrich and then Alex Madera crossing home plate to make it 1–3.
In the second half of that ninth at-bat, the Neptunes didn’t get a single player on base, so the second loss was a fact. As the HCAW is tied, both teams now have 39 points to the Pirates’ 33,