2013 Holland Series
The 2013 Holland Series was the 27th Holland Series. It featured the Vaessen Pioniers versus DOOR Neptunus, with Neptunus winning its 14th Dutch title in convincing fashion. Neptunus 2B Benjamin Dille was named Series MVP for the second time, having previously won in 2009.
The Pioniers had finished third in the regular season at 29-12 with 295 runs (2nd in the 2013 Hoofdklasse) and 133 runs allowed (3rd). Managed by veteran Robert Klaver, none of their players led the league in any major category. The balanced offense included strong work from Vince Rooi (.357/.466/.506), Phil Ortez (.361/.471/.436, 41 R), Danny Rombley (.325/.422/.460, 42 R) and Mark Duursma (.336/.416/.405). The rotation consisted of Josh Rickards (9-2, 2.11, 92 K in 89 2/3 IP), Mika de Lincel (4-2, 3.00) and Kevin Miner (6-4, 4.13). Bayron Cornelisse was nearly unhittable as the closer (2-1, 10 Sv, 2 UER, 0 ER, 13 H, 4 BB, 38 K in 29 1/3 IP).
Coached by first-year coach and former AAA player Evert-Jan 't Hoen, Neptunus had the best regular-season record (34-8) and top offense (301 runs) though their 138 runs allowed were only fourth in the 8-team loop. They had four offensive league leaders: Benjamin Dille (.327/.392/.469) led in doubles (19), Shaldimar Daantji (.319/.390/.500, 43 R) led in triples (6), Dwayne Kemp (.308/.337/.397) led in RBI (38) and Gianison Boekhoudt (.288/.408/.442) led in walks (34). The team's top OPS came from none of these guys, though, rather from veteran Raily Legito (.346/.439/.489). The pitching rotation was Diegomar Markwell (9-3, 1.77), Orlando Yntema (7-3, 2.90) and Tim Roodenburg (9-2, 3.33). Closer Berry van Driel (1-1, 12 Sv, 0.83) led the league in saves while Jorian van Acker (3-0, 2.70) was a reliable setup man.
Game 1 in Familiestadion
|Win: Markwell (1-0) Loss: Rickards (0-1)|
Neptunus turned to Diegomar Markwell to open game one of the Holland Series for the 4th time in five years; he evened his record in openers in that span at 2-2 by tossing eight shutout innings (4 K, 1 BB, 7 H) before Berry van Driel closed it up. It was the 20th shutout in Holland Series annals, the 13th of those tossed by Neptunus.
Neptunus got the bulk of their offense in the third thanks to wildness by Josh Rickards; the American fanned 8 in 5 1/3 IP and allowed 3 hits but walked 7. In the third, 2B Benjamin Dille singled then Rickards walked 3B Raily Legito, SS Dwayne Kemp and RF Kalian Sams in order to make it 1-0. A sacrifice fly by LF Gyenuar Lopez made it 2-0, then 1B Rafaël Jozefa singled for a 3-0 edge. In the bottom of the sixth, they got another run; with one out, Rickards walked Jozefa and DH Adrian Anthony. Dennis Buring relieved and allowed a RBI single to Shaldimar Daantji.
In the top of the 8th, the Pioniers got two men on but failed to score. In the bottom of the 8th, Seattle Mariners farmhand Scott Ronnenbergh allowed a one-out walk to Jozefa, then Anthony singled. Daantji grounded them over then C Gianison Boekhoudt walked to load the bases (the 10th Neptunus walk). Dille grounded to Pioniers 2B Zerzinho Croes, who threw to first as the runner apparently scored. The umpires ruled interference on Boekhoudt, though, canceling out the run.
Game 2 in Familiestadion
|Win: Wise (1-0) Loss: S. Huijer (0-1)|
The Pioniers put up a closer game but fell in extra innings; their starter Eddie Aucoin turned in a strong effort, as did Neptunus's Orlando Yntema. Both teams scored in the third. 3B Michael Pluijmers drew a walk and was bunted over by 2B Zerzinho Croes. RF Phil Ortez grounded Pluijmers to third and CF Danny Rombley singled in the run. In the bottom of the third, DH Adrian Anthony and CF Shaldimar Daantji, the #8 and #9 hitters, singled off Aucoin. C Gianison Boekhoudt and 2B Benjamin Dille were retired but 3B Raily Legito singled to tie it.
Both teams had opportunities in the 9th. SS Vince Rooi had a one-out single off Yntema in the top of the 9th and 1B Mark-Jan Moorman walked. Former AAA hurler Brendan Wise relieved Yntema and retired C Mark Duursma and LF Kevin Dirksen to escape the jam. In the bottom of the 9th, Swen Huijer, another former minor leaguer, replaced Aucoin. RF Kalian Sams greeted him with a single and was bunted over by LF Gyenuar Lopez. Sams stole third and 1B Rafaël Jozefa walked, but Huijer recovered to whiff Anthony and Daantji.
In the top of the 10th, veteran Dè Flanegin singled and was bunted over by Pluijmers but Wise retired Croes and Ortez. In the bottom of the 10th, Huijer fanned Boekhoudt but Dille singled and Legito drew a walk. Closer Bayron Cornelissen relieved and tossed a wild pitch. SS Dwayne Kemp then grounded to his counterpart Rooi, who threw home to Duursma to get Dille at the plate. Sams, another AAA player, then delivered a game-winning hit to center, as Rombley's diving catch fell short; Legito scored the winner.
Game 3 in Sportpark Toolenburg
|Win: Markwell (2-0) Loss: L. Huijer (0-1)|
Game 3 featured themes from games 1 and 2; Diegomar Markwell was the winner for Neptunus, as in game one while a pitcher named Huijer lost for the Pioniers. This time, it was Lars Huijer, Swen's brother, fresh off a 8-2 season in the US minors and making his first appearance in the Netherlands in two years.
Huijer was shaky, but escaped the first two innings by stranding two runners each time. In the third, though, 3B Raily Legito singled off him with one out, stole second and scored on a two-out double from RF Kalian Sams (who, like Huijer, played in the Mariners system). In the bottom of the third, the Pioniers tied it. With two away, CF Danny Rombley and SS Vince Rooi drew back-to-back walks from Markwell and C Mark Duursma singled Rombley home. That was the only run the Pioniers got from Markwell, who was far from stellar (6 H, 4 BB, 2 K in 7 IP). Jorian van Acker would work the final two innings to wrap it up.
Meanwhile, Neptunus pulled ahead for good in the 4th. CF Shaldimar Daantji hit a two-out single off Huijer and stole, then C Gianison Boekhoudt walked. 2B Benjamin Dille singled in Daantji, Legito walked and SS Dwayne Kemp hit a two-run single. Dennis Buring relieved and would turn in fine work. As he left the field, Huijer said something to home plate umpire Olav Steijger that earned him a rather meaningless ejection.
Buring and Markwell traded zeroes for several frames. In the top of the 8th, Neptunus got insurance off Scott Ronnenbergh as Daanthi walked, was balked over and came home on a one-out double by Dille. In the top of the 9th, LF Gyenuar Lopez drew a walk from Ronnenbergh and 1B Rudy van Heydoorn (yet another ex-Mariners farmhand) singled. The throw from left field to third base on the play was muffed by 3B Michael Pluijmers, letting Lopez score; it was Pluijmers' second error of the day.
Game 4 in Sportpark Toolenburg
|Win: Wise (2-0) Loss: Corenlissen (0-1)|
In the final game at Sportpark Toolenburg (as the Pioniers were getting a new stadium for 2014), the Pioniers put up a fight before falling in extra innings. It was the first time that two extra-inning games were needed in one Holland Series.
Neptunus jumped out of the gate against Eddie Aucoin, with singles by C Gianison Boekhoudt and 2B Benjamin Dille, a wild pitch and a RBI single by 3B Raily Legito. SS Dwayne Kemp then hit a sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, LF Gyenuar Lopez singled, advanced on two grounders and scored on a single by CF Shaldimar Daantji. Aucoin blanked Neptunus for the next four innings.
In the bottom of the third, 3B Michael Pluijmers drew a leadoff walk from Orlando Yntema and advanced on a passed ball by Boekhoudt and a ground-out by 2B Zerzinho Croes. RF Phil Ortez grounded in Pluijmers to close it to 3-1. The Pioniers got closer in the 6th. With one away, Ortez walked and both CF Danny Rombley and SS Vince Rooi singled. 1B Mark-Jan Moorman hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2, but Yntema fanned C Mark Duursma to escape further harm.
Neptunus still led 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th and had former Australian national team hurler Brendan Wise on the hill to try to close it out. Moorman led off with a single and was bunted over by Duursma. LF Kevin Dirksen struck out but a wild pitch on the play let him reach and sent Moorman to third. 41-year-old DH Dè Flanegin then grounded to third to score Moorman with the tying run. Pluijmers grounded out to end the inning.
In the top of the 10th, Neptunus scored the deciding run. Boekhoudt drew a walk from Bayron Cornelissen and was bunted over by Dille. Legito then delivered the big hit, a run-scoring double to center field. In the bottom of the 10th, Ortez drew a one-out walk from Wise to put the potential tying run aboard. That brought up the #3 and 4 batters, Rombley and Rooi, both of whom had played in AA in the US and had been on the Dutch national team frequently. Wise was unfazed, fanning Rombley and then getting Rooi to pop up to Kemp to end the Series.