2017 Holland Series
The 2017 Holland Series was the 31st Holland Series. Neptunus won its fourth straight title, topping Amsterdam for the second straight season.
Neptunus had won the last three Holland Series but was not the top team in the 2017 Hoofdklasse regular season. They were still very good at 26-9 with 279 runs to 140 runs allowed. Benjamin Dille (.448/.518/.526) led the league in batting average and OBP while Gianison Boekhoudt (.302/.421/.581) successfully defended his home run crown (8). Stijn van der Meer (.369/.477/.492) led the league with 43 runs. The top two starters were veterans, 44-year-old Elton Koeiman (9-2, 2.73) and 37-year-old Diegomar Markwell (9-2, 3.01) while top relievers Jan Tomek (0.84) and Loek van Mil (1.46) only pitched six games and eight games, respectively. They were managed by Ronald Jaarsma, just hired from Amsterdam after the 2016 Series; he had previously been 3B coach for the Pirates.
Amsterdam, managed by Charles Urbanus Jr., was tops in the regular season in record (29-6) and scored 274 while allowing only 93 with a 2.46 ERA as a team. Gilmer Lampe (.374/.493/.609) led the league in slugging and they also had some resurgent veterans like 37-year-old Danny Rombley (.390/.457/.602), who led with 40 RBI. Kevin Heijstek (8-0, 1.26) won the ERA title while Rob Cordemans (10-0, 1.58) was second and Kyle Ward (3-1, 1.40) did well in limited time. The bullpen was not as sharp; Dennis Burgersdijk (0-2, Sv) had a 3.60 ERA to lead the relief corps.
Game 1 in Familiestadion
|Win: van Mil (1-0) Loss: Hendrix (0-1)|
The opener featured two of the greatest pitchers in Series history, long-time rivals (and previously teammates) Markwell and Cordemans. Markwell was shaky today, though. SS Zerzinho Croes singled with one out in the first, 2B Nick Urbanus hit into a force and DH Kalian Sams singled and an error by LF Daniel Fernandes let in a run. In the 4th, singles by LF Lampe, 1B Kenny Berkenbosch and RF Rombley made it 2-0. The visitors kept up the pace in the 5th when CF Remco Draijer doubled, Croes singled and Urbanus hit a sacrifice fly. 42-year-old Cordemans, the 9-time Pitcher of the Year, was blanking his old team through five in the meantime.
In the 6th, Neptunus came alive, with an unlikely source chipping in. RF Jochem Koedijk, the #9 hitter and the team's least-storied hitter, had a one-out single and van der Meer singled. 1B Gregory Muller was plunked to load the bases for home run titlist Boekhoudt. He hit into a run-scoring force and 3B Dwayne Kemp singled to close it to 3-2. In the 7th, Amsterdam got some insurance off Tomek. Draijer walked, Croes hit into a force and Urbanus tripled to make it 4-2. Van Mil relieved and struck out cleanup man Sams. Lampe got plunked but van Mil picked off Urbanus to end the threat. In the bottom of the 9th, Amsterdam was looking to close it up with Ward on the hill. With one out, Fernandes walked and CF Shaldimar Daantji singled. Ruendrick Piternella pinch-hit while Daan Hendrix relieved Ward. Daantji stole second while Hendrix fanned the rookie Piternella. Dille was intentionally walked to load the bags and Darryl Collins ran for him. Koedijk then delivered again with a two-run single for his third hit of the game, tying it up with two outs. Hendrix then tossed a wild pitch, scoring Collins (1 regular-season at-bat in two games) with the winner.
Game 2 in Sportpark Ookmeer
|Win: Yntema (1-0) Loss: Heijstek (0-1)|
The start of the contest was delayed due for two hours and ten minutes while the field was being put into shape following rain. Neptunus dominated game 2 as Orlando Yntema (who had missed much of the season with health problems) allowed only two hits (to DH Sams and LF Lampe) in seven innings, walking three in a mercy rule shutout. Meanwhile, Heijstek, who had been so untouchable in an undefeated regular season, was clobbered. In the first, 2B Dille bunted into a two-base error and C Boekhoudt homered. Both would have big days as Dille was 3 for 3 with two runs and a RBI and Boekhoudt had two homers and four RBI. Neptunus thrashed Heijstek for six more runs in the 5th and got four more off relievers Burgersdijk and Nick Veltkamp in the 6th for the rout. It was the Pirates' worst loss in 35 Holland Series games.
Game 3 in Familiestadion
|Win: Ward (1-0) Loss: Van Driel (0-1)|
The game was preceded by a moment of silence for former Neptunus player and coach Leen Staub. Amsterdam's Robin Schel turned in a gem, allowing only one hit (to 1B Muller) in six innings. Amsterdam got to Kevin Kelly in the 4th. CF Lampe singled and stole second, taking an extra base on a throwing error by C Boekhoudt. After 1B Berkenbosch got plunked, LF Linoy Croes hit a sacrifice fly. In the 6th, Lampe had a one-out single off van Mil, stole second again, advanced on a grounder by Berkenbosch and scored on a single by Linoy Croes. In the bottom of the 7th, the hosts rallied as Schel finally flagged. Boekhoudt singled and 3B Kemp hit into a force. While Muller struck out, Kemp stole second, then he pilfered third as well. Daantji hit into an error by SS Zerzinho Croes to score Kemp. Schel threw a wild pitch, then Piternella lashed a run-scoring single to tie it.
Neptunus went ahead in the 8th off reliever Ward. RF Koedijk singled and was bunted over by SS van der Meer. Ward threw a wild pitch then walked DH Dille. Boekhoudt doubled in a run, leaving two men in scoring position with one out. Kemp was intentionally walked to try to set up a double play and the move paid off when Muller grounded into a 1-2-3 twin killing to end the inning. In the 9th, Neptunus turned to 2014 Holland Series MVP van Driel. He was not as sharp today. 3B Jesse Aussems greeted him with a single, his third hit of the day, and took an extra base on an error by Koedijk. PH Rashid Gerard singled. Zerzihno Croes singled in the tying run, PR Norbert Jongerius (who had run for Aussems). 2B Urbanus hit into a force at third, then DH Sams singled in Gerard for a 4-3 lead. Tomek relieved but could not put out the fire. Lampe singled for his 4th hit of the day, scoring Zerzinho Croes. Bolsenbroek delivered a two-run single to cap the scoring, Lampe scoring his third run.
It was the 20th Holland Series win in Amsterdam Pirates history, moving them into second place all-time behind Neptunus and breaking a tie with Kinheim.
Game 4 in Sportpark Ookmeer
|Win: Markwell (1-0) Loss: Cordemans (0-1) Save: van Mil (1)|
Cordemans threw his first nine-inning complete game in a Holland Series in 22 years, his sixth complete game ever in a Holland Series. Neptunus got to the veteran in the 4th when 2B Dille doubled and 3B Kemp hit into an error by SS Zerzinho Croes. Cordemans whiffed LF Fernandes but CF Daantji singled in both runners. In the 6th, Kemp went deep to right. Cordemans would not allow another hit and finished with ten strikeouts, but would take a tough loss. Markwell, meanwhile, had no-hit the hosts through five. In the 6th, Zerzinho Croes doubled, advanced on a fly by DH Sams and scored on a two-out single by 1B Berkenbosch. In the bottom of the 7th, PH Linoy Croes singled and was bunted over by C Max Clarijs. CF Draijer lined to Fernandes, who made an error. Kelly relieved and allowed an infield hit to Zerzinho Croes to load the bases. 2B Urbanus hit a sacrifice fly to make it a one-run game with the potential go-ahead run aboard. Neptunus then turned to former AAA hurler van Mil, the tallest man in Organized Baseball during his US career. He faced Sams, another player with experience in the high minors. This time, the tall hurler came through, whiffing the slugger. In the bottom of the 8th, Berkenbosch and RF Rombley singled with one out. 3B Aussems grounded them over but van Mil again had a key K, getting Clarijs. Van Mil went 1-2-3 in the 9th to seal the deal.
Game 5 in Sportpark Ookmeer
|Win: van Mil (2-0) Loss: Ward (1-1)|
Neptunus won their fifth straight title with their second 9th-inning comeback of the Series. The game was preceded by a moment of silence for Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan, who had died three days prior.
There was an eight-minute rain delay after the top of the first. After the rains, Amsterdam quickly got to Yntema. CF Draijer drew a leadoff walk, was bunted over by SS Zerzinho Croes and scored on a hit by LF Lampe, who moved to third on the throw home and an error by C Boekhoudt. A sacrifice fly by RF Sams made it 2-0. 1B Berkenbosch and DH Linoy Croes both singled but Yntema got out of it by getting 2B Urbanus to hit into a force.
Amsterdam lost one of its top performers this Series when Zerzinho Croes left in the 4th following a collision with baserunner Muller. Heijstek shut out Neptunus for six, looking more like his regular-season self, while Yntema blanked Amsterdam from the 2nd through the 5th to recover from his rocky start. In the bottom of the 6th, the Pirates got insurance when Linoy Croes drew a two-out walk and scored on a double by Urbanus. Neptunus finally got on board in the top of the 7th. DH Ruar Verkerk singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on hit by Muller. Heijstek threw another wild pitch then allowed a two-out double to SS van der Meer to make it a one-run game. Ward relieved and retired 2B Dille on a grounder.
The Pirates got one run back in the bottom of the 7th. C Clarijs doubled, Draijer grounded him over and 3B Gerard brought him in with a sacrifice fly. After Ward went 1-2-3 in the 8th, the hosts had a chance to close the Series to 3-2. Instead, the 9th inning went wrong for them. CF Daantji drew a walk and PH Piternella singled; the throw to third from Sams nearly got Daantji but he was safe. 16-year-old Collins pinch-ran for Piternella. RF Koedijk grounded to Gerard, who made a throwing error that closed it to 4-3 and put runners on second and third. Van der Meer singled in Collins to tie it and Burgersdijk relieved the struggling Ward. Dille was intentionally walked, then Veltkamp came in to pitch and walked Boekhoudt to force in the go-ahead run. Hendrix was the 4th pitcher of the inning and he got 3B Dwayne Kemp to hit to hit one to Urbanus, who fired to second for one, but the throw to first just missed catching Kemp for a double play, letting Neptunus score their 4th run of the inning to make it 6-4. Hendrix picked off Kemp to finally end that rough frame.
Now, Amsterdam had to rally against van Mil. 2B Aussems got hit by a pitch and PH Rombley grounded PR Norbert Jongerius over. Draijer grounded Aussems to third, then Gerard singled him in to make it a one-run game. Lampe, who was 3-for-4 to that point today, flew out to center to end the game. Amsterdam became the first team to lose three games at home in a Holland Series. For Neptunus coach Jaarsma, it was his first Holland Series title after eight second-place finishes as a player and coach.