Benedictus Laurentius Johannes Lars Koehorst
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- School Hogeschool Haarlem
- Born April 19, 1971 in Haarlem, Noord-Holland Netherlands
Lars Koehorst played for 17 seasons in the Hoofdklasse (winning a batting title) and was also with the Dutch national team for almost a decade.
Koehorst won the Roel de Mon Award in 1987. He made his Hoofdklasse debut in 1991, hitting .222 and slugging .360 for the Hoofddorp Pioniers. He then moved to HCAW, where he spent most of his career. In 1992, he hit .308 and slugged .438 with 32 runs in 38 games. In 1993, he hit .283 and slugged .380. He played for the Dutch squad in both the 1993 World Port Tournament and 1993 European Championship (which the Netherlands won). He hit .231/.412/.333 as a backup infielder in the 1993 European Championship. For HCAW in 1994, he batted .349 and slugged .409. He was named the Best Hitter in the 1994 Haarlem Baseball Week. In the 1994 Baseball World Cup, the 23-year-old was 4 for 20 with a walk, double and steal. He played error-free ball as the main second baseman for the Netherlands, forming a double play combo with Evert-Jan 't Hoen.
In 1995, the Haarlem native hit .324, slugged .421 and scored 36 times. He was with the Netherlands as they won Gold in the 1995 European Championship but his offensive numbers were unimpressive (4 for 25, 2B, 3 BB) as the Dutch shortstop. He was 5 for 23 with a double and played error-free ball in the 1995 World Port Tournament, in which the Orange finished second to the Cuban entry. In the 1995 Intercontinental Cup, Koehorst was 4 for 13 with 2 doubles and a walk, again playing error-free defense as he split 2B with Eddie Dix and SS with 't Hoen. During the 1996 campaign, he batted .326 and slugged .402 for HCAW. He went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in the 1996 Haarlem Baseball Week and did not play for the Netherlands in the 1996 Olympics (they used a middle infield of 't Hoen and Giel ten Bosch). He was 10 for 23 with 2 doubles and 6 runs in the 1996 Holland Series as HCAW beat Kinheim, 3 games to 2, as his club won its first Holland Series title.
Lars was better yet in 1997, hitting .371 and slugging .503 with 48 runs in 42 games. He was 4 for 17 with a run and RBI in the 1997 Holland Series, which HCAW dropped to the Pioniers. He was 8 for 20 with a double and five walks in the 1997 World Port Tournament. He tied for third in the event in walks and tied for 5th with 7 runs. He also ranked 8th in average and 5th in slugging. In the 1997 European Championship, his .583 average in the round-robin phase ranked 4th after Tonny Verhaert, Johnny Balentina and Miguel Zoroza. He tied Juan Garcia for the most runs (11) as well. The Netherlands fell to Italy in the finals, though.
During 1998, Koehorst hit .345 with a .458 slugging for HCAW. He had 15 doubles and 52 runs in 44 games. He was 6 for 14 with 2 homers and 5 runs in the 1998 Holland Series as HCAW won it all for the second time. He was 4 for 10 with a double and a walk in the 1998 Haarlem Baseball Week. In the 1998 Baseball World Cup, he hit .250/.333/.281 while splitting second base with Dix and DH with Dirk van 't Klooster. His best season came in 1999, when he hit .468 with 13 homers, 64 runs, 51 RBI and 80 hits in 43 games. He slugged .789. He led the Hoofdklasse in average, runs (4 ahead of former major leaguer Rikkert Faneyte) and hits (tied) while his 19 steals tied John Mahalik for second behind Melfried Comenencia. In the 1999 Holland Series, he was 5 for 15 with 2 homers as HCAW fell to Neptunus; he had a 5 RBI in a 12-10 loss in game one. His two home runs both came in the opener; it would be 16 years until Bryan Engelhardt became the next player to go deep twice in a Holland Series game. Despite that performance, he did not play for the Netherlands in 1999, which was bolstered by the allowance of players with experience in Organized Baseball or other professional leagues to participate in international competition. As a result, the Netherlands had former major leaguer Robert Eenhoorn at short now with 't Hoen and former Braves farmhand Raymond Hofer at second base. Through 1999, he had hit .340 with 334 runs in 348 Hoofdklasse games for his career.
After his stellar 1999, Koehorst did not make the league leaders in any department in 2000. He helped HCAW reach the 2001 Holland Series, but Neptunus beat them again. He was 2 for 7 in the 2001 World Port Tournament, his final competition with the national team. He backed up a starting infield of Percy Isenia, Ralph Milliard, Jurjan Koenen and Raily Legito. In 2002, the veteran was 9th in the Hoofdklasse with a .322 average, 6th with 34 runs and 5th with 55 hits (between Legito and Comenencia). The next year, he scored 31 runs, 4th in the circuit behind Mike Duursma, Milliard and van 't Klooster.
Koehorst was down to .244/.331/.268 in 2005, playing third base for the Pioniers. He still managed to tie Isenia and Edward Illidge for 9th in the Hoofdklasse with 22 RBI. In 2006, the guy who had hit .468 just 7 years earlier was now under the Mendoza Line at .198/.316/.271 for the Pioniers. He was a player-coach for the Pioniers in 2007, going 11 for 42 with 4 walks while backing up Marcel Venema at the hot corner to end his playing career. He also coached for the Netherlands in the 2009 World Youth Championship.
Sources include international baseball statistician Harry Wedemeijer, Honkbalgids 2000 by Marco Stoovelaar and Defunct IBAF site
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