The Belgian Baseball and Softball Federation recently released the statistics for the 2008 season in the Belgian 1st Division. Let’s take a look at these numbers.
As you may recall the 2008 season was split into two portions. After the first 14 game days, the top six teams advanced into an Elite round of another 20 games to determine the two finalists for the Belgian Series. Ricky Thomas of the BRASSCHAAT BRAVES, who also played for the ORKAS in the Venezuelan Liga Paralela this winter, won the batting title in the first phase with a .568 average (OBP .628/SLG 1.243). He was second with six homeruns, scored 16 runs and drove in 20.
Bryon Bell (.521/.587/1.146) of the PORT OF ANTWERP GREYS led the league with seven homeruns, 21 runs scored and 30 RBI. His teammate Gert Rosiers (.340/.463/.434) also scored 21 runs. Alberto Valerio (.375/.444/.607) of the BORGERHOUT SQUIRRELS was ranked first with 14 stolen bases in 15 tries.
In the second phase Valerio led the league with a .469 batting average (.509/.694). Thomas (.417/.551/.700) and Kevin Knollenburg (.384/.483/.658) of the GREYS each hit five homeruns for first place in the homerun ranking. Steven De Lannoy (.400/.521/.587) of the HOBOKEN PIONEERS scored the most runs (28). Fellow PIONEER Geoffrey Kenis (.441/.500/.794) drove in the most runs (26).
Pitching wise the 2008 champion PORT OF ANTWERP GREYS had overall the most dominant 1-2 punch. Daniel Howard and Dennis Van Hoof finished second and third, respective first and second in the ERA ranking in both phases. Terence Antonacci (PIONEERS) was first in round one with an ERA of 0.65. He had a 6-1 record with 47 strikeouts in 55 innings, while walking just three. In round number two, he had a perfect 6-0 record with an ERA of 2.12 and 64 strikeouts (14 walks) in 59 1/3 innings.
Howard won two games in the first round with an ERA of 0.82, striking out 31 (five walks) in 22 innings. In the Elite phase (6-0, ERA 0.64) he dominated even more with 78 K’s (15 walks) in 56 2/3 innings. Van Hoof (Rd1: 5-1, ERA 1.31, Rd2: 7-2, ERA 1.52) also was consistent stellar throughout the year with a total of 148 strikeouts (24 walks) in 119 innings. Erik Hufnagel (4-3, ERA 1.97), who reinforced the NAMUR ANGELS in the Elite phase, was an even more impressive strikeout artist with 81 strikeouts (20 walks) in just 50.1 innings pitched.