Curacao Neptunus 000 000 204 6 11 1 L&D Amsterdam 200 001 101 5 8 1
Curacao Neptunus Rotterdam has won its 18th Dutch Hoofdklasse championship overall and its fifth consecutive. On Sunday they came back from an 0-3 deficit to beat L&D Amsterdam 6-5 in a nail-biting fifth game to win the best-of-seven series 4-1.
The Pirates dominated early on and were on the verge of forcing a game six. A RBI single by Gilmer Lampe and a sac fly by Kalian Sams gave them a 2-0 lead in the first, which they extended to three runs on a RBI double by Nick Urbanus in the sixth. Meanwhile Kevin Heijstek kept Curacao Neptunus off the board in the first six frames.
However Rotterdam broke the scoreless streak through hits from Gregory Muller and Stijn van der Meer in the seventh. Amsterdam answered with a run by Max Clarijs in the bottom of the same frame to make it 4-2. However in the ninth Curacao Neptunus turned the score around with four runs. Gianison Boekhoudt had the go-ahead hit with a RBI single to get them a 5-4 advantage. A RBI fielder’s choice by Dwayne Kemp provided insurance. This was much-needed, as L&D Amsterdam didn’t got down without a fight. Norbert Jongerius scored to cut the deficit to a run. But Lampe flied out to center to end the game and their hopes of ending Rotterdam’s title reign.
Before the game both teams lined up for one-minute silence in respect of Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, who died two days ago in his residence after a long treatment for lung cancer. He stayed in office and worked till 3 weeks ago. When Muller from Curacao Neptunus hit an infield fly in third inning, Pirates third baseman and shortstop collided in an attempt to catch the ball. Both players after a time-out stayed in the game, but in the next inning Zerzinho Croes remained in the dugout.
NOS TV cameras registered the entire game and during regular sports program from 13.00 till 18.00 hrs, many parts of the game went live on channel Nederland 1 switching from one sport to the other.
Prizes were presented by KNBSB president Ron Schel. Curacao Neptunus players delegated starting pitcher Orlando Yntema to receive the team award. Yntema after the World Baseball Classic came back to the Netherlands with a disease and at the hospital got treated for a virus and cancer. Yntema survived and came back with the team in Hoofdklasse game: first in one inning, then two innings. Last week he became winning pitcher of 12-0 shutout in Amsterdam. On Sunday Yntema had a difficult first inning, but kept the Pirates close in the score until he was relieved in the eighth inning.
Pim van Nes contributed to this report.