Game 1: Angels Win Thriller
by Henry Perkins
The Namur Angels matched up against the Merchtem Cats on Saturday afternoon in a pitchers’ duel that was ultimately determined by just one run. The close win on the road marked Namur’s eleventh consecutive victory.
The majority of the contest was very uneventful from an offensive standpoint; the only runs for either team came in the seventh inning, due to two stellar outings by each team’s starting pitcher. For the Angels lefty Harold Gerard dominated Cats’ bats, allowing just two hits in eight innings of work. Gerard had twelve strikeouts on the afternoon and allowed just one run, which was unearned. Merchtem’s starter Bram Denys was equally as impressive, working the entire nine innings while surrendering seven total hits. Denys kept Angels’ batters off balance the entire afternoon and was also able to extinguish any early scoring threats, getting the big out every time he needed it.
It wasn’t until the seventh inning that the Angels finally broke onto the scoreboard. The frame opened with a Vincent King single to center field. Just after reaching base, King stole second and gave Namur a runner on second with no outs. The next batter failed to move King, but Thomas Vandenabeele then reached on an error by the Cats’ first baseman and the Angels were back in business with runners on the corners and only one out. Vandenabeele promptly stole second, and with runners now on second and third right fielder Cedric Nauts attempted a squeeze that popped up and was caught by Merchtem’s catcher. In desperate need of a clutch two out hit, something the Angels were missing the entire afternoon, catcher Ronny Heymans delivered a line drive single up the middle that plated King and Vandenabeele, giving the Angels a short-lived 2-0 lead.
The Cats answered back in the bottom of the seventh, taking advantage of a few Namur miscues in the field. After a lead off strike out, Geert Cleymans sent a sinking line drive into shallow left that was misplayed and allowed the Cats’ second baseman to jog into second. The second out was recorded before Merchtem’s short stop Darrion Siller chopped a ground ball to short that was misplayed by Henry Perkins, an error that allowed Cleymans to come around and score from second. After an intentional walk, Herald Gerard worked out of the jam and preserved the 2-1 Angels lead. Angels’ stopper Nicolas Migeot came in to finish the game, and after a 1,2,3 bottom of the ninth Namur’s eleventh win was in the books.
The Angels had seven total hits on the day, the biggest being Heymans’ two-run single. King and Vandenabeele each had two hits in the game, leading the way for Namur. Darrion Siller and Tom Herinckx had the sole hits for the Cats.
Game 2: Relentless Angels Strike Late
by Zachary Potter
Angels Manager Christophe Dassy reshuffled the scorecard for the second game of the weekend series versus the Merchtem Cats. Only two players found themselves written in at the same position on both Saturday and Sunday, Vincent King at third base, and Cedric Nauts in right field. Namur’s everyday shortstop, Henry Perkins, made his first start of the season on the mound for the Angels.
The Cats threatened in the first as two of their first four batters were able to reach base safely. Unfortunately, with two outs, and runners on the corners, Perkins was able to induce an inning-ending ground out to second base. In the bottom half of the frame the Angels wasted little time as leadoff batter Philip Van Woensel started things with a hustle double. Two batters later he crossed the plate on a Perkins RBI single to left. The Angels took an early 1-0 lead.
Both teams’ bats’ were silent for the next two innings, but the Angels were able to add another run in the bottom of the third. Perkins, who batted second in the inning drew a walk and was able advance on a botched pick-off attempt by Cats pitcher Darrion Siller. With one out and cleanup hitter Zachary Potter at the plate, Perkins was on the move again in an attempt to steal third base. He slid in safely, but the throw from the catcher got away, and he alertly scampered home for the second run of the game.
It was in the top of the fourth that the Cats countered with two runs of their own. Merchtem catcher, Kristof Van Droogenbroek who reached base on an error, was successfully advanced with a sacrifice bunt. A few pitches later, Cat’s center fielder, Zach Rodeghero, served a line drive into leftfield that sent Van Droogenbroek home. Later in the inning, Rodeghero came around to score on a base hit by Esverty De Los Santos.
The Angels managed to regain the lead with their next chance to hit. Jerome Sana, playing shortstop, led off the fourth with a solid single to the left side. The next two batters struck out, but Sana was able to advance to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball. The crucial play of the inning was an error by the first baseman, who, on a ball hit by nine-hitter, Cedric Nauts, mishandled a throw from the shortstop, which allowed Sana to score.
The game proceeded as a tight battle until late, when the Angels added three runs in the seventh, and another six in the eighth. The highlight of the eighth was a towering three-run shot to leftfield off the bat of Ronny Heymans, Angels’ catcher / infielder.
Siller, making a gutsy start on just two days rest seemed to have officially run out of gas. He was relieved with one out in the bottom of the eighth by Rodeghero, who came in from center to finish it out. The game ended in walk-off fashion as the Angels plated their twelfth run, giving them the needed ten-run advantage. Vincent King came home on a bases loaded walk by Nauts.
Perkins finished the day throwing seven innings, allowing four hits and striking out ten. He helped his own cause by going two for three at the plate with two runs scored. Potter came in to relieve Perkins in the eighth and worked a quick 1, 2, 3 inning. The Angels have now won twelve consecutive games.
|Thursday, May 21 2009|
|15:30||Port of Antwerp Greys||Hoboken Pioneers||01:13|
|15:30||The Merchtem Cats||K. Mortsel Stars||01:12|
|15:30||Namur Angels||K. Borgerhout Squirrels||10:00|
|15:30||Brussels Kangaroos||Brasschaat Braves||03:15|
|Saturday, May 23 2009|
|15:30||Hoboken Pioneers||K. Mortsel Stars||09:08|
|15:30||The Merchtem Cats||Namur Angels||01:02|
|15:30||Brasschaat Braves||K. Borgerhout Squirrels||04:01|
|15:30||Brussels Kangaroos||Port of Antwerp Greys||02:16|
|Sunday, May 24 2009|
|15:30||Port of Antwerp Greys||Brussels Kangaroos||06:00|
|15:30||K. Mortsel Stars||Hoboken Pioneers||08:06|
|15:30||Namur Angels||The Merchtem Cats||12:02|
|15:30||K. Borgerhout Squirrels||Brasschaat Braves||02:05|
|2||Port of Antwerp Greys||19||8||216||112||.703||0||W4|
|6||K. Mortsel Stars||10||18||165||205||.357||9.5||L2|
|7||The Merchtem Cats||8||19||120||247||.296||11||L5|
|8||K. Borgerhout Squirrels||7||21||156||226||.250||12.5||L8|