Evert Jan ‘t Hoen, manager of current European and Dutch champion Curacao Neptunus, has been named European coach of the year during the congress of the European Baseball Confederation CEB in Hoofddorp Netherlands (near Amsterdam Airport).
Last year Curacao threepeated as Dutch champion and also clinched the European title for clubs.
During the season, Van ‘t Hoen proved to be a real leader. In a hoofdklasse game, team mates Dwayne Kemp and Rien Vernooij got entangled in a (almost) fight early in the game and Van ‘t Hoen sent them out of the dugout for the rest of the game to make a statement that he doesn’t tolerate that kind of behaviour.
In the Dutch competition Van ‘t Hoen and Neptunus barely made the Holland Series by sweeping L&D Amsterdam Pirates in the last weekend of the play offs. L&D Amsterdam Pirates only needed one victory to clinch a spot but Curacao Neptunus appeared to be mentally the strongest team.
Corendon Kinheim from Haarlem surpassed L&D Amsterdam Pirates in the standings to clinch the other spot in the Holland Series. But in that best of seven series Kinheim never stood a chance vs Neptunus as they were beaten 4-1.
With the European tournament, Curacao Neptunus hosted the preliminary rounds together with Paris. In Rotterdam Neptunus cruised to the finals in which they took on Draci Brno from the Czech Republic. In the beginning it looked like the Czechs would walk away with the win but eventually Neptunus stepped on it to take the lead and clinched a spot in the best-of-three championship series vs Fortitudo Bologna, later in the season.
On August 6, Neptunus took on Fortitudo in Bologna and lost 5-3 but they bounced back in Rotterdam where Netpunus tied the series with a 3-2 win on Saturday August 8. In the rubber game of that series, Evert Jan ‘t Hoen proved to be the better coach as he kept his best pitcher of the moment for the last game. Belgian national team pitcher, Kenny van den Branden kept the Italians on a leash as he lasted six innings in which he gave up only one run on four hits and struck out six hits and led Curacao Neptunus to the European title in their own Neptunus Family Stadium.