On January 5, 2017, the Antwerp Cavaliers presented their roster. Four persons on the roster could be found on it in 2016 as well. Two were on the Cavaliers staff and two were regular players with the Cavaliers, back then still in London.
After a 2016 season with some problems in London, the CBLE decided to move the Cavaliers from London to Antwerp. The city of London wasn’t quite cooperative as were the London Mets. The organization of the London Cavaliers had to do a lot themselves.
Since Antwerp was knocking on the door of the CBLE for quite a while, the league started talks and those were very fruitful. Even this fruitful, that the Cavaliers will represent Antwerp during the 2017 CBLE season. The games of the CBLE during their stay in Antwerp will be played on the fields of the Brasschaat Braves and the Borgerhout Squirrels. Both teams are known for a group of enthusiastic volunteers that can lend a hand to the CBLE.
The Cavaliers presented their roster, early 2017, as the first team of the CBLE.
The two staff members that have returned are the Mitchell Berghmans and Frank Cramer. The three will be completed by Mitchell’s brother, Maikel.
Of the players, only Darryl Williams is the only player to return to the roster of the Antwerp Cavaliers.
According to the head coach Frank Cramer, the team will have a good chance to reach the final of the CBLE because it contains a couple of players with CBLE experience and most of all because the team contains players that play together in regular competitions.
The roster of the Antwerp Cavaliers contains the following players:
Johnny Hall-Walsh (Australia): has played for the West Illawarra Cardinals of the Illawarra Baseball League. In 2014, Johnny was selected for the U16 Country NSW teams to compete at the National Youth Championship.
Angelo Wickert (Netherlands): RHP, playing for the rookie team of Curacao Neptunus since 2014. Member of the Dutch AAA team. Member of the 2015 and 2016 Dutch Big League team that participated in the Big League World Series. Member of the Rotterdam Little League team that participated in the 2011 Little League World Series. Angelo will join Hoofddorp Pioniers for the 2017 Dutch hoofdklasse season.
Idoor Rouwenhorst (Netherlands): Currently plays for the rookie team of Hoofddorp Pioniers. A team player, who will be found in the back end of the Cavaliers bullpen together with Matthew Joossens. One of the core members of the Dutch Tigers (a Dutch-based team with many nationalities, that participates bi-annually in the MSBL/MABL World Series.
Matthew Joossens (Belgium): RHP. Playing for the Brasschaat Braves (multiple national champions in Belgium). Was part of the 2016 Belgian team during the European Championship. In two appearances Matthew posted an ERA of 36.00 and allowed his opponents to hit an average of .400. He was rather unlucky as he had to face the mighty Italians and gave up a grand slam homerun. In his other appearance, vs finalist Spain, he gave up only one hit in one inning.
Jelle Hanssen (Netherlands): LHP. Currently, plays for Angels baseball from Beek in the Netherlands. Jelle is a utility player as he can also play first base and outfield.
According to his player page at the website of Angels baseball, Jelle has more than ten years of baseball experience.
Bas Timmer (Netherlands): LHP. Played for the rookie team of DSS from Haarlem in 2016 after an extensive baseball education at the Rabbits baseball academy. According to the website of DSS, Bas will also be part of the 2017 rookie team.
Hugo ter Steege (Netherlands): RHP. Last year, Hugo played for the Sant Boi Falcons of Barcelona and made the CBLE All Star Team. During the regular baseball season, Hugo is pitching for UVV from Utrecht, in one of the lower divisions of Dutch baseball.
Chase Palka (Canada): RHP. Chase played for the St. Boniface Legionares Jr. AA team in the WBJL League in 2015. In thirteen appearances, of wich seven starts, Chase recorded nine wins and just one loss with an ERA of just 1.83. Chase also knows how to handle the bat as he finished the WBJL season with a respectable .323.
Jace van Droogenbroeck (Belgium): LHP. Last season, Jace played for the repeating champions Deurne Spartans. Jace was also part of the Belgian national team during the European Championship in 2016 in which he performed very well. In four relief appearances, Jace posted a 2.25 ERA and limited his opponents to a batting average of just .083. Jace is one of the many players that moved from Deurne Spartans to De Glaskoning Twins of the Dutch hoofdklasse, for the 2017 season.
Daan Groenewoud (Netherlands): Utility player who can play third base, second base, shortstop, catcher and outfield. A so-called Swiss Army knife. Daan is currently playing for RCH-Pinguïns.
Conner Brown (Great Britain): Member of team Great Britain during the 2016 European Championship. Can be used as a catcher but also as a pitcher. During the EC, Brown batted .500 in one game played. Currently the 18-year old is playing for the Herts Falcons. Conner was nominated for the BBC’s Young Sports Personality of the Year. He was selected by Major League Baseball as one of the top 50 young players in Europe to attend the MLB Elite Camp in August.
Frank Dirks (Netherlands): Currently, plays for Angels baseball from Beek in the Netherlands. He is a utility player that can play third base, shortstop and even can be used as a (right handed) pitcher. According to his player page, Frank has over ten years of baseball experience.
Robb Lewis (USA): Currently plays for the Borgerhout Squirrels in the Belgian Eerste Klasse. Robb can play as a catcher, first baseman and third baseman. Robb won the batting crown in Belgium last year.
Patrick Young (Netherlands/USA): The 21-year old currently, plays for Angels baseball from Beek in the Netherlands. He is a utility player that can play catcher and second base. According to his player page, Patrick has over ten years of baseball experience. He will mainly be used as a second baseman and in some cases as a catcher. The trip with the Antwerp Cavaliers will be a learning experience for him.
Joey Kuijsten (Netherlands): Joey played for overgangsklasse team RCH-Pinguins from Heemstede during the 2016 season. Previous to that season, Joey played for the rookie team of Hoofddorp Pioniers.
Douglas Friedberg (USA): Douglas is what they call a journeyman. Wherever he can play baseball, he is there. In 2016 he played in Australia for the Kalamunda Rangers, Western Australia AA Grade baseball team. The 5’10” / 220lbs player resides in Boston.
Ollie Thompson (Great Britain): Played for the Richmond Knights in 2016 and for team Great Britain U19. Ollie hit .517 during the 2016 season. Besides outfield, Ollie can play third base as well. In the upcoming season, Ollie will represent the Essex Arrows.
A nice detail about Ollie is that he started to play baseball in 2015. When he joined the Dutch Tigers in 2016, he was playing baseball for only ten months. He learned to play baseball by studying movies on Youtube. In ten months, he managed to reach the U19 team of Great Britain to participate in Gijon in Spain.
Darryl Williams (Netherlands): Darryl was on the 2016 Cavaliers roster as well. In 2016 he played center field and hit a respectable .375 in 40 at bats. Darryl was selected for the CBLE All-Star game in 2016. In 2015, Darryl played for Vaessen Pioniers in the Dutch hoofdklasse, but he wasn’t as successful as he hit a modest .167.
Michael Anunobi (Great Britain): Plays for the London Mammoths. His natural position is first base. Michael was invited to attend the High Performance Academy organized by BaseballSoftball UK as preparation for the 2016 season. He hit .282 in 2016.
Mitchell Berghmans assistant coach
Maikel Berghmans assistant coach
Frank Cramer head coach