European Champions Cup 2017: Curaçao Neptunus clinches spot in semis

Until the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, Rouen Huskies was a tough opponent for Curaçao Neptunus. Only after the Dutch team took a 5-2 lead, things started to roll.
Eventually, Neptunus beat the Huskies 9-3. 

Today’s game started better for Curaçao Neptunus than yesterday’s. With two outs, Christian Diaz hit a line drive to the third baseman who stretched and could not hold on to the ball. Thanks to this error, Diaz advanced to second base. On Dwayne Kemp’s single to center field, Diaz could score the opening run.
But one inning later, Rouen turned the tables. With one out, Jonathan Jaspe singled through the right side followed by a single by Leonel Cespedes, also through the right side. Jaspe advanced to third on that single. Luc Piquet singled to right field on which Jonathan Jaspe could score the tying run. Cespedes tried to advance to third and the throw from right field ended in the dugout so he could advance to home as well.

Neptunus tied the game in the bottom of the second inning and it took them until the fifthDSC00567 to take the lead again. But the one run lead was still very slim. Owen Ozanich pitched a solid game until the sixth inning. All Neptunus had to do was waiting until fatigue would strike, which did in the sixth. In that inning, Owen allowed two more runs before he was pulled. In the 5.2 inning on the mound, he threw 117 pitches and allowed five runs (four earned) on nine hits and three walks and struck out five.

In the top of the eighth inning, Rouen scored one more run. But in the bottom of the same inning, Neptunus added four thanks to the lack of pitching depth of the Huskies.

Neptunus manager, Ronald Jaarsma, pulled Kevin Kelly, who pitched a solid game, after 7.2 innings in favor of Misja Harcksen. Jaarsma kept the faith in Harcksen after his poor outing of yesterday vs the Mainz Athletics. Harcksen recovered very well as he pitched 1.1 perfect innings in which he struck out two.

Kevin Kelly earned the win after 7.2 innings in which he gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits and two walks and struck out eleven.
Owen Ozanich took the loss despite pitching five solid innings.

Best hitter for Curaçao Neptunus was Daniel Fernandes, who went 2 for 3 with a homerun, a double, two RBI and two runs scored.

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