Yesterday, Curaçao Neptunus beat T&A San Marino in a rather lopsided game in which the Italians could not get a grip on Diegomar Markwell’s pitches. In the other semi-final, L&D Amsterdam just stayed at the wrong side of the score as they fought their way back after trailing 7-0.
T&A San Marino 1 – 7 Curaçao Neptunus
For three innings nothing much happened as neither team did score a run, even though San Marino got a runner in scoring position. But in the fourth inning, Curaçao Neptunus
opened the score when Benjamin Dille and Christian Diaz hit back-to-back doubles to take a 1-0 lead.
In the next inning, Daniel Fernandes doubled to left field, advanced to third on a sac bunt laid down by Shaldimar Daantji, who made two fantastic diving catches in the outfield in the course of the game and scored on a wild pitch.
But the big inning for Neptunus was the seventh. With the bases loaded, Christian Diaz singled to first base to drive in Daniel Fernandes. The next run scored when, still with the bases loaded, Dwayne Kemp was hit by a pitch. Gregory Muller followed with a single to left field to drive in Christian Diaz and Benjamin Dille. A wild pitch by reliever Rios Ascanio allowed Dwayne Kemp to score the fifth run of the inning.
In the meantime, Diegomar Markwell pitched a gem. Diegomar went the distance and allowed only one run on eight hits and a walk and struck out six for the win. By pitching a complete game, he gave the bullpen and other pitchers a much-needed rest.
As both teams collected eight hits, it was very clear that Curaçao Neptunus was much more efficient at bat than San Marino was.
Three Neptunus hitters went 2 for 4: Christian Diaz with a double, two RBI and a run scored, Gregory Muller with two RBI and Daniel Fernandes with a double and two runs scored.
Fortitudo Bologna 9 – 8 L&D Amsterdam Pirates
In a game in which L&D Amsterdam Pirates fought their way back from a hopelessly looking score of 7-0, manager Charles Urbanus tried to save his best starting pitcher for the finale to bring Robin Schel to the mound. This move did not pan out well as Schel gave up a grand slam home run in the third inning. In the fourth inning, Schel was replaced by Kyle Ward, who kept the Italians from scoring in that inning. But in the next inning, Ward gave up a three run homerun. In the seventh and the eighth inning, Bologna would score a run each on solo shots.
Eventually, in the fifth inning, Pirates got on the board when Max Clarijs hit a home run to left field.
With their chances looking bleak, Pirates rallied for four runs in the sixth inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Rashid Gerard singled through the right side to drive in Gilmer Lampe and to advance Danny Rombley to second. After Danny Rombley advanced to third on a wild pitch, Max Clarijs drew a walk to load the bases. Remco Draijer singled up the middle to drive in Danny Rombley and to keep the bases loaded before Zerzinho Croes singled to center field to drive in a pair of runs.
Pirates scored three more runs in the eighth inning to get within one run from Bologna.
But eventually, Pirates just came short when Max Clarijs flied out in the ninth for the final out of the game.
Robin Schel took the loss, while Paul Rivero earned the win as he pitched six innings in which he gave up five runs on six hits and six walks and struck out eight.
Best hitter for Fortitudo Bologna was Osman Marval, who went 3 for 4 with a solo homerun and two runs scored.
Due to the elimination of L&D Amsterdam Pirates, there will be a new European Champion.
One final note: It is quite understandable many Buchbinder Legionaere fans only flock to the stadium to see their own team play. But those who stayed home last night missed an exciting and a good game of baseball, possibly the best of this tournament.