In the final of the 2018 European Champions Cup, Curaçao Neptunus was vastly dominant over A.S.D. Rimini Pirates, outscoring the Italian champion 5-0 and outhitting them 10-4.
For former Neptunus member Kevin Kelly, the outcome could not have been more bitter. Apparently, without a starting pitcher, Rimini manager Paolo Ceccaroli threw him in to be the starter. Kelly, normally a reliever, had to surrender four runs against his former team in 3.1 innings. A home run, a single, a wild pitch and a throwing error by the catcher that followed, a walk and a triple led to three runs scored in the second inning. In fact, the race was already run at that stage of the game as Orlando Yntema was practically unhittable throughout the game as he only gave up four hits and struck out eleven in a complete game shutout.
The fourth run came in the fourth inning on a solo shot by Quentin de Cuba that cleared the fence at right-center field. A throwing error in the seventh initiated the fifth run as Stijn van der Meer could reach base and move on to second. A 5-3 groundout allowed Van der Meer to advance to third base from where he scored Gianison Boekhoudt’s single through the left side.
What could Rimini do? Practically nothing. Only in the first three innings, the club managed to get runners on base but Orlando Yntema retired the side in each of the remaining six innings.
With Italian baseball already in dire straits, Neptunus may be the European champion for a few years to come, especially the way it is dominating the Dutch hoofdklasse.
For Neptunus, this was the second ECC win in a row after last year’s one in Regensburg Germany and its tenth victory overall.