For most of the week, L&D Amsterdam Pirates played like a sack of potatoes but in its hour of need the team stepped on it and saved the ECC ticket for the Netherlands for 2019.
Kevin Heijstek was the starting pitcher. In the first game of the tournament he was too but then it was like he was throwing batting practice as the opponent, the Heidenheim Heideköpfe collected twelve hits but today Heijstek was much more effective. In 6.2 innings he gave up six hits and three runs and struck out six.
Pirates took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Back-to-back singles by Remco Draijer and Zerzinho Croes and a sac bunt by Nick Urbanus put runners in scoring position before Kenny Berkenbosch (groundout) and Linoy Croes (single) drove in the two runners.
In the next inning, Pirates extended their lead to 5-0. But in the bottom of the third, Thomas de Wolf proved his value for San Marino as he doubled home two runs to bring San Marino back in the game. One inning later, Ronald Bermudez scored from third base on a single by Riccardo Babini. But that was all San Marino was capable of.
With one more run in the fifth and two more in the ninth, L&D Amsterdam Pirates secured the win and the Dutch ECC ticket for 2019.
Kevin Heijstek earned the win, while Viso Quevedo took the loss after five innings in which he gave up six runs (three earned) on five hits and three walks as he struck out four.
Best hitter for L&D Amsterdam Pirates was Linoy Croes, who went 3 for 4 with a double and two RBI.
For the first time, San Marino will not play at the highest European platform in 2019. For decades the club had a privileged position as a club from the mini-state San Marino that participates in the Italian Serie A1. No matter how their Serie A1 season ended, the team always had a spot in the ECC. Former CEB chairman Jan Esselman tried to undo this by installing a rule, but now it went the natural way.