In the third round of the Gold Division (playoffs), the following doubleheaders were scheduled: Brasschaat Braves @ Hoboken Pioneers, Mont-Saint-Guibert Phoenix @ Brussels Kangaroos, and Deurne Spartans @ Borgerhout Squirrels.
Brasschaat Braves 7 – 3 Hoboken Pioneers
In the first game between what many see as the main candidates to reach the Belgian Championship Series, the Brasschaat Braves clinched a clear victory. In the third inning, the Braves opened the score when they loaded the bases thanks to two walks and an HBP. Singles by Lino Ballardini and Cole Jenkins drove in two runs, followed by a third thanks to a fielding error by Hoboken’s third baseman. But the Pioneers bounced back in the bottom of the same inning. With the bases loaded, Kevin Delgado doubled to center field and drove in Xander Verspreet and Wesley Janssens. In the seventh inning, both teams scored again, the Braves three runs, Pioneers one. In the ninth, Yves Poesmans drove in the seventh run for Brasschaat with a single to center field.
Artuur Driessens had a strong outing. In eight innings, he gave up three runs on ten hits and four walks and struck out one. Sven Schüller took the loss. In six innings, he allowed six runs (five earned) on six hits and three walks and struck out five.
Yves Poesmans saw the ball well today as he went 3 for 5 with two RBI.
Mont-Saint-Guibert Phoenix 1 – 4 Brussels Kangaroos
Phoenix had runners in scoring position in five of the nine innings, but with ten runners left on base, the team failed to cash in. The only run Mont-Saint-Guibert scored was on a leadoff home run by Nicolas Migeot, in the top of the seventh inning. The Brussels Kangaroos were much more clutch in this game. Despite the fact that all four runs the Kangaroos scored did not come on base hits but on groundouts, a sac fly, and a fielding error, the team delivered when necessary.
The Desmedt brothers kept Phoenix limited to one run on seven hits and three walks. Cedric (6.1 innings) earned the win, Kevin (2.2 innings) earned the save. Tomasz Oberto Silva took the loss. In five innings, he gave up two runs on three hits and nine walks and struck out four.
Only three of the Kangaroos’ lineup collected hits. Of them, Nathan Kaschl was the best hitter as he went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.
Deurne Spartans 3 – 4 Borgerhout Squirrels
In a very close game, the Borgerhout Squirrels clinched a come-from-behind victory.
In the top of the first inning, Deurne Spartans took the lead. A double by Alexis Marquez and a single by Frank Alejandro Prieto Burgos drove in two runs. But the Squirrels cut the Spartans’ lead in half in the bottom of the first. Four innings later, the Squirrels tied the game at two when Steven de Lannoy doubled to right field to drive in Zion de Brauwer, all the way from first base. In the top of the eighth, Spartans took the initiative again when Steff Roymans led off with a single to left field. Roymans advanced to second on a 5-3 groundout and scored on a single through the left side, hit by Frank Alejandro Prieto Burgos. But once again, the Squirrels would bounce back in the same inning. With runners on first and second, Zion de Brauwer singled to left field to drive in Cedric Vandesompele. Steven de Lannoy followed with a single down the right field line, which gave Timen van Geel the opportunity to score the go-ahead run for Squirrels.
Greg Mareels earned the win after 1.2 innings in relief. He allowed one run on three hits and struck out one. Dave van den Bosch earned the save. In 0.1 inning, he retired the only batter he faced on a 5-3 groundout for the final out of the game.
Steven de Lannoy was Squirrels’ best hitter as he handled the bat well. He went 3 for 5 with a double, two RBI and a run scored.
Tomorrow the second game of this airport series will be played.
Brasschaat Braves 1 – 2 Hoboken Pioneers
In a much closer game than the first one of this doubleheader, the Hoboken Pioneers stayed at the right side of the score and handed the Braves its first loss of the playoffs.
The Brasschaat Braves opened the score in the first inning. Cole Jenkins led off with a single and scored all the way from first on Eli Straw’s double to left center field.
For five innings, Cole Jenkins kept the Pioneers in check but in the sixth, the team scored the game-tying run when Nicky Mertens got on base thanks to a fielding error and Dennis de Quint could score from second base.
Eli Straw took the loss. In 2.2 innings in relief, he gave up the game-winning run to Hoboken on three hits and a walk and struck out four. With Kelvin Delgado at third base, Dennis de Quint hit an infield fly on which Delgado dashed home and scored the walk-off run.
Kenny van den Branden pitched a complete game and earned the win. He allowed one run on six hits and a walk and struck out a whopping fourteen batters.
Denis “Q” de Quint was the best hitter for Pioneers as he went 1 for 2 with a double, an RBI and a run scored.
Thank you to Kevin Peeters for providing the right information about the pitching of the Braves in this game.
Mont-Saint-Guibert Phoenix 7 – 3 Brussels Kangaroos
Just like the first game, MSG Phoenix left ten runners on base. But this time Phoenix stayed clearly at the right side of the score and clinched its first victory of the playoffs.
A wild pitch allowed Geoffrey Haesaert to score the opening run for Mont-Saint-Guibert. In the next inning, singles by Haesaert and Nasser Tauil and a fielding error allowed Phoenix to extend its lead by four runs. But thanks to a single by Elvis Polanco, the Brussels Kangaroos managed to score two runs in the bottom of the second inning. In the fifth, a throwing error by the catcher of Phoenix with a double steal, Ken Spurgeon scored the Kangaroos’ third run. But from there the Brussels offense stalled. Phoenix on the other hand managed to score two more runs, one in the seventh and one in the ninth.
Victor Pirlot earned the win. In 2.2 innings in relief he kept the Kangaroos off the bases and struck out two. Mauro van Mook lasted six innings but took the loss as he allowed six runs (three earned) on nine hits and five walks and struck out eight.
Geoffrey Haesaert swung the bat well as he went 4 for 5 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored.