2021 Belgian Gold Division: Dramatic Loss For Hoboken Pioneers

In the final game of the playoffs, Deurne Spartans fulfilled its sportive obligation and beat Hoboken Pioneers 3-1. Thanks to this loss, Hoboken is depending on the makeup game between Borgerhout and Brasschaat for a passage to the Belgian Series.

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HOB flagIt couldn’t be a better farewell game for Gino Jonis and Luis Valdez. This season, the Spartans were average at best without their Venezuelan pitchers. So far the club has won only two games in the Gold Division (playoffs), so today’s win against one of the title candidates, may have come as a surprise. 

In the first two innings, both starting pitchers kept the opponent from scoring but in the third inning, Spartans was the team that opened the score. With two quick outs, Kenny van den Branden couldn’t get out of the inning as he didn’t get the needed defensive support. With runners in scoring position, Alexis Marquez got on base thanks to a catch error by Pioneers’ first baseman. This allowed Eder Hernandez Sarao to score the opening run. 

But Spartan’s lead would not last long. In the top of the fourth inning, Pioneers came alongside when Benjamin Goffaux hit a solo shot to deep center field. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Spartans would regain the lead as it put the final score on the board. Back-to-back singles and an intentional walk loaded the bases. Frank Alejandro Prieto Burgos followed with a double down the right field line to drive in Edgardo Jose Nieto Castillo and Alexis Marquez. Kenny van den Branden retired the next three hitters but the damage was already done. 

In the top of the ninth, Pioneers had a golden opportunity to tie the game. After Benjamin Goffaux bunted two runners into scoring position and Xander Verspreet drew a walk, only a hit was needed to tie the game at three. But Alexis Marquez retired Jarno Sellicaerts on a fly out to right field and Michael Sommerlink on a strikeout for the win. 
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Marquez pitched a complete game in which he allowed only one run on five hits and three walks as he struck out five. Kenny van den Branden also pitched a complete game. In eight frames, he gave up three runs (two earned) on nine hits and three walks as he struck out twelve. 

With this win, Deurne Spartans helped its neighbor Borgerhout Squirrels that now has a better record (7-2 record (.778)) than the  the 7-3 (.700) record of Hoboken Pioneers. 
But the suspended game between the Squirrels and the Braves, still has to be played to decide which team will advance to the Belgian Series. If Borgerhout loses that game, it will have the same record as Hoboken. In that case an extra game has to be played to decide who will advance to the Belgian Series. If Borgerhout wins the suspended game, it will join Brasschaat in the Belgian Series. 

May be an image of text that says '3.7.1 Gelijke stand twee teams In geval twee teams na het einde van een competitie zich op gelijke hoogte bevinden, zal het eindklassement opgemaakt worden op basis van één extra wedstrijd als de rangschikking bepaald over: 1. Stijgen of dalen naar een andere reeks 2. Deelnemen aan een play-off of Belgian Series 3. Deelnemen aan een hogere of lagere groep bij opsplitsen van een divisie.'

May be an image of text that says '3.7.1 Egalité entre deux équipes Dans le cas où à la fin d'une compétition, si deux équipes se retrouvent à égalité, on établira un classement basé sur un match supplémentaire lorsque le classement détermine: 1. La montée ou la descente vers une autre série 2. La participation à un playoff des Belgian Series 3. La participation un groupe supérieur ou inférieur en cas de scission d' 'une division'

Current standings of the Division 1 Gold: 

#   G W L AVG GB
1  Brasschaat Braves 9 8 1 0.889
2  Borgerhout Squirrels 9 7 2 0.778 1.0
3  Hoboken Pioneers 10 7 3 0.700 1.5
4  Brussels Kangaroos 10 3 7 0.300 5.5
5  Deurne Spartans 10 3 7 0.300 5.5
6  Mont-Saint Guibert Phoenix 10 1 9 0.100 7.5

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