2021 Holland Series: Neptunus One Win Away From Twentieth Championship

Game five of the 2021 Holland Series was an important one. With the series tied at two, the winner of tonight’s game would take the lead and would only need one more victory for the championship.

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L&D Amsterdam Pirates  5  –  6  Curacao Neptunus
AMS flagToday wasn’t really a pitching duel. Both starting pitchers gave up quite some runs. In 5.1 innings, Juan-Carlos Sulbaran gave up five runs of which four were earned. Diegomar Markwell lasted eight innings in which he gave up four unearned runs, at least according to the box score. But when checking the play-by-play, yours truly can only come to two unearned runs. 

Neptunus opened the score in the first inning when Dwayne Kemp grounded out 6-3 and drove in Stijn van der Meer, who had gotten on base thanks to a walk and advanced to third on a double by Roger Bernadina. 

Pirates bounced back in the top of the second. A muffed catch allowed Kenny Berkenbosch to get on base. He advanced to second and third on consecutive singles by Mick Vos and Raydley Legito, and scored on a bases-loaded walk. Sharlon Schoop drove in the go-ahead run with a single through the right side. But the lead would not last for long. 
In the bottom of the same inning, Neptunus plated two runs on a single by Roger Bernadina. 

In the fourth inning, Pirates regained the lead. Once again Kenny Berkenbosch got on base on an error and eventually scored on another error when Raydley Legito flied out to second base. Sharlon Schoop drove in the fourth run with a sac fly to center field. 
But in the bottom of the same inning, Neptunus tied the game on a sac fly by Shaldimar Daantji. 

In the sixth and seventh inning, Neptunus scored a run each. The one in the seventh would appear to be the insurance run. 

In the ninth, Diegomar Markwell was replaced by Aaron de Groot, but the latter got into trouble right away. Giving up a single and a walk, he allowed Pirates to put a runner in scoring position. Manager Jaarsma didn’t take any risk and guided his trusted reliever Kevin Kelly to the mound. Even though Kelly would allow Pirates to score one more run, for which Aaron de Groot was credited, he shut the door and earned the save. 

Markwell earned the win. In eight innings he gave up four runs (likely only two unearned) on ten hits and three walks, and struck out one. He needed one hundred fifteen pitches for this. Juan-Carlos Sulbaran took the loss. In 5.1 innings he gave up five runs (four earned) on nine hits and three walks, and struck out six. 

Christian Diaz was the best hitter for Curaçao Neptunus. He went 3 for 4 with two triples, an RBI and two runs scored. 
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In an interview, reliever Berry van Driel said that Neptunus has the momentum going after they tied the series at two. It appears he is right as the club is only one more win away from clinching its twentieth title. 

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