Game two of the Belgian Series was nearly a copy of game one in almost all aspects. The only difference that it was played at the facility of Hoboken Pioneers. Also game two was lopsided and Pioneers cruised to the victory, thus clinching the 2021 Belgian Championship.
Also when it comes to the number of fans, atmosphere and weather, today’s game was much alike yesterday’s game. Once again, a good crowd showed up and once again both sides cheered on their teams. But most of all, the weather was great. Lots of sunshine, so perfect circumstances for a baseball championship game.
Brasschaat Braves 5 – 15 Hoboken Pioneers
Unfortunately, the game itself was rather lopsided once again even though Brasschaat Braves fought its way back into the game in the second and third innings but in the following innings, the lineup of Brasschaat was simply overwhelmed by Kenny van den Branden, who pitched 4.2 innings in relief and allowed only one unearned run.
The defense of Brasschaat wasn’t all that sharp today. It committed three critical errors that lead to three unearned runs. Also the pitching didn’t perform the way it should have. Cole Jenkins, who proved to be a reliable pitcher during the regular season, didn’t make it through the second inning as he faced five batters without recording an out. As a result, Pioneers scored five runs in that inning and seemed to have a comfortable lead.
But Brasschaat refused to be led to the slaughter like sheep as it rallied for some runs in the top of the third inning. In the top of the second, the team had a major opportunity to get back in the game as it loaded the bases with no outs. A single by Yves Poesmans drove in one run but then the next two hitters didn’t come through as one struck out and the other hit into an inning-ending double play. But in the third inning, the Braves eagerly jumped on Ben van Nuffel, who was hit hard. Four singles, a walk and a force out at second, drove in three runs for the Braves.
From there, Kenny van den Branden took over on the mound and dominated the Braves lineup. Only in the top of the seventh inning, Van den Branden allowed one run but that wasn’t enough for the Braves to overcome the ten-run margin, so the game ended after seven mercy rule innings.
Even though there wasn’t an official championship in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Hoboken Pioneers repeated as they won the competition last year as well (without playing a championship series). Overall, this is the club’s seventh official Belgian championship.
Kenny van den Branden earned the win. In 4.2 innings, he gave up one unearned run on two hits and a walk and struck out four. Cole Jenkins took the loss as he struggled through one inning and five batters faced. He allowed five runs on three hits and three walks.
Average-wise, Thomas de Wolf was the best hitter as he went 2 for 2 with a double and three RBI. Kelvin Delgado collected the most hits today, as he went 4 for 5 with an RBI and five runs scored.