Finally, the baseball season in Belgium has started as well. Yesterday, the first round of Division 1 was played. Like last year, the highest Belgian league contains eleven teams, this time due to the withdrawal of the Antwerp Eagles. Here is a summary of the games.
Division 1 A
Merchtem Cats @ Hoboken Pioneers (0 – 14 ; 1 – 9)
The Merchtem Cats finished in the lower parts of Division 1 last season. They had the tough task to face the Belgian champion in the first round. They were not really a match. In game one, Hoboken Pioneers got double digits on the scoreboard. After the first inning, the race was already run as Pioneers sent fifteen batters to the plate and scored nine runs. Kenny van den Branden kept the lineup of the Cats in check and allowed just one hit in the span of five innings for the win. Tom Beeckmans was tabbed with the loss and was hit hard as he allowed nine runs on six hits and six walks and struck out one. Benjamin Goffaux was the best hitter for Hoboken Pioneers as he went 3 for 4 with two RBI.
In game two, it wasn’t much of a different story. Only the run production of Pioneers stayed within the limits of ten runs. After seven frames, the final score was 9-1 for Pioneers. Brendan Verspreet pitched five no-hit innings in which he gave up a walk and struck out three for the win. The Cats scored their sole run of the day with two outs in the sixth inning. After Kyrian Meganck singled to right field, Ewout Vrijders drew a walk before Rusty Huber singled to right field to drive in Kyrian Meganck from second base.
Clément Dupuis took the loss. In five innings, he gave up nine runs (eight earned) on nine hits and five walks and struck out five.
Kelvin Delgado was the best hitter for Hoboken Pioneers as he went 3 for 4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.
Deurne Spartans @ Sunville Tigers (20 – 1 ; 11 – 13)
The recently promoted Sunville Tigers hosted the Deurne Spartans and pulled off a stunt.
In game one, they were no match from the Spartans as they lost 20-1. Also this game was actually over after the first inning as Spartans scored twelve (!) runs. All the Tigers could do was score one run in the bottom of the first. The result could have been a lot worse for the team from Zonhoven as the Spartans left fifteen runners on base. Anderson Denny Gerdel Nieto (that’s a mouthful 😉 ) earned the win. He gave up one run on five hits and fanned thirteen. Laurens Vanderzand took the loss despite a seven-inning complete game. He allowed twenty runs (eighteen earned) on thirteen hits and as many walks and struck out six. Hsibullah Niazi was the best hitter for the Deurne Spartans. He went 3 for 3 four RBI and two runs scored.
In game two, the Sunville Tigers bounced back pretty well. In the first three innings, it looked like the Spartans cruised to another easy victory as they took a 9-0 lead. But in the bottom of the third, the Tigers started to score and managed to clinch a comeback-from-behind victory. A two-run third, a four-run fourth, a two-run fifth, and a five-run sixth propelled a surprising victory over the highly favored Spartans.
Shelton Barbara pitched a complete game (seven innings) in which he allowed all eleven runs the Spartans scored on nine hits and eleven walks as he struck out three for the win.
Matthew De Permentier took the loss. In six innings, he gave up thirteen runs on ten hits and eleven walks as he struck out six.
Average-wise, Ferre Van Hees was the best hitter for the Sunville Tigers as he went 1 for 1 with two runs scored.
Brussels Kangaroos @ Namur Angels (15 -2 ; 8 – 4)
In game one, the Namur Angels were no match for their counterpart from Brussels.
The Angels could score two meager runs, one in the first inning and one in the seventh. The Kangaroos on the other hand couldn’t get enough of scoring runs. A three-run first, a two-run third, a four-run fourth, a three-run fifth, a one-run sixth, and a two-run seventh, led to a blowout score. Kevin Desmedt pitched a mercy rule shortened seven-inning complete game in which he allowed two runs on six hits and a walk and struck out eleven. Arthur Heymans took the loss after five innings of being pounded. He allowed twelve runs on sixteen hits and a walk and struck out six.
Kevin Desmedt was the best hitter for the Brussels Kangaroos as he helped his own cause with four hits out of four at-bats with three RBI and two runs scored.
The second game was a much closer affair. Even though the Angels took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, they could not cling on to it.
Cedric Desmedt earned the win after 3.2 innings in relief. He gave up three hits and struck out eight. Carlos Cortes took the loss after five innings in relief. He gave up seven runs (six earned) on eleven hits and two walks and struck out seven.
Cedric Desmedt was the best hitter for the Kangaroos as he went 3 for 4 with a double, three RBI and a run scored.
Mortsel Stars @ Borgerhout Squirrels (2 – 3 ; 2 – 12)
Game one was an exciting one as it remained a close score until the end. The Squirrels took the lead in the second inning as they scored twice on a double hit by Timen Van Geel. In the third inning they extended their lead by a run when Aaron Solis drove in Yannick Gontier with a single to right field.
In the fifth inning, the Mortsel Stars fought their way back into the game when Mikka Uten singled through the right side to drive in Kevin Reyns and Benjamin Voorhelst. But from there, neither team did score.
Glenn Mareels earned the win. In 4.2 innings, he gave up one run on three hits and four walks as he struck out one. Luis Efrem Morales took the loss. He pitched a complete game (seven innings) and allowed all three runs on five hits and four walks and struck out six.
Aaron Solis was the best hitter for the Borgerhout Squirrels as he went 2 for 3 with an RBI.
In game two, the Mortsel Stars were no match for the Borgerhout Squirrels. In fact, one big fifth inning was enough for the Squirrels to clinch the victory, as they scored six runs, but they produced some more runs in the sixth as they crossed home plate five times.
All the Stars could was score twice, once in the fourth (which handed them a short lasting lead) and once in the fifth. Greg Mareels earned the win as he limited the Stars to three hits, walked two, and struck out one in five innings. Arno Polfliet took the loss. In 4.1 innings, he gave up five runs on four hits and two walks and struck out two.
Tim Veraghtert was the best hitter as he went 3 for 3 with a solo home run, three RBI and three runs scored.
Gent Knights @ Brasschaat Braves (0 – 15 ; 4 – 20)
It was a day soon to forget for the poor Gent Knights. In both games against the Brasschaat Braves, the team was no match. In game one, the Knights were limited to one hit by Cade Johnson (who earned the win) and Liam van Malder. The Braves bats proved to be awake as they collected 13 hits and drove in twelve runs. Aaron Meert took the loss after five innings in which he allowed fifteen runs (thirteen earned) on thirteen hits and seven walks as he struck out two. The best hitter for the Braves was Axel Poesmans, who went 3 for 3 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored.
In the second game, the Knights were no match either but this time, they scored four runs in the first inning that gave them a lead that stood for two-and-a-half innings. The Braves cut that lead in half in the bottom of the first and came within a run in the second inning, but in the third inning, the Braves scored six runs on two RBI singles, a fielding error and a throwing error by the catcher to third base. Eventually the Braves would score eleven more runs to reach the final score.
Robin Roevens, who entered the game in relief in the first inning, pitched 6.2 innings for the win. He gave up five hits, walked two and fanned nine. Robin Meuris took the loss after four innings in which he allowed fourteen runs (eleven earned) on eleven hits and four walks, and struck out four.
Also in game two, Axel Poesmans was the best hitter for the Brasschaat Braves. This time he went 4 for 5 with three doubles, six RBI and one run scored.