In the third round of the Belgian playoffs, the Division 1 Gold, the following series were scheduled: Deurne Spartans @ Borgerhout Squirrels, Mortsel Stars @ Hoboken Pioneers, and Brussels Kangaroos @ Brasschaat Braves.
Deurne Spartans 10 – 5 Borgerhout Squirrels
Only one game today in Borgerhout. The second game of this series will be played tomorrow. Today’s game was a high scoring but close affair for six innings. The Deurne Spartans struck first in the top of the first inning. With Leonel Reina at second base, Johiner Alfonso Arguinzones Ocanto bunted towards the pitcher, on which Reina could score all the way from second. Alexis Marquez’ double to right center field drove in Arguinzones Ocanto. Marquez himself tried to stretch his double into a triple, but was thrown out 2-5. With Frank Alejandro Prieto Burgos on third, Steff Roymans singled to center to drive in Prieto Burgos for the 3-0 lead. But Borgerhout Squirrels bounced back in the bottom of the very same inning. A dropped fly ball in left field allowed Nick Vanthillo and Cedric Vandesompele to score. A double by Yannick Gontier and a single by Aaron Solis drove in two more runs for the lead. At the start of the seventh inning, the Squirrels were still leading by a run (4-5) but then the Spartans offense exploded. A three-run seventh and a two-run eighth, gave the Spartans a comfortable five-run lead they would not spoil.
Despite giving up five runs, Edgardo Jose Nieto Castillo earned the win. In six innings, he allowed just one earned run on seven hits and four walks and struck out three. Glenn Mareels took the loss. In 1.1 innings in relief, he gave up three runs (two earned) on two hits and a walk.
Average wise, Hsibullah Niazi was the best hitter for the Deurne Spartans as he went 1 for 1.
Mortsel Stars @ Hoboken Pioneers (0 – 9 ; 1 – 10)
Two easy victories for the reigning Belgian champions.
The Mortsel Stars were limited to three hits by three pitchers in game one. The Hoboken Pioneers on the other hand were steamrolling, although of the nine runs they scored, only four were earned on a total of seven hits. Thanks to a two-run first inning and a one-run second and third inning, Pioneers walked away slowly. But in the fourth hell broke lose. A fielding error, a triple by Xander Verspreet and two groundouts, drove in four runs for the Pioneers. A sac fly, hit by Michael Somerlink, drove in one more run for Hoboken to reach the final score.
Bebee Brayden earned the win. In five innings, he gave up one hit, walked one, and struck out nine. Arno Polfliet took the loss. He lasted also five innings but had to surrender eight runs (three earned) on four hits and five walks and struck out three.
Going 2 for 3 with three runs scored, Benjamin Goffaux was the best hitter for the Hoboken Pioneers.
Game two wasn’t much different, even though Mortsel could keep pace rather well for 6.5 innings. But despite keeping pace, the Stars didn’t score a run as they were limited to four hits in five innings by Kenny van den Branden. In the fourth inning, Pioneers opened the score. Three consecutive singles by Jason Jie Sam Foek, Nicky Mertens and Lieven Buerms, drove in two runs. After a one-run inning in the sixth, Hoboken had two big innings in the seventh and eighth, that decided the game prematurely. In the top of the seventh inning, Roche Junior De Saedeleer reached first base thanks to an error by the third baseman, which allowed Robin Reyns to score the sole run for the Mortsel Stars.
Kenny van den Branden earned the win as he allowed three walks and struck out eleven. Ben van Nuffel earned a long save as he pitched four innings, in which he gave up one unearned run on four hits and a walk, as he struck out four. Luis Efrem Morales took the loss. He lasted six innings in which he allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks and struck out eight.
Wesley Janssens was the best hitter for Hoboken Pioneers as he went 3 for 4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Brussels Kangaroos @ Brasschaat Braves (1 – 0 ; 11 – 4)
A bad day for the Brasschaat Braves or a good day for the Brussels Kangaroos, depending on which side you are on. Sure, the Brussels Kangaroos are not a team to underestimate, but the 11 – 4 victory was rather unexpected. Two of the Braves’ players (Artuur Driessens and Raxon Martinez) were absent due to personal reasons. Both were dearly missed, as Martinez is a good leadoff hitter and a threat on the base paths, and Driessens is a reliable pitcher who can keep you in the game.
Game one was a very close affair, in which the Braves had some runners in scoring position, but did not cash in. Also, the Kangaroos had several opportunities to score, but they seized one of them in the fourth inning. A throwing error allowed Alain Cedeño Daudinot to get on base and to advance to second before he was driven in on a single to center field, hit by Ryoga Maeda. Despite pitching a solid complete game, Cade Johnson took the loss as he gave up that one unearned run to the Kangaroos on three hits and three walks as he struck out eleven. Elvìs Polanco earned the win. He pitched a complete game as well in which he allowed five hits, walked one and struck out two.
The best hitter for the Brussels Kangaroos was Ryoga Maeda, who went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
The second game was anything but a low scoring and close affair. This was the game in which Artuur Driessens was dearly missed. With spot starter Robin Roevens on the mound, the Kangaroos took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, a lead that would be erased in the following four innings. But in the sixth inning, the Kangaroos took the lead again thanks to an RBI single by Cédric Voet, a lead they would extend in the following two innings.
Eventually, the Kangaroos won this game 11 – 4. Not only did they outscore them, they also outhit them 16 – 7 and left fifteen runners on base.
The Desmedt family terrorized the Braves’ lineup. Kevin pitched 4.1 innings in which he gave up four runs on five hits and two walks as he struck out three. Kevin also contributed with his bat as he went 2 for 5 with a double and two RBI. His brother, Cédric earned the win as he pitched 4.2 innings in which he gave up two hits and a walk and struck out six.
Robin Roevens took the loss. In 0.1 innings, he gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits.
Jayde Thorne was the best hitter for the Brussels Kangaroos. He went 3 for 4 with three RBI and three runs scored.
Thanks to these two victories, the Kangaroos move into third place, half a game behind the Deurne Spartans, who still have a game to play tomorrow, and one behind first place Hoboken Pioneers.
Standings after round three:
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