Last weekend, in the fourth round of the 2022 Belgian Division 1 Gold, the following series were scheduled: Mortsel Stars @ Brussels Kangaroos, Hoboken Pioneers @ Deurne Spartans, and Brasschaat Braves @ Borgerhout Squirrels.
Mortsel Stars @ Brussels Kangaroos (0 – 1 ; 4 – 6)
This was the only series played on one day. Game one was very close and not much happened. Both teams had their shot on scoring runs, of which the Mortsel Stars had the best. In the top of the sixth inning, the Stars loaded the bases with only one out but back-to-back fly outs ruined this opportunity. Of course the Kangaroos also had their chances. They only needed one to get on the board. Jayde Thorne led off with a single, stole second base, and advanced to third on a groundout to first base. A passed ball, allowed Thorne to score the game-winning run.
Cédric Desmedt went the distance, gave up ten hits and a walk, and struck out eight for the win. Luís Efrem Morales took the loss, despite a good outing. In seven innings, he gave up one run on four hits and two walks, and struck out nine.
Cédric Voet was the best hitter for the Kangaroos, going 2 for 3 with a double.
Also, game two was a close affair. Both teams scored two runs in the first inning. Mortsel thanks to two fielders choices, Brussels thanks to a wild pitch and a passed ball.
In the fourth inning, the Stars took the lead again when Joey Lambert drove in Kenneth van de Velde from third base with a single to center field. But the lead would not last long as the Kangaroos tied the game in the bottom of the fifth. Nicolas Pisvin singled to right center field to drive in Cédric Voet from second base. Two innings later, Brussels regained the lead and added some insurance runs. A sac fly by Elvis Polanco drove in the go-ahead run. Jayde Thorne’s double to left field drove in Nicolas Pisvin and Ryoga Maeda.
In the ninth, the Stars scored one more run when Arne van Royen reached first base on a fielders choice. Tobias Papanikitas scored the run but Kenneth Van De Velde was caught in a 3-6-5 rundown. Elvis Polanco earned the win after he took over on the mound in the fourth inning. In 5.2 innings, he allowed one run on four hits, and struck out two. Arno Polfliet took the loss after 6.2 innings of work, in which he was credited for six runs on nine hits and two walks, and struck out five.
Three Kangaroos went 2 for 4. Ryoga Maeda went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, Kevin Desmedt with a double, and Nicolas Pisvin with an RBI and a run scored.
Brasschaat Braves @ Borgerhout Squirrels ( 10 – 1 ; 7 – 5)
Also, the Braves completed a sweep last weekend. Saturday’s game was very lopsided.
Despite getting ten runs, the Braves collected only one hit. Their first run came on a bases-loaded walk, drawn by Yves Poesmans, who drove in Jamie Verheyleweghen. Slater O’Brien had a huge off day as he issued ten walks. The second run, in the second inning, was scored when Elias Roberto Macias was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. In the fourth inning, two more runs were scored on bases-loaded walks, to give the Braves a 4-0 lead. But not only Slater O’Brien struggled. Also, the two relief pitchers of the Squirrels had a hard time finding the strike zone. Only one run was scored on a base hit, when Axel Poesmans singled to center field and drove in Zeb Cappaert. By the time, the Squirrels got on the board, the Braves had a comfortable 5-0 lead. Sam Boermans homered to left field in the eighth inning, for the Squirrels only run of the game. Cade Johnson pitched 7.2 solid innings in which he allowed just one run on five hits and four walks and struck out nine for the win. Slater O’Brien took the loss. In four innings, he gave up four runs on ten walks, as he struck out seven.
Hitting the sole hit for the Braves, Axel Poesmans was automatically the best hitter for Brasschaat, going 1 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The game on Sunday was much more attractive as both teams collected a fair number of hits. But also this time the Braves would stay at the right side of the score.
The Borgerhout Squirrels opened the score in the bottom of the first inning when Cédric Vandesompele singled to right center to drive in Sam Boermans. For four innings, the Brasschaat Braves were kept in check by Greg Mareels, but in the top of the fifth, he had to surrender a run when Jens Boermans singled to center field, driving in Robbe de Boey.
With the bases loaded in the sixth inning, Robbe de Boey singled through the left side and drove in Elias Roberto Macias and Yves Poesmans. Cade Johnson doubled down the third base line and drove in Jamie Peeters and Robbe de Boey. The fifth run of the inning was scored by Cade Johnson, who could advance to home plate on a throwing error by the shortstop.
The Squirrels countered in the bottom of the sixth when Kevin Vervloet hit a bases clearing double on which Sander De Saedeleer, Sander Boermans and Matthias Group could score. Both teams would score one more run to lead to the final score of 7-5.
Artuur Driessens earned the win. In 8.1 innings, he allowed five runs on thirteen hits and struck out four. Greg Mareels took the loss. In six innings, he gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and three walks. Youngster Robbe de Boey was the best hitter for the Brasschaat Braves, as he went 3 for 4 with two RBI and three runs scored.
Hoboken Pioneers @ Deurne Spartans (4 – 6 ; 18 – 0)
Game one was a very close affair. Even this close that ten innings were needed to decide it.
Hoboken took the lead in the second inning, when Wesley Janssens and Dennis de Quint each singled home a run. But in the seventh inning, the Spartans cut Hoboken’s lead in half when Eder Sarao Hernanez hit a sac fly that drove in Alexis Marquez. In the nick of time, in the ninth inning, the Spartans tied the game when Leonel Reina scored on a fielding error by the third baseman. As a result, fans could watch free baseball. With runners in scoring position in the top of the tenth inning, Dennis De Quint delivered with a single that drove in two runs. In their tenth at-bat, the Spartans loaded the bases before Morris De Vriendt hit a walk-off grand slam. Anderson Denny Gerdel Nieto pitched a 10-inning complete game for the win. He gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits and three walks as he struck out eight. He needed hundred sixty-one pitches to accomplish this feat. Brendan Verspreet took the loss. He took the mound in the tenth inning, did not record an out and gave up four runs (two earned) on one hit and a walk.
Leonel Reina was the best hitter for the Deurne Spartans. He went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored.
The second game, on Sunday, was a complete different story. The Spartans were limited to three hits by Kenny Van den Branden and Ben van Nuffel. The Pioneers, on the other hand, slugged their way through the game. It started in the first inning when Thomas De Wolf singled home Kelvin Delgado. Two innings later, doubles by Benjamin Goffaux and Wesley Janssens, drove in three runs. But the big blow came in the fifth inning. A home run by Xander Verspreet and a double by Benjamin Goffaux drove in four runs next to the throwing error, wild pitch, two walks and a fielders choice that drove in five more.
If it wasn’t enough, Pioneers repeated in the sixth when it scored five more runs thanks to a single by Christoff Peeters and a grand slam by Xander Verspreet. Kenny Van den Branden lasted five innings for the win in which he allowed two hits and struck out five. Nando Mostaert took the loss. In 4.1 innings, he allowed seven runs (six earned) on six hits and three walks as he struck out three.
Xander Verspreet was the best hitter for Hoboken Pioneers. He went 2 for 3 with two home runs, seven RBI, and three runs scored.
With the Hoboken Pioneers and the Deurne Spartans splitting their series, and the Brussels Kangaroos sweeping their opponent, it is very exciting in the Division 1 Gold, as three teams share first place. Also, the Brasschaat Braves are still in contention, as they trail by one game.
Standings after four rounds: