2023 Belgian Division One: Round One, Match of The Day

Today, the 2023 season in the Belgian Division one started. Unlike the previous year, this year’s league contains only eight teams as three stepped back. Today, we pay attention to the first match between Phoenix Mont-Saint-Guibert and The Merchtem Cats.

Schermafbeelding 2023-04-08 om 20.29.34

The reason why the Dutch Baseball Hangout opted for this game is because a LOT happened. The final result was like a handball score, so perhaps not the best game, but for sure the most entertaining. 

Phoenix Mont-Saint-Guibert  14  –  15  The Merchtem Cats

Home | MSG Phoenix BSCIn an eventful see-saw game, The Mechtem Cats stayed at the right side of the score. The team needed ten innings to clinch the victory. For the neutral fan this must have been a nice game to whatch with thirty-one runs and thirty-three hits in total. Both teams committed three errors. 
After two innings, the score looked rather hopeless for Mont-Saint-Guibert as the team trailed 8-3 but in the top of the sixth inning, the team inched closer. With two outs and runners on first and second, Cédric Nauts hit to left field where the fielder committed an error that allowed Tashi-Phuntsok Clesse to score, followed by Julien Muyldermans, who scored when Cédric Nauts was caught in a rundown. In the seventh inning, Phoenix took the lead. A wild pitch with runners in scoring position allowed Nasser Tauil to score Phoenix’ sixth run. Florian Lekeu scored on Noah Dassy’s groundout and a muffed catch error allowed Phoenix to take a 9-8 lead. 
But that lead would not last very long as The Cats bounced back in the bottom of the seventh. Doubles by Clément Dupuis and Nick van de Voorde and singles by Jayde Thorne and Tom Rombauts drove in four runs so The Cats regained the lead. 
After Mont-Saint Guibert scored one run in the eighth and three in the ninth and The Cats scored one run in the bottom of the ninth, the score was tied at twelve, so it was time for free baseball. 
In the top of the tenth inning, runners were placed on first and second base thanks to the dreaded tie-breaker rule. Phoenix showed how to deal with the situation as Noah Dassy bunted both runners over with a sacrifice bunt. But in the next at bat, the execution was rather bad as Xavier Pierreux hit towards the pitcher, who fired the ball back to the third baseman as Jamie Flynn dashed home and was caught in a rundown. He was tagged after a 1-5-2-5 play. This rundown allowed the two other base runners to advance to third and second. A wild pitch allowed Nathéo Collazos-Muñoz to score the go-ahead run, followed by Xavier Pierreux, who scored on Tashi-Phuntsok Clesse’s single. 
But The Cats would have the last laugh. With runners on first and second, Oliver Almonte Berroa loaded the bases with a bunt towards third base. Ewout Vrijders two-RBI single tied the game at twelve before Jayde Thorne singled to center field on which Ewout Vrijders scored the game-winning run for The Merchtem Cats.May be a graphic
The winning pitcher in this festival of runs was Jayde Thorne, who pitched one inning in which he allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits. Nathéo Callazos-Muńoz took the loss. In 2.1 innings, he gave up four runs (one earned) on five hits and two walks as he struck out two. 
The best hitter for The Merchtem Cats was clearly Ewout Vrijders, who went 5 for 7 (.714) with two RBI and three runs scored. 

Other results of the first round:

Brasschaat Braves  0  –  2  Hoboken Pioneers
Brasschaat Braves  4  –  14  Hoboken Pioneers
Namur Angels  1  –  12  Borgerhout Squirrels
Mortsel Stars  1  –  21  Deurne Spartans
Phoenix MSG  14  –  10  The Merchtem Cats

Two games are scheduled for tomorrow:

Namur Angels @ Borgerhout Squirrels
Mortsel Stars @ Deurne Spartans

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